Dr Gagandeep Kang has made history by becoming the first Indian woman to be elected as Fellow of the Royal Society, London, in the academy’s 359 years long history. Some of the famous names who were bestowed with this fellowship are Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, Alan Turing and Francis Crick.

“Kang is investigating the complex relationships between infection, gut function and physical and cognitive development, and seeking to build a stronger human immunology research in India. She has established strong training programmes for students and young faculty in clinical translational medicine aiming to build a cadre of clinical researchers studying relevant problems in India,” her profile on the Royal Society website reads, Indian Express reported.

This year, 51 distinguished scientists have been chosen as fellows of the oldest scientific academy of the world.

Kang, the executive director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, is the first female scientist from India to be bestowed with this feat. Parsi-born Ardaseer Cursetjee Wadia, who was of Indian origin, was the first Indian to be elected a Royal Society Fellow, way back in 1841. After that male scientists from India including Srinivasa Ramanujan and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar were inducted but no women scientists till now.

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Congratulating Kang for getting elected as Royal Society Fellows, the Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India posted on Twitter saying, “Kang is the first woman Fellow from India, if I am not mistaken.”

Who is Gagandeep Kang?

  • Kang, 57, a researcher is a part of the list of Royal Society fellow, which includes Canadian-American mathematician of Indian origin Manjul Bharghava, who is Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University in the United States.
  • The scientist’s research focuses on viral infections in children, and the testing of rotavirus vaccines. 
  • Till date she has had over 300 scientific research papers published as she serves on the editorial boards for several journals.
  • She is also a member of several review committees for national and international research funding agencies
  • In 2015, Kang took up the responsibility to chair the WHO SEAR’s Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group
  • Kang was awarded the prestigious Infosys Science Foundation in 2016 for pioneering contributions in the natural history of rotavirus and other infectious diseases

57-years-old Kang’s research focuses on viral infections in children and testing of rotavirus vaccines.

Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan, who is the president of the Royal Society, announced the fellowships, saying, “Over the course of the Royal Society’s vast history, it is our Fellowship that has remained a constant thread and the substance from which our purpose has been realised: to use science for the benefit of humanity,” said Ramakrishnan, as per the official website, India Today reported.

“This year’s newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society embody this, being drawn from diverse fields of enquiry – epidemiology, geometry, climatology – at once disparate, but also aligned in their pursuit and contributions of knowledge about the world in which we live, and it is with great honour that I welcome them as Fellows of the Royal Society,” he added.

Feature Image Credit: STP original

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