The senior Scientist and Dean of RGCB, Dr. Sathish Mundayoor has completed his tenure in RGCB on 31st of October 2015. A farewell reception was held at M R Das Convention Center of RGCB on Friday, the 30th of October. Professor M Radhakrishna Pillai, the Director of RGCB, welcomed a rather unusually packed hall of staff and students. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Mundayoor for his guidance, support, constructive criticisms and expert suggestions that have helped him to dispense his duties as the Director of RGCB right from day one of his assigning the office. He acknowledged Dr. Mundayoor for managing and supervising the Purchase Department of RGCB from its day of conception and earning the unique credibility of maintaining a transparent, conflict-free, accountable official track record.
Dr. K Santhosh Kumar, Scientist F in the Chemical and Environmental Laboratories of RGCB spoke about his experience working with Dr. Mundayoor. Joining in RGCB shortly after its inception in 1996, Dr. Kumar has been a colleague of Dr. Mundayoor for nearly two decades. He reminisced how Dr. Mundayoor painstakingly framed and materialized collaborating projects to bring in funds and skills into RGCB during its budding years. He appreciated the commendable efforts of the current Director Professor Pillai and the former Controller of Administration, Mr. Rajan Panicker whose efforts led to a secured pension scheme for all the employees of RGCB, thereby ensuring financial security and quality of retirement life for scientists and staff.
Dr. R Ajay Kumar, Scientist E II in the Mycobacterium Research Group (MRG) of RGCB shared his experiences to the audience with mixed feelings. He expressed his high regard to Dr. Mundayoor with whom he had been working shoulder to shoulder in MRG. He narrated how both of them reached a juncture in their respective career paths where mutual understanding and respect helped them to work together as a team towards better productivity. He despondently expressed his concern in single handedly leading MRG in the days to come.
Dr. Mundayoor thanked all his colleagues and students. Though on one hand, he was sad to leave the institution, on the other hand he seemed optimistic to be a part of the Kerala Start-up Mission of Government of Kerala to kick start setting up of biotech companies. He was presented with a memento by RGCB on this occasion. Staff and students enjoyed a sumptuous meal at the in-house cafeteria as part of the farewell reception.
Dr. Mundayoor holds a master’s degree in Microbiology from University of Bombay. He obtained his doctoral degree from All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 1984. His area of research interest had always been Mycobacterium. He has worked with many highly esteemed microbiology groups specializing in leprosy and tuberculosis including Schieffelin Leprosy Research and Training Centre, Karigiri, Tuberculosis Research Centre, Madras; Washington University in St Louis, USA; Forschungs Institut Borstel, Germany and Hansen’s Disease Laboratory, CDC, Atlanta. He joined RGCB in 1995. Though his initial works were on immunological and genetic aspects of Mycobacterium in general, he has been focusing on pathology, pathogenesis and immunogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis specific to the local population of Kerala in the latter years of his career, collaborating with Dr. R Ajay Kumar.
He has mentored graduate students, post doctoral fellows and research assistants in his lab. He also held the Office of the Dean of the RGCB Graduate School and has always been an indispensible part of the scientific and administrative proceedings of the institute. He is well known among staff and students for his down-to-earth personality, quick-wittedness and words of wisdom. Being the most senior scientist of RGCB, he was always approachable to every member of RGCB family; may it be for a piece of advice, a practical suggestion, a personal anecdote to cheer up or scientific troubleshooting.
RGCB team will definitely cherish the contributions of Dr. Mundayoor in the uphill journey of the institution over these years. RGCB Blog wishes him a peaceful, healthy and contented retired life. It is hoped that his expertise and experience will be available to RGCB in future too.