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Sadhan Majumder was born in Calcutta and raised in Varanasi, India. He completed his predoctoral schooling at Banaras Hindu University and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics. He then moved to the United States and received his Ph.D. from New York University. He subsequently completed his postdoctoral training at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Roche Institute. He is currently a Professor of Genetics at a major cancer center in the United States. His current research involves deciphering the mechanisms that control normal brain development and how aberrations in these mechanisms causes diseased states such as brain tumors and neurodegenerative disorders. In Search of Love, Science, and God is his first literary work.About the Book
The book begins with “My Dad” and ends with “Your Dad,” a letter to his teenage children. In between, the book offers an inspiring story of two generations of immigrants and their struggles to succeed and help others. The author describes his parents’ journey from East Pakistan to India and his own journey from a small city in India to New York to study science and discover ways to help patients. Arriving in New York with $200 in his pocket and a suitcase in his hand that his mom had packed, the challenges of life could never make a dent in his enthusiasm. He details his failures and successes. He emphasizes what he has learned about the importance of expressing appreciation for others and developing the traits of tenacity, courage and determination. He recounts meeting the woman who almost did not marry him and his path to changing her mind.
The author also uses his experiences to illustrate how our fear of the unfamiliar molds our behavior and our biases including racism, and how politics impacts science and our lives. He shares accessible scientific explanations of how things work, reflecting his curiosity about all aspects of the universe and the amazing world we inhabit and the mysteries of the human body and mind. He looks for and finds a connection between science and God. He shows how his first lesson in a microbiology lab illuminates the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on some of his early research, he suggests how we grow from a single cell in the womb to a full human being. He makes the connection between cancer and embryonic development. He chronicles his discovery of how a molecule called REST drives a group of brain tumors by controlling cancer stem cells, and how he engineered this same molecule to convert muscle cells into neurons. He concludes by explaining the scientific basis for the rebellious behavior of teenagers such as his twins and that this behavior is to be expected as a process of normal growing up.
“What a delight is this memoir…This portrait of the scientist as a young man is also a story of innocence and experience, of ambition and perseverance …(it) offers an unusual perspective…and is tender, sometimes moving, consistently rich in disarming vignettes and lightly-worn knowledge.”– S.S. Sandhu, New York University
“The narrator’s life reflects the science in intriguing ways…exciting, friendly and ultimately generous tour of the world” – Judith Roof, Rice University
“Elegantly written with nuanced insights, Sadhan Majumder’s memoir is a joy to read…(it) is the narration of the capricious discovery of self…Mediating on the passage of time, family, and the wonders of modern science.” – Auritro Majumder, University of Houston