Dr. Anuradha Majumdar, Faculty in Pharmacology, Bombay College of Pharmacy
When you were college ready what prompted you to select science stream? Was it something you knew you wanted to do?
Yes. During school days itself I was more inclined to science vis a vis humanities. I guess it was the influence of reading most of the Robin Cook authored Science fiction those days. Plus a natural trust that the truth we humans seek can be answered only by science.
After the basic degree in biological sciences what factors weighed in favour of scientific research when most girls take to study of medicine?
Medicine was my first choice which converged towards pharmaceutical sciences since I secured admission in a University department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. I had very smart and intelligent batch mates (both males and females), many of whom went on to also become scientists. We used to have healthy deliberations, questioning and understanding the basic tenets of chemistry, physical pharmacy and receptor biology. I have never regretted working on basic and applied pharmaceutical sciences as my research areas.
Do you mentor anyone?
I have mentored many undergraduate girls. Around 70% of my M Pharm and PhD students (Guided by me for thesis research) taken together are girls/women. I try to cultivate respect for science in all my students irrespective of gender.
Can you recall some Eureka or Aha moments in your career?
I think when my first Indian Patent was granted which was very satisfying because one of my masters student and myself had drafted the patent without any legal counsel. Science wins!
Having guided and mentored a good number of researchers have you observed anything of special merit in STEM girls?
Yes absolutely. The girls are diligent and have an eye for detail. The millennial post graduates have high aspirations.
Would you script a message to share with STEM girls.
Respect Science. Else everything falls in place. Another important aspect is to be ethical and cultivate the right scientific temperament. There are no short cuts in science, it cannot be tweaked but scientific facts can be made use in applications which can touch mankind and bring paradigm changes in society through medical, scientific and technological advances.
What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
In India we are conditioned at school, by parents and by peer. We need to to stop the herd mentality. If I can take back the clock to days when I was 18, I would tell myself follow your heart. Question beliefs and think out of the box. Enjoy one more year of teenage :). Towing the line is passe. It's not bad to be unconventional.
Where can we find out more about your work?
You may Google me " Dr. Anuradha Majumdar, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Bombay College of harmacy" at Researchgate or Google Scholar. Read some of my publications including research papers, reviews and book chapters.