Nanobiologist from Hyderabad IIT wins IYBA award 2015 – Interview Series
Please tell us about yourself, your passion and future goals:
I started my career as a physician (MBBS from Thanjavur Govt. Medical College). After a competitive schooling, I chose medicine, as “rejecting a merit based govt. medical seat” was forbidden and considered as a serious offence in my orthodox family (where there were no previous doctors). But, my actual interest was in engineering. It was only during my MBBS days, I was introduced to “ Nanosciences and Nanotechnology”.
By then, the Govt. of India had started its “Nanomission Initiative” (2006-7). My immense interest in engineering , (with a degree in medicine) propelled me to choose “Nanomedicine” for my masters at Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine (DST – Centre of Excellence). I found “Nanomedicine” to be the right blend of Engineering and Medical Sciences. Also, if one were to quantify my amount interest in pure medicine (at that time period), it would have definitely turned out to be at “nano” levels (pun intended). Immediately after my masters, I did my PhD in the same field at IIT Bombay, adding a second “Dr” degree.
The former “Dr” was out of compulsion and the latter “Dr” was out of passion. Fortune did favor my bravery (in leaving aside a lucrative clinical career and choosing research) by enabling me to secure a faculty position at IIT Hyderabad ( When I chose MBBS, never ever did I think that one day I would land up in IIT as a teacher – it now seems like a “medical” miracle). As a researcher, I love exploration… performing productive biomedical research is my short term and long term goal.
My research interests include Bio-Nanotechnology & Nanomedicine, organo-inorganic nanohybrids for Photothermal therapy, Cancer Nanotechnology, Nanotoxicology, Triggered Drug Delivery and Theranostic applications.
Please tell us what is your personal feeling on winning the IYBA-2015
I felt very happy and satisfied, as the award came in with a grant at the right time, when I needed funds to start my research at IIT Hyderabad. I was also able to convince myself, that I did make a right career choice!
Any particular experience of your career you wish to share with our readers
Actually, I had earlier applied to IYBA (2014- non regular category), immediately after the submission of my PhD thesis and was also shortlisted for presentation. But, I couldn’t get through the final round, as the competition was quiet tough. I felt, it was “unfortunate”. After becoming a faculty, I was in dire need of funds to start my independent research at IITH. This time, again I applied to Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA 2015- regular category) and got through the final selection round as well. Lesson learnt – “Sometimes it is fortunate to be unfortunate, which we will only get to know from the days of our future past”.
Your personal opinion on our new start up biostandups
The look & feel of Biostandups website is very professional. It is an excellent initiative and very informative. Such websites are need of the hour especially for Indian Biotech diaspora. Personally, I got to know about the diverse bio-research currently happening in India, all presented under one roof.