The PhD thesis was supervised by Anna Laromaine, from the NN group, at ICMAB-CSIC.
The PhD Committee that evaluated the Thesis was formed by Dr. Peter Askjaer, Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo (CABD), Spain (President), Dr. Ana Victoria Villar Ramos, Institute of Biomedicine & Biotechnology of Cantabria, Spain (Secretary) and Dr. Christian Griñán, University of Barcelona, Spain (Vocal).
Doctor Sumithra Srinivasan PhD thesis was part of the PhD in Materials Science from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).
Sumithra Srinivasan with the PhD committee and supervisor| ICMAB, CSIC
Why did you choose ICMAB for your PhD?
The science of materials has always fascinated me. ICMAB is a research institute completely focusing on materials and their applications, provides many opportunities to interact with experts from various disciplines. This was my main motivation to choose ICMAB for my PhD.
How would you explain your research to a non-scientific audience?
In my research, I tried to find the potential of a new nanomaterial to be used for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia and tested them in worms.
What are the main applications of your research? Could you give us an example?
This research provides a new platform - the nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans, to be used as testing animals for cardiac arrhythmia treatment. The option of another animal model to test such treatments expands the evaluation opportunities for scientists researching on novel drugs and nanomaterials. The nanocomposite material made of bacterial cellulose-polypyrrole showed great potential for cardiac therapy applications in our research. Further studies on this material as cardiac patches holds great promise.
From the lessons learnt here, which one do you value the most?
I learnt that it is important to never lose your self-motivation at any situation, and to take responsibility and accountability on your work instead of thinking it as a work done for someone else.
What will you miss the most from ICMAB?
Of course the people! The institute is so dynamic that people keep changing every year, still everyone is welcoming and accepting that keeps ICMAB a great workplace! I have learnt a lot about work relationships here.
How do you think this experience will contribute to your training and to your future?
The years at ICMAB has taught me to think beyond biology when it comes to materials. I have learnt to look at other fields of science and how I can incorporate it to benefit my goal.
What are your plans once you finish your PhD?
I want to continue my career focusing on research, preferably explore the industrial research environment.
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your PhD, that you can recommend to the ones who are starting?
Focusing and improving on organization and time management is more important than even academics and results. When you have too much on your plate, prioritize the tasks based on urgency and importance and take one step at a time.
Why did you become a scientist? Who have been your role models?
I wanted to become a scientist because there is no end to science questions that needs answers and problem solving keeps me going! Many people at different stages of my way has been inspirational. Starting from my father who never stops questioning and learning about any topic, to my university professors, and my previous boss.
Let us know who are your favourite scientists (man and woman). Why?
Dr. A.P. J. Abdul kalam - an indian aerospace scientist. For many Indian millenial kids like me, he introduced the option of becoming a scientist, made us believe in science, and showed that anybody can reach anywhere if they dream big and work hard.
Dr. Kamala Sohonie who discovered the Cytochrome C. She was the first Indian woman to get a PhD degree in a scientific discipline. She confronted the Nobel Laurate C.V. Raman, when he rejected her application just because she was a woman. She challenged him with her acumen and performance, forcing Raman to change his opinion on women in science, which led him to accept more women students in the next years.
Sumithra Srinivasan with her group of friends at ICMAB | ICMAB, CSIC
Congratulations, Doctor Sumithra Srinivasan!
More information and photos.