Photo Credits – Mr. Haridasan
Dr. Vidya Mangala Prasad is an Assistant Professor at Molecular Biophysics Unit (MBU). She joined IISc In 2021. Her areas of research are structural biology, Cryo-EM, virology, and infectious diseases. She did her PhD at Purdue University, USA and postdoc at Purdue University and University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
I always had immense curiosity to know how ‘life’ functions around us. So, I naturally gravitated towards biology and life sciences in my early studies. I knew by high school that my passion was in biological research.
I wanted to come back and be part of the Indian scientific community, and what can be a better place to start than IISc for research?
My research will focus on identifying and characterising mechanisms by which infectious viruses enter cells and establish infection. I will use high resolution structural and biophysical methods to study macromolecular infection machineries.
Viruses, despite their relatively simple composition, have the potential to devastate human lives and global economies. The current COVID-19 pandemic is an example of such a time. Unravelling how viruses evade cellular defences to establish infection is a question I am interested to help and contribute to answering.
We still don’t fully understand how viruses enter cells to establish infection. There are many gaps in our knowledge on how cells evade the immune system, how they recognise receptors, their replication process, assembly and egress.
Scientific research is 90% failed experiments and only 10% success, but it’s the failures that teach you more and the success part that motivates you for the next round of failures.
Both my PhD and post-doc investigators have been my mentors. My PhD mentor, Dr Michael G Rossmann, greatly influenced my work ethic and scientific thinking style. My post-doc mentor, Dr Kelly K Lee, has taught me how to balance work and personal life without losing my passion for science.
The freedom to think and follow your curiosity.
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