Nilanjana sees science as a way of helping people and is interested in creating new pharmaceutical drugs and better pesticides. She is not really interested in money or fame. She is not religious at all and considers religion to be a fairytale.
Although she may not always feel happy or have many friends (partly due to being an outsider) she seems to be content with her life, claiming "I don't need to be happy when I'm fine."
She is against factory farming and doesn't eat meat. 
Nilanjana's mother was a chemistry teacher and her father was an immigrant, who came to the United States in search of a better life. She was born in Indiana and came to Night Vale in order to study it, as it is the most scientifically interesting place in America. She found employment in Carlos' lab doing various experiments.
Following Carlos' request she investigated strange rumblings heard in Night Vale, which led her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God and Darryl Ramirez. She helped to kill the giant centipede the church believed to be the Smiling God.