For International Women’s Day, we reached out to MS researcher and MSIF-ECTRIMS McDonald Fellowship recipient. Dr. Kshiteeja Jain is a Neurologist and Postdoctoral Fellow from Mumbai, India.
Step into the lab with Dr. Jain to learn about her experience as a female MS researcher and future hopes for women in science.
‘I hope that women do not shy away from research and science; and as a society we continue to encourage and empower women through education and opportunities’ Dr. Kshiteeja Jain
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Dr. Kshiteeja Jain, I am a Neurologist and Postdoctoral Fellow, from Mumbai, India
Where did you go and which program/funding initiative did you receive?
I completed my Neurology training from Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, India. I am currently pursuing a Post-doctoral Fellowship in CNS demyelinating disorders at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, India.
I have been awarded the 2022 MSIF-ECTRIMS McDonald Fellowship under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Maria Rocca, and will be traveling to Milan, Italy to complete my fellowship at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I am eagerly looking forward to contributing to the understanding of cognitive function in MS.
What are some major struggles female researchers face?
Though times are changing now, workplace discrimination still remains a pertinent issue. I have known some remarkably talented women who have had to face struggles mainly because of their sex. Even in this day and age, women are sometimes not considered as equals. I believe women shouldn’t have to prove their credibility any more than men. Another issue that women often disproportionately face is the struggle of maintaining a healthy work life balance.
What has helped you throughout your career?
I have been fortunate to have found some incredible people during my life who have encouraged and helped me throughout my academic career. My family and friends have always stood by me and their belief in me; my persistence and hard work, has always seen me through.
What do you hope for the future of women in science?
I hope that women do not shy away from research and science; and as a society we continue to encourage and empower women through education and opportunities. We should seek more equal representation at all levels of decision and policy making. We should be able to create an environment where women feel free to live their dreams and are not bound by any gender, social, religious or racial construct. I sincerely do hope that women enable other women, as what we can achieve together could be truly phenomenal!