Need of a collaboration between clinic and research

Dr. Raghav Bhargava, a young scientist attending the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2014, is a physician in India. He shares his thoughts on how to improve basic research and clinic collaboration in a developing country like India.  
Raghav Bhargava

Dr. Raghav Bhargava, Picture: private

On his research interests and motivation for research:   I am currently working as a research associate at ICGEB (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), New Delhi a lab part of the United Nations Systems. We are collaborating with hospitals to understand the molecular basis of lifestyle diseases. My research interests include developing vaccines for non-communicable diseases including atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypertension. My motivation for basic science research comes from my patients and my dedication to solve the major health problems of a developing country.”   On his views about research-and-clinic collaboration in India: “In a developing country like India, the synergy between core basic science labs and hospitals is in its nascent stage. I feel that molecular medicine is the future and the two – clinic and basic science research – have to work together with their respective strengths in different areas. A joint programme between labs and clinics will complete the spectrum of tools needed for molecular medicine and will be highly beneficial. One way to improve is to have both clinics and research labs in close physical proximity that facilitates cross-talk between clinicians and basic scientists. Of course, that’s not enough — mutual respect for one another is the key for any collaboration.” On his personal experience in the connection between both fields: “I was inspired by my chief of surgery to think scientifically. He always said ‘In science you are always a student’. He was a thinking workhorse; who would operate on patients up to very late at night and then teach early morning all the interesting aspects of patient care and how science and research has made these treatments so simple today. His concepts of physics, dynamics and blood flow were phenomenal and he incorporated them into his day to day surgical practice. And I must thank my parents for encouraging me to takeout time and pursue basic clinical research, although being a third generation physician.” Your message to young aspiring physicians in developing countries like India: “Progress is made through research. In developing nations, as medical students, we aren’t exposed much to research, so I’d advise them to visit labs and work there for a while to get a feeling of basic research and then incorporate it in practice.” On his expectations from the meeting:   This meeting is a unique one and gives me once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with the recipients of the most prestigious award in science. I expect that this meeting will provide a platform for cross-talk between scientists and students from all parts of the world. Who knows some of these students will themselves become Nobel Laureates one day!”

About Mohit Kumar Jolly

Mohit Kumar Jolly is a bioengineering graduate student at Rice University, and writes science news articles on The Conversation. He secured overall 2nd place in SCREECH 2013, an annual competition at Rice where graduate students explain their Research in 90 seconds to the public. He also co-founded the campus science magazine NERD ( at IIT Kanpur in 2008 and interviewed many eminent scientists to enthuse his colleagues about science/Research.

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