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Gagandeep Kang, vaccine scientist, quits top research institute

The resignation of Prof Kang, the first Indian woman scientist to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), London, came around two months after a committee to look into indigenous Covid-19 drugs and vaccines

The resignation of Prof Kang, the first Indian woman scientist to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), London, came around two months after a committee to look into indigenous Covid-19 drugs and vaccines that she headed, was disbanded.

In recent months, Dr Kang was closely involved in work related to testing for the novel coronavirus.

Dr Gagandeep Kang, one of India’s most eminent medical scientists who played a critical role in the development of the indigenous rotavirus vaccine, has unexpectedly resigned as executive director of the Translational Health Sciences and Technology Institute (THSTI), the prestigious Faridabad-based public health research institute under the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Biotechnology.

The resignation of Prof Kang, the first Indian woman scientist to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), London, came around two months after a committee to look into indigenous Covid-19 drugs and vaccines that she headed, was disbanded.

Dr Kang said on Monday that she had resigned due to personal reasons. A professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences at Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore, she had been on lien to THSTI since 2016, and had another year to go in her tenure.

In recent months, Dr Kang was closely involved in work related to testing for the novel coronavirus. Her resignation comes as India fights a grim battle against the virus — and just a day after it surpassed Russia as the country with the world’s third heaviest caseload of Covid-19.

She has served on the scientific advisory panels of national and international institutions like the World Health Organisation (WHO), Wellcome Trust, International Vaccine Institute, and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. She is currently also Vice-Chair of the Board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a Norwegian association focussed on stimulating and accelerating the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.

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