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    IQAC Co-ordinator, SMIMS.

    Executive Co-ordinator, Implementation, Monitoring and Alumni Relations, SMU Tadong Campus.



    Delivery of didactic clinically relevant anatomy lectures for 1st-year M.B.B.S, B.P.T, B.Sc. Nursing, M.Sc. Biotechnology, M.Sc., Nursing, and BSc., paramedical program.

    Supervision of dissection sessions for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and paramedical program including histological demonstration of general and system-wise tissue sections to the relevant program students.

    Intercalated seminar supervision for selected 1st-year medical students.

    Ph. D project and undergraduate elective research program supervision for the medical students.

    Faculty and student research mentor for the mentor-mentee program.


    Highlight Research Focus & Collaboration:

    Spinal degeneration & molecular pathogenesis of cartilage injuries & disorders.

    Molecular fragmentation of SLRP’s (Small Leucine Rich Proteoglycans) as Damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs)in disc degeneration.

    Mechanobiology: Cellular internalization of TLR-2 receptors in disc degeneration.

    Predictive Tools: Machine Learning based histopathological assessment tools.

    Collaboration: Professor (Dr.) Michael A Adams, Senior Research Scientist of Biomechanics Lab, University of Bristol, UK and Professor (Dr) Christine Le Maitre, Musculoskeletal cell biology and tissue regeneration, University of Sheffield, UK.



Subject Subject code Semester
MEDICAL ANATOMY ANA102 Year 1 & 2, B.Sc. Nursing & M.Sc. Nursing


Degree Specialisation Institute Year of passing
Post Doctoral Fellowship Molecular fragmentation of SLRP's in Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Mc Gill University, Montreal, Canada 2018
PhD Altered molecular matrix & cellular functions in intervertebral disc degeneration. University of Bristol, United Kingdom 2014
M. Sc Gross Anatomy (human), Neuro-Anatomy, Embryology, General and Applied Anatomy, Cytology and Genetics, Histological and Dissection techniques, Cross sectional, Surface and Surgical Anatomy, Radiology, Medical Biochemistry, Physiology. Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Karnataka 2006
B. Sc Comparative zoology, Cytology (cell biology) and Genetics, Immunology, Infection and Inflammation, Comparative Developmental Biology, Parasitology and Prophylaxis, Physiology, Endocrinology; Physical, Organic and In-organic Chemistry, Evolution and Ecology, Histological staining and Dissection techniques. University of North Bengal 2003


Institution / Organisation Designation Role Tenure
Sikkim Manipal institute of Medical Sciences Lecturer Teaching/Research 2006 - 2010
University of Bristol, UK Ph.D Researcher Research 2010-2013
University of Bristol, UK Spine Research Fellow Research 2013-2014
Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences Assistant Professor Teaching/Research 2014-2016
McGill University, Canada Post-Doctoral Researcher Research 2016-2018
Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences Assistant Professor Teaching/Research 2018-2020
Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences Associate Professor Teaching/Research 2020-2023
Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences Professor, IQAC Co-ordinator, SMIMS & Executive Co-ordinator, SMU Teaching/Research/ Administration 2023-till date


Area of Interest

Intervertebral Disc Degeneration.

Area of Expertise

Molecular cell matrix biology in tissue injury, inflammation and pain.

Area of Research

Spinal degeneration & molecular pathogenesis in cartilage tissue injuries & disorders. Molecular fragmentation of SLRP’s (Small Leucine Rich Proteoglycans) in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and intervertebral disc degeneration.

Professional Affiliations & Contributions

Postdoctoral Fellow, Experimental Surgery, McGill University, Canada.

BMC Musculoskeletal Diseases Journal, Editorial peer reviewer, Springer Nature.

Editor: The Ageing Population: Impact Analysis on societal and healthcare cost, Springer Nature.

Thesis Book Author: Matrix disruption and altered cell phenotypes in degenerated intervertebral discs. ,

Society for Back Pain Research (SBPR), UK, Member.

Canadian Connective tissue Society (CCTC), Member.

2014 -2015 Spine Research Fellow, Center for Clinical Anatomy University of Bristol, UK.

2012 - 2013 Post-Graduate Representative, Musculoskeletal Unit, University of Bristol, UK.

2021 – till date Anatomical Society of United Kingdom & Ireland.

2016 – till date Canadian Connective Tissue Society, Canada.

2012-till date Society for Back Pain Research, London, UK.

2005-2006 Anatomical Society of India.



2021 Teaching Excellence Award, Medical Anatomy & Multidisciplinary Research, Indian Institute of Higher Education, Govt., of India, Ministry of Commerce in association with UGG & UNESCO.

2021 Research Excellence Award, Sikkim Manipal University, 28th January 2021.

2021 Best Poster Prize “Fragmented SLRP’s and fibronectin in overloaded Intervertebral disc as potential alarmin of matrix damage” UKSSB Brit Spine Conference, 10-12th March 2021.

2020 Dr. TMA Pai Research Grant Award “Focal Uncoupling of cell-matrix interactions and tissue swelling activates processes leading to human intervertebral disc degeneration and pain”.

2019 Nation Builder Award by the Rotary Foundation, Skills Mind & SKEF foundation India. For excellence in teaching & research.

2018 Team Excellence SMU Pride Award, Sikkim Manipal University,India For the role as a team member of the Internal Quality Assessment Cell (IQAC).

2016-2018 Shriners Hospital Post-Doctoral Salary Support, Montreal, Canada “Alarmins activates TLR 2 receptor that facilitates degeneration and pain in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis”.

2016-2017 RSBO Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award, Montreal, Canada “The role of alarmins in structurally deformed scoliotic facet joints”.

2017 Annual Student Research Day Invited Poster Judge, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

2016 Mitacs Accelerate Training fellowship, Johnson & Johnson’s, Montreal, Canada.

2016 Annual Student Research Day Invited Poster Judge, Faculty of Medicine,McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

2016 Best (oral presentation) poster prize won at Canadian Connective Tissue Conference, June 1-3rd 2016, Hamilton, Canada “Upregulated TLR-2 in abnormally loaded scoliotic facet joints accelerates degeneration” Bisson D, Lama P, Rosenweigh D, Ouellet J, Haglund L.

2016 Travel Award, Canadian Connective Tissue Society & Shriners Hospitals for Children, Montreal, Canada.

2016-2019 “Cell cluster formation in intervertebral disc degeneration and its relevance to disc regeneration”- Indian Council for Medical Research Grant, India.

2013 Best (oral presentation) special poster prize won at ISSLS (International society for the study of the lumbar spine), May 13-17th 2013, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA “How far into a degenerated annulus can blood vessels and nerve penetrate?” Lama P, M Stefanakis, I Sychev, B Summers, IJ Harding, P Dolan, M Adams.

2013 Best oral paper (top 5), Global Spine Congress, Hong Kong, 4-6th April2013 “The role of cell clusters in intervertebral disc degeneration” Lama P, L Spooner, JB St Joseph, P Dolan, I J Harding, M Adams.

2013 Best oral paper (top 5), Global Spine Congress, Hong Kong, 4-6th April2013 “Can intervertebral disc degenerate before they herniate, or after?” Lama P, C L Le Maitre, P Dolan, J Tarlton, I J Harding, M. Adams.

2012  Young Investigator selected oral paper, Society for Back Pain Research, 7-9th November 2012, Isle of Mann, British Isle “How far into a degenerated disc can blood vessels and nerve penetrate?” Lama P, M Stefanakis, I Sychev, B Summers, I J Harding, T Dolan, M Adams.

2013  Travel Award, Alumni Foundation, Bristol, UK.

2012-13 Selected on merit-Society for back pain research bursary for presenting papers at conferences.

2001 Best oral presentation (undergraduate level), Sikkim Government College, 17-18th June 2001 “Effects of non-biodegradable wastes on the ecological niche” Lama P, B Chettri, M P Thapa.

2000-03 Based on Merit-Tuition fees waiver, State Government of Sikkim, India.

Participation in Committees & Other Academic roles:

Standing Committee, CRH: Chaired the committee for streamlining of issues revolving around non-maintenance of standard practices in hospital administration. The committee assists with internal audits and performance improvements on issues associated with hygiene, and drug holding room specifics.

Rate Contract and Tender Committee, CRH: As a Member Secretary to the committee, I served to present to the members of the drug purchase committee the problems with the current system and suggested remedial actions. The rate contract and tendering committee were first to come up with the top 100 drug list amongst the 3000 which contributed towards vendor selections and was a cost-effective step.

SMU Media and PR committee, SMU: As a core member, my role is to report news and views from SMIMS and to promote pride, joy, and success of faculties and students with various initiatives as media outreach.

Convocation Committee, SMU: I have been a member of the stage management committee since 2006. I coordinate the distribution of certificates for the various course in SMIMS and SMIT during the convocation event. I also felicitate Mrs. Vasanthi Pai, and other dignitaries not seated on the dais, and assists with the distribution of the Annual Progress Report.

Deputy Senior Resident, University of Bristol, UK: My role was to act as a Teacher- Guardian for students, who could see me voluntarily, and assist them with any academic or housing problems they encountered during their stay at the University of Bristol. The students were free to contact me on my intercom number after 5 pm until 10:30pm.

Post Graduate Representative, University of Bristol, UK: In this role, I was responsible for the purchase of books that were not housed in the main or departmental library. I had to conduct meeting with all the post-graduate students after every 3 months to make sure they were not facing any problems with their supervisors. Any potential problem brought forwarded was discussed via email with the Dean Post Graduate StudentAffairs.

Teacher-Guardian scheme, SMIMS 2014-2015: I was actively involved with assessing the progress of 25 student’s 1st year M.B.B.S. My routine duties involved meeting with the student after every 15 days, discussing any issues or celebrating success for part completion test (PCT), etc., and making sure they felt SMIMS was a second home for them. Any major issue raised was forwarded to the Dean, SMIMS

Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) SMIMS: Beginning February 2018 I have been a member of the IQAC team of SMIMS. The group comprises 11 members and a chairperson. As the IQAC team issues on the quality enriched accreditation status of the University are sought by visits to various departments to assess the criteria for maintenance of world-class educational standards. Major issues identified are reported and discussed with the members and the Chairperson, Dean SMIMS.

Lead for Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) SMIMS-CRH: Took over the role of IQAC coordinator on January 2020, and I am involved with representing SMIMS, SMU for various types of ranking and accreditation processes.

Organizing Secretary for Research Colloquium 2018 & Hands-on cadaver workshop 2019: The focus behind conducting the 1st Annual Research Colloquium, 2018 & Hands-on cadaver workshop 2019 was for students of SMIMS, SMCON, SMCPT, of SMU (Sikkim Manipal University) to encourage research-centric prospects for the medical and paramedical students, to teach, assists and encourage them to present their findings as oral and poster presentations as during national/international conferences/ scientific sessions & meetings.

In-charge of Research Lab, Anatomy, SMIMS: Since 2014, I have been deputed as Lab in-charge for Department of Anatomy. In this role, I am responsible for the purchase of minor equipment's, and along with the previous extramural ICMR grants we have purchased Sigma CM60 Cryostat, slide warmer, a digital scale, many high-value antibodies and other laboratory consumables, etc.,

Member Secretary, Departmental Research Committee (DRC) SMIMS, SMU & Department of Experimental Molecular Medicine, McGill University, Canada: Involved with initial screening and progress review of M.Sc., Ph.D. thesis projects of the research candidate enrolled at the University, and as an internal reviewer to provide constructive feedback for the progress of the researchscholar. 



2020 Experimental Molecular Medicine, Nature Journal.

2017- BMC Musculoskeletal Diseases, Springer Nature.

2020 Journal of Molecular and Cellular medicine, Wiley.

2018-19 Journal of Neuroscience in Rural Practices, Thieme.

2018-19 Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing.

2017-18 Journal of Surgical Research, Elsevier.

2015 Journal of Pain Research, SCI Journal.

2015-16 Open Access Rheumatology: Research and Reviews.

A novel methodology for histopathological image coding in patients with chronic low back pain.

Dr. Polly Lama

World Patent Organization, 2021, in progress to final approval market search phase.

Imaging Spine: For the next generation health carers.

Dr. Polly Lama

STPI, OCTANE, Govt., of India.

    Dr Polly Lama’s research work praiseworthy

    March 14, 2014

    A letter to the editor of Sikkim Express from Associate Professor of Chanchal College, Malda, 14 March 2014.

    Sikkim daughter makes us proud.

    March 07, 2014

    Voice of Sikkim released an online news on my research work Sikkim Express daily newspaper also reported the same news on the same day, 7 March 2014.

    Editorial comment – American Back Society.

    December 01, 2013

    December 2013 ( available online) < a href="">Editorial comment – American Back Society, A positive commentary for my paper- Do intervertebral disc degenerate before they herniated, or after? - By the editorial board of American back society.


    Editorial Book – The Ageing Population.

    August 29, 2023

    Wikipedia publication.