Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Young achievers: Dr Sharmistha Banerjee - decoding the molecular mystery of HIV and TB coinfection

Dr Sharmistha Banerjee, scientist, University of Hyderabad

By Syed Akbar

Tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are dreaded diseases individually.
And when they join hands and infect a person, they become even more dangerous.
Understanding the co-infection of HIV and TB will help doctors to know the disease
mechanism better. Dr Sharmistha Banerjee achieved a significant progress in unravelling
the mystery of HIV-TB co-infection at the molecular level.

Dr Sharmistha Banerjee, who is attached to the biochemistry laboratory of the University
of Hyderabad, received the Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award from the Department of
Biotechnology for her contribution that provides scientific insights into the TB and HIV
germs when they infect a person at the same time. Sharmistha, 39, hails from West Bengal
but had her higher education in Hyderabad.

Co-infection of HIV and tuberculosis are quite common in India and thousands of people
suffer from the twin problem.

“The award has motivated me to take up challenging research and find out the hidden
scientific secrets,” says young Dr Sharmistha.

Dr Sharmistha received her PhD in biochemistry from University of Hyderabad. She worked
at Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad, and later continued
her postdoctoral studies at the Laboratory of Transcriptional Biology.

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