Updated on 27 February 2013
Dr Chandra Viswanathan, head, regenerative medicine, Reliance Life Sciences, Mumbai, India
Dr Chandra Viswanathan, the chief scientific mind behind the regenerative medicine unit of one of APAC's leading firms, Reliance Life Sciences (RLS), has grown immensely with every success that she has encountered. Under her tenure RLS has progressed rapidly in the highly cutting-edge field of stem cell research and clinical pathology.
Dr Viswanathan has several illustrious accolades to her credit. After acquiring MD in pathology, she chose to successfully pursue doctorate in applied biology from India's Mumbai University. Out of sheer interest in pathology, she pursued a diploma in pathology and bacteriology, as well as a diploma in transfusion medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mumbai, India. Around the same time (1983), she was awarded the ‘Salaskar Memorial Award' for securing the highest marks in pathology and microbiology.
Dr Viswanathan is acclaimed to have set up the country's first blood component laboratory, while she was leading the operations at National Plasma Fractionation Center at the Mumbai Municipal Corporation hospital as its director. The fractionation center was set up to provide affordable blood products to patients, and while heading its operations Dr Viswanathan managed a multitude of tasks at the same time.
She says, "During that time in 1986, there was no precedence to be followed. I was treading an un-trodden path, but every challenge was exciting for me. Right from setting-up the blood bank, component laboratories, laying down quality systems, developing and marketing blood products in the market, developing statements of purpose (SOPs), improving voluntary donor base, it was entirely on-the-job learning experience for me."
In 2002, Dr Viswanathan initiated her decade-long journey at RLS. Initially as a medical director, she initiated the cord blood banking program, wherein she made ample use of the wide experience in pathology to help set up the first plasma fractionation plant at Reliance.