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Meet Dr Vidiya Ramachandran – Clinical Trial Coordinator

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5th March, 2024

Dr Ramachandran has been working at NSW Health Pathology for over a decade. But alongside her passion for improving public health, she also has a love of dancing; Bollywood style!

Vidiya joined NSW Health Pathol­o­gy (NSWHP) for a year in 2005 to set up the TGA-licensed Nucle­ic Acid Test­ing (NAT) lab­o­ra­to­ry at the Serol­o­gy and Virol­o­gy Divi­sion (SAViD) locat­ed at the Prince of Wales Hos­pi­tal in Randwick.

Her move from aca­d­e­m­ic research to diag­nos­tic pathol­o­gy required not only a shift in mind­set but also an expan­sion of her knowl­edge base and tech­ni­cal skills.

In research, the focus is often on hypoth­e­sis dri­ven inquiries, explor­ing the unknown and push­ing the bound­aries in sci­ence. In con­trast, diag­nos­tic pathol­o­gy demands a pre­ci­sion ori­ent­ed approach, where the objec­tive is to deliv­er accu­rate, time­ly results that direct­ly affect patient care decisions.

She returned to NSWHP in 2012 and even­tu­al­ly became the Senior Hos­pi­tal Sci­en­tist in charge of the NAT lab­o­ra­to­ry, which won the 2023 NSW Premier’s Award for High­est Qual­i­ty Healthcare.

In 2021, Vidiya tran­si­tioned to her cur­rent role as the Clin­i­cal Tri­al Coor­di­na­tor for the Illawar­ra Shoal­haven region based at Wol­lon­gong Hospital.

“As a clin­i­cal tri­al coor­di­na­tor, I love the direct impact my work has on pub­lic health,” she says.

“Col­lab­o­rat­ing with diverse teams of pro­fes­sion­als allows me to con­tribute my knowl­edge while gain­ing insights from oth­ers in dif­fer­ent fields. The field of pathol­o­gy thrives on col­lab­o­ra­tion, draw­ing on the diverse exper­tise of pathol­o­gists, tech­ni­cians, clin­i­cians and researchers.

“More­over, I find per­son­al ful­fill­ment in con­tribut­ing to sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge, know­ing that my efforts are improv­ing patient out­comes and mak­ing a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in pub­lic health.”

But when the lab coat comes off, Vidiya says she gets her danc­ing shoes on!

“When I am not busy coor­di­nat­ing clin­i­cal tri­als for NSW Health Pathol­o­gy, I trans­form into a danc­ing mae­stro, chan­nel­ing the vibrant rhythms of Indi­an clas­si­cal dance and the ener­gy of Bol­ly­wood,” she says.

“I am all about express­ing myself through the pow­er of dance and it is my ulti­mate hap­py place.

A woman dancing with her arms raised, wearing a traditional Indian-style dress.

“I start­ed learn­ing Bharatanatyam, an Indi­an clas­si­cal dance, at a young age age and kept at it all through high school.

“I am grate­ful that I can still pur­sue this pas­sion today. I also teach dance, and I love being able to share this part of my cul­ture and my love for dance with my students.

“Danc­ing is an excel­lent stress reliev­er and a superb way to enhance fit­ness,” she said.

She loves trav­el­ling, espe­cial­ly back home to Sri Lan­ka to spend time with her par­ents and enjoy her mum’s home-cooked meals.

Vidiya’s advice for bud­ding young sci­en­tists is simple.

“Put your­self out there for oppor­tu­ni­ties and embrace oppor­tu­ni­ties. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and fol­low your passion.”


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