Growing up in a family of doctors, Pulak was fascinated by medical science. “At 7, I’d tag along with my anesthesiologist Mom to the OT to watch surgeries,” she recollects. And after school, she’d sit in her father’s cabin as he consulted his patients.
When she had to pick a career path, she was at a crossroads. She wanted to work in a place where the ‘real’ science happened. That’s when she met the Vice-Chancellor of VIT who told her, “Your parents’ practice what they studied from books, but you’d be the one to write them.” Pulak wanted to serve society like her parents, and academia was the perfect place to do that.
She went on to major in Biotechnology, “I was a backbencher, but I’d take over the front row seats in animal biotech and vaccine technology classes.” She’d dream about the great research she’d be performing someday. Coincidently during the pandemic, the hospital her father worked at was turned into an R&D hub for the coveted Covaxin. Pulak, who was fresh out of college, joined Bharat Biotech as a Clinical Research Coordinator.
She was excited, but also apprehensive– “What if I’m too young and inexperienced?” she thought. Realizing the value that the job held, Pulak began working on the first phase of the human trials in August 2020.
She dealt with difficult volunteers and surveyed shipments of the blood samples. She held everyone together– right from the lab workers administering the vaccine to the volunteers. She’d even spend nights doing menial tasks like feeding the data into the software. Ït was a hectic experience, but the excitement of being able to apply her knowledge in the real world fueled her enthusiasm. “It just feels like a big college project,” Pulak exclaims!
The vaccine trials have reached the final stage, and Pulak continues pouring through vaccine technology literature at the lab. She finds that women are exceptionally capable of handling research with their attention to meticulous detail. She envisions a future where young females like her would continue to lead in R&D in science.
#Mahindra salutes the passion and dedication of women like Pulak, who have set the right example for young girls to follow. #PeopleWhoRise