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Purvi Jejurkar: Lab Coat and Ghungroos

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Purvi Jejurkar finds her two seemingly opposite vocations complement each other.

“Why did I sign up for this?” I ask this question every time I get on the stage. The butterflies in my stomach are real, jitter is visible, and the thrill is palpable. But once I hear the sound of my ghungroos or ankle bells, I am transported to another world.

I am a trained Indian classical dancer and I work as a research scientist in a biotech company. My scientific work challenges me intellectually and allows me to make a tangible impact in the field of making medicines. On the other hand, dance fulfills my creative side and enables me to express myself in a way that words cannot. These two seemingly contrasting outlets are extremely meaningful to me.

I wear many hats as a dancer. I am a performer, choreographer, teacher, student, and a community organizer. These varied roles taught me how to be an effective scientist. Innovation in science can only occur by being curious and being a lifelong student. As I adapt as an innovator or move as a dancer, I test new variations of working. As I interpret and articulate scientific findings, I am a choreographer and a performer. As a community organizer, it taught me to collaborate and manage my stake holders and customers since making medicines is a team sport. The clear benefit of physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of dancing is obvious. I get immense joy when a colleague comes up to me and says, “Ah, you are that dancer! Or “Can you teach us a few steps?”


I read somewhere: “to be successful, have a side hustle”. It can keep it real and remove your blind spots. It is not easy, but the fulfillment is immense. As a scientist and a dancer, I 100% agree with this.

With a Perspective, I’m Purvi Jejurkar.

Purvi Jejurkar is a Director in the R&D organization of a global biopharmaceutical company. She lives in Hillsborough.

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