By David Woods, PhD.
A love of research; and especially its 'bench to bedside' approach
Yogesh Chutake has always loved research since the time of his being a research scholar at the University of Mumbai in his native India.
Yogesh was offered research opportunities in the UK and Europe but decided on the US, coming to the United States as a PhD student and continuing as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
His great mentor is Professor Sanjay Bidichandani -- one of the scientists involved in discovering the gene and specific mutations that cause FA. Yogesh co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications with Professor Bidichandani including one titled ‘altered nucleosome positioning at the transcription start site and deficient transcriptional initiation in Friedreich’s Ataxia.’
That’s where you’ll find him today, working in his area of expertise–– genetics and epigenetics, biochemistry and molecular biology.
As well as the work, though, he discovered something else: In India, he says, some students tend not to question or even contradict their teachers, who are looked upon as authority figures. But in the US he found greater give-and-take between student and teacher, thus fostering curiosity, which, Yogesh believes, is the basis for research. Not only that, but he’s also discovered that the higher up the academic scale one goes, the more likely one will find down to earth attitudes and a willingness to engage in dialectics.
As is entirely appropriate for someone interested in probing mysteries and seeking solutions, Yogesh is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. He is also interested in tennis and in camping and trekking… and engages in such socially active works as Habitat for Humanity–– an international nonprofit that helps people all over the world build affordable homes.
Above all, Yogesh has a special interest in what he calls ‘bench to bedside training.’ In other words, he sees little point in doing research unless you can see how it benefits individual human beings