People of OU: OUWB welcomes Dr. Akshata Naik

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Photo courtesy of OUWB

Dr. Akshata Naik joined OUWB in September of 2021 as an assistant professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies.

Tanner Trafelet, Senior Reporter

Akshata Naik, Ph.D., was welcomed to Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) in September 2021. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Mumbai in India — where Naik studied microbiology and life sciences respectively — she earned her Ph.D. from Wayne State University (WSU) in 2019.

Having taught physiology to OU students in fall of 2021, Dr. Naik’s preceding experiences were most recently in the areas of medical publication writing — for an international scientific and medical communication company — as well as being a postdoctoral research fellow at WSU. 

“One of my areas of academic interest is physiology,” Dr. Naik said. “My research background focuses on cell secretion — more specifically insulation secretion — and I also do have experience in nano-biotechnology. That’s where you use things called ‘Quantum Dots’ to understand muscle efficiency and also of a particular muscle protein called Myosin.” 

OU presented a new experience and challenge for Dr. Naik — in pursuing new types of research and subsequently methods of instruction — that she plans to analyze and implement in accordance with her increasingly expanding role with OUWB.

“At OU I would also like to do an additional area of research, that being in medical education,” Dr. Naik said. “Right now, my role at OU is as an educator in physiology, meaning that I teach physiology to M-1 and M-2 medical students. But I do my own research, and I would like to add medical education, as being in an educator-focused role will allow me to find innovative ways and methods to improve learning outcomes for the students that I teach.” 

Dr. Naik expanded extensively on how her initial perceptions of OU — specifically on the school’s focus on a central vision for academic instruction — have been proven to be true. Of utmost importance for her was being evaluated on the basis of her dedication to instruction and research in her fields of study. 

“OU itself had a big role to play in me coming here,” Dr. Naik said. “As soon as I reviewed the opening posting — and did some research — the mission and the vision of the school resonated deeply with me. It’s a place where I am respected for what I am, not being looked at for who I am. I knew that my experiences and education would matter here more than any other school.”

Moving forward, Dr. Naik aspires for her research and instruction goals to expand in unison with OUWB. The development of OU’s medical programs and her additional undertakings in medical instruction research are things she hopes will interlock in pushing both herself and her students to realize their full potential. 

“Also [OU] having a younger medical school [drew me to the university],” Dr. Naik says. “After coming here, I have realized that it is true that OUWB is willing to try out new things to benefit the students.” 

When she does find free time — which she admits sometimes is a rarity like no other — she makes a concerted effort to balance and diversify what she experiences outside of the academic and professional spaces. With interests spanning from the fine arts to a voracious reading appetite, she makes the most of her time no matter the situation. 

“In my free time, I love to do many things,” Dr. Naik says. “I love dancing, and I’m a trained dancer and vocalist. I enjoy painting, reading a bit and if the weather is nice, I really enjoy biking around in the Metro-Detroit area. Something else is that I like to travel.”