October 25, 2013
Howtobio: Genetics came a long way from its origin. Now this is not something belongs to Mendel’s garden. We are now talking about genes, diseases, gene-therapies etc. As a geneticist active in a field more than 40+ years how would you see the growth happened in the last decade and what are the remaining and emerging challenges for researchers?
Howtobio:As time passes it is growth and experience that we get primarily but it comes with great responsibilities at personal as well as professional levels. In comparison to others; biologists are found to be busier in their professional life than personal. As a researcher, you might have felt yourself inside a hectic mode of professional as well as personal life. How do you manage this and follow the balance between your personal and professional life?
Howtobio:There is a big question of what to do after higher studies and research?Most of researchers move for post docs and then back in academics or industry. Recently we are hearing alternate career options for researchers. What you think; is it something like that also exist for biology researchers or becoming a good academicians and Analyst in industry is the ultimate goal of us?
RNKB: Post-doctoral exposure in a good acknowledged laboratory is always helpful. For some it could be essential to build their career. I did not undergo any post-doctoral training abroad, though I was exposed from time to time abroad in different countries, ranging from a few months to a year. Aptitude of a researcher and the will to continue in research is essential, to my understanding, to pursue a research career. Same would be true for any other alternative profession, such as teaching or working in an industry. Since diverse opportunities do exist, one should decide on the basis of the aptitude and interest to the extent of passion. Achieving excellence should be the key driver, be it any area or profession.
Howtobio:Research is something which we researchers are drown from tip to toe. Where this is immensely joyous for researchers to visualize and learn things closely; the failures are frequent. You never be sure what is going to be happen next. Sometimes Failures and frustration are so much than the motivation deviating researchers from their path. What will be your advice to our young generation of biology researchers to cope up of these situations and get motivated to see the ray of success?
Howtobio:A personal question is here; what are the qualities you essentially see in a person must have before coming in the field of biology research.
RNKB:Conceptual clarity, attitude of learning and asking questions, honesty, dedication with passion, patience with never-give up approach and ethics.
Howtobio:In your initial talks you told our team that you are going to retire soon. May we know what the after retirement plans of this geneticist are?
Howtobio:With time and experience knowledge comes; in this process some events either better or worse become memories. I am sure you will also have some in your treasure. Would you like to share any such inspiring and memorable event of life as researcher/student/ guide for us?
RNKB:With the background of difficulties and failures, as anyone would face, I had a breathing time as late as 2002 which set the tone for doing better in research. This was the recognition of our effort by the then Chairman, University Grants Commission, UGC, Professor Dr. Hari Gautam, who became instrumental in granting my laboratory the status of a National Centre of Applied Human Genetics, which brought in requisite infrastructure and financial support. This showed up in the progress which followed in our research both in terms of quality and quantity. This also helped in building a base for seeking infrastructural support from Department of Biotechnology, DBT. Both these supports, though late in my career, paved the way for doing better, providing us an opportunity to train young minds. Mentoring and providing freedom to researchers with adequate monitoring has been an ever inspiring mantra of our success.
Howtobio:There are very less start-ups across the globe targeting researchers (particularly in biology). HowtoBio is one of them. What is your opinion about this little initiative and what are your advice for us in this initiative?
RNKB: I do not know everything about HowtoBio. but What I gather from the website, suggests that it is timely and needed input. I wish HowtoBio success and strength in fulfilling their objective.
Howtobio:So now this is time for some fun. Here is a rapid-fire, I will ask you five questions and you have to answer in just one word. One word means one word. So may we start?
A. Favourite Food-No preferences
Howtobio:There are a lot of things to talk and get your ideas but here is the time not permitting us.It’s very interesting and I hope this talk will benefit fellow biologists to visualize their dreams and achieve great heights in their journey. I also hope you will be here to guide us time to time in realizing our dream of transforming biologists and biology research.
This is all what we had in this interesting chat. Addition to it, we got a lot of motivation and suggestions to do better in our research life as well as at HowtoBio. I hope; this little conversation have solved its purpose of getting answers of your queries and inspiration inside biology research to move in your journey of knowing the unknown truth of living systems.
This Article is Contributed by: Vishal Srivastava
Vishal Srivastav is a simple yet complex introvert biology geek. Born as rational eccentric thinker, developed as Science Student and matured as Microbiologist. He left his 5 year long microbiology career to understand the mystery of protein folding and joined Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, IIT Delhi. Presently he is working to learn how to tame GroEL-ES cage to overexpress therapeutically important recombinant proteins in functional form. Apart from performing boring, frustrating and complex biology experiments. He loves to code (CSS, HTML, PHP), Read books, singing songs in bathroom and learning to become a social animal. He is one of the Co-founders of Howtobio and nurturing this community by serving roles of an editor, contributer and web-developer