Changing the World and Mindsets Through Science – Part Two

Women scientists aim to pave the future for the younger generation through hard work and dedication, and to receive the acknowledgement they deserve from the community

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Prof Winnie, Dean of Health Sciences at IMU, a professor at the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, and practicing dietitian in IMU Healthcare

Prof Winnie is working on a research that is primarily focused on the nutritional aspects of endocrine-related diseases such as bone health, kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. 

“Currently I am working on a research to study the effects of diabetes-specific formula on blood glucose control among Type 2 diabetes patients in primary care setting,” she shares. Her research findings will help develop an effective nutritional solution for people with diabetes to have better control of their condition and ultimately, a better quality of life. 

Despite the biases, women scientists should look within themselves to achieve their successes, says Dr Hira Choudhury, currently heading the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology in the School of Pharmacy in IMU and listed in the top 2% scientists in their main subfield discipline for the year 2019 by a group of researchers from Stanford University. “The main gadgets that keep us energised are our interest in the field of research, continuous questions arising in our mind, and the most important, eagerness to contribute to society,” she said. 

“These days, the contribution of women significantly increases in research and development in science since the early 1990s. Simultaneously, different national and international research awards are empowering women to contribute to science to bring their ideas in the field of research, which will add value to science to have a better tomorrow,” adds Dr Choudhury.

Changing the World and Mindsets Through Science – Part Two
Dr Hira Choudhury, currently heading the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology in the School of Pharmacy in IMU

Dr Choudhury is contributing her expertise in promoting better healthcare. Her current research interests focus on developing efficient and safe therapeutics for the treatment of central nervous system disorders like Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and dementia. Adding to her experience is the five years she spent in the Discovery Research Unit of Dr Reddy’s Lab Ltd in India involving drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies on new chemical entities. “My goal is to establish a discovery research unit in collaboration with different researchers and work together for the benefit of humankind,” she shared. 

All three women scientists agree that change is coming where younger women are more ready to take on a career in science. The only thing that limits oneself is the mindset of the individual herself. “Science is for everyone, and it’s everywhere. The opportunities are endless and you just have to trust your own gut and go for it,” says Dr Nur Alia. 

The current education system needs to play a role as well, claims Prof Winnie. “The interest in science must begin at school. Having programmes that expose young students to role models of women in various scientific fields will help inspire them and empower young scientists.”

“The idea is that women can equally contribute to science with men. We are currently a smaller part of science so women should come forward with their groundbreaking research. The nation needs talent and innovative ideas from all, irrespective of gender. It’s high time to explore the world and contribute to having a better future,” concludes Dr Choudhury.