A PhD in biosciences, and in courage too

A PhD in biosciences, and in courage too

Being physically challenged has not fazed Latha

The whole crowd who had gathered at Mangala Auditorim at the Mangalore University on Saturday, gave a standing ovation to Dr Latha Rajendra Kumar, a doctor by profession with MBBS and MD in physiology to her credit.

A wrong drug used by doctor to cure young Latha of polio backfired, and she has been physically challenged since then. That adversity, however, has not deterred from seeking success in her life.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Latha said her topic for doctoral thesis was “Studies on autonomic reactivities, physical fitness and anaemia in alcoholics.”


She is presently working as a professor at the department of Physiology at Yenepoya Medical College of Yenepoya University. She has won the Rashtriya Gaurav award last year at New Delhi.

“Without the support of my father, mother, husband and kids I would not have achieved success. It was my long pending dream to have double degree one as a doctor and another through PhD,” she said.

“My mother was a constant source of support to me. She always used to say that nothing is impossible in life. Only hard work and determination makes everything possible. That is a dictum which I followed studiously and I was able to get two degrees,” Latha added.

Latha’s father was a director at Atomic Power Project in Kalpakkam.  “It was my father who instilled scientific thinking in me,” she said.

She completed her MBBS degree from Madras University with six gold medals and MD in physiology with a gold medal.  Latha has published seven papers on her research and actively participates in medical education activities.

Her guide Dr Chandrakala Shenoy said Dr Latha is a workaholic.  Her husband Rajendra Kumar is an engineer and the couple have two children.

Medical education in India, Dr Latha said, was still following old and traditional methods and research was not given much importance.  “It is research which gives an idea on what research is all about, how to write a paper and publish it in journals,” she added.