About Us

Team

Training Dept. Team

Dr. Maj. Monica S Barne (Retd.)

MBBS, CRCDM
Head, Training Programmes Division Chest Research Foundation, Pune

Dr. Barne is the Head of the Training Programmes Division at Chest Research Foundation. Dr. Barne has been instrumental in creating an identity for Chest Research Foundation as a leading institute providing continuous medical education in Asthma and COPD to practicing Physicians, Chest Physicians, Pediatricians, General Practitioners and Post Graduate Students of Medicine, Pulmonology and Pediatrics. Under her leadership, CRF has trained more than 15000 doctors across India as well as internationally. She has contributed immensely towards capacity building amongst paramedical staff by initiating several training programmes for them to learn diagnostic and management tools for Asthma and COPD. She has been the lead in uniting Heads of the Pulmonology, Medicine and Pediatric Departments of Medical Colleges across the country on a single forum for increasing the exposure to respiratory education of medical students at undergraduate and post graduate levels.

An alumnus of the prestigious B.J. Medical College, Pune, Dr. Barne brings with her, her experience, discipline and élan of the Indian Army where she served as a Medical Officer for five years. She also has experience as Registrar of a General Ward during her tenure at Orange City Hospital, Nagpur and later experience as a Research Coordinator at the Poona Hospital, Pune. She has also served in the Emcure Pharmaceuticals as Manager Medical Services before assuming her position at Chest Research Foundation.

Apart from leading the training programmes of CRF, Dr. Barne is working incessantly for the advocacy project of CRF to help the Central and State Governments initiate a COPD prevention and control programme as part of the National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, CVD and Stroke (NPCDCS) under the broader umbrella of the Non Communicable Diseases programme of the National Health Mission (NHM). She has also been invited at several National and International conferences as a faculty. She has contributed to text book chapters on COPD and has publications in international journals including the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care and the Primary Care Respiratory Journal. She has presented abstracts at national and international conferences and has received award of the ‘Best COPD Paper’ at the NAPCON 2012.Her area of special interest is Patient Education and increasing awareness about Asthma and COPD amongst the masses. She has contributed to several articles in magazines and news papers for educating the general population about Asthma and COPD. She has also been a part several radio programmes on this topic.

Hobbies: Reading

Dhananjay Pathak

MPH, BAMS
Medical Educator and Researcher

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

I have worked with various NGOs in field implementation, intervention research, and impact assessment of programs and training of various stakeholders. In CRF, I am involved in advocacy projects for COPD, academic research with multiple partners and trainings for various stakeholders.

Hobbies: Reading news, reading autobiographies, Singing, gardening

Gargi

Ms. Gargi S. Ghate

MBA (Marketing), PGDFT
Asst. Programme Coordinator

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

1 year of experience in core marketing & fitness industry.

2 years of experience as Business Development Executive In IT/ software Development Company.

Hobbies: Reading, Music, Movies, Road trips, Cats

Kalyani

Ms. Kalyani Divgi

Masters of Health Science
Training program coordinator

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Kalyani Divgi has worked in the capacity of research assistant at the School of Health Science, SPPU as a member of the Birth Defects Research team, as well as teaching associate at the post-graduate level for human physiology, human genetics and practical methods in health science. At Chest Research Foundation, Ms. Divgi acts in the capacity of training programme coordinator for the CASPER and CASPER Clinic programs, and research coordinator for projects aimed at elucidating the epidemiology of asthma among the paediatric population in India.

Hobbies: Ms. Divgi is interested in digital art and illustrations and pursues her hobbies by providing illustrations for presentations, documents and publications of Chest Research Foundation.

Ms. Madhuragauri Shevade

MSc, RRT-NPS
Respiratory Therapist cum Program Coordinator

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

She began her career as a teaching assistant at Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences Pune. She then moved on to pursuing Masters in USA after which she worked as a Neonatal Pediatric Respiratory Therapist at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago USA.

Currently, she spearheads CRF’s initiative of developing a Middle Tier Respiratory Healthcare provider- The Chronic Respiratory Diseases Managers (The CRDMs). She along with Dr Komal, have devised, implemented, organised and coordinated new training programs for capacity building and skill development of prospective CRDMs such Certificate Course on Obstructive Airway Diseases (CORD). She also represents CRF as a faculty for training programs and Workshops organised by the institute. She coordinates and organises training programs for doctors, allied health professionals and students. She is the Editor-in-Chief of our Bimonthly Respiratory Update, “Respimirror”.

She also conducts and is part of various academic research studies at CRF

As a clinician, she assists CRF Physicians in patient management.

She is also the executive board member for the Indian Association of Respiratory Care and the editorial board member of Indian Journal of Respiratory Care. She is also a faculty and external examiner for various Universities in India as well as an invited speaker at various conferences

Hobbies: She is a foodie and loves to try new cuisines. She loves travelling and explore new places, painting especially oil painting.

Data management Dept. Team

Sapna

Ms. Sapna Jitendra Madas

MSc Statistics
Head, Data Management & Statistics

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Ms. Madas received her Master degree in Statistics from Pune University in 2004. She Joined CRF in 2005 as Junior Statistician and currently she heads the Data Management & Statistics Department at Chest Research Foundation.

Ms. Madas has her expertise in performing statistical data analysis using basic as well as advance statistical techniques. Involved at every step in new research study, from brainstorming to publication findings. Completed analysis for more than 200 studies from epidemiological, academic, molecular and clinical trials study designs. The study findings were presented in various National (NAPCON) and International (ATS/ ERS / IPCRG) conferences by researchers at CRF. She has presented her work at an International conferences and received Young Scientist and Silver Sponsorship Award from European Respiratory Society in year 2012 and 2016. Ms. Madas has several publications in National and International journals. She has instrumental in developing 2-days workshop on Research Methodology and Statistics. Ms. Madas is the course director for STAR (Statistical Techniques And Research Methodology) workshop.

Hobbies: Reading, Travelling

Sushma

Sushma Jadhav

MSc statistics
Senior Biostatistician

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Sushma has received her master degree in statistics from Pune University. She has joined CRF in Oct. 2014, and currently secure a position of senior biostatistician. She contributes to various tasks involved in each projects such as performing sample size calculations for clinical trials (Phase III – IV) and epidemiological studies. A complete data management using EPI Info software for academic studies and performing statistical analysis using basic and advance statistical techniques. She is versatile with many statistical software’s like SPSS, Graphpad and R. Her work is presented in various National and International conferences by physicians. Sushma has presented 2 abstracts in NAPCON (National Conference of Chest Physicians India) 2016 conference. She plays a very important role as a faculty in STAR (Statistical Techniques And Research methodology) workshop.

Hobbies: Reading, Travelling

Nisha

Nisha Vijay Kale

MSc Statistics
Biostatistician

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Ms Nisha has received her master degree in statistics from Savitribai Phule Pune University in 2017.

She joined CRF in June 2017 as a Junior Biostatistician. She is a quick learner and contributing to different stages involved in an academic project. She helps in sample size estimation and preparing analysis plans for the study. She can independently handle the data management activity for field based survey using EPI-INFO software. She also involved in performing data analysis for Epidemiological studies. She has an expertise in performing Statistical analysis using R software. She is a part of STAR (Statistical Techniques And Research methodology) workshop organizing committee. And her major contribution is in preparing hands-on material for different statistical techniques using SPSS software.

Hobbies: Traveling, Sudoku Solving, Watching Movies.

Molecular Lab Team

Amit R. Agarwal

MS (Pharm. Sci), MS (Reg. Sci), PhD (Pharmacology)
Research Scientist and HOD – Molecular Biology Dept.

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Dr Agarwal received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Prior to coming to CRF in 2015, Dr Agarwal was an IRB Consultant at the IRB Company (USA). Currently, he heads the Molecular Respiratory Research Laboratory as a Research Scientist at CRF.

Dr Agarwal’s doctoral research focused on the effects of cigarette smoke on redox regulation of metabolism in alveolar epithelial cells. He has presented his work at various national and international conferences and also published in American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. He is an expert in mitochondrial biology and his lab at CRF studies the mitochondrial regulation of immune cells in asthma and COPD. Dr Agarwal recently received the Early Career Research Award from Dept. of Science and Technology from the Govt. of India.

Hobbies: Reading, travel, cricket, table tennis

Mrs. Smita Sanket Kadam

MSc. Microbiology
Laboratory Manager

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Smita received her Master degree from Bharati Vidyapeeth University in 2007. She joined Chest Research Foundation in May 2016 as an expert in molecular techniques and cell-culture. Prior to joining CRF, Smita worked as a Research Assistant in National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) for 8 years and published three research articles in international journals.

Smita coordinates the tasks involved in various projects, oversees the recruitment needs of ongoing studies, and manages the day-to-day activities of the lab. Her interpersonal skills and practical approach allow her to positively contribute to administrative work involving budgeting and finances within the lab. Smita is an expert in sputum induction technique and it’s processing and delivers talk about the same in the Advanced Pulmonary Function Test (APFT) workshop. Smita is a recipient of the Silver Sponsorship award from the European Respiratory Society (ERS) in 2017 and has received Second prize for the oral presentation at NAPCON 2016.

Hobbies: Reading books

Ankita Kushal Brahme

M.Sc. Microbiology and Immunology
Research Assistant

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Ankita Brahme has completed her M.Sc from the University of Nottingham, UK. As a researcher with more than 5 years of experience working in diverse fields, she has honed herself in multiple research techniques. She has her expertise in cell culture, molecular biology as well as microbiological techniques. Her work involves isolation of PBMCs from patients and processing the samples to study cellular metabolism, phagocytic activity and protein/gene expression. In addition to the lab work, she also looks after the patient recruitment and logistics. She plays an important role as a faculty in the Cell culture workshop conducted by the Molecular Lab and is also an active faculty member at the APFT workshop. Ankita has received the best oral presentation award at the NAPCON 2017.

Hobbies: Painting

Academic Research Team

Dr. Raghupathy Anchala

MBBS (AFMC), DTCD, MPH (GSPH, Pittsburgh, USA), PhD (Cambridge, UK)
Chest Physician and Head of Academic Research department

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Dr. Raghupathy is a Chest Physician and a Public Health and Primary Care Specialist.

Research interests: lie in health systems research; implementation research and community based studies; developing, testing and implementation of clinical decision support systems for management of non-communicable diseases; and translating of clinical practice guidelines in primary healthcare settings.

His past experience included working as an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad (PHFI.) Previously, he was a Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) future faculty fellow (2007-08), wherein he was awarded Outstanding Student Award, Masters Level in 2008 by the GSPH, University of Pittsburgh. Subsequently, he was a recipient of Wellcome Trust PHFI PhD research Fellowship and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarship (2010-13).

He was awarded ‘Emerging Leader’ award by the World Heart Federation in 2015. He has 16 publications in high impact (IF>5) journals.

Hobbies: Playing Veena, reading books and painting

Dr. Shrikant Pawar

M. Pharm (Pharmacology), Ph. D
Project Manager

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Worked at Accutest Research Lab at clinical development services department as Clinical Research Associate from March 2016 to June 2017. Also actively engaged in protocol development.

Worked as Asst. Professor and Head of department of Pharmacology and PG Guide at Smt. Kashibai Navale College of Pharmacy, Pune from June 2007 to 2016.

Guided 25 PG Pharmacology students for their dissertation work based on pre-clinical and clinical research.

Initiated Pune student city chapter for Kautaly’s Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcome Research and worked as faculty advisor.

Working as Project Manager for National Institute of Health (NIH), USA funded project in collaboration with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts USA. Actively involved in designing research projects in respiratory medicine and diagnosis and coordinating various projects on health technology.

Hobbies: Like travel and visit different historical places

Jyoti Deepak Londhe

Master in Social Work
Project Coordinator

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

I delivered my services at Cipla Cancer Palliative Care Centre during 1997-2004 as a “Head of Social Services Department” which mainly involved Counselling of terminally ill cancer patient and their families, Coordination with 50 volunteers to implement various activities of the Awareness programmes on ‘Palliative Care’ for medical and para-medical staff. Presented papers at National conferences in Palliative Care.

Worked as Executive-Administrator at Chest Research Foundation during 2004-2008 as well handled Independent Ethics Committee (IEC) responsibilities as a Member-Secretary for the same duration.

2008 till now working as a Project Coordinator which involves coordination of funded academic projects. Development of new ideas, writing proposals, implementation of the projects, data analysis, study results presentation at various National and International conferences and study results to be published at various research journals.

Presented 9 papers at various national and international conferences. Received on GOLD sponsorship, and two Silver sponsorships from European Respiratory Society. Two Travel sponsorships from INDEPTH. Research paper publications at various International Journals.

Hobbies: Travelling, communicating with people

Ms. Kalyani Divgi

Masters of Health Science
Training program coordinator

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Kalyani Divgi has worked in the capacity of research assistant at the School of Health Science, SPPU as a member of the Birth Defects Research team, as well as teaching associate at the post-graduate level for human physiology, human genetics and practical methods in health science. At Chest Research Foundation, Ms. Divgi acts in the capacity of training programme coordinator for the CASPER and CASPER Clinic programs, and research coordinator for projects aimed at elucidating the epidemiology of asthma among the paediatric population in India.

Hobbies: Ms. Divgi is interested in digital art and illustrations and pursues her hobbies by providing illustrations for presentations, documents and publications of Chest Research Foundation.

Deesha Ghorpade

MSc. Health Sciences
Research Project Coordinator

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Worked as a research project coordinator at Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute. Currently working at CRF to develop a COPD screening tool for the Indian communities and the also on the GBD dissemination program.

Hobbies: Reading

Clinical Trials & RRNI team

Sruthi.J

Master’s in Public Health
Chest Physician and Head of Academic Research department

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

Worked as a Research Assistant in Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University. I was involved in Clinical Research and got an opportunity to work with eminent HOD’S of various department. Became a part of the Research cell and was actively involved in conducting various workshops and seminars. Currently working as, a Research Project Coordinator under Respiratory Research Network of India. Involved in coordinating and handling various Multi-centric studies under the network. Also involved in training of various study sites for meeting the study requirements. Looking forward for a brightful career in Research.

Hobbies: Reading, Listening Music , Singing

Dr. Komalkirti K Apte

MBBS, PGDCR
Senior Research Associate

Past exp and current work profile at CRF in brief (about 150 words):

After having worked as an OBGYN resident for 6 months and a casualty medical officer for 18 months, I joined CRF in 2010. I was actively involved in training activities of CRF. In 2011, I conducted a landmark nationwide cross sectional study in India called the POSEIDON Study to understand what are the common symptoms and diagnoses (if available) for which patients in India visit a primary care practitioner across India. This study was done in 880 centres across the country yielding a data of 204912 patients. During this experience, I also worked on another academic research project of studying the effects of occupational exposures in APSRTC workers. I have mentored a MD Physiology student in her PG Thesis on effects of air conditioning on lung health. Post this experience, I was involved in Clinical trials. These included phase 3 and phase 4 studies for national (Cipla, Glenmark, Ranbaxy) and international sponsors (Boehringer Ingelheim and Novartis). I have been actively involved in capacity building in clinical trials and organised and conducted GCP workshops across Pune. I have been a part of the core team for the development of the Certificate Course in COPD and Asthma through the PHFI. I have envisioned a new course in training of paramedical staff called the CORD programme: Certificate Course in Obstructive Airways Diseases. I have also worked on various academic studies to understand the gap in healthcare available in Obstructive Airways Diseases through studies such as PRIME and Respiratory POSEIDON. Currently, I am working on developing a national COPD registry and understanding the characteristics of COPD patients across the country (CIMS Study). Another study I am working on is the effect of the Acapella on COPD patients. I have also been the clinical partner for the molecular studies conducted at CRF. I have been working on quality control of clinical trials and provide services to the industry in terms of quality assurance in spirometry. In my career of over 8 years at CRF, I have published about 10 papers and presented about 20 abstracts at national and international conferences. I have received the gold sponsorship award (in 2012) and the silver sponsorship award (in 2016) from the European Respiratory Society and won the best paper award from the International Primary Care Respiratory Group in 2012 and 2013. I was an invited speaker for the first South Asian Conference of the IPCRG held in Sri Lanka in 2017.

Hobbies: Travelling and fine arts