Dr. Anjana Badrinarayanan

A Remarkable Achiever

Dr. Anjana worked at a multitude of jobs while completing her education in order to help her family after her father’s demise. Today she is a PhD from Oxford University. She inspires young girls to never give up on their education no matter what challenge life throws upon them.

15th August 1986 when the country was celebrating its 39th Independence Day, in a quiet operation theatre Anjana was delivered normally by her mother in the care of an intern supported by two efficient nurses in the Command Hospital in Calcutta.
An achiever and a great Orator Anjana always talked her way through elocution and debates.

14th February 2004 Anjana was preparing for her twelfth board when a heart tearing agonised cry from her parents’ bedroom sent her scurrying in. What she encountered could have been any other child's nightmare. Her father was lying flat on his back, tongue swollen blue and breathing very laboured. With all the courage she collected, she called for her mother, and then their saga of taking care of her brain-dead father began. Anjana aced her CBSE board and decided to join the evening college to support her mother in taking care of her father in comatose stage. This young teenager became an efficient prop to her mother in all her activities. Accordingly, she donned the role of a nurse, a mother especially to her little sister, a support to get the family financially strong as a proof-reader, ghost writer, and numerous other assignments that brought money to the household kitty.

All through this, she kept her Bachelor's in Bio Chemistry going strong, enriched her college days with summer internship at JNU and also interned at the Tuberculosis centre under Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.

In the meantime after two years of being in coma, her father breathed his last and Anjana joined her mother's business. She never hesitated to step in as pump filler or the cash collector if short-staffed at her mother's gas station. Her thirst to do research made her search for opportunities in the best of universities. Her application to Oxford University got reviewed and perhaps she is one of the very few who was selected after a conference call.

An MS followed by PhD from Oxford University. Anjana not only brought pride to the bereaved family but also became role model to quite a number of youngsters especially her sister, who is presently pursuing her PhD in Neuroscience at McGuill University. After completing two post-doctoral assignments; one each from Oxford University and MIT, Dr. Anjana decided to come home in January 2017. She is presently running her lab at National Council of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Bangalore campus.

She is married to her teenage sweetheart Krishnan who is a cinematographer and has successfully directed five commercial films as Director Photography with Kollywood cinema. Their story of love strengthened by mutual trust is another story to share. Anjana's lab now gives research opportunities to PhD aspirants, young researchers and technicians.


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