Ashwini Kumar Nepal
Graduate student in the department of biochemistry
B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences
How long have you been an ASBMB member?
I have been a member for two years.
What do you study?
I am hoping to earn an M.Sc. in medical biochemistry.
What are some hot research areas in your country?
Micronutrients (zinc, iodine, iron) and supplementation, endocrinology (thyroid hormones, thyroglobulin, etc), diabetes screening, infectious diseases (tuberculosis, visceral leishmaniasis, HIV, malaria), antioxidant and oxidative stress in various diseases, waste water analysis, prevalence based studies (e.g., snakebites, diarrhea, sanitation, maternal mortality), and clinical research.
Where do you see research going in your country in 5 to 10 years?
There are very limited sources of funding for research in Nepal from the government. Research in the next 5 to 10 years is expected to get more funding from governmental, nongovernmental and international agencies, and collaborators. Advanced laboratory facilities for molecular methods and other recent technologies for experimental research need to be established. There is a lot to be done to meet the emerging research needs to improve the health and nutrition status of the population.
Are there any barriers to collaboration?
No, there is no barrier for collaboration. However, more international collaboration is needed on our part for technology transfer and development of the capacity of the local researchers.
Where do you get most of your funding?
The government provides very limited funding for research due to poor economic conditions. However, there is some funding for university faculty members through the university research committees and grant commissions. Students get no funding at all for their research. Most of the funding for research is through international collaboration.
How do you think research in your country differs most from research in the United States?
Research in Nepal differs from that in the United States in that we have to deal with emerging infectious diseases and malnutrition, diarrhea, maternal mortality, snake/mosquito bites, etc., which developed countries usually don’t have. So more focus is needed to improve the health status of the communities by creating awareness and conducting research, which will have a significant effect on enhancing health standards of the population.
Did you do any of your training abroad?