Professor Kang obtained MBBS (1986) from Madras University, MD Microbiology (1991) and PhD (1998) from the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai. Over the past two and half decades, she has built a research program that has conducted key studies to understand enteric infectious diseases in low resource communities.
Academic and Research Achievements:
Prof. Kang’s research has demonstrated the high burden of rotavirus disease across India, the genetic diversity of viruses and the factors that affect transmission and disease in hospital and community settings. She has investigated the protection induced by natural infection in the largest birth cohort study on rotaviral infections in the world. Working in partnership with non-governmental organizations and the government, she has carried out phase I-III studies of rotaviral vaccines and provided laboratory support for vaccine development in India and for other developing countries. With the Indian Council for Medical Research and the World Health Organization, she has supported the establishment of networks of sentinel hospitals and laboratories that carry out surveillance for rotavirus disease in children and ancillary studies.
Professor Kang has built a strong inter-disciplinary research program that uses careful and detailed field epidemiology with molecular tools for characterization of infectious agents and host response to infection to understand and change factors that affect transmission, development and prevention of enteric infections and their sequelae. Observational, interventional and mechanistic studies on enteric infection and nutrition have demonstrated the complex relationships between gut function and physical and cognitive development. Based at an outstanding medical college, she has established a strong training program for students and young faculty in clinical translational medicine aiming to build a cadre of clinical researchers studying relevant problems in India. The large body of research conducted by her group has led to practical interventions to prevent diarrhoeal disease, and continues to lay the groundwork for further interventions in the form of treatment techniques and vaccines. Dr. Kang has published over 200 papers in national and international journals.
She is an Associate Editor for PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases and for Tropical Medicine and International Health, on the editorial board of Scientific Reports and is on several review committees for national and international research funding agencies.
She is a member of the WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety and the Immunization and Vaccine Implementation Research Advisory Committee and chairs the Immunization Technical Advisory Group for the WHO’s South East Asian Region. She serves or has served on the scientific advisory committee of national and international institutions, including the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, the Translational Health Science Technology Institute and the International Vaccine Institute. She is an Independent Director of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a section 8 company established by the Government of India. She is also a Wellcome Trust nominated Director of Hilleman Laboratories.
Awards and Honours: Dr. Kang is a recipient of several awards and honours including National Talent Scholarship for MBBS (1981-1987), National Talent Scholarship for MD (1988-1991), Dr. P.N. Berry Fellowship (1988-1991), Lourdu Yedanapalli Award for Excellence in Research (2005), National Award for Woman Bioscientist of the Year, Government of India (2006), Abbott Oration Award, Indian Society for Gastroenterology (2009), Dr. Y.S. Narayana Rao Oration Award 2008, Indian Council of Medical Research (2011), Ranbaxy Research Award 2013 for Medical Research (2014), Dr. S.C. Parija Oration Award, Indian Academy of Tropical Parasitology (2015). She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India).