At the age of 68, Professor Vikineswary Sabaratnam, the country’s leading mushroom expert is not showing any signs of slowing down. Whether it is conducting research, supervising post graduate students, teaching, helping farmers to grow mushrooms, or simply creating awareness on the benefits of mushrooms to the general public, Vikineswary tells The Petri Dish Editor-in-Chief, MAHALETCHUMY ARUJANAN, there is much more to be done in this field.

“I wish I am 20 years younger because there is simply so much you can do in this field. It is still an untapped area with so much of potential,” says the professor with her eyes beaming.

Vikineswary is involved in mycology – the study about fungi and mushrooms. During her 28 years of involvement in research and academia, she has weathered much storm but looks at the future with optimism. She is probably one scientist who can crown herself as a top author globally when it comes to publications on medicinal mushrooms. She has more than 110 papers under her belt on many varied aspects of mushrooms. This has made University of Malaya (UM) a key centre of excellence for research on mushrooms.