Malvika Rawal was tabbed for big things early on when she received the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India’s Catch Them Young scholarship, for students who finished in the top 10 of master’s of science and Ph.D. entrance exams in the nation.
She earned her M.S. in biomedical sciences from the University of Delhi in 2009 and her Ph.D. in free radical and radiation biology four years later. She went on to get her J.D. in 2016, but not before publishing her research work on pancreatic cancer in multiple journals.
The combination of a strong research background with a rock-solid legal foundation means Rawal can work with ease in the realms of both healthcare and law.
“A lot of lawyers speak very good law, but they do not understand the science in terms of healthcare law, in terms of patent law, and in science policy as well,” she said. “On the other side, scientists are brilliant people but at times aren’t very savvy in terms of policy or law that they need to comply with. So I thought there was a need for someone who could communicate with both sides.”
Much of her work focuses on HIPAA compliance, Office of the Inspector General audits and issues surrounding digital security for healthcare companies, where hackers tampering with patient info can end in fines from the Department of Health and Human Services fines that can range from $1 million to more than $100 million, depending on the scope of the hack.
“Science has been something I’ve been involved with ever since I could remember,” Rawal said. “At the same time now that I’ve moved to law, which I’ve grown to love as well, it gives me the chance to be close to both things I love for an extended period of time.”
Rawal was awarded the Larry Oberley Young Investigator Award in Cancer for best presentation at the Society of Free Radical Biology and Medicine Conference.