Professor Kang is Professor of Microbiology, at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore. She received her training in medicine and microbiology at the Christian Medical College, Vellore and post-doctoral training in the UK and US before returning to India to continue her work on enteric infections in children. She has worked on the development and use of vaccines for rotaviruses, cholera and typhoid, conducting large studies to define burden, test vaccines and measure their impact. She also studies the consequences of enteric infections and has shown that infections in early life impact future growth and cognitive development.
Professor Kang has built a strong inter-disciplinary research program that uses careful and detailed field epidemiology with molecular tools for characterization of infectious agents and host response to infection to understand and change factors that affect transmission, development and prevention of enteric infections and their sequelae. Observational, interventional and mechanistic studies on enteric infection and nutrition have demonstrated the complex relationships between gut function and physical and cognitive development. She has established a strong training program for students and young faculty in clinical translational medicine aiming to build a cadre of clinical researchers studying relevant problems in India.
She is a member of the several advisory committees for the WHO, mainly related to research and use of vaccines. She serves or has served on the scientific advisory or strategic committee of several national and international institutions, including the Wellcome Trust, UK, the DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance, the International Vaccine Institute and the International Centers for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. She is Vice-Chair of the Board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and a Wellcome Trust nominated Board Member of Hilleman Laboratories, which a partnership to support development affordable vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. She is on sabbatical as the Executive Director of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Professor Kang has published over 375 papers in international and national journals. She is the first woman working in India to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. She is also the first Indian woman to be elected to Fellowship of the American Academy of Microbiology and the only physician-scientist to receive the Infosys Award in Life Sciences.