Dr. Harshini Mukundan – IF/THEN Ambassador

Personal Statement

Hi, my name is Harshini Mukundan. I grew up in India. When I was ten years old, I overheard a conversation at a wedding that has always stuck with me. An elderly relative was lamenting about not being able to find a suitable groom for her daughter. The woman felt she was to blame becauce she had allowed her daughter to study too much. How would she ever find a man who was more educated than her daughter?

This disturbed me, and I discussed it with my grandfather. He said a man did not have to be more educated than his wife to be a good husband, and any man who didn’t agree would never make a good husband in the first place. My grandfather then took out a piece of paper and wrote my name on it, followed by various accreditations and degrees. He made me promise that some-day I would have a business card that looked like this- that some-day I would have my own identity.

I made that my mission. Today, I have (a PhD in Biomedical Sciences AND my own identity. And by the way, I also found a good husband.

Biography

Can you imagine a scenario where one single test could diagnose any infection? There are currently no universal methods for the diagnosis of all infection! Currently, diagnosis of infection depends on symptoms, knowledge of what is “going around,” and available resources. Biologist Harshini Mukundan hopes to solve this problem by developing universal diagnostics to identify all infections, within minutes, in your doctor’s office. In her current role as team leader at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Harshini is developing diagnostics that can be used in resource-poor regions of the world.

Harshini Mukundan holds a Master’s Degree in Microbiology, and a Ph. D in Biomedical Sciences. She has worked on developing diagnostics for various diseases such as tuberculosis and cancer. She is a passionate research mentor to interns in various stages of their career, and an active STEM advocate.

Harshini enjoys several hobbies including reading, dancing and hiking. She and her husband live in beautiful Los Alamos, New Mexico with their two wonderful children and their pet tortoise.

Learn More About Dr. Harshini Mukundan here:

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