September 23, 2011
School of Medicine, Kochi
Two research papers authored by Asuthosh Kumar Sharma were recently selected for publication in the International Journal of Medical Student Research.
Asuthosh is a student of the 2007 MBBS batch at the Amrita School of Medicine.
The two papers were titled Heavy Metal Contamination of River Ganges: Detection of Ten Heavy Metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy and Relationship of Diabetic Foot Ulcer with Diabetic Retinopathy.
“Along with becoming a compassionate doctor, my ambition is to become a good researcher,” shared Asuthosh. “After coming to Amrita, I learned a lot, meeting with my eminent professors. I am blessed to have them as my role models in research.”
“Many of the professors guided me in my research including Dr. A. G. Unnikrishnan, Dr. Harish Kumar, Dr. V. V. Pillay, Dr. Puneet Dhar and Dr. Sudheendran,” he added.
Asuthosh’s first paper studied the toxicity of water from the holy River Ganges that flows through Varanasi and Allahabad, examining it for the presence and concentration of ten heavy metals viz. arsenic, mercury, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel.
“The motivation behind my first research came from a newspaper report I saw back at my home in Varanasi. I read about an 8-year-old child who lost all his hair and turned bald after bathing in the River Ganges. It was thought to be the result of pollution from heavy metals. I decided to check for the elements that contaminated the River Ganges. It ended up as the first research project in my life,” explained the author.
Asuthosh’s study reported high concentrations of iron, manganese, zinc, copper, arsenic, mercury, chromium and lead. “These pose serious environmental and health risks, and need to be addressed urgently by way of proper treatment and decontamination.”
Asuthosh also explained the motivation behind his second research paper.
“During my posting in Podiatry, I saw patients coming with small foot ulcers and going back with limb amputation. I wanted to find out how we could support the lives of these patients. For that it was important to conduct research.”
Asuthosh found that there was a correlation between diabetic retinopathy and diabetic foot ulcers. This finding may pave the way for better management of foot ulcers.
Sometime ago, Asuthosh had the opportunity to meet the former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. This became a turning point in his life. Dr. Kalam was then visiting the Health Sciences campus to inaugurate the PET scanning machine.
“I remember Dr. Kalam saying we need more youth in the research field. This inspired me and I am sincerely trying to deliver the best from my side,” he concluded.
In addition to having his work published, Asuthosh also received the opportunity present at a national conference recently organized at the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. Amrita is proud of this intrepid young researcher-scholar.