Updated on 5 March 2013
Dr Anu T Singh, director, R&D, Dabur Research Foundation, India
As Albert Einstein put it, "The world as we have created is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." I am a firm believer that science teaches us to be rational in thought, non-judgmental about people and open to positive changes at all times.
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The earliest years of my life were spent in a small, peaceful township of Punjab in northern India, which is best known for having the Bhakra Dam across the Sutlej river. My parents were my guiding force, and for them education and economic independence for their three daughters was the unquestioned goal of their lives.
I studied at Queen Mary's School in Delhi where I found life sciences to be a fascinating discipline. I completed my Zoology (hons) from Delhi University in 1987. Around this time when biotechnology was introduced in our country, I was motivated to take it up as a career option. My father, who was a civil engineer, was the inspiration for me to choose this path. He often explained to me that when a discipline as complex as biology opens itself to be combined with high-end technologies, then the possibilities to improve human health are endless.
The multi-disciplined approach to medical biotechnology with an end goal to find better treatment options in different disease conditions truly made for an incredible journey. I completed my masters in biotechnology and followed it up with a PhD in tumor biology from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS Delhi). By this time, I was reasonably certain that oncology was my calling and I did post doctoral research in this field from National Institute of Immunology in Delhi. I joined Dabur Research Foundation (DRF) immediately after my post doctoral research and have been associated with it ever since.
Biotechnology has grown significantly in the last two decades in the country. From a fledgling science that held promise, it has evolved into a significant field that impacts key phases of pharmaceutical drug development. The field has advanced rapidly and Indian biotechnology industry is projected to reach $100 billion by 2025. Significantly, new models for relationships between academia, education, government and the biotechnology industry are being worked aggressively both at the national and international levels to reach its full potential. I am confident that we are on the right path.