Day in The Life: An Interview with Dr. Saswati Das
1. Could you provide a short description about the area/field in STEM you are involved in?
I was trained as a physiologist with specialization in reproductive endocrinology. Over the years, I have also worked in research areas dealing with cancer immunotherapy and asthma and allergies.
2. The health sciences are diverse, what inspired you to become involved in your field in particular?
My love for physiology began in my high school days. My biology teacher was excellent in drawing my attention to the wonders of physiology. She was my main inspiration to become a physiologist.
3. What does a typical day look like for you as a professor and/or as a researcher?
My primary obligations are teaching and coordination of courses in physiology. A typical day involves my
in-class lecture delivery, meetings with students during office hours, preparation for lectures and organizing material for examinations. In between, I try to attend seminars related to my teaching or research interests.
4. What is your favorite part of your job?
As a teacher, I am most happy when I see I am able to deliver difficult concepts in class and make it understandable. In the end, I have often witnessed students to follow up on their interests and register in higher level physiology courses.
5. From your vast research experience, have there been any valuable lessons learned and if so, what are they?
1. Always tried to find out what interests me most about a research project.
2. One should be meticulous and follow deadlines.
3. Collaborate with others to learn new techniques and share ideas.
4. Persevere even in the face of adversities.
6. What are some challenges you have overcome as a woman working in STEM?
To be successful in any fields of STEM requires diligence and long hours of work. As a mother, it was challenging at times to juggle childcare and research work as my research required long hours of work in the laboratory.
7. Do you have any advice for students who hope to enter STEM?
1. Always be curious and ask questions.
2. Find out what interests you most and why?
3. Participate in research projects.