Professor Gagandeep Kang has resigned from her executive director’s position at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute DBT-THSTI, Faridabad.
“Yes, I am leaving THSTI as Director, but hope to continue my association with the faculty and the science. The reason is to return to my family and to CMC (Christian Medical College) Vellore as I was on sabbatical from there,” Kang said in an email response to PTI.
The news of her resignation, especially at a time when India’s scientific community and research institutions are engaged in fighting COVID-19, has raised concerns about the events preceding her decision to quit the organisation.
In April, Kang was heading a national task force on COVID-19 vaccines and drug research set up by the ICMR. However, subsequently, the task of overseeing indigenous vaccine research in the country was handed over to the department of biotechnology, headed by Dr. Renu Swarup.
Unlike every other scientist and administrator, she is the first Indian woman to have been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London. Her research was instrumental in the development of Rotavac alongwith Dr M K Bhan, the first vaccine to be made from scratch in India. Her studies have contributed to the understanding of diarrhoeal diseases, rotavirus epidemiology and vaccinology.
Kang also holds the position of vice chair, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), a global non-profit enabling vaccine development in the current pandemic.