Jyotirmoy Mondal is a protein biochemist and microbiologist. He has always been fascinated by the world of microbes and how omnipresent they are with unfathomable capabilities. Over the time, he became particularly interested in extremophilic microorganisms, which he thinks are the most interesting organisms as they can be found in unimaginable corners of our planet. His interest in astrobiology, more specifically associated with extremophilic microorganisms has taken shape over time. His PhD work provided him opportunity to explore his interest in astrobiology by looking through the lens of protein biochemistry, studying the key primary reaction centers and electron transport machinery in the thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria. His research experiences during his undergraduate (BS in microbiology, Institute of Genetic Engineering, Kolkata, India), masters (MS in molecular microbiology, University of Hyderabad, India) and PhD (mentor: Prof. Barry D. Bruce, department of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA) have set up a foundation to explore more elements of electron transfer proteins and reaction centers during his postdoctoral journey at Rutgers with the ENIGMA team (mentors: Prof. Paul Falkowski and Prof. Vikas Nanda) that can shine light on the origin and evolution of these conserved and extremely essential building blocks of life. He will be using molecular modeling software to design primordial proteins, express, purify and reconstitute them, and characterize their structure, metal binding and catalytic activity in Theme 1 of the ENIGMA project.