“Science involves many failures; walking through it is the real challenge,” said Dr. Pallabi Mitra, DST INSPIRE Faculty at the Department of Animal Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad. Dr. Mitra got selected for the Smt. Kusum Sharma Award, for Young Woman Scientist who has made outstanding contributions to Biomedical Research and is below forty years of age. Indian Academy of Biomedical Sciences (IABS) organizes these awards. The selection was carried out based on the recommendation of the selection committee, after rigorous screening by national and international scientists and clinicians.

Dr. Pallabi Mitra

Dr. Mitra’s interest in the sciences made her pursue under graduation and post-graduation at the University of Delhi and Ph.D. in Molecular Parasitology at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her interdisciplinary approach to the research on malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and subsequently on Toxoplasma gondii garnered much attention from researchers and journals alike. Dr. Mitra has published in reputed journals like BBA (2021) and the Annual Review of Microbiology. (2017) and was also cited extensively for her work.

Dr. Mitra held various positions across eminent institutions and received a plethora of awards and recognitions such as S.E.R.B- Early career research awardsDST INSPIRE Faculty award, and BIOCARE award.

Talking about the problems of women in science, she explained that finding work-life balance is essential to making meaningful contributions to science, especially when women are expected to perform dual roles at home and in the office. Having flexibility on both fronts goes a long way in producing results. “It is not that male counterparts do not have pressures, but in contrast, women have a lot more on their plate,” she explained.

Contributed by Kurmilla Sameer Kumar, Department of Communication, UoH