CSIR – IGIB, IICB and IITM Scientists wins the DBT National Bioscience Award 2015

Dr. Anurag Agrawal comes from a family of scientists and has been part of laboratories for as long as he can remember. First, as a subject for studies being conducted in his father’s lab, then as a young researcher conducting experiments, and today as a principal investigator directing research in his own lab.

He has had a diverse exposure along the way; growing up as a computer enthusiast, completing graduate medical training at AIIMS, Delhi, getting triple specialty training in medicine, pulmonary disease and critical care at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and finally going on to do a PhD in cellular and molecular physiology.

In 2007, he shifted from a tenure-track faculty position at Baylor to start a new innings at the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology. Teaming up with Prof Balaram Ghosh, he established a Centre of Excellence for Translational Research in Asthma and Lung disease.

His research in respiratory health has covered a full spectrum from molecular pathobiology to informatics and epidemiology, leading to his being awarded the Lady Tata Memorial Trust Young Researcher Award and the Swarnajayanti fellowship in 2010, followed by the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar award for Medical Sciences and the Wellcome Trust India Alliance senior fellowship in 2014 and the National Bioscience Award for 2015. He hopes to continue on this path towards creating a systems understanding of respiratory disease and to translate that into better diagnostics and therapeutics.

It is an honor to receive the National Bioscience Award for Career Development 2015 award. Such awards a recognition of the scientific work but are also a reminder of how much more needs to be done under the project that we submit.
About Biostandups by Dr.Anurag Agrawal:

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Dr Suvendra - IICB
Dr Suvendra – IICB

Dr Suvendra N. Bhattacharyya, the Principal Scientist and Head of Molecular Genetics Division of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology; has been one of the winners of prestigious National Bioscience Award for Career Development for the year 2015. The award, given by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, is to recognize outstanding contributions of young scientists below 45 years of age in basic and applied research in Biology and to provide grant for research for their career development. The selection of candidates for the award has been made on the basis of recommendations of Selection Committee. Dr Bhattacharyya has won this award for his notable contribution in miRNA research.

Dr Bhattacharyya had his BSc and MSc degree from University of Calcutta in Chemistry and Biochemistry respectively and had completed his PhD in 2003 from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He then went to Friedrich Meischer Institute, Basel, Switzerland for his post-doctoral training with renowned RNA biologist Prof. Witold Filipowicz. He joined CSIR-IICB as a faculty scientist in 2008 after his return to India.

Dr Bhattacharyyas’ group is heavily engaged in deciphering the mechanism of intercellular trafficking of microRNAs, the tiny gene regulators, and in understanding the implication in gene regulation in diseases like cancer and diabetes. Through their recent works, published in EMBO Reports, Nature Communications and other top notch journals, Dr Bhattacharyya and his research team has delineated the molecular linkage of miRNA usage and its extracellular export via a group of small vesicles , the exosomes, in animal cells. The pioneering works published by his group have helped us in identification of new gene regulatory pathways that potentially could be targeted for therapeutic intervention against deadly diseases like cancer and metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Suvendra Bhattacharyya, a very enthusiastic person to carry research on de novo ideas plans his future research to develop Exosomal vesicles based RNA therapeutics against deadly disease like cancer.
About Biostandups by Dr. Suvendra:

The new initiative by Biostandups to portray the research done by young talented Indian scientist and to communicate their research finding to common people has important effect. It serves an important purpose to socialize high end basic and applied research findings and to present the researcher to the society in a different perspective.

Prof. Sanjib Senapati - IIT Madras
Prof. Sanjib Senapati – IIT Madras

Prof. Sanjib Senapati received his M.Sc. degree in Physical Chemistry from University of Calcutta, Kolkata. He obtained his PhD from IIT Kanpur. He has worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and University of California, San Diego, USA. In 2005, Prof. Senapati joined the Department of Biotechnology, IITM where he is currently a full Professor. Apart for ionic liquids, his other research interests include identifying drug targets and designing novel drugs for HIV and heart disease.

He focusses on understanding the relationship between protein structure, function, and dynamics. Research is focused into two major sub-groups: 1) molecular modeling of enzyme-substrate / enzyme-inhibitor interactions and 2) structure-based drug discovery. Studies are performed using computer simulation methods ranging from molecular dynamics simulations, Monte Carlo simulations, Brownian dynamics simulations, and protein-ligand docking. General properties that he address include change in protein structure and dynamics upon binding inhibitors and with mutations, ligand binding strength and specificity, and bound water structure.

Green Chemistry

Ionic liquids and super critical CO2 have been identified as promising green solvents for biotransformation, enzyme catalysis and long-term preservation of biomolecules. Our objective is to elucidate molecular level interactions between biomolecules and ionic liquids, modulated kinetics of protein folding and increased solubilization & enhanced extraction of proteins and other hydrophilic substances in ionic liquids and water/oil reverse micelles.

In-vitro Studies

While rationalizing experimental behavior of biomolecules using molecular dynamics simulation remain our forte, we have moved on to use MD as a central engine of experimental research by validating our findings from computational studies using various spectroscopic & calorimetric techniques. With leads from our computational data we perform inhibitor synthesis, enzymatic assays and drug design in our laboratory.

“It feels good in winning this award” Prof SANJIB expresses his feelings on winning NBACD 2015 with biostandups.

Biostandups congradulates to all the three winners of the career development award. Among the winners we approached, Anurag, Suvenrda and Sanjib were kind to accept our invitation. Their support and encouragement was amazing.