Every year RGCB conducts a competitive event where all the graduate students who have completed at least two years of their research studies in RGCB can compete against each other through a transparent and fair evaluation for the much-valued Student Merit Award that comprises a citation and cash award of Rs. 20,000. This will be awarded on RGCB Foundation Day, which falls on 18th of November every year.
Eleven graduate students from various laboratories of RGCB presented their work before a packed hall of scientists and students in the M R Das Convention Centre on Friday, the 6th of November. The panel of judges comprised two eminent Indian scientists.
Professor Tapas Kumar Kundu is the Silver Jubilee Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore. He holds a doctoral degree in Biochemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He earned his postdoctoral experience from the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of The Rockefeller University in New York. He started his scientific career as a Faculty Fellow at the Transcription and Disease Laboratory of JNCASR in 1994. Currently, he heads the Laboratory and has 117 publications to his credit. With an aggregate of more than 5500 citations, his works on transcription and chromatin are of high regard in the scientific community.
Dr. Jomon Joseph is currently Scientist E at National Centre for Cell Science, Pune. Earning a doctoral degree in Biochemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, he worked as the Fogarty International Research fellow at National Institutes of Health, Bethesda for five years after which he joined NCCS in 2005. He works extensively on inter-cellular communications, cellular polarizations and nucleoporins.
Akhilandeswarre D, Amritha Vijayan, Aneesh B, Deivendran S, Lekshmi.R.Nath, Mantosh Kumar, Mudaliar Prashant Pandurang, Sajith R, S. Satheesh Kumar, Subashini C and Swathy B of RGCB presented their works. The areas of interest varied from cerebellar development, neuronal protection from neurotoxins, molecular signatures of infectious agents like Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Vibrio cholera and Chikungunya Virus to signaling pathways in carcinogenesis and metastasis, anticancer effects of herbal extracts, pharmacoepigenomics, hybrid scaffolds and natural biopolymers. It was both interesting and informative at various levels.
The judges acknowledged the commendable efforts of each of the students and the support of each of the mentors. They were quite impressed by the very thought that went behind the implementation of a platform for nurturing healthy competition among graduate scholars and identified this program in RGCB to be the first of its kind in the entire nation. They urged all the students of RGCB to keep up the spirit of the program by both participating and supporting. With great words of wisdom from both the judges on simple life hacks in science laboratories, it was a very productive day for all the students of RGCB.