Wednesday, November 18, 2015

RGCB News: Foundation Day

Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology has undergone molting many times during its various stages of metamorphosis. Starting as a charitable society named Centre for Development of Education, Science and Technology (C-DEST) in 1990, the institution was later named after the honorable former Prime Minister of India, Shri Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Untiring efforts of the founders of this scientific venture paved way to the institution being taken up by Government of Kerala under its administrative control in 1993. It was on November 18, 1995 the then Honorable Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narasimha Rao laid the foundation stone for Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology where its Main Campus has developed over past two decades. The day has been observed as the RGCB Foundation Day since 1995. Various academic activities are usually conducted as part of this. Today, RGCB is an autonomous institution of scientific research and academia under the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and flourishes over three campuses in Kerala.

This year, RGCB Foundation Day lecture was held on November 17, 2015. Renowned Virologist, Robert G Webster PhD, who is currently an Emeritus Faculty at the Department of Infectious Diseases in St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee delivered the Foundation Day Lecture. He has a research career of more than five decades and about 650 peer reviewed publications to his credit. A pioneer in the field of influenza, he spoke about 'Avian Influenza and the need for strict surveillance in India' to all scientists and students of RGCB at MR Das Convention Center. The hour-long lecture covered fundamentals of influenza virus variants, susceptibility of transmission, worldwide picture of epidemics and pandemics with additional stress on the nature of epidemics in India and its increased risk owing to proximity to China. Answering all queries from molecular to epidemiology level raised by listeners, he gave a very insightful talk on the subject. This lecture is to be followed by a public lecture on November 18, 2015 at Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapauram on 'Enigma of Avian Influenza'. The lecture is being organized by RGCB commemorating thirty incredible years of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. 

The RGCB Student Merit Awards were presented on this occasion. Mr. Sajith R under the guidance of R Ajay Kumar, PhD from Mycobacterium Research Group and Ms. Subashini C under the guidance of Jackson James PhD of Molecular Neurobiology & Genetics Group shared the award. RGCB Blog appreciates the hard work and dedication of students and their mentors towards fruitful research and wishes them greater productivity in future.

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