An Inspirational Interaction with- Prof. Gagandeep Kang15/01/2021


Prof. Gagandeep Kang is one of India’s primary clinician scientists and among other things is the first Indian woman to be elected as Fellow of the Royal Society, London in 359 years of history of this prestigious scientific academy. As professor of The Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, she has been a leading researcher in viral infections in children. Kang is even acclaimed for her key role in the development of Rotavac, India’s first indigenously developed vaccine for rotavirus infections. She is the first Indian and the first woman to edit Manson's Textbook of Tropical Medicine. She was on the Life Sciences jury for the Infosys Prize in 2020. Kang is co-author of book Till We Win: India's Fight Against The COVID-19 pandemic and the list goes on and on.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to meet such an astute woman. Despite of her achievements, she is so humble, soft-spoken, and approachable. Also, her profound understanding about the challenges of being a woman scientist in India and her outlook on what needs to be done to uproot this occlusion is quite sagacious. She believes in competing on a stage where gender doesn’t matter.   This is the very reason why, Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI), the public administration which is responsible for the international relations of the Walloon Region and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, both French speaking entities of the Belgian federal state, that is currently working on a project where they want to interview 5 women from selected parts of the world (North America, South America, India, Rest of Asia, Belgium) who have broken the glass ceiling in male dominated world, shortlisted Dr. Gagandeep Kang from India for this prestigious interview. This video will be compiled and aired on 8th March, 2021 i.e. on the International Women’s Day.

Further, after the interview, I seized the occasion to share with her about the expertise of our Wallonia Life Science Ecosystem. It is no mystery that Wallonia’s (Southern Belgium) contribution in research and development, supply-chain management, international collaborations, etc. in life science ecosystem is unmatched. Be it our giant vaccine producer companies like GSK and Novasep or transcending innovations like Univercells, Wallonia has consistently proved itself worthy for the greater good to the world. I was happy to receive her suggestions for potential synergies between India and Wallonia at various levels. Mr. Pratik Gajjar from Univercells Technologies also virtually participated in the discussion to elucidate key benefits of technology in area of Vaccine and Gene therapy and was delighted to receive her feedback.

Overall, we feel privileged and inspired to meet Dr. Kang and look forward to become role models like her for the nation and the world.


 Ms. Heena Rathod, Trade and Investment Advisor (AWEX)