DR. Barnali Das

Consultant Biochemistry & Immunology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute, Mumbai

She believes in the philosophical lines of Albert Einstein: “Life is like riding bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” 

And that’s what she has been doing throughout her career- she kept moving- not from job-to-job- but as a knowledge seeker, research scientist and a go-getter. Dr. Barnali did her M.B.B.S., MD and DNB from Delhi, followed by Management Development Training from IIT Bombay, Six Sigma Green Belt from ISI and Point of Care Specialist Certificate Course from AACC.  From October, 2008, she has been a consultant in Biochemistry & Immunology divisions of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) & Medical Research Institute, Mumbai. She is member of Executive Committee of International Federation of Clinical Chemistry & Laboratory Medicine (IFCC)’s Scientific Division Worldwide and Chair of American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), India Section. Prior to joining KDAH, she was supervising Biochemistry and RIA Chemiluminescense divisions of SRL Ranbaxy, Mumbai. Earlier she was a lecturer in T.N.M.C. & Nair Hospital, Mumbai and senior resident in MAMC and Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi.

Unique initiative in Healthcare Sector: 

Standardization of Thyroid function tests is still a formidable challenge, due to the lack of proper reference intervals and standardized measurement procedures. Clinicians and diagnosticians have to grapple with the variability of test-results in TSH itself; even a broadly similar set of instruments and methods can give up to 40% more or less TSH values. In this context, she enjoyed her part as the member of International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine’s (IFCC) six member Committee, for Standardization of Thyroid Function Test Worldwide, from 2011 to Dec, 2017. Other members were faculty from Ghent University and Stanford University. She has established reference interval for TSH & FT4 in Indian population. She has many international publications on Thyroid Function Test Standardization, e. g. recently in European Thyroid Journal, Clinical Chemistry, Clinica Chimica Acta. Now she has taken the role as Executive committee of IFCC Scientific Division.

A strong shoulder to carry bigger responsibilities

Being AACC (American Association for Clinical Chemistry) India section Chair & Executive Committee Member of IFCC (International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine) Scientific division, she feels she has a bigger role to play, so as to incorporate quality competence in health care, promotion of original research, bridging the gap between diagnosticians and clinicians & also to connect with the professionals in clinical chemistry, pathology, molecular diagnostics and IVD industry. The scientific division of IFCC is responsible for developing strategy and tactics for IFCC, and initiating & managing projects worldwide. All these have widened Dr. Barnali’s horizon.
The driving force
She says that her parents and husband are pillars of strength in her life. Hard work, die-hard attitude and focus are the key factors in her journey. Writing poems and short stories in Bengali is her passion. She owes the exposure to literary environment, since her childhood, to her parents. She is an active philanthropist. In the past, she has served as honorary doctor in Mobile Medical Service in the slum areas of Bhatti mines & Ashok Nagar, Delhi, conducted by Ramakrishna Mission Free TB Clinic & Medical Center.
Dr. Barnali has faced many challenges and experienced difficulties but stood strong and has risen against all odds. She has made choices aligned with her dreams and gone after her goals with heart and soul. Many times she ‘jumped off the cliff and grown wings on the way down,’ –as they say. Dr Barnali is not afraid of accepting challenges. One thing she knows very well is to always fight and never quit. Today, she’s reached where she is, due to her sheer hard work, never-give-up attitude and focus. She has proved that success is less about luck and more about holding on to your dreams.

Achievements and Recognition  

Rewards and recognitions have been showered upon her from time to time for her dedication and hard work throughout her career. Recently Dr. Barnali has been conferred with the prestigious "Diagnostic Leadership Award in Achiever Category" from the Indian Express Group in Hyderabad, followed by "Healthcare Leader in Quality & Management” award by MT India, at the Voice of Healthcare Conference & Medical Fair, in Pragati Maidan, Delhi on 21st February, 2019.  She has also received few prestigious National and International awards, including American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Outstanding Speaker Award, IFCC Development of Quality Competence in Medical Laboratories- Award, and two oration awards, Dr. T. N. Pattabhiraman Oration Award from ACBI & Dr. Ajit Singh Saini Oration Award from AMBI, Reliance Group Corporate Social Responsibility (The Woman of Substance Award), Pitabus Jamuna Burma Memorial Award, Dr. C. Sita Devi Award from Association of Clinical Biochemists of India and Brig. Ramesh Sinha Memorial Certificate & Gold Medal from Association of Medical Biochemists of India (AMBI) to name a few. Recently, she has also been selected as the Chair of American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), India Section, and also as Executive Committee member, Scientific Division, of International Federation of Clinical Chemistry & Laboratory Medicine (IFCC).
She has delivered more than hundred invited talks & plenary lectures; 2 orations and chaired more than fifty sessions in conferences in different countries. 
Her biography has been featured in a book named “And So Can You” (17 successful doctors share their inspiring stories).

Message to readers through VOH platform 

Never bother about success or failure, just keep giving your best and keep improving yourself. Success, according to her, is relative and not absolute. Also, each one has their own definition of success. But one thing is sure, whatever success is, it is not something to be chased. “If you put passion and dedication in your work, it will give meaning to your life and you will be successful,” she summarizes.
Never compare yourself with others. Be your own competitor and benchmark- this has been a mantra of her life.
Reference: “And So Can You” by Dr. Roopleen. Power Publishers.

*This story is published by VOH Team*

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