Microbiology and Immunology

Professor and Chair - Dr. Balachandran Bharati Balachandran Bharati, MSc, PhD – Professor and Chair

Dr. Bharati received a Ph.D in medical microbiology from the Manipal University.

She started her career as lecturer in Microbiology at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore where she was entrusted with the task of planning and setting up the department of Microbiology for the B.Sc. degree course.

In 1992, she joined Kasturba Medical College as Lecturer and was teaching the undergraduate students of Medicine, Dental, Physiotherapy and the post graduate students of  microbiology. She was in charge of  the Molecular Diagnostic (PCR) section of  the Department where  she carried out PCR for the detection of M.tuberculosis and other infectious agents like leptospira, Herpes Simplex viruses from clinical samples. She was also actively involved in clinical diagnostic work at the microbiology college laboratory, Blood Bank, and the AIDS Surveillance Centre. She was actively involved in the design, planning and setting up of a state of the art clinical diagnostic and molecular diagnostic laboratory at Kasturba Medical College, Hospital, Mangalore and a research molecular laboratory at the Microbiology Department, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

She was awarded a Ph.D. degree on “Evaluation of Conventional and Molecular Methods in the Diagnosis of Bacterial Meningitis”under the guidance of Dr. Indrani Karunasagar

Professor, Associate Dean for Research - Dr. Chitra Pai Chitra Pai, MD, MBBS –  Professor, Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Chitra Pai obtained her M.D in Medical Microbiology from J. N. Medical College, Karnatak University in India. She also has a Bachelors’s degree in Medicine from the same university. She has twenty three years of experience in medical academics and has guided several students for M.D and Ph.D in Medical Microbiology. In 2011 she was awarded a Fellowship for the Advancement of Medical Education and Research from the FAIMER foundation, Philadelphia for which her project was based on Integrated Teaching of Basic Sciences with Clinical Disciplines and evaluation by OSPE. Her research has primarily focused on alternative antimicrobial agents against multidrug resistant pathogens such as MRSA, Enterococci and Pseudomonas. She has also studied the prevalence of different genotypes of rotaviruses in infantile diarrhea; HIV and its association with toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis and malaria. Her study on the carriage of nosocomial pathogens by mobile phones of health care workers received an award from the Hospital Infection Control Society of India in 2008 and was highlighted on National television. Dr. Pai joined AUACOM in 2013 and her current interests include Teaching-Learning methods suited to learning styles of students and Formative Assessment as a teaching tool.

Professor of Microbiology, Campus Chief Proctor, and Blackboard LMS Administrator - Dr. Neville Fernandez Neville Fernandez, MD – Professor of Microbiology, Campus Chief Proctor

Dr. Neville Fernandez is an ECFMG-certified Physician Microbiologist, who graduated from Manipal University in Karnataka, India. He worked as an Assistant Professor at the AJ Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Mangalore, India, where he taught undergraduate Microbiology and was a core member of the Hospital Infection Control Committee. He also worked in the department of Medical Education, where he was the Lead Coordinator of the Faculty Evaluation Program. Dr. Fernandez recently graduated with an MS in Instructional Design and Technology from Walden University. He currently teaches Microbiology and Immunology to second-year medical students and is the Campus Chief Proctor for the University.