BugPhilia: Dr. Salman Khan
Name : Dr. Salman Khan (MedBound handle: @Salman Khan)
Birth Place: Uttar Pradesh, India
Academic Qualification: MBBS from Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga, Karnataka, India (2010–2016)
MD Microbiology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India (2018-2021)
Languages: English, Hindi and Kannada
What do you do?
I am a Medical Microbiologist posted at the National Cancer Institute campus of AIIMS, New Delhi.
When or how did you get hooked to Microbiology? Was it love at first sight or was it a 'chronic infection'?
It was a chronic infection that kept getting serious, and now it's a lifelong condition.
BACTERIA: Name 2-3 bacteria that you just love (in terms of professional affinity, teaching/handling/dealing with)? And why?
B. cereus: Sounds like 'be serious.'
Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria: My initial works are on this.
Staphylococcus aureus: Intelligent and potent bacteria.
The pathogenesis of which bacterium mesmerizes you? Or makes you hate it?
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (causes tuberculosis): This bacterium can involve almost any part/system/organ of the human body.
VIRUSES: Name 2-3 viruses that you just love (in terms of professional affinity, teaching/handling/dealing with)? And why?
Influenza virus: Keeps changing itself.
Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Coronavirus: Due to the recent pandemic.
The pathogenesis of which viruses mesmerizes you? Or makes you hate it?
Influenza virus: It keeps changing its genetic structure to protect itself from our immunity and vaccines. It gives headaches to people who are making vaccines against them.
PARASITES: Name 2-3 parasites that you just love (in terms of professional affinity, teaching/handling/dealing with)? And why?
Hookworm: Keeps students hooked to it.
Pinworm: Pinned in the minds of students.
Tapeworms: They may look like tape but are much more dangerous.
The pathogenesis of which parasite(s) mesmerizes you or makes it an enigma? Or makes you hate it?
Guinea worm (Dracunculus medinensis): Although India is officially free from this disease, it is interesting how the female worm, which lies beneath the skin, waits for a person to put his feet in water and then releases its larvae.
MYCOLOGY: Name 2-3 fungi or related that you just love (in terms of professional affinity, teaching/handling/dealing with)? And why?
The pathogenesis of which fungi/related mesmerizes you or makes it an enigma? Or makes you hate it?
Candida albicans: The interesting mechanism known as 'phenotypic switching' wherein this organism changes its morphology according to situations.
CARRIER/VECTORS: Any vector(s) that fascinates/puzzles you and you wonder how come it is so?
Mosquitoes (Anopheles) that spread Malaria: Even in this species, females are the ones that drink blood!
What is your least favorite topic(s) in Microbiology?
Who do you idolize in Microbiology? It could be a human or a bug. And why?
Robert Koch: for his numerous contributions that form the basis of Medical Microbiology.
What is your comment when told that armadillos are hosts to Mycobacterium leprae?
They sacrifice their lives for the betterment of others, as Mycobacterium leprae cannot be easily grown otherwise.
Has dealing with bugs made you too obsessed with handwashing and dealing with surfaces, etc.?
Yes! We get used to it as we deal with microbes that can be dangerous for us and others.
When we doctors were looked up to during COVID times.
If given a choice, what alternate career would you have opted for?
Maybe a Cricketer.
Finally, a Quote you relate to.
"Knowledge is power" - Sir Francis Bacon.
What else would you like to tell about yourself?
I believe every profession is equally good and important as long as we give our best.
(BugPhilia/Dr. Salman Khan/PB)