The Pioneering Researcher
Marie Curie, born on 7th November 1867, was a Polish physicist and chemist. She is renowned world-wide for her remarkable research in the field of radioactivity. She is well known for discovering two radioactive elements; Polonium and Radium as well as for coining the term ‘radioactivity’. Born into a family that had lost most of its wealth due to their involvement in Polish national uprising, Marie had to struggle a lot for her education. Marie moved to France to continue her higher education in physics. In 1895, she married Pierre Curie, a French physicist who had similar research interests as herself. Their laborious research on radiation won them a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903. Later, Marie won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911. Marie holds the honor of being the first woman to have ever won the Nobel Prize and an unbroken record of being the only person to win 2 Nobel prizes under separate categories.
The works of Marie Curie are truly remarkable and her life is truly inspiring. On the occasion of women’s week, we wish to honor and salute women from the field of science, who have made impressive contributions in the form of technology and innovations. We now present to you the inspiring journey of Aarti Desai, Domain Specialist, Persistent Systems.
With an impressive 15 years work experience, Aarti Desai has been a member of Team Persistent since April 2011. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Mumbai and a doctorate in Molecular Biology from the University of Houston, Texas, US. During her doctoral research, Aarti worked at the first lab to ever show a complex mechanism of agonist mediated regulation of alpha receptors in the neurons. She started her career as a teaching assistant while pursuing her Ph.D. and later moved on to a post-doctoral fellowship in mouse genetics at Wadsworth Center, State University of New York, Albany, US. After a brief post-doctoral fellowship, she became the Director of Microarray Core facility at the Wadsworth Center. This was her first brush with the budding field of Bioinformatics. Fascinated by the impressive capability of the microarray technology and wanting to work closely with the pioneers in the field of high throughput genomics, Aarti worked for Affymetrix in Sunnyvale, CA as a Bioinformatics Scientist.
In 2010, the Desais planned to move back to India and Aarti was extremely apprehensive about finding a career nurturing job back home. She was pleasantly surprised to find the perfect opportunity at Persistent Systems. As a Product Manager at Persistent LABS, Aarti is part of several investment and externally-funded collaborative projects. She is involved in developing a comprehensive solution for analyzing Next Generation Sequencing data which has completely revolutionized the field of biomedical research and holds much promise for genetics-driven medicine. Her key responsibilities are to ensure delivery of world-class genomics products, establish thought leadership by publishing in scientific journals and participate in cutting edge research projects. Her role offers her ample opportunities to interact with some truly pioneering scientists from India as well as around the world.
Speaking about some of her work challenges, Aarti shares, Maintaining relationships with Indian scientific community is crucial to my role at Persistent. I was away in the US since my graduation and hardly got a chance to interact with this community. When I moved back to India, one of the challenges I faced was to acquaint myself with the different institutions, organizations and funding agencies in India. And the toughest part was getting acquainted with the acronyms that people used for every institute!
So what really makes Persistent the best place to work? For Aarti, Persistent is an organization with ample flexibility, which is extremely useful especially to women with small kids. The people at Persistent are very friendly and always ready to help and ensure that your work is done on time. For Aarti, the most attractive aspect of her work is the passion that the Persistent community has for the work they do!