Professor Sohrabji Explores India's Pharmaceutical Sector

January 07, 2016

Niloufer Sohrabji

We caught up with Professor Niloufer Sohrabji about her research – and why she loves Simmons!

What do you teach at Simmons?

Economics, East Asian studies and international relations

What's your favorite book?

Anything written by P.G. Wodehouse.

Fill in the blank: When I was in college, I ____

Fell in love with economics. Now I get to share my love for the subject with my students.

What's your favorite restaurant in Boston?

L’espalier for special occasions. I'm also a big fan of Grafton Street pub, Basho and so many more places.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

Greece for its beauty and history.

When I'm not teaching, I'm ____

Reading, watching TV, playing Sudoku, or taking long walks while listening to old Indian songs.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I make a great Sohrabji pulao (by following my mom’s recipe very closely!)

Favorite quote?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Attributed to Gandhi. I love the sentiment but these are not the exact words he said.

What song is your personal anthem?

The most meaningful words to me are from the William Henry Davies’ poem, Leisure:

What is this life, if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare. 

I love my students because ____

They inspire and energize me.

I love Simmons because ____

It gives me the opportunity to work with smart, amazing and hard working students and alumnae/i who support each other’s goals and dreams.

What made you make the move to teach at Simmons?

I started my career at Simmons -- I was drawn here because it was a small liberal arts college with an incredible vision. 15 years later, I can’t imagine teaching anywhere else. My students inspire me and motivate me to become a better educator and scholar.

What does your research focus on?

My current project is focused on India’s pharmaceutical sector. India recently enacted patent laws following World Trade Organization’s TRIPS (trade related intellectual property rights) agreement. The goal of the medical component of the TRIPS was to protect intellectual property and promote research for life saving and enhancing medicines while balancing access for the world’s most vulnerable populations. How well the two goals are balanced is a matter of considerable debate. As a global producer of generic medicine, India is an interesting case study. My project analyzes the impact of this law on India’s pharmaceutical sector and through that, on global health access.