Gauri Misra

Senior Scientist

National Institute of Biologicals

And - Educator

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Never feel disheartened when life throws challenges at you.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am pursuing the research in the field of Cancer Biology and also working in the field of quality control testing of biologicals as a regulator.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I started my academic journey with a passion to contribute towards the scientific growth in my own country. This was a journey full of highs and lows but every hurdle gave the necessary thrust to leap forward. Right in the beginning I was clear I shall opt only for Sciences as my main stream. Thereafter, my school studies, I pursued graduation and postgraduation in biological sciences. I received a gold medal in my Bachelor of Education followed by M.Sc. where I was the top of the batch. A percentage so high in postgraduation that actually has broken many past records.

This was the beginning of another long journey where I aspired to clear the CSIR(NET)JRF. A fellowship that indeed was very essential at that point of my career. Being the only child to my single mother there was always an additional responsibility to make her proud in whatever I do and career choices. After clearing the National Eligibility Test, I completed my doctoral studies from Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow. This effort was acknowledged worldwide by Eli-Lilly Asia Outstanding prize (first) in 2009. I did my postdoctoral studies from a renowned hospital in Quebec, Canada.

My passion to contribute towards the growth of own country resulted in accepting an assignment in India as an Assistant Professor. It is here I not only pursued academics but also research, and could motivate my students towards opting a career in research. This was the phase where I was selected for different prestigious fellowships to visit around seven different countries across the globe as a visiting researcher. This academic and research journey is bestowed with several awards and honors at different stages. This certainly has boosted my morale for not only self-growth but reinforced my passion for scientific growth in India.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

Roadblocks were part of this academic journey but as the saying goes that straight line in ECG also reflects a death. So these obstacles in the form of experimental failures or discrimination at the workplace due to honest and straightforward nature could never put me down as will power to excel was much stronger. I always followed my spiritual nature to rise and progress.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

When I ponder over in retrospect then I realise that younger me would have known the importance of patience that I gathered only after my doctoral studies. It was something only life experiences have taught me.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

The idea of working with STEM attracted my attention because it aligns with my passion of contributing back to society. My achievements, learnings during academic journey will gain the true potential when it is of some importance to others and marks a difference in society. Slowly and gradually, the knowledge I have gathered should reciprocate in the development of society as a whole.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Never feel disheartened when life throws challenges at you. It is not important how much you succeed rather it is important how you bounce back after failures. Each one of you has potential that is just awaiting for right mentor and right effort to untap.

INSPIRATION

My role model has always been my mother Mrs. Kamla Misra. She single handedly raised me infusing all the good morals, intellect and values. She inspired me to grow without laying any pressures due to societal principles. She gave me all freedom to pursue my career choices, visit around the world without even considering for a moment about herself thinking that she will be alone back. Still when I face day to day career challenges, she is the only one I look forward to for deriving my enthusiasm back.

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