1. Tell us a little about yourself- your native, your schooling and higher education?
Myself, Dr.V.Jyothilakshmi,I am an easy going person who enjoy being around with different types of people and I always like to challenge myself to improve in everything I do. I was born in Pondicherry, but started my schooling in Chennai. My father was the Regional Head of National Service Scheme (NSS). He was often posted at various Indian states and we had travelled a lot. Hence my schooling was basically in Kendriya Vidyalayas at various Indian cities. I studied B.Sc.Biochemistry at Holy Cross College for Women,Trichy. I did my PG at Meenakshi College for Women, Chennai. My interest in research led to do M.Phil. in Endocrinology and later Ph.D. in University of Madras.
2. Who is your inspiration to become a teacher in a higher education institution?
My primary school teacher who exposed me to Biology made me notice that, imparting quality education is as challenging and interesting as any other profession. She made us all fascinated with the subject she taught and I always worked hard to match that capacity that she expected in us. Moreover, I love to learn and it gives me great joy to share this passion with others.
3. What made you passionate to select Biochemistry?
Living systems and their complex, molecular details enthral me. Zoology and Chemistry are two of my favourite subjects. As, Biochemistry is an amalgamation of both these subjects it was a natural choice. I also like the value that the subject gains when it is applied to life.
4. Tell us about your PhD research topic in simple words for our general readers?
My research topic is all about kidneys and restoration of its function, when it encounters a misadventure called kidney stone. Development of Kidney stones are formed in the form of crystals,due to interaction of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, uric acid, oxalate etc.) naturally occurring in our body. Once formed, they slowly get deposited with in the kidneys. These crystals can grow (at times as large as a golf ball) and become the so called “kidney stones.’’ The study involved testing of a sulphur, containing molecule called DL-alpha-Lipoic Acid in rescuing the kidneys aftermath and identifying the molecular entities that work hand in hand with lipoic acid in its rescue mission.
5. Apart from your field, what are your other interests?
To explore a universe called “the brain” with special emphasis on molecular neurobiology, such as understanding the molecular mechanisms behind neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and cancer in the nervous system.
6. Mention a woman who is your role model?
Marie Curie, the first woman achiever in Science (Physics&Chemistry) and twice a Nobel Prize winner is my role model. To me she always seemed as fighter with an untainted combination of knowledge, hard work and compassion for fellow human beings.
7. Mention any 1-2 current global issues that you are very concerned and feel everyone must know and try to do something about it?