Ahilya N. Sawh

Ahilya N. Sawh

Assistant Professor

HBSc, McMaster University, summa cum laude, 2007
PhD, McGill University, 2015
Postdoc, Harvard University & University of Basel, 2023

Address MaRS, West Tower Rm 1632
661 University Ave
Toronto, ON M5G 1M1
Lab Sawh Lab
Email ahilya.sawh@utoronto.ca

Ahilya was born in Georgetown, Guyana and immigrated to Canada when she was 9. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry with a Specialization in Molecular Biology from McMaster University. For her PhD, Ahilya studied the mechanisms of RNAi in the Duchaine lab at McGill University (Dept of Biochemistry). For her postdoctoral studies, she went on to study nuclear organization in the Mango lab at Harvard University (Dept of Molecular & Cellular Biology), with a mid-way spatial detour to the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. Ahilya joins UofT Biochemistry as an Assistant Professor in May 2023.

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Research Lab

Learn more: Sawh Lab

Research Description

4D Genomics in Development

How does one genome generate a large diversity of cell types, each with unique spatiotemporal gene expression patterns and physiological roles? How does the physical organization of the genome impact its many essential functions during the highly dynamic process of embryonic development?

In our lab, we study the functional role of genome organization in cell fate decisions – at the single-molecule level & across biological scales (molecules → organelles → cells → tissues → organism). Our work bridges cell & developmental biology, computational biology, biochemistry & systems biology.

We push the boundaries of high-throughput image-based spatial omics & bioimage analysis, to answer fundamental questions that were previously untenable and gain mechanistic & quantitative insights into in vivo chromatin biology.