Ministry of Science & Technology12-March, 2007 15:26 IST
National Bioscienceawards for Career Development 2006

To recognize the outstanding contributions of  young scientists in basic and applied research covering all the areas of biosciences &  biotechnology, up to ten awards are given each year subject to the availability of suitable candidates. Each award carries a cash prize of Rupees one lakh, a research grant of Rupees three lakhs per year for a period of three years,  and a citation. The candidate must  be a citizen of India and actively working in basic or applied areas of   biosciences and biotechnology in the country. He/she should  be below the age of  45 years  as on 31st December of the year preceding the award.   Scientists are nominated in the prescribed proforma for consideration  of the award by the following categories of persons or organizations:

Secretaries of S&T Departments/ User Ministries/ Departments e.g.  Atomic Energy, Commerce, Environment & Forests, Health and Family Welfare, Human Resource Development, Industry, New and Renewable Energy, Earth Sciences, Space; Members of the Scientific Advisory Committee- DBT;  Standing  Advisory Committee (Overseas) – DBT;  Directors General of  Scientific Organizations (CSIR, DRDO, ICAR, ICMR); Presidents of Scientific Societies and Academies of All India character; Chairman UGC; Vice Chancellors/ Directors of Universities / Deemed Universities; Heads of R&D Institutions; Directors of National Research Laboratories and Member (Science), Planning Commission.

Nominations from individuals sponsoring their own names are  not considered. The nominations should  include a brief project proposal for future research along with the biodata of the candidate in the prescribed proforma.

The selection of candidates for the award is done by an Expert Committee, specifically   constituted  by the Department of Biotechnology,  purely on their scientific merit.  The contributions  made by the candidates  through their  work   in India  especially during the last five  years are the major criteria for the selection.

Dr. Sanjeev Galande is presently working as Scientist D at the National Centre for Cell Science, Pune. He obtained his Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Indian Institute of Science and did post-doctoral work at The Burnham Institute, La Jolla Cancer Research Centre, USA  and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, USA.

He has studied dynamic changes at the level of chromatin architecture during various immunological phenomena such as activation and differentiation of T cells and pathogenesis of diseases involving T cells. His group  identified involvement of a T-lineage-enriched host factor SATB1 during the early events in HIV-1 life cycle. He has  contributed a number of innovative technologies for biological research including a novel cassette for expression and purification of recombinant proteins.

Dr. Galande has published   in peer reviewed national and  international journals. He is an  elected  member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and  American Society of Microbiology (ASN). He is a recipient of  International Senior Research Fellowship from Wellcome Trust post-doctoral fellowship from  United States,  Department of Defense Army Medical Research and Breast Cancer Research Program of the State of California, USA.  

The National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2006 is conferred on Dr. Sanjeev Galande for his significant findings on dynamic changes in higher order chromatin assembly which  governs gene expression in a spatial and temporal manner.

Dr. Kumaravel Somasundaram is  presently working as Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.  He obtained his Ph.D on Streptomyces genetics from Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai. He did  post-doctoral work at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, USA and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania, USA.

His main interest is to  understand  the molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic cell transformation with an underlying objective to develop novel diagnostic markers and methods, therapeutic targets and new drug/gene based therapeutic methods. His studies aim at understanding the mechanism of function and regulatory pathways of members of the tumor suppressor family: p53/p73,BRCA1/2 and AP-2. Oncogenes encoded by DNA tumor viruses ,in particular that of adenovirus and human papilloma virus, were used as model system. He has used cancer derived cell culture system, animal tumor model systems and tumor biopsy materials for  studies.

Dr. Somasundaram has published  papers in peer reviewed national and  international journals. He is recipient of  prestigious Bristol-Myers Squibb-AACR Young Investigator Award  and International Senior Research fellowship from the Wellcome Trust, UK.

The National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2006 is conferred on Dr. Kumaravel Somasundaram for his significant contributions in the field of eukaryotic cell transformation and for understanding the pathways for regulating  cell growth and death in normal and cancer cells.

Dr. Javed  Agrewala is presently working as scientist E I at the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh. Dr. Agrewala obtained his  Ph.D in Biomedical Organic Chemistry from  Agra University.

He has demonstrated the role of CD 80 and C86 mediated signal transduction in   co-stimulation of  B cells. He has proposed a novel concept of bi-directional co-stimulation.  His strategy is being currently utilized by M/s Biogene for the treatment of relapsed and refractory follicular lymphoma patients. He has also established  a novel and simple vaccination strategy utilizing infected macrophages against intracellular pathogens such as M. tuberculosis and Salmonella.

Dr. Agrewala  has published   papers in peer reviewed national and  international journals.  He  is recipient of New Idea Research Talent Award of CSIR and Shanti Swarup  Bhatnagar Award-2005 in medical sciences as well as  Fellowship of the Medical Research Council, UK. He is a fellow of National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad. 

               The National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2006 is conferred on Dr. Javed Agrewala for his outstanding contributions in understanding the co-stimulation of T and B lymphocytes and for establishing a novel and simple vaccination strategy utilizing infected macrophages.

Dr.  G. Taru Sharma is presently working as Senior Scientist at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar. She obtained her Ph.D in Animal Physiology from  I.V.R.I, Izatnagar.

Her current area of research work focuses on functional genomics of the pre-implantation buffalo embryos. She has developed vitrification protocol for buffalo oocytes which  ensures  very high  recovery. She has developed a protocol for the somatic cell development after serum starvation and their use for somatic cell cloning in bovines and buffalo. She has also developed a protocol for the immuno-histochemical localization of the protein and steroid hormones and their receptors.

Dr. Sharma has published   papers in national and international journals of repute. She has been  awarded  Punjabrao Deshmukh Women Agricultural Scientist Award by Indian Council of Agricultural  Research and Women Empowerment and Livelihood Award (WEAL) from the Indian Society for Integrated Women & Child Development (ISIWCD)  during the World Women Summit.  She has been  awarded fellowship by FAO  and also got honorary appointment to the professional Women’s Advisory Board by the American Biographical Institute.

The National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2006 is conferred on Dr.  G. Taru Sharma for her significant contributions in functional genomics of the pre-implantation buffalo embryos.

Dr. Pramod P Wangikar is presently working as Associate Professor at Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai. He obtained  Ph.D in “Tailoring Enzyme Function in Organic Media”  from the University of Iowa, USA.

His current area of research is in Computational Structural Biology with focus on protein 3-D structure analysis and prediction as well as  fermentation  modelling, optimization & control.  He has developed a multi layered  algorithm for prediction of  protein structure. He has developed a method  based on “Geometric Invariants” which  eliminates the need for computationally expensive pair-wise structure superposition. He is  working with two model systems: rifamycin B production using Amycolatopsis mediterraniae fermentation and D-ribose production using  Bacillus  subtilis fermentation.

Dr. Wangikar has published papers in national and  international Journals. He is a recipient of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization), fellowship, France. He has also received several awards viz., IIT, Bombay Young Researcher Award,  Boyscast  Fellowship,  Dept. of Atomic Energy Young Scientist Award  and AICTE Career Award for Young Teachers.

The National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2006 is conferred on Dr. Pramod P. Wangikar for developing a strategy for modeling, optimization and monitoring of  fermentation and for selecting the strains of industrial importance.

Dr. Ajay Kumar Parida   is presently working as Programme Director (Biotechnology) at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. He obtained his Ph.D. from Delhi University.

He has made outstanding contributions in the area of  molecular characterisation of  genetic resources  and developing transgenic  plants resistant to abcotic stress.  He has successfully utilized molecular marker systems in mangroves and many cultivated and wild relatives of legumes, millets and rice for understanding species relationship  and evolving site-specific conservation strategies. His work on identification, characterisation and transfer of novel genetic  combinations from mangroves has resulted in isolation  of a number of genes for abiotic stress tolerance and quality enhancement through large scale sequencing and characterization  of ESTs from Avicennia marina, Porteresia coarctata and Prosopis juliflora. He has successfully developed transgenic Rice events with some of the isolated genes. These have been evaluated under limited field trails. 

Dr. Parida is fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and National Agricultural Science Academy. He is a member of the International Advisory Board, Biosafety International Network and Advisory Service  of the UNIDO, Geneva. He is  recipient of Prof. Umakant Sinha Memorial Award of the Indian Science Congress Association and B. M. Birla Science Prize in Biology. 

The National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2006 is conferred to Dr. Ajay Parida for his outstanding contributions in the area of characterization of genetic resources  and enhancement of coastal ecosystems using modern biotechnological tools.

Dr. Pradeep Kumar is currently working as a Scientist-F  at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram.  He  obtained Ph.D. in life sciences from Devi Ahilya University, Indore.  

Dr. Pradeep Kumar’s  primary focus is on development and differentiation of germ cells in mammalian testis, identification and characterization of testis-specific genes and / or gene products that may have functional implications in spermatogenesis, spermiogenesis and sperm-oocyte fusion, by using combinations of genomic and proteomic tools.  Genomic assays on testicular cDNA library screening, and proteomic assays were carried out on differentially displayed proteins  cored from I D / 2 D – PAGE. The cored proteins have been characterized by  N- terminal sequencing and / or MALDI- ToF.

He is a member of the American Association  for advancement of science and Americal Society for Human genetics. He has published many papers in peer-reviewed national and international journals.

The National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2006 is conferred on Dr. Pradeep Kumar for his significant contributions in the area of sperm- oocyte interaction and gene expression in testis.



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