Paediatric Orthopaedics unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore
Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
After fellowship in paediatric orthopaedics at CMC, Vellore under supervision of Dr Vrisha Madhuri, I joined one of her research project to design the compliance monitored clubfoot brace (Padma Pada) in collaboration with engineers from IISc Bangalore. It was quite inspiring to see the replacement of age old brace by newer, better and comfortable brace which parents are not ready to let of due to its definite advantage for child. This was possible due to Dr Vrisha’s scientific disposition and the fact that clinician themselves with the help of collaborators can bring in the changes in the patient management adapting the research in their prospectus.
While working with Dr Vrisha’s for cartilage and bone regeneration involving human and animal experiments, we started to extend our thinking to one more field. Outcome of the osteosarcoma (OS), which is a commonest bone tumour in children, is not very favorable, due to heterogeneity and variable response to chemotherapy. With availability of patients and advanced laboratory in same unit, we started exploring this field, initially with collaboration with radiotherapy and medical oncology units at CMC Vellore. In literature, we found out that most of the CSC research work done for OS is being done on cell lines. We started working on cancer stem cells (CSCs) from osteosarcoma tissue from patients with definite aim of translating this knowledge for management of the osteosarcoma in future.
Once The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance research training fellowship for clinicians was announced, we decided to take our research forward through this unique opportunity. Since then Wellcome Trust alliance has been very supportive regarding approvals and administration issues.
Dr Ganesan (co-supervisor) who himself is a medical oncologist with experience of working on CSCs for ovarian malignancy, has provided us his expertise for planning this experiment.
Dr Sudhir Krishna (mentor) from NCBS has been immensely proactive for this research training fellowship taking efforts to organize meeting of all supervisors and alliance clinical fellow with NCBS faculty. He has been very generous to allow me to use his lab at NCBS and including me in the training workshops such as flowcytometry, microscopy at NCBS.
In addition of learning all the bench work related to planned work, this fellowship is providing the unique opportunity to the clinician like me to be part of basic science arena to develop the scientific temperament. This RTF is definitely metamorphosing the thinking process to apply the basic science for the orthopaedic disorders and to opt research as a career continuing the clinical work.