MD in Psychiatry from National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
Associate Professor – Dept of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal
KEM Hospital Research Center, Pune.
I did my psychiatry training at the premier National Institute of mental health and neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru. During my period of training, I was introduced to research methodology at the translational psychiatry lab, Neurobiology research center and this experience at the center strengthened my interest in clinical research. Subsequently I initiated my independent research career as a faculty at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University. I believe that addressing clinical questions using scientific research methods can translate not only to better clinical outcomes for patients but also helps to make me a better clinician in the process. My clinical experience in working with people with mental health issues as well as my work on brain volumes, neurocognitive markers on long term course and outcome in schizophrenia, has led me to believe that mental health disorders have their origins in early life. This is known as the neurodevelopmental hypothesis, which suggests that mental health disorders are a result of neurodevelopmental aberrations arising during fetal growth and its interaction with life course experiences which ultimately lead to the expression of clinical manifestations. At the KEM hospital research center, Pune I was introduced to the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study (PMNS) and work by Dr Chittaranjan Yajnik on maternal nutrition, one carbon metabolism and fetal programming on risk of chronic disease in adult life. Here I saw a unique opportunity to test this neurodevelopmental hypothesis.
“Sometimes we need to go backward before we can move forward”. This fellowship provides me with an exciting opportunity to apply the concepts of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) in understanding the effect of early life exposures on risk of mental health disorders in adult life.