Dr. Baliga’s inspiration for becoming a scientist can be traced back to his mother, who took the primary role of educating him and his siblings outside of school. His mother would insist that he read and summarize articles, in order to enhance his critical thinking and problem solving skills. This forced him to apply what he absorbed conceptually, and relate it to numerous new concepts.
A day in Dr. Baliga’s life is very busy, but worthwhile. He is a scientist in the lab and an administrator. These position at times do intermingle; however, they are very different. As a scientist, Dr. Baliga reads the scientific papers to understand what is going on and the concepts covered in the laboratory. He also supervises everyone in the laboratory, oversees faculty, composes grants, and identifies strategic plans for the research institution. He compares his job to one of a conductor: he has to “coordinate all the activities instead of having different music players playing a different tune,” to ensure that the Baliga lab “all march to the same beat and accomplish something big while making independence.” Dr. Baliga greatly values individuality; thus, despite having a busy schedule Dr. Baliga ensures to maintain a strong personal relationship with each of his colleagues. A strategic plan in his opinion is to provide a framework, but still maintain individuality. Dr. Baliga understands that each person has their own individual career goals, but as a team they have one objective. Therefore, he speaks to each individual to ensure that not only the team objectives are met; but the individuals’ goals as well.
During his free time, Dr. Baliga enjoys to cook and relax by watching sports and drawing.
Dr. Baliga wants to leave a legacy in environmental issues. His aspirations are to start small and go big and he encourages us to do the same, taking small steps towards our goals.