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Young Scientist R. Vishnu Prassad from Chennai conferred Times Award


Scientist Vishnu Prassad Conferred with Times 40 under 40 – 2022

On 30th June 2022, Times 40 under 40 award function was organized at Westin, Gurgaon wherein the Actor Sonu Sood conferred the award to the young forty individuals in various fields.

Mr. R Vishnu Prassad, Founder & Chief Scientist in Charge at Vishnu Prasad Research Centre was also being conferred with Times 40 under 40.

Vishnu has started his journey with CSIR and later started his own research centre as a single person and now has 19 departments with 45+ scientists working with him and eminent professors from reputed institutions across the globe are on his advisory board.

Speaking to Vishnu, he said “Sustainability is the key and we find solutions only to the problems that have been at least faced by a minimum of billion users. Our ancestors and grandparents has given us clean water to drink, fresh air to breath and pure soil to cultivate food. It is also our responsibility to give the same to our future generations.”

When asked about which of his invention is close to heart, he said “everything is close to his heart and that is what drives him. The biodegradable plastics has a special place as it changes the way we live and the scale of sustainability is very large when implemented across nations.”

Asking more about the properties of his biodegradable plastics, he said “the existing plastic waste takes hundreds of years to degrade. For example, the toothbrush we use takes around 500+ years to degrade. The biodegradable plastics we make are the ones that degrade in 8 months to 12 months. This is the best alternative to the existing single-use plastics and to the regular use plastics.”

The 19 departments at his research centre are Aerospace, Defence, IIoT, Robotics, Agriculture, Water, Waste Recycling,  Solar, Transportation, Construction, Consumer Electronics, Fuels & Energy, Material Sciences, Bio-Medical & Genetics, Meditech, Software, Sustainability tech like pollution towers, ocean cleaners and virtual reality.

When asked about which all inventions of his that he consider as the need of the hour especially in India, he said “2 of his Centre’s inventions are the actual need of the hour and they are effective too. First is the Wet Waste Recycling wherein the biological process of VPRC converts the wet waste into high-grade fertilizer in less than 7 days and the second is the water purification system wherein the system is alternate to the existing STP’s and is the best method to be implemented to clean lakes, ponds, reservoirs and even large bodies like flowing rivers”.

Speaking about his future plans on research, he said “we are on building a large scale research ecosystem in Tamilnadu in the next 2 years with the state of the art facilities for the futuristic research and development. We are also now planning to tie-up with the schools and colleges to incorporate innovation chapters wherein the creativity and habit of triggering the ability to think beyond and out of the box process happens. A special curriculum and teaching methods are being designed for the same”.

Asking about the future of India and the career way forward to the Indian students, he said “We are patenting our inventions globally and the process of setting up manufacturing plants are being based out in India and in the future India is going to be a diversified manufacturing hub of the world. So, being associated with the stream related to the manufacturing is the future”.

Ayurveda and yoga are big draw at mega science expo-2022


New Delhi: Working with a vision of reviving India’s ancient medicine systems and ensuring their optimal development and propagation, the Ministry of AYUSH’s pavilion exhibiting prakriti evaluation, yoga demonstrations, fusion yoga program, medicinal plants and plant-related research activities, therapeutic and nutritive diet items, traditional scientific knowledge on healthcare, and research publications,is attracting a large number of visitors at mega science expo-2022, here, at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium.

Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) are conducting “Prakriti Evaluation” through specially developed software. Ayurveda, describes a unique concept, ‘prakriti’, genetically determined, categorising the population into several subgroups based on phenotypic traits like appearance, temperament, and habits. The idea is claimed to be helpful in predicting an individual’s susceptibility to a particular disease, prognosis of that illness, and selection of therapy explains a study published in the journal BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies.

‘VigyanSarvatraPujyate’ is being celebrated as a ‘Glorious Science Week’ (22-28 February) at 75 places across the country to showcase the country’s scientific achievements and technological prowess since independence, to mark the ‘AzadikaAmritMahotsav’.

Thirteen different organizations under the Ministry of AYUSHfrom different parts of the country are presenting their scientific achievements in the expo. The research councils are highlighting the research activities and outcomes, publications, drug developments and significant achievements since their establishment. They are also distributing COVID prophylaxis medication, and immunity boosting drugs to the visitors.

Yoga Demonstrations and Fusion Yoga program’ demonstrated by Central Council for Research in Yoga &Naturopathy (CCRYN) and Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) are some of the key attractions of AYUSH Pavilion. The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) has displayed medicinal plants and plant-related research activities in the expo, in which people are taking great interest.

“Ministry of AYUSH participation in the mega expo is aimed at igniting the interest of science students and public in traditional medicine and highlighting the development of these medical systems over 75 years of independence”, said PadmashriVaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ayush Ministry.

Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar, and All India Institute of Ayurveda, Delhi, highlight the research and therapeutic and nutritive diet items developed following traditional scientific knowledge. Information, education and communication materials, research publications, and research activity-related display materials are also on display. Expert consultations are also being providedto the persons in need.

Earlier, the Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H) formed in 1995, was responsible for developing these systems. It was rechristened as the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in November 2003 with focused attention towards education and research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy. (India Science Wire)

ARCI marks its silver jubilee


New Delhi, Dec. 29th: Hyderabad-based International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), known for quality research & development of high-performance materials and processes, celebrated its silver jubilee last Thursday.

ARCI, established in 1996-97, is an autonomous research and development centre of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has transferred technologies to more than 40 companies and developed about 200 technological solutions for industrial and strategic sectors during its 25-year journey.

Dr Tata Narasinga Rao, Director (Additional Charge)said, “25 years ago, we embarked on a journey of shaping the future in the area of Powder Metallurgy, Ceramic Processing and Surface Engineering and later expanded to Nanomaterials, Laser processing of materials, fuel cell technology, sol-gel coatings, solar energy materials and Automotive energy materials, aligning our programmes with national missions.”

“We powered through the years with great enthusiasm and zeal towards developing technologies and transferring them to industries”, added Dr Rao, during a formal silver jubilee celebration on 23rd December 2021.

Dr Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Governing Council-ARCI and Dr S. Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DST, congratulated ARCI and wished the organisation reaches greater heights of success in the years to come. They highlighted the fact that 25 years marks a very significant milestone for ARCI during which ARCI achieved many accomplishments in the field of advanced materials and processing and emerging technologies, in the area of Lithium-Ion batteries and systems, supercapacitors, low-expansion glass ceramics, SOFC, Clean coal technologies, etc.

Dr PK Jain, Scientist ‘G’ and Chairman, Welfare Committee, ARCI, said that ARCI is celebrating its 25th anniversary on the occasion when the country entered its 75th year of independence which is being celebrated as ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav’.He explained how ARCI started with 11 employees in 1991 and has grown into a nationally unique laboratory in the field of advanced materials and processing technologies.

Dr T. Narasinga Rao emphasized that it is a proud moment to celebrate the silver jubilee of ARCI, where the success is on account of the collaborative effort of the entire ARCI family. Dr Rao said that ARCIscientists are not only transferring the technical know-how to industries but also handholding them till its commercialization. In this process, ARCI is developing highly saleable human resources and striking the right balance between applied and basic research.  ARCI has been maintaining Indian as well as International patents leading to several technologies and publications with high impact factors, added Dr Rao.

Dr. R. Gopalan, Regional Director-ARCI Chennai, said that it is the need of the hour for tuning research directions in line with emerging technologies. He recollected the initial days of setting up the Centre for Automotive Energy Materials and shifting of Centre for Fuel Cell Technology to IIT-M Research Park. Technical Research Centre on Alternative Energy Materials and Systems was awarded to ARCI and a major chunk of activities have been initiated at Chennai Centres in setting up the Lithium-Ion Battery plant for fabrication of Li-ion cells and its successful on-road demonstration.

Dr Roy Johnson, Associate Director, said, “ARCI has demonstrated its capability through commercialising the technologies in ceramic honeycombs, transparent ceramics, and silicon carbide space components. Currently, a megaproject on low glass expanding ceramics is ongoing and a project on indigenisation of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) for environmentally benign energy generation is also being initiated. Centre is also perusing sol gel-based anti-bacterial and anti-corrosion coatings and activities on semiconductor-based solar thermal power generation.”(Indian Science Wire)

DST Secretary urges to engage students in industrial projects


New Delhi, Dec. 21: Recently appointed Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar, urged scientists at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, to engage students in industrial projects from the day they join the institute.

As the culture of the CSIR-IICT is technology-driven, doing so can be transformative, said DrChandrasekhar.He said, he will be available to guide the institute in all its scientific endeavours, and also will strive to make Hyderabad a true science hub of the country. He assured that promotion of CSIR would be an important agenda while he is at the DST, and ensure all scientific laboratories will work closely with DST.

Dr VM Tiwari, Director CSIR-IICT, and staff felicitated DrSrivari Chandrasekhar on assuming charge as Secretary of Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi, during his maiden visit to the institute after taking over.

DrTiwari said, “CSIR-IICT has benefitted from the scientific progress of Dr Chandrasekhar, and now his services will be utilised for the scientific development of the country. Dr Chandrasekhar is among noted few from the CSIR family to be appointed Secretary DST.”He further added that CSIR-IICT under the leadership of Dr Chandrasekhar made great contributions in various fields including agro sector, pharmaceuticals and developed various technologies to combat COVID-19.

DrJagadeesh, Chief Scientist at CSIR-IICT, said Dr Chandrasekhar’s works focused on ‘Chemistry for a healthy society’ while his publications are mostly on affordable healthcare and eco-friendly chemistry. His contribution towards the adjuvant for Covaxin has raised the expectation impetus of IICT in delivering answers for societal benefit. He said, CSIR-IICT became popular due to its contributions to the welfare of the society under Dr Chandrasekhar’s leadership.

Dr D.Shailaja, Chief Scientist and Head of Business Development, said Dr Chandrasekhar through his visionary approach, ensured deployment of CSIR-IICT technology through various societal programmes reaching regions, including rural areas.

DrSrivari Chandrasekhar is a recipient of the Infosys Award, and the first CSIR – AV Rama Rao Chair 2020-2023 for exemplary contributions in translational research for the pharma sector. His team was awarded the 2021 CSIR Technology Award for their work on an adjuvant for Covaxin. Dr Chandrasekhar is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences, and Indian National Science Academy.

Dr Chandrasekhar’s research highlights his passion and commitment to providing society affordable access to important drugs. Dr Chandrasekhar and his research group developed process technologies for repurposing drugs using indigenous key starting materials for limiting the spread of COVID-19. The technology for repurposing Favipiravir and a process to manufacture Remdesivir was a timely effort at that point of time when there were limited options to treat people affected with COVID-19 in India.

Dr Chandrasekhar’s research publications have been widely used by the industry. Dr Chandrasekhar and his team worked on the synthesis of Bedaquiline, the first drug approved by the FDA after a gap of over 40 years for the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB through simpler transformations and higher yields to ensure ready availability, CSIR-IICT, the statement said. (India Science Wire)

Scientists find a new therapy for cancer


New Delhi, Dec 10: The fight against Cancer could get a major boost with a team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Indore synthesising a nano-based therapeutic agent that promises to be highly effective in treating the deadly disease.

Cancer has been one of the increasingly growing concerns of the healthcare sector. The treatment strategy and response against multidrug-resistant cancer, solid tumors, or brain-related cancers have been a primary challenge for researchers and physicians. Naturally occurring bioactive compounds offer a new path in cancer therapy.

But, the current delivery systems of medications are not adequate due to the multifactorial nature of the disease, especially metastasis, and recurrence, inaccessibility of the drugs due to biological barriers, inability to maintain therapeutic concentrations at the site of action, and the adverse effects of the drugs on the surrounding tissues.

In the new study, researchers at IIT-Indore have synthesised a nanocomposite that was found to be quite effective in reaching inaccessible sites, overcoming physiological barriers, maintaining the concentration of drugs, and reducing cellular toxicity. The composite was formulated by loading bioactive compound Piperine onto a co-polymer called PLGA.  Piperine, which is derived from the commonly used Black Pepper, has several therapeutic properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, anti-angiogenic & anti-apoptotic, besides imparting a distinctive aroma and taste to cuisines.

The study was conducted by Dr. Amit Kumar and Dr.Abhijeet Joshi of the Department of  Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering,IIT-Indore. The team has published a report on their findings in the journal, ACS, Applied Nanomaterials.  “One of the major advantages of using nanocarriers for the delivery of Piperine is that this can target the MDR cancer cells by releasing the cargo inside the cytosol mediated by the proton sponge effect”, Dr. Kumar said.

The work was a follow-up to a study conducted by the group in 2016 when they reported for the first time in the journal Scientific Reports how Piperine interacts with an oncogene called `c-myc’ and stalls the growth of cancerous cells.

Dr. Kumar said the group has further found through another recent study that a Piperine-like compound called PIP 2 too may be used as anticancer therapeutics as it also affects the c-myc oncogene expression. (India Science Wire)

Science Minister recalls role of scientists in freedom movement


New Delhi, Dec. 02: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today recalled that Indian scientists in the pre-Independence era had also helped India gain Independence and urged the current generation of scientists to lay the ground for India to become a `Visva Guru’ in the next 25 years when it will celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence.

Addressing a national conference for science communicators and teachers organised on the theme of “Indian Independence Movement & the Role of Science”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India has made a “giant leap” in the field of science and technology in the past seven years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He reiterated that India is already on the ascent and science &technology will be the key determinants of the future.

The Minister described Mahatma Gandhi as one of the greatest scientific strategists who, through his weapon of non-violence, waged a scientific battle against British subjugation and aggression. He further narrated that Bapu and many of his contemporaries had also adopted psychological techniques to put the British adversaries on the defensive.

Paying rich tributes to Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, an eminent biologist, physicist, botanist, and an early writer of science fiction on his birth anniversary, Dr Jitendra Singh said, patriotic fervour exhibited by scientists in imperial India added to the spirit of the nationalist movement. He said, in the freedom movement of our country, we remember the sacrifices and struggles of the political leaders, but on the other hand, our scientists also struggled and opposed the discriminatory policy of British rule.

Dr Singh said that Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav coinciding with the 75th year of the country’s Independence is an opportunity to remember the science heroes of yore. Saluting the indomitable spirit of Indian scientists, science communicators, and science teachers during the Indian independence movement, the Minister said, we must remember their unmatched contribution as individuals, institutions, and movements that laid the foundation of our present-day Science & Technology.

Dr Jitendra Singh said a vision of “self-reliance” during the colonial era encouraged Indian scientists and patriots to establish their own scientific institutions and industries. Dr. Mahendralal Sircar established the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in 1876. Acharya P. C. Ray established The Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works in 1901 which was the foundation stone of indigenous industry in our country. He said Indian scientists during the freedom struggle emphasized on social harmony, equality, rationalism, secularism, and universalism.

The broad theme of “Indian Independence Movement & the Role of Science” was covered during the conference under six major topics: `Science as a Tool for Subjugation’, `Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Scientists’, `Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Institutions – Academic, Industrial and Research’, `Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Movements’, `Science as a Tool for Liberation: Role of Policy and Planning’, `Science as a Tool for Liberation: Vision of our Scientists’.

Around 3500 participants joined the conference conducted in hybrid mode (both in person and online), which comprised three plenary sessions by invited keynote speakers and six technical sessions on the theme. The two-day conference was jointly organised by CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research, Vigyan Prasar, and Vijnana Bharati. (India Science Wire)

Study gains new insights into Alzheimer’s


New Delhi, Nov 26: Efforts to unravel the mystery around the highly debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s have got a shot in the arm with a recent study getting newer insight into the biomolecular mechanism for the formation of protein clusters/aggregates that are often seen in the disease.

Proteins are essential for virtually every process within the cell. But they can also pose problems if they undergo what is called the process of aggregation and/or misfolding. There are more than 50 diseases that are associated with protein aggregation/misfolding. Generally, when proteins get aggregated or misfolded, they deposit around the cells and kill them, leading to the onset of diseases.

In Alzheimer’s disease, studies had so far shown that it was linked with the deposition of misfolded peptides called amyloid β42 (Aβ42) in the spaces between nerve cells. Aβ42 is a peptide derived from a protein molecule called Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP).

The new study has taken this understanding to the next level. Signal peptides are short peptide units present at what is called the N-terminus of the proteins. They act as a postal address for the proteins inside the cell. Usually, as the protein reaches its destination, the signal peptides are cut off from the proteins and often degraded by the cellular machinery. The new study has shown that these peptides can also combine with other peptides to form mis-folded aggregates like Aβ42 and co-assemble with it.

Leader of the study and Associate Professor, School of Basic Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Mandi, Dr.RajanishGiri, noted that their study was the first report on an aggregation of signal peptides in isolation and said It will help in the future research that could provide the relation of other signal peptides to disease pathogenesis.

“In Amyloid precursor protein, so far only Aβ region was known to form toxic aggregates. Here, we discovered that the Signal peptide of Amyloid precursor protein not only forms cell-killing aggregates but also enhances the aggregation of Aβ42 peptide, under in-vitro conditions.”

The study was conducted by an inter-institutional team. Besides Dr.RajanishGiri, it consisted of his research scholars, Dr.KundlikGadhave and Ms. Taniya Bhardwaj, and Prof. Michele Vendruscolo from the University of Cambridge, UK, and Prof. Vladimir Uversky from the University of South Florida, USA. They have published a report on their findings in the journal ‘Cell Reports Physical Science’. (India Science Wire)

Blood-based biomarkers for brain tumours identified


New Delhi, Nov 22: A study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), along with collaborators, has identified potential blood-based biomarkers to predict disease progression and survival times in those with late-stage brain tumours.

The team included researchers from the Centre for BioSystems Science and Engineering (BSSE) at IISc, the Mazumdar Shaw Centre for Translational Research and Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation.

They analysed tumour and blood samples from individuals with gliomas – tumours that occur in the brain – to identify surface proteins on immune cells in the blood whose levels were closely linked to tumour progression.

“Our pilot study suggests that we can potentially use two blood-based biomarkers present on immune cells to identify patients who might not perform well with particular treatment strategies,” says Siddharth Jhunjhunwala, Assistant Professor in BSSE, and senior author of the study.

Conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy are often ineffective in treating these tumours. This has prompted a shift to newer techniques like immunotherapy, which involves provoking the immune system of the patient to attack the tumour cells. However, attempts to use some of the standard immunotherapies to treat gliomas have met with limited success. The scientists were trying to address this gap by understanding the immune profile in the tumour microenvironment.

The team collected blood and tumour samples from patients with grade three and grade four gliomas and compared the numbers of specific immune cells called monocytes and neutrophils in these samples.

The team also looked for differences in the composition of surface proteins on these cells across the two grades of tumours. They found that a certain type of monocytes — the M2 monocytes — were present in larger numbers in the samples from grade four tumours. Previous studies have shown that high numbers of M2 monocytes are associated with a suppression of immune responses, and the new finding could help develop new treatment strategies. “Future studies could focus on developing therapies that reduce the numbers of M2 monocytes in the tumour microenvironment or alter their functionality,” says Jhunjhunwala.

The researchers also found that levels of two surface proteins on neutrophils and monocytes, CD86 and CD63, were closely related in both the blood and tumour samples. The presence of high levels of these proteins on immune cells in other tumours has previously been associated with poor prognosis or low chances of survival. “What our study showed is that you do not need to look at these markers only in the tumours, you might be able to look at these just from the blood, and the clinician can make an assessment,” he says.

Jhunjhunwala said that further testing and validation is, however, needed on a larger scale before this can be taken from the lab to the clinic. “We would like to expand our cohort and test for only these two markers now, in individuals with stage three and stage four brain tumours and follow their survival times.”  (India Science Wire)

A report on the study has been published in OncoImmunology.

Study finds mental illness may have unusual evolutionary basis


New Delhi, Oct 28: A new study has found that the common syndromes of severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and addiction, may have an unusual evolutionary basis.

The constant prevalence of mental illness across the history of the human species suggests a Darwinian paradox. Despite causing significant disease, there seems little impact on selection for fitness. Genetic variation that predisposes to psychiatric disease is seen across all populations and is quite common. Previous selection, over evolution, may produce a bias towards certain kinds of variation that may cause disease later in life. These mechanisms may protect against inflammation or infection when young, only to predispose towards disease when one is older.

In the new study, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, and Institute of Genomics at the University of Tartu, Estonia, explored these aspects through the genetic analysis of individuals from families who have multiple affected members, considering that the increased prevalence of illness in a particular family should point to even more extreme evidence of the risky alleles.

The study compared the genetic sequences of exomes (the regions that are translated into proteins) from individuals in 80 such families and compared them against African and South Asian populations. They also looked for evidence of Neanderthal genes in the sample, as the persistence of these ancient genomes in modern humans seems to correspond to some traits as well as the risk of disease.

“We observed evidence of selection in 74 genes, which were mainly involved in immunological and defense responses, including activation and regulation of interferon-gamma, cytokine and immune system, and different signaling pathways”, said Dr. Ajai K. Pathak, one of the lead authors of the study.

The study inferred that almost one-fourth, 20 out of the 74 putatively selected genes were implicated in the risks of illnesses such as schizophrenia, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease and general attributes such as intelligence and cognitive abilities.

“There was also evidence of Neanderthal genes, but their variation and distribution were much the same in the south Indian population and did not correlate with the risk of disease or demonstrated signs of adaptive selection” stated one of the senior authors of the paper, Dr. Mayukh Mondal.

Noting that the human population has expanded from 1 billion 200 years ago, to more than 6 billion now, and that over the same period human longevity has also increased three-fold, the scientists said that perhaps, in common with many other diseases like diabetes and hypertension that begin later in life, the risk of psychiatric disease was embedded in the biology and the nature and extent of genetic variation of our species.

Another lead author, Dr. Jayant Mahadevan, said that the study adds to the growing evidence that the risk of psychiatric disease may be linked to variations in the shared gene pool, which in turn depends on the evolutionary history of the species. (India Science Wire)

Dr. Rajesh S. Gokhale appointed as Secretary DBT


New Delhi, Oct. 27: Dr. Rajesh S. Gokhale, an esteemed scientist of the National Institute of Immunology (NII) New Delhi, has been appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India. DrGokhale takes over from DrRenuSwarup who is set to retire on the 31st of this month.

Dr. Gokhale joined NII in 1999 and spent a decade implementing a cutting-edge biotechnology research program. Subsequently, he served as the Director of CSIR-Insitute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) from 2009-2016, spearheading the prolific growth of the institute. He returned to his parent institute, NII, in 2017. He also briefly acted as the Director-in-charge of NII in 2021 before moving on deputation to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune (IISER Pune) as a Professor on 16th September 2021.

Dr. Gokhale is one of the world leaders in Tuberculosis research. His research has provided novel insights into metabolic pathways that operate in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and are critical for disease pathogenesis. He has also made critical contributions towards the understanding of the interplay between metabolic reprogramming and immunity autoimmune skin disorder Vitiligo. The research in his laboratory aims to understand disease pathogenesis and develop novel therapeutic strategies that will tackle the underlying causes rather than just the symptoms, NII statement said.

Dr. Gokhale has received several prestigious awards, including the Wellcome Trust (UK) Senior research fellowship (2001-2006), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Research Scholarship, USA (2005 – 2010), Swarnajayanti Fellowship, Department of Science and Technology, India (2006- 2011), Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize in Biological Sciences, India (2006), National Bioscience Award for Career Development, India (2009), Infosys Prize in Life Sciences (2013), IIT Bombay Distinguished Alumnus Award (2014), Sun Pharma Research Award (2014) – Medical Sciences, Basic Research Award, JC Bose National Fellowship (2018-Present).

Dr. Gokhale has been a member of many professional and academic bodies and societies. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi (2014), the National Academy of Sciences India, Allahabad (2012) as well the India Academy of Sciences (2007). He was elected as a member of the prestigious Guha Research Conference (2005). He also served as a member of the editorial board, The Journal of Biological Chemistry (2014 to 2017), section editor of Journal “Tuberculosis”, Elsevier (2007 to 2017), the Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics (2013 onwards). (India Science Wire)

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