About Fellow

Christian Medical College, Vellore

Christian Medical College, Vellore

Christian Medical College, Vellore

I obtained my MBBS degree from Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Bangalore in the year 2003. I had an active interest in research in the basic sciences which prompted me to specialize in Biochemistry after graduating in medicine. In 2007, I obtained a MD degree in Biochemistry from Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, which in one of the premier medical institutions in India. As part of my post-graduation training, I was involved in basic science research for the first time in my life. I did my dissertation work on the effect of zinc on renal dysfunction caused by indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. My work showed that zinc was able to ameliorate many of the adverse effects the drug produced in the kidney.

Following the completion of my post-graduation training in 2007, I joined the department of Biochemistry at CMC as an Assistant Professor. It was during this time that I developed an interest in research that was on-going in the department on the dysregulation of iron metabolism in various disease states. There has been a tremendous increase in understanding of iron metabolism in the last two decades with the discovery of hepcidin, a small molecular weight protein produced by the liver, which has been shown to be the central regulator of iron metabolism in the body. In 2007, I successfully applied to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for a grant under the Rapid Grant for Young Investigators (RGYI) scheme to study the role of heme oxygenase – 1, an antioxidant enzyme, in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced accumulation of iron in the liver.

As a relatively inexperienced researcher, opportunities to develop an independent research career were difficult to come by. It was during this time that I became aware of the fellowships offered by the Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance. Since I had developed an interest in the study of processes involved in iron dysregulation in the body, I decided to pursue this interest further. I chose to study such dysregulation that is known to be associated with diabetes mellitus, which is extremely common in India, and the basis of which is not well understood. Under the guidance and mentorship of Prof. Molly Jacob, head of the department of Biochemistry at CMC, I applied for the Early Career Fellowship. In Feb 2011, I was awarded a grant to study the role of iron overload in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. I hope this study will open new avenues for treatment and primary prevention of type2 diabetes mellitus.