About us

About Dr. Karishma - full Curriculum Vitae

Neuroscientist, Learning and Development Mentor and Executive Coach,  


My work with individuals and teams on designing learning and development programmes is based on utilising modulation of Executive function via meta-cognition and lessons-learned through the last 20 years. It has been proving invaluable to individuals interested in adding value and achieving growth instead of simply gaining reward. The focus of my work is in Learning, Self-Development and reduction of Stress resulting in increased outcome based on re-programming of thought, speech and action.


Having invested in Research, innovating and sharing the most effective Metacognitive Learning and Development techniques I have helped various individuals and integrated teams achieve increased effective learning. Through impact-based-design of structured courses I have achieved the integration of skills including analytical techniques, learning methods, targeted communication of information which has resulted in empowered students who are capable of  developing of optimised new strategies for the benefit of their own career and the organisations they worked with.


Aiming to catalyse a high level of achievement in individuals and Organisations, I work to help define goals, strengths, and methods of effective learning. With a high level of energy, ability to inspire, identify talent, innovate and adapt to the individual requirements, I have been able to build rapport over the years with students of a cross-section of faculties by identifying learning needs, goals and achieving the desired outcome on time. This has resulted in a growing network of individuals who pass on these skills to others for the greater good of the community.


2005 - to 2012     Investigator Scientist - Medical Research Council – National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)

Studying Neural Stem Cells in the Adult brain and their contribution to Learning and Memory

Investigating Adult neurogenesis. Designing strategies including a transgenic mouse to address the role of neurogenesis, factors that affect it and its contribution to memory, synaptic plasticity and Learning.

Study of adult and embryonic Neural Stem cells in culture

Detailed comparison of different methods of converting Embryonic Stem cells into neurons (proliferation, differentiation and maturation)

Creating a transgenic mouse for the spatial and temporal ablation of adult and developmental neurogenesis. Carrying out the cloning and analysis required (including the latest methods of cloning and some of the oldest methods of radioactive Southern blotting that are the most reliable).

In addition to my own research, I have been invited to review grant proposals by the New Zealand Neurological Organisation and the BBSRC


2002 – 2005       Post – Doctoral position - Medical Research Council

Investigating Learning and Memory through the processes of Synaptic Plasticity.

Studying Long Term Potentiation in the Hippocampus

Using behavioural tasks and In-vitro and In-vivo electrophysiology to understand the working of the synapse.


1998 - to date                 

Conducting workshops for school children, University students as well as lay adults with the aim of increasing their knowledge of Science and learning capabilities. Applying principles of Neuroscience to reducing stress and increasing learning abilities and job prospects. Teaching students of the following courses: Medical, Veterinary, Pharmacy, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Natural Science, Biomedical Science, Economics and Environmental Sciences etc.

I also voluntarily help train students for entrance examinations including the BMAT, UKCAT, GMAT and GAMSAT. The latter is of significance because I have trained professionals from backgrounds as varied and Marketing, Management and the Classics in successfully gaining admission to Medical School by teaching them the required Biology, Chemistry and Physics from the GCSE, A Level and University Courses.


1998-2002 Teaching and mentoring undergraduates and PhD students at the University of Cambridge: Courses - Neuroscience, neuro-endocrinology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Neuro-Anatomy (practical and theoretical). My students were those of the second and third year Medical, Veterinary and Natural Science Courses and included mature graduates, professionals and PhD students (including those of UCL) studying at the NIMR.



1998-2002 University of Cambridge PhD, Neuroscience

Studying adult neural stem cells in the adult brain and the effects of stress, in the hippocampus (an area of the brain involved in Learning) Molecular Neuroendocrinology and Neurobiology.

Investigating the protective effects of Dehydroepiandrosterone and the damaging effects of excess Corticosterone on the brain.


1995-1998 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

MSc (Research) in two parts: 1a. Project 1. Immunology and Molecular biology- Murine AIDS virus –

1b. Project 2. Neuroscience and Electrophysiology -Computational neuroscience and experimental understanding of how the Olfactory system processes and encodes information

  1. Molecular Biology, Biophysics, Genetics and Cell Biology by Examination.


1992-1995 St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, Bangalore, India

BSc in Environmental Science, Chemistry, Zoology, English and Hindi. Honours programmes in Organic Chemistry, Spectroscopy, Genetics, Reaction Mechanisms and Enzymology.



Copying and evolution of neuronal topology. Fernando C, Karishma KK, Szathmáry E.

PLoS ONE. 2008;3(11): e3775. Epub 2008 Nov 20.


Differential amplification of intron-containing transcripts reveals long term potentiation-associated up-regulation of specific Pde10A phosphodiesterase splice variants. O'Connor V, Genin A, Davis S, Karishma KK, Doyère V, De Zeeuw CI, Sanger G, Hunt SP, Richter-Levin G, Mallet J, Laroche S, Bliss TV, French PJ. J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 16;279(16):15841-9. Epub 2004 Jan 28.


New neurons in old networks Cooke, SF, Karishma KK, Truchet B. Trends in Neurosciences 25 (7) :344-34


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) stimulates neurogenesis in the hippocampus of the rat, promotes survival of newly formed neurons and prevents corticosterone-induced suppression. Karishma KK, Herbert J. Eur J Neurosci. 2002 Aug;16(3):445-53.


Presented posters at the following conferences

1999 – Effects of DHEA on Neurogenesis at the Society for Neuroscience conference, Miami Authors Karishma, KK, Herbert J.

2001 – Effects of DHEA on Neurogenesis at the Italian Society for Neuroscience conference, Torino.

Karishma KK, Herbert J.

  • Effects of LTP on Syntaxin at the Society for Neuroscience conference, San Diego Authors Karishma, KK, Bliss TVP
  • Effects of LTP on neurogenesis and ZIF expression at the FENS meeting, Austria. Authors Karishma KK, Bliss TVP

Attended the German Conference at Bad-Godesberg on Stem Cells in 2004, as a representative of my department, to collect information of the state-of-the art progress in the field.

Attended several UK and international Conferences from 1998 to 2012 in the field of Neuroscience and Neuro-endocrinology.



2004: Poster selected for communicating Science to the layperson at the Society for Neuroscience.

2001: Prize at the Italian society for Neuroscience for best poster.

2001: Hughes Hall, student award

2000: Cambridge Philosophical Society student award

1999: Poster selected for presentation to the Media at the Society for Neuroscience

1999: election to the Cambridge Philosophical Society

1998: Foreign Commonwealth Office, British Government Chevening Scholarship

         Overseas Research Studentship

          Cambridge Nehru Scholarship for Science – to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience at the university of Cambridge.

1995: Scholarship to study MSc at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

1992-1995 – senior scholarship of the National Talent search examination (India)

1989 – won the National Talent Search scholarship - a very prestigious prize, which I maintained for the next 9 years for which I had to prove my merit every year.

1988 – won the International Mathematics Olympiad medal.



My Skills within the fields of Academics, Science, Technology and Management:

  1. Analysing and evaluating data to facilitate the development of a solution or a plan of action based on the situation and background of the people involved, having covered multiple fields and a cross section of students I have taught.
  2. Bridging the gap between academia and the Corporate sector through knowledge-sharing, data analysis and evaluation, together with catalysing effective communication (verbal presentations, written reports and discussion-based methods).
  3. I enjoy identifying the key facts that need to be communicated and building them into a storyline that triggers new thinking so that the audience can identify with the presenter and look to collaborate in a mutually beneficial way.
  4. My expertise lies in harnessing enabling individuals to achieve high-flying excellence through my knowledge in the fields of Neuroscience, Meta-Cognition and Executive function, Neurogenesis, Neural Circuitry, Learning and Development, Long term Potentiation (LTP) and Memory, Synaptogenesis and Neuro-endocrinology for the benefit of improved Learning, Self-evaluation and Self-development.
  5. Improving the learning techniques of individuals leads to their increased contribution to Society and their team taking them further in their academic and executive pursuits. Empowering individuals to improve their self-esteem and work-ethic through becoming aware of learning and mapping techniques, harnessing bleeding edge technology in Neuroscience together with well established knowledge and architechturing courses based on lateral thinking to boost associative learning.
  6.  Designing courses to mitigate the effects of stress by breaking a single course into blocks of manageable information. Making the student aware of the structure  of the course, learning goals and the links to other parts of the programme facilitates effective knowledge dissemination and pro-active learning, thus utilising the principle of lateral thinking and meta-plasticity of the learning areas of the brain (particularly the Hippocampus and Pre-frontal Cortex). This method boosts decision making and executive function based on increased confidence, self-esteem and belief in one’s ability to learn and solution-finding in difficult situations.
  7. I also have extensive Post-doctoral experience of  Stem Cell Research, Neuro-immunology, Excitotoxicity, effects of Neurotransmitters and receptor types and expression levels (particularly serotonin, dopamine, glutamate and GABA) (of 12 years duration) and therefore work with enhancing the reward pathways during learning to trigger improved performance and confidence-building together with the individual’s ability to utilise these within their teams to build respect and a form stronger group (thus eliminating the use of bullying and stress building).
  8. Empowering students with cognitive reasoning and skills in Data-analysis and evaluation together with the creation of mind-maps to facilitate this understanding in others through effective communication, I help scientists, management students, executives, Doctors, Veterinarians, Pharmacists and Chemical engineers, Nurses and students of other faculties understand the factors that modulate pathways thus enabling them to find new or modified regulatory methods. Utilising my knowledge of Computational Neuroscience and Pathway building, I use the building of chains and networks of knowledge through making information into blocks of related content.
  9. Evaluating data in publications and providing a balanced review in the context of existing knowledge and filling gaps in understanding of varied areas on Science, Technology and Management constantly helps me improve my own knowledge and capability. By this, I constantly strive towards self-improvement to make myself worthy of the time spent with organisations aimed to facilitate development within teams and companies for increased productivity. I am constantly conscious of the fact that each opportunity received is a method of enabling me to contribute my skills and problem solving abilities to others, who then pass these on to their colleagues and students.






  1. Instructing individuals of all ages in metacognitive methods, learning skills, mind-mapping, data analysis, detailed speed reading, evaluation of complex information, examination techniques, revision skills, presentation techniques, board meeting methods for increased effectiveness, interview techniques and communication skills at different levels.
  2. Guiding individuals with the attainment of the CIPD qualification at different levels.
  3. Instructing Clinicians, Engineers and a cross-section of Students viz., PhD, MSc, Post doctoral students, Management students, Medical and Veterinary students, Engineering, Business studies, Economics, Pharmacy andNursing students.
  4. Teaching students at various levels Physics, Forensic Science, Nursing, Psychology, Life Sciences Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Pharmacy, Cell Biology, Biomedical studies and Biochemistry etc; I also help people prepare for the GMAT, SAT, GAMSAT, LNAT, UKCAT, BMAT and ABPI examinations.
  5. Contributing to Management Consultancy. This involves the following: developing strategies based on analysing data and tracking activities carried out, identifying goals, evaluating tools and reviewing proposed programs. Then developing a positive feedback metacognitive loop to facilitate and catalyse development and growth in line with competency and the company policy to add value to the individual and the organisation.
  6. Mentoring individuals through Cognitive reasoning, analytical reasoning, evaluative methods, analytical skills (quantitative and verbal), situational judgement, verbal communication, essay writing, writing company documents and reports with a focus on compliance with company policy and accepted protocol.
  7. Coaching individuals of different ages in pro-active learning methods combined with metacognitive techniques for setting goals, designing strategies to achieve these targets, evaluating progress and modifying methods based on strengths, identifying weaknesses and methods/courses/testing to replace negatives with excellent positive skills.
  8. Developing Presentations for different areas of information sharing – Science, Management, Organisational development, Industry.
  9. Career guidance, interview training and Personal Development of individuals for their growth and to help them add value to the Organisation they work with.
  10. Team building workshops and the design of such material for individual groups in line with the goals of the organisation.


Other interests:

Constantly striving to attain an in-depth understanding of the functioning of the system at its many levels and the effect of multiple compounding factors e.g. the effects of multiple circumstances, background experience, drugs, and hormones on the effectiveness of the brain and the rest of the body– in whichever situation is being considered. Communication of such information through presentations and written information.

Constantly studying/researching current information from Conferences and published papers particularly in the field of Neuroscience, Diabetes, Oncology, monoclonal antibodies, new drugs (the first pass effect, formulations, Drug modifications, withdrawal of drugs, changes in synthesis pathways etc) and other areas like Battery technology, Fuel developments, fracking and recycling.

Following up NICE guidelines and Clinical Commissioning Group developments and implications on clinical pathways and the NHS.

Putting new information into the context of previous knowledge and identifying changes, corrections and progress in the field.

Appreciating interactions such as in Neuro-Endocrine and Neuro-Immune systems and their clinical and business applications for work output of employees.

Keeping a track of events in drug discovery, pharmacology, genomics and proteomics and implications upon these systems and how they result in changes to treatment pathways.

Organising events such as conferences and seminars, chairing discussions, creating an effective learning environment for meetings.

I work with groups of the aging population to boost integration of their expertise and experience, while aiming to slow down cognitive decline. This has two benefits – the economic benefit to the System and improved contribution to the Society at large.



Recent History.

The focus of my interest is in three linked areas: Education of an individual (both academic and holistic), Personal Development within the Corporate sector and Neuroscience. An integrated approach to all three forms my fundamental approach to Learning and Development and I aim to utilise our understanding of how the brain works towards achieving effective problem solving. I have founded the Ultimate Achievements Academy together with my Mother (Mrs. RamMohan). Students we have taught and with whom I am in regular touch have become successful surgeons, doctors, pharmacists, engineers, scientists, veterinary doctors, nurses, lecturers, chemical engineers, management executives and CEOs of companies over the years. 


Through the ‘Achievements - Leadership, Learning and Development master-class’ conducted at appropriate levels for the empowerment of executives and educators to learn how to learn (Metacognition) I aim to provide learning skills and life coaching through Neuroscience for life. The Leadership program provides the path: taking individuals to Organisational Leadership through self-leadership and respect and lift those they work with. The aim is to develop intellectual leaders who go on to excel and contribute effectively to Society. One of the principles applied in my consultancy is that every problem can be solved once its causes are identified and a practical and achievable step by step strategy is in place that is then acted upon. Working with individuals on the team towards effective management, communication and presentation skills involves a high degree of trust and confidentiality which I respect.




Give classical music concerts for small groups for charity – favourite music by Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart.

Practice classical Russian Ballet.

Practice and teach Pranayama (for charity), Yog and Qi Gong for physiological and mental activity and balance.

Working voluntarily with groups of adults and children towards increasing education, using education to overcome the confidence issues arising due to disabilities, childhood trauma, bullying etc.

Reviewing performances of individuals and Pharmaceutical companies with the focus on improvement and optimisation.


I am keen on analysing issues in Corporate and academic scenarios and the wider Society that involve the effects of the lack of education and awareness particularly on self-esteem, respect for others and levels of achievement. Modulation of the Neuro-endocrine system and how this affects the responses and decisions a person makes is of importance to me.


Therefore my goal is to contribute to how Education, learning techniques and heightened awareness can be used towards highlighting the intrinsic good and self esteem in a person to facilitate and catalyse their being able to add value to the institutions and teams they work with.



Further information:


Building on the supervision methods followed at the University of Cambridge, I have taught individuals and groups of students in person and online (Skype) / telephone / facetime.  I believe strongly in the individual being empowered through skills and factual information and excel at providing specialized coaching and mentoring for academic achievement and personal development towards professional success through working smart not just hard.With a focus on Learning skills (learning to learn), revision methods, examination techniques, energy harnessing, meta-cognition daily discipline, memory techniques, cognitive strategy and self-instruction, goal setting, land-marking, focus, concentration and attention control, consolidation and re-consolidation strategies, mapping, note-making, critical thinking, problem solving and mindfulness, I endeavour to work on strengths (thereby replacing weaknesses with skills) and empower individuals through knowledge enhancement.I specialise in working with children and adults who have ADHD, autism, Epilepsy and other varied abilities and have come to appreciate that all humans are on a spectrum governed by their ability, educational experience, stress levels and circumstances. Therefore, my Neurocognitive approach to learning empowers individuals to shine to their best in whatever situation they find themselves in, while looking to learn pro-actively from it.


Continuing to hone my practical and theoretical expertise in understanding the functioning of Neurons, Synaptic Plasticity, Learning and Memory is an ongoing exercise. With 14 years’ experience of electrophysiology (both in-vitro and in-vitro) involving the Olfactory system and the Hippocampus and 11 years’ experience in the field of Neurogenesis, my expertise also includes the pharmacology of the synapse. I have a detailed appreciation of developmental and adult Neuroscience, I and am currently involved with research into quantitative EEG and neurofeedback, in a voluntary position.


Being passionately interested in the effect brain wave states may have on learning, memory, analytical abilities, emotional states, behaviour and the role of the Pre-frontal and temporal cortex in this, my special area of interest and research involves factors that that modulate adult neuronal development including neurotransmitters, growth factors and hormones particularly serotonin, DHEA and corticosterone (stress hormone). I have worked on how stress affects brain function particularly adult neurogenesis, excitotoxicity, learning, behaviour and depression. To this end I have designed, carried out and tested transgenic strategies involving molecular biology techniques, which have gained the appreciation of the most experienced scientists in the field. Included in my portfolio is the extensive knowledge of Neuro-degeneration, apoptosis and necrosis in the Nervous system understanding Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone disease, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s Disorder, neurotransmitter mediated excitotoxicity and the Calcium mediated mitochondrial dependant and independent cell signalling including Caspases implicated. My detailed understanding of cloning (including formation of chimeras) followed by the study of embryonic stem cell derived neurons includes state of the art methods. I take pride in my accurate, updated and relevant knowledge in my fields of interest. I have possessed an Animal Licence for 11 years and am aware of the ethics involved in animal and Clinical research. I have a knowledge of the effects of drugs on brain states, anaesthesia and behaviour. I have taught various courses at the University of Cambridge to small groups of students who have excelled beyond their expectations.


With analytical skills and capacity to research a broad spectrum of fields both familiar and new, the skill of communicating the appropriate level of detail to benefit a specific audience has been developed. I find it exhilarating to Communicate scientific, Engineering and Management concepts in a manner that both specialists and people of different levels and backgrounds can comprehend the essence of the material and develop Learning Methods. Importantly, my strong background in the Physical and Chemical Sciences, Mathematics including Statistics and Computational Modelling gives me an edge over other conventional Biologists. The commitment to the application of Research to Management and Clinical areas for the benefit of people is of importance.


The skill of appreciating the background of the audience and need of the question to be addressed, as well as my excellent ability in all scientific areas including being able to learn and appreciate new techniques and skills very rapidly (at meetings and conferences) has enabled me to address new areas. I have proven my ability repeatedly to come up with novel ideas and methods to address complex questions. The ability to bring out the best from people knowing that everyone has something special to offer, enables me to draw on the expertise of others for the benefit of the job to be accomplished.


With extensive experience of presenting at Scientific meetings as well as collecting information about the latest developments I believe in building networks while ensuring that the correct balance is maintained between providing sufficient detail while not divulging confidential facts that are essential to the ongoing development.