Aditi Kantipuly has a rich background that blends cultures and interests, and will use that to her advantage as she investigates various aspects of rare disease in India. She is an American, born in Canada, with Indian heritage, who will be reporting live for the next seven months on her research and studies at the Aravind Eye Hospital located in one of India’s most ancient and ethnically significant cities, Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
She hopes that her cross-cultural experience in the context of patient-based research and health care delivery in India will strengthen society’s response to rare diseases like congenital glaucoma.
During her days in India she’ll work with rare disease physicians, patients, nurses, advocates and government officials.
She chose this path based on an experience in sophomore year–she took a course in molecular biology. She was intrigued by the technological strides that have been made in this field and how a microscopic problem such as a glycine mutation can lead to a macroscopic problem such as Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) – a debilitating bone disorder severely affecting the mobility of individuals. It was one thing to research OI but to see it with her eyes was altogether something else, during her internship that following year.
OI became more than an acronym – it gained a name, face and personality; humanity. The pain and suffering that accompanies a rare disease diagnosis is senseless in this age of exome sequencing with today’s health infrastructure. Her motivation for pursuing a career in academic medicine has been strengthened by this realization that bridging the gap between the bench and bedside is essential for such patients.
The rare disease campaign often focuses on three themes: awareness, education, and solidarity. She hopes (as part of the 9 month series), she will encompass these themes from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Her goal for this series is to make this as interactive as possible, so please do not hesitate to comment or ask questions.
If you would like to learn more about her and her project you can click here.
About the Fulbright Program:
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program has provided, since its inception in 1946 approximately 325,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. (Taken from US State Department Fact Sheet)