Indian Girl Part of the Proud Team That Unraveled Zika Virus

BENGALURU: A team of researchers in the U.S. have recently cracked the Zika virus structure. It is an important breakthrough in medical science which will further allow researchers to gain crucial insights to develop effective treatments for the hazardous disease. While this comes as a great achievement for the team, it is a proud moment for India, as one of the members is a Meerut-based girl. Devika Sirohi, a 29 year old doctoral student at Purdue University in the United States, is the youngest member of the team, reports TOI.

The other members of the team include, postdoctoral research associates Zhenguo Chen, Lei Sun and Thomas Klose; biological sciences professor Michael G Rossmann, Purdue Institute for Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Director Richard J Kuhn, and Theodore C Pierson, Chief of the viral pathogenesis section of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Five years ago, before beginning her journey from India to U.S., Devika pursued honors in biochemistry from Delhi University and M.Sc from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. She is now pursuing her PhD in 'Structure and Maturation of Flaviviruses'. Devika expresses her happiness in being part of the challenging journey. She believes the findings will better the understanding of the deadly virus and helps in discovering effective medicines to treat the disease.

Delighted by her success both her parents, the mother who is a pediatrician and father, a pathologist expressed that it was a matter of pride not only for their family, but for the whole country that an Indian was part of the team that made this breakthrough.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also congratulated her saying the entire country was proud of her achievement.

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