Karthikeyan Kumarasamy-Small town lad behind big find of micro bug

Madras University Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam feted Karthikeyan Kumarasamy (in picture), a research student at the A.L. Mudaliar Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, for his work on the NDM-1 bacteria gene.

Karthikeyan Kumarasamy’s phone kept ringing non-stop on Wednesday. The 32-year-old research scholar at AL Mudaliar Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, was flooded with compliments, inquiries and requests after The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal on Wednesday published a paper he co-authored with UK-based scientist Timothy Walsh on a deadly superbug that threatens to spread across the world.

It has been a long journey for Kumarasamy, from a Tamil medium government school in Vellakoil in Erode district in Tamil Nadu to Cardiff University’s research lab. “I owe it all to my parents and teachers,” he says. As a student, who was always keen on microorganisms, he did his Bsc in microbiology from Navarasam College of Arts and Science, Narachalur. He then moved to Nammakkal for post-graduation.

His interest in bacterial infections grew when he joined a small private hospital, Lotus Hospital, in Erode. “Working as a microbiologist in 2000, I tracked the bacterial strains that caused a common hospital-acquired infection. I was thrilled to see them under the microscope then,” he says. Ten years later, he mapped the superbug in Chennai and went on to work on the find at Cardiff University in the UK.

He moved to the Madras University for his Phd in drug-resistant bacteria in 2007. When UK-based Walsh visited the campus for a lecture, Kumarasamy was introduced to the scientist by Padma Krishnan, a faculty member and a member of the team which studied the superbug. “We are so proud of him,” smiles the University institute’s microbiology department head Dr Thangam Menon.

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14 thoughts on “Karthikeyan Kumarasamy-Small town lad behind big find of micro bug

  1. Hai Karthi, We are very proud of you & Your work by Nation.
    Countinue your Journy.Vinnayaka Missions Salem.

  2. Mr. Karthikeyan should be aware of the content of his publication. The superbug being named as NDM1 i.e., New Delhi is very unfortunate. He stands to gain personally by adding one publication to his credit but the whole country gets a bad name which may affect the health tourism significant in the years to come. Moreover, many experts also questions the credibility of the study. The way the paper got the international attention also says that there is a big corporate lobby for this reseach and I feel Mr. Karthikeyan has just been used by the UK scientist. These buggers never named any virus by the name their countries. we never say AIDS virus as USA1 though it started in USA, but here such a common bacteria which is found all over the world is named after New Delhi. Its really unfortunate

  3. Vanakam Karthikeyan Sir, I am saravanan your ug junior in navarasam arts college erode, when i think about you realy I proud. I pray for your fruitful success in your research. All the best

  4. Sir,
    Nice to see a PhD student from India achieve this feat.leave alone the issue of whether it is for or against our nation.The Nation forgets everything in a week and we tend to move on to other ‘issues’.

    Research isn’t much encouraged in our country and breaking ice was possible for this gentleman.I wish you success in all your endaevours.

    May the Indian Dream come true !!

  5. “sir continue your specific field of Research” i don’t know i am the right person to say that. But it’s my opinion.

  6. Sir i met you in omalur, Salem with my son. It is a finest moment in my life. I want to thank kannan for creating such a great opportunity. My son should be blessed. Thank you for the photo. I pray for your next level.

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