December 2014 | ISSUE 15
A career in science – a first-hand account (Part II)

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Dr Vasuki Ranjani Chellamuthu
Research Fellow, Professor Daniela Rhodes’ Laboratory

The work of nature has always fascinated and inspired me towards science since childhood. After university, I joined the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISC). When eminent structural biologist Professor Sir Tom Blundell from Cambridge University gave a lecture, I managed to speak with him. A few days later, he offered me an internship in his lab at Cambridge.

My notion about the scientific community totally changed after this trip. I encountered more competitive and confident women who were excelling in research. In retrospect, I realised that women from emerging countries had limited exposure to science. They had to struggle to break through the cultural, social and economic barriers to take on research challenges.

I have learnt that passion for a field can drive a person to greater heights regardless of any obstacle. This holds absolutely true for research, where one must be ready to accept reward and failure. Women have to realise that a life in research can be an enjoyable and satisfying career. 

Professor Daniela Rhodes FRS has set an example herself as a worldwide renowned scientist. She is a great source of inspiration. Personally, I am confident that I can contribute notably to research and development. A gradual increase in women scientists is definitely motivating and I am hopeful that one day soon, talented women scientists will take up challenges and contribute significantly.