Somshuvra Bhattacharya

Technical Information Services

 Somshuvra Bhattacharya

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. Where you grew up, where you live now, family and pets… anything goes! 

I grew up in Kolkata, on the eastern corner of India. Coming from a family of art-lovers, I have always had a passion for poetry and fine art. In fact, had I not been a Scientist perhaps I would be sitting in a cabin somewhere in the mountains penning my thoughts right now. My father was a Journalist and I have always wanted to be like him: travel and express your thoughts fiercely on paper. My father was my inspiration and true example of "The Pen is mightier than the sword". Although I never was able to choose journalism as a career, when I finished my Ph.D. and post-doctoral training, I knew I had to build a career around communication of some sort. That's when this golden opportunity came to join the Lab. At JAX, in my current role as a Technical Information Scientist, I get to complement my life science training and knowledge along with my intrinsic passion to communicate. From helping researchers around the world, to assisting my colleagues within the Lab, every morning I come to work with a new zeal: "The keyboard and the microphone are now mightier than even the pen". In addition, I love food, and all kinds of it. If you don't see me "Available" in Microsoft Teams, perhaps I am at the café or gone out to grab a thing or two from the food truck.

What hobbies or interests do you enjoy in your free time?

Cooking, hiking, listening to audiobooks, ping pong, traveling to places without a set plan.

Tell us about someone in your life who inspired you or helped you become who you are today.

My Father. He is sort of a Super Hero to me. If ever I get to write a book or direct a movie, you know now who my inspiration would be.  

What motivates you or helps you feel fulfilled?

A day at work where I give 200% of my effort. When you know you have given it all, at the end of business each day, the feeling is unparalleled.

What do you do really well? Is there anything you wish you could improve?

I am a very enthusiastic person with new ideas. If you have a small vague thought about doing something new and creative and want to talk to me about it, I will always be ready to help support and nurture the same into a full-blown idea. Unfortunately this over-enthusiasm, sometimes, makes me lose focus on things that matter more. I need to improve balancing this so that I can prioritize things better.

What’s an accomplishment you are really proud of? Is there something you want to do, but haven't done yet?

Mentoring my students back in Grad school and seeing them becoming professionals today is something I am proud of. Mentoring in any way is just so rewarding. Something I have on my wish list: I want to take my Mother to Egypt for a vacation soon. She is a History Teacher who has this fascinating amount of knowledge on Egyptian history but never got to see the Pyramids in person yet!

Let’s talk about your career journey. What inspired you to go into your current field? What first brought you to JAX? Has your job changed since you joined?

I was doing my postdoctoral work in the cold winters of South Dakota. Running flow cytometry 8-9 hours a day and struggling with interpreting why, no matter what I did, the histograms did not make sense. All this while I had one eye on the LinkedIn Job search page, longing to migrate to a position where I can share all that I learned from those hours on the machine in a non-hands-on manner. That's when I came across this job listing that changed my life. One thing followed another, met some of the most awesome people I have known in my life, and very soon I was welcomed into a team that felt like Homecoming in so many ways. Ever since I joined JAX, I have learned so much new science, so many other professional skills. I have been just 1 year into my TIS role, and all that I have learned since Day 1 have collectively made every day an experience. A great Team can make you do wonders.

How do explain your current work to others? What’s your favorite thing about it?

I am a Mouse Science Liaison. I communicate all of the state-of-art research achievements and endeavors undertaken within the Lab to as many people outside our organization as possible via social media, blogs, webinars and any communicative media thinkable. I bring back all the things the World says about us and to help improve what we do internally. In between all of this, I support my internal colleagues with anything technical and even non-technical (for example, leads on which days Banh-Mi is on the menu at the JAX café).