Part one of a three-part series, “How CMC’s Research is Impacting India’s Health and Well-Being” is a 25-minute virtual lecture that offers the personal perspective of CMC-trained physician-scientist, Dr. Gagandeep “Cherry” Kang. In this video presentation, Dr. Kang speaks about the significance of medical research within the overall mission and achievements of CMC Vellore. Dr. Kang takes the viewer on a journey that begins with a glimpse at the research conducted by CMC Founder, Dr. Ida Scudder, in the early 1900s, then continues through to modern times where Dr. Kang’s research and scientific breakthroughs result in the development and use of vaccines in the areas of rotavirus, cholera, and typhoid for children. Dr. Kang also shares with you the scientific works of CMC researcher, Dr. Jacob John, related to the poliovirus (dating back to the 1970s and 1980s), and of another Dr. Jacob John, whose studies focused on the debilitating effects of Typhoid. Dr. Kang concludes her presentation with a statistical look at the lifesaving impact of the rotavirus vaccine once it was introduced as part of India’s universal immunization program from 2016 to 2020.
Dr. Kang is a Professor of Microbiology, at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore. She received her training in medicine and microbiology at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, and post-doctoral training in the UK and US before returning to India to continue her work on enteric infections in children. She has worked on the development and use of vaccines for rotaviruses, cholera, and typhoid, conducting large studies to define burden, test vaccines, and measure their impact. She also studies the consequences of enteric infections and has shown that infections in early life impact future growth and cognitive development. Dr. Kang is a Fellow of the Royal Society, U.K., and an International member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.