Is it possible to be a scientist and an artist?
Sunetra Gupta, Mathematics & Biology
If you ever wondered if choosing science meant you couldn’t do arts—Sunetra Gupta is proof that you can do both! From using mathematics to outwit the flu virus to writing novels, watch Professor Gupta share in this video her career journey and fascinating research.
Why she studies disease within the zoology department (0:25)
Growing up in Calcutta (1:12)
Falling in love with mathematics (3:17)
The value her liberal arts education at Princeton University (4:49)
Using fiction to make sense of the human condition (6:05)
How she is working to develop a new universal influenza vaccine (7:30)
What is theoretical epidemiology?
Professor Gupta researches infectious diseases caused by pathogens like the influenza virus, bacterial meningitis, and malaria parasites. She uses simple mathematical models to generate new hypotheses. These hypotheses help us understand how people become infected by pathogens, suffer disease, recover, and become immune. This research can lead to the development of new vaccines. She works closely with laboratory and field scientists both to develop these hypotheses and to test them.
Sunetra Gupta was born in India and spent her childhood in Ethiopia and Zambia. She began her science career studying biology at the University of Princeton. Currently, she is Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, where she researches infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, HIV, influenza, and bacterial meningitis. Professor Gupta is also an award-winning novelist, essayist, and accomplished translator of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore.
Professor Gupta’s used her Rosalind Franklin award to create a book about historically famous female scientists.