Postdoc spotlight: Sreelakshmi Vasudevan

Sreelakshmi Vasudevan

Sreelakshmi Vasudevan is focused on helping people keep their sight. Originally from Kerala, India, Vasudevan is a postdoctoral scholar in Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences working alongside Paul Park.

In the lab, Vasudevan researches the point mutations in rhodopsin and cone opsins that cause vision impairment. Her research contributes to the team’s efforts investigating the mechanism of these mutations that lead to blindness, ultimately with the goal of paving the way for developing therapeutic strategies to combat these conditions.

Vasudevan’s research has been published in Nature CommunicationsJournal of NeurochemistryBiochemistry and Human Molecular Genetics as lead author and in FASEB J as a co-author.

Beyond the lab, she is an active member of the CWRU Postdoctoral Association, through which she has volunteered as chair of the VISA and Immigration Committee from 2021–23 and has served as chair of the Women’s Initiative Committee since 2022.

Learn more about Vasudevan’s experiences as a postdoc in this Q&A.

Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

1. What has been your best experience so far as a CWRU postdoc?

Starting a new chapter of life in a foreign land from square one is quite overwhelming. Learning new things in professional life as well as personal/social life simultaneously while starting a new phase of life is not easy. But it was made easy by the help and support that I have received from the staff (both academic and administrative) at CWRU. 

The mentoring and encouragement that I have received from my principal investigator, Paul Park, associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, has been the best experience I have received at CWRU. Scientific interactions with Dr. Park helped me to restructure my whole thought process and to improve my strategies to approach a research question.

2. How do you think the postdoctoral experience at CWRU is helping you prepare and advance your career goals?

Working as a postdoc at CWRU has helped me develop my interpersonal skills as well as learn more techniques that will help me throughout my research journey. With this experience and the level of confidence that I have acquired, I am aiming to continue retinal research in multinational pharmaceutical corporations and research and development laboratories in the future. 

I am grateful for the opportunity that I have been given at CWRU to learn and grow in a supportive environment and a special thanks to CWRU Postdoctoral Association for organizing professional development and networking events on a regular basis.