Photo:

Sakshi Sharda

I am loving this!!!

My CV

Education:

I finished high school in 2006. Then I went on do a Bachelors in Zoology from University of Pune, India after which I continued to do a Masters. I then came to Univesity College London to do a PhD in 2012.

Qualifications:

I have a Bachelors degree in Zoology and a Masters degree in Zoology (with specialisation in Molecular biology)

Work History:

Current Job:

I am a PhD student

Employer:

Me and my work

I work on understanding why we get fat and why some of us suffer from diseases such as diabetes.

I started this PhD in 2012 as I was very interested to understand why populations of developing countries such as India have increasing numbers of diabetics compared to developed nations such as the UK or other European countries. When I read up about it, I found that alot has to do with the fat differences in both populations. For instance, when a 2 men (one European and one Indian) of similar weight are measured, it was found that the Indian man had greater amount of fat and lesser muscle for the same weight. This meant that Europeans have more muscle! But why is that so? If all humans are made the same way, why are there racial differences in the way our bodies are made.

This led me further to investigate in a rural India population, how the evolutionary theory is able to explain more fat in this population. Nowadays, urbanisation in rural India had led to changing dietary and activity trends. So, I am investigating how physical activity and maternal diet effects the accumulation of fat in babies and how that in turn leads to the risk of type 2 diabetes in India.

I really like this work because I get to interact with children and at the same time I feel that I am able to contribute back to the society.

My Typical Day

Reading, looking for research papers related to my study on the internet and sometimes fieldwork.

A typical day is different for me depends on whether I am on the field or in lab. My field sites are in rural India and therefore have to visit villages to meet with people and children and see if they agree to wear an instrument called the accelerometer on their waists. The is a wrist watch sized instrument that measures physical activity. The field work is tiring but I don’t do that everyday.

Most of my days are spent in researching articles published in scientific journals that are related to my work. This is really necessary so that I am able to find out the latest research happening in my field so that I am able to improvise on what I am doing. I am able to modify my protocol for the data collection and also understand better the context in which I am researching. So more than half the time is spent on the desk with a computer in front of me.

What I'd do with the money

Start a science lecture series in a local school in India and educate to be mothers about nutrition.

Science outreach has not reached many schools in India. That is the reason, I would like to start a lecture/discussion series where I organise to get scientists and researchers to talk about their work. I also want to extend these lectures to open discussions similar to this forum so that children are able to ask questions to the experts. This way, I think, I can encourage scientific enquiry in children.

The second part of what I wish to do is educating to-be mothers in India about their own nutrition as well as their child’s. Since I am working in the field of child and maternal nutrition and how that can influence even diseases such as diabetes, I am really passionate to counsel mothers on similar issues. Of course this effort will be at a small scale and will involve few mothers, but at least, it’s something!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Determined, Proactive and Enthusiastic

Who is your favourite singer or band?

It depends on my mood really..but I like Coldplay and Pink floyd

What's your favourite food?

Thai, Moroccon and Indian (I love spicy food in general!! )

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Canoeing in southern France

What did you want to be after you left school?

Doctor

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

No not really, I was really quiet as a child and my teachers were always happy with me :)

What was your favourite subject at school?

Science

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

I am an inquisitive person so I love doing science:)

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A teacher

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

First wish would be take off from work and travel for 3 months around the world (meet people, enjoy food and nature). Second wish- Learn trekking professionally. Third wish- skydiving! I have wanted to do that for the longest time:)

Tell us a joke.

Other stuff

Work photos: