Dr. Yogapriya Sundaresan, M.Sc, Ph.D
Stem Cell Researcher
Hard work, passion, consistency and love towards what you do will take you to heights.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Being a stem cell researcher, my major focus is on the tissue resident stem cells of the ocular drainage pathway of the human eye. I have identified and functionally characterized those stem cells and also elucidated their fate with ageing and in a disease condition - Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. My contribution to the field of ocular stem cells and glaucoma will help to develop a better stem cell based therapy for patients with Primary open angle glaucoma- the silent thief of sight.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
My great source of inspiration to take up Biomedical Sciences was my father. He is also an eminent scientist in the field of Molecular genetics. I grew up watching him do science and talk science. The interest towards taking up science as my path sparked at a very young age. It was always fascinating and exciting to understand the biology or mechanism behind each and every cellular and molecular processes taking place in our human body. Stem cells have a greater role in contributing the normal functioning of a tissue and the maintenance of the homeostasis. Hence I always wanted to work and contribute to the field of stem cells which will definitely help in understanding the basic biology and their role in disease pathology that will in turn lead to the development of better stem cell based therapies.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
There are a lot of milestones in my research career that I never imagined that I would cross. I have authored four research papers and published them in national and international journals. I received one of the nation's prestigious fellowship- Lady Tata Memorial Scholarship to pursue my doctoral research. I am also proud enough to mention that I am the first student in my institution to receive this fellowship. I travelled to the USA and Canada for three consecutive years to present my scientific data in International meetings - International Society of Stem Cell Research and The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. I was also awarded with the travel grant based on the merit of my abstract. I have won four best presentation awards during my doctoral research period. Hard work and love towards science made them possible.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I look forward to see myself as an eminent scientist in my field and I would love to work to leave behind a huge data that would be beneficial for the human kind.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Hard work, Passion, Consistency and Love towards what you do will take you to heights. Slow progress is always better than no progress.
INSPO / FUN FACT
I would like to add my favourite quote of Dr. G. Venkataswamy, founder and chairman AECS- "Intelligence and capability are not enough, there must be the joy in doing something beautiful".