Exclusive | Interview with Dr.Madhura Naik

MD Pharmacology graduates can now add one more option for their higher education, apart from joining DM/DNB Clinical Pharmacology or PhD or pursuing a MSc/PG.Dip in foreign universities. Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Tata Memorial Centre Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (TMC-ACTREC) has started a one year fellowship program in Oncotherapeutics.


TMC is an autonomous grant-in-aid institution of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.

ACTREC is the state-of-the-art R&D satellite of the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), which also includes under its umbrella the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), the largest cancer hospital in Asia. ACTREC has the mandate to function as a national centre for treatment, research and education in cancer. congratulates Dr.Madhura Naik on joining as the first fellow in Oncotherapeutics at TMC-ACTREC. We are happy to have her interviewed. Read what she has told us about this program.

What is this Oncotherapeutic fellowship?

It’s a one-year fellowship program by the Dept. of Clinical Pharmacology held at Tata Memorial Centre- ACTREC, Navi Mumbai for a period of 1 year. This is the first year that they have started the fellowship.

How did you come to know about this? Did “Mumbai Edge” help you in this regard?

I got to know through a colleague on whatsapp first then from the Tata website

Explain the application and selection process.

The application process was online after which candidates were approx. 70 candidates were screened. We had to answer a MCQ exam after which 10 candidates were shortlisted for the interview. The interview was held by a panel comprising clinical pharmacologists, basic researcher and medical oncologist,after which 1 candidate was chosen for the fellowship.

What’s your job profile during the fellowship tenure? How much is your stipend?

The fellowship is actually a fluid program. One can get involved in any of the studies/projects carried out at the department. Here there are multiple research studies in both the preclinical and clinical research areas. ACTREC has a specialized Phase 1 trial unit and multiple trials are ongoing here. The medical management of the trial patients, dosing, monitoring and reporting of ADRs has to be done on a regular basis. Other than clinical trials, there are also teaching responsibilities and opportunity to conduct research studies independently.

  • The stipend is Rs.65,000 per month.

With many medical pharmacologists hunting for jobs at academia or industry or joining DM Clinical Pharmacology, you have decided to join this program. What made you to do so?

I had an interest in oncology drug discovery and development. When I heard about the fellowship I jumped at the opportunity since this is what I always wanted to get involved with.

The common thought process for many MD Pharmacology graduates will be to work abroad. What prospects does this program have for those aspirants?

It may seem enticing as an idea but one has to look at the actual opportunity. Though I know that may people post their training period here have been successful in joining PhD programs in the USA.

Does this give you any edge over your fellow pharmacologists by any means?

I believe that more importantly, it will give me the necessary skill set to further my career in oncology drug development.

After finishing this fellowship, where will you be placed?

I am still figuring this out. It really depends on how I use the 1 year given to me. I would ideally like to get a thorough understanding of all the processes involved in oncology research and then keep my mind open towards opportunities arising in academia or industry.

Does any other hospital or institute offer similar fellowship programs?

To my knowledge, no.

Is this fellowship exclusive to MD pharmacologists?

MD Pharmacologists a well as Pharm D candidates can apply.

Where do you see yourself in future?

I would like to work as a part of an enterprising team of a pharmaceutical company focusing on developing innovative therapies for cancer.

Any suggestions for the MD postgraduate students?

After joining the institute here, I have realized the importance of MD Pharmacologists in drug development. Since we have the right mix of medical acumen and drug therapy knowledge, we can make our presence felt. It is important to focus on developing the right skills in whichever area we are interested in – whether it is pre-clinical research, clinical drug development, regulatory affairs or drug safety/pharmacovigilance.


Dr. Madhura Naik had completed her MBBS from Pad.D.Y.Patil Medical College, Nerul and MD Pharmacology from TNMC Medical College and Nair hospital, Mumbai.  She is kind of a person who focuses on innovation and believes in the maxim -“The only thing that’s constant is change“. Her eagerness to learn and read is not limited to medicine. She loves music, travel and sampling coffees from all over the world.



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