Name: NERGES MISTRY
Organisation: THE FOUNDATION FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH
I am the Director of the Foundation for Medical Research (FMR), Mumbai and the Foundation for Research in Community Health (FRCH) in Mumbai and Pune. I have been a close witness to the evolution of the NRHM since its inception as an initiator of the Advisory Group on Community Action and a Member of the ASHA mentoring group for both Maharashtra and Uttarakhand. Besides being a consultant for Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and on the Advisory Committee of the Public Health Foundation for India, I have been a member of the Working Committees on Women and Child Health as well as Revitalization of Indian Health Traditions for the 11th Five Year Plan. My current interests include multi drug resistant TB, assessment and costing of medical technology towards rural health services and the development of community health workers and their career path towards trainers and paramedical workers. I have over 66 peer reviewed scientific publications that reflect a biosocial approach to many health problems. I am the guide for post graduate and doctoral degrees in Applied Biology from the University of Mumbai and has guided 7 research students. I have been a principal investigator for over 20 major research projects in biomedical sciences and in the field of community and public health. I am a microbiologist cum immunologist by training and have undertaken multiple studies in the immunology and neurology of leprosy in the 1980s and early 90s. In the last decade through the support of The Wellcome Trust, I have established a series of molecular epidemiological techniques for the study of multi drug resistant TB in Mumbai and rural areas. Currently I am the holder of a DBT – Centre for Excellence Grant to investigate the project “Mechanisms of introduction, selection, maintenance and modulation of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis through a functional genomics approach”. Since the last year I am undertaking the standardization of M. leprae strain typing techniques from biopsies collected from child leprosy cases and community contacts.