Scientists Rock! is a monthly Q&A where we pull an AbbVie scientist out of the lab to hear what makes them tick. This month, we chat with Brinda Ravikumar, Ph.D., principal research scientist, Cambridge Research Center, AbbVie. As a child, Brinda’s love of Sherlock Holmes mystery books would foretell her life’s passion for solving complicated whodunits. These days, her detective work involves investigations of a different sort. Let’s chalk this one up to ... The Case of the Dedicated Research Scientist.
Tell us the story of how you fell in love with science.
One school summer holiday, while visiting my grandparents, I bought this book at the train station entitled 101 Science Experiments. I started trying the experiments one at a time by secretly borrowing some items from the school chemistry lab: how to coat a coin with copper using copper sulfate; how to cut glass like a paper using scissors, and so on and so forth. Since then, my curiosity and interest in science has never stopped and continues to this day.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a forensic scientist when I grew up. As a child I loved reading mystery books such as Enid Blyton's Famous Five series and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. I guess figuring out the mysteries of the biology of Alzheimer’s disease is not too far from my childhood passion.
If we were to ask your family what it is that you do, what would they say?
My son once said 'Mama, if you figure out all the medicines, I will have nothing to discover when I grow up.' I assured him that he will have plenty to work on and I hope by the time he grows up, there will be some breakthroughs in treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.