Gagandeep Kang (Cherry) is a clinician scientist based at the Christian Medical College, Vellore in South India. She is a leading researcher on diarrheal diseases with a major research focus on rotaviral infections in children, and the testing of rotaviral vaccines. She also works on other enteric infections and their consequences when children are infected in early life, sanitation and water safety.
Gagandeep Kang completed her MBBS in 1987 and her MD in Microbiology in 1991 from Christian Medical College, Vellore and obtained her PhD in 1998. She obtained her membership of the Royal College of Pathologists and carried out post doctoral research with Dr Mary Estes at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston before returning to Vellore.
Contributions to science
Gagandeep Kang is a medical scientist who has worked on diarrhoea diseases and public health in India since the early 1990s. She is a key contributor to rotavirus epidemiology and vaccinology in India. Focusing on vaccines, enteric infections and nutrition in young children in disadvantaged communities, she has combined field epidemiology with intensive laboratory investigations to inform both the science of infectious diseases and policy in India. Her comprehensive research on rotavirus has demonstrated the high burden of rotavirus disease across India and the genetic diversity of viruses. In particular, she has conducted the largest single birth cohort study on rotaviral infections in the world demonstrating that protection after natural infection is lower in India than in developed countries, which has important implications for control of disease by vaccination.
She has published over 250 scientific papers and is on editorial boards for several journals, including PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases and f Tropical Medicine and International Health. She is on many review committees for national and international research funding agencies, and has served on several advisory committees mainly related to vaccines, including India's National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety and the Immunisation and Vaccine Implementation Research Advisory Committee. She chairs the WHO SEAR's Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (2015-current).
Awards and recognition
- 2006 Woman Bioscientist of the Year (link)
- 2008 Fellow, Royal College of Pathologists, London
- 2009 Abbott Oration Award, Indian Society for Gastroenterology
- 2010 Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
- 2011 Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences
- 2011 Dr. Y.S. Narayana Rao Oration Award Indian Council of Medical Research
- 2013 Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
- 2014 Ranbaxy Research Award 2013 for Medical Research (link)
- 2015 Dr. S.C. Parija Oration Award, Indian Academy of Tropical Parasitology
- 2016 Fellow, Indian National Science Academy