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Researcher Spotlight: Kamal Dua

Dr Kamal Dua is an award-winning pharmaceutics and drug delivery researcher with extensive experience in teaching, research, and industry in both Australia and India. He holds dual expertise in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Immunology and Microbiology, complemented by four professional diplomas in clinical research, product development, drug regulation, and documentation and intellectual property rights. As our newest mentor in the ARCH-India Mentorship Program, Dr. Dua shares his drive to mentor early-career researchers and foster new collaborations.

What are you working on right now?
Our team conducts research at the Discipline of Pharmacy, Graduate School of Health, and Australian Research Consortium in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), within the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology Sydney. Our research focuses on inflammatory diseases, with a specific focus on lung conditions such as asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. Our aim is to identify new therapeutic agents and innovate delivery methods using nanocarriers, including polymeric-based and liquid crystalline nanoparticles. This research encompasses both synthetic drugs and significantly, natural compounds, aligning with the global emphasis on complementary and alternative medicine systems.

What sparked your interest in your field?
Respiratory problems have become a significant global health concern, driven by various factors such as pollution, cigarette smoking, and allergies. This issue is particularly prominent in countries like India and Australia. Encountering these facts daily sparked my interest in this field. Furthermore, holding dual PhDs in pharmaceutics and drug delivery from Gautam Buddha Technical University in India, and immunology and microbiology from the University of Newcastle in Australia, has motivated me to bridge these complementary areas in lung diseases. Focusing on this specific aspect of the disease has the potential to benefit not only patients but also caregivers and the community at large.

What’s the best part of your work?
A rewarding aspect of my job is mentoring early-career researchers, a role I am genuinely passionate about. This enables me to cultivate research skills in emerging scholars. Furthermore, I place a high value on collaborating with academics and industry professionals in my work, acknowledging its importance in the continuously evolving and demanding research landscape. 

Collaboration is essential for achieving success and making an impact in today's dynamic environment.

What does successful research collaboration look like?
For me, successful research is defined by its ability to bring about meaningful change and have a positive impact. In my research area, which focuses on health, success means benefiting patients, caregivers, and the community at large. Currently, we are collaborating with industry partners to develop strategies for translating our lab-based research into clinical applications and consumer benefits.

What interested you in becoming an ARCH-India mentor?
Becoming an ARCH-India mentor is a great honour, allowing me to connect with Indian researchers and foster new collaborations. 

As a member of the Indian diaspora, I am enthusiastic about contributing to the Australia-India bilateral relations, specifically in the field of health and science.

What is your favourite place to visit in Australia?
The Blue Mountains in New South Wales hold a special place in my heart for several reasons. Its stunning natural beauty captivates me. The vast expanse of eucalyptus trees, deep valleys, and the iconic blue haze create a breathtaking landscape that never fails to inspire awe. 

Moreover, the Blue Mountains offer a diverse range of outdoor activities. The extensive network of hiking trails allows me to explore the region's unique flora and fauna while enjoying the fresh mountain air. The Three Sisters rock formation and the scenic Wentworth Falls are just a couple of the many picturesque spots that make each visit memorable.

The charming villages and townships scattered throughout the Blue Mountains add a delightful touch to the experience. Exploring places like Katoomba or Leura provides a glimpse into the region's rich history, complemented by quaint cafes, art galleries, and boutique shops.

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