National Conference on Future India – Science and Technology: Research Innovations in Biology

JU News Desk
Published: May 2019

Jain (Deemed-to-be University) and Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), Bangalore chapter together hosted a two-day national conference on “Future India – Science and Technology: Research Innovations in Biology”, on February 14 and 15, 2019.

The conference was inaugurated by luminaries such as Dr. Rajan Dighe – Professor, Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics IISc, Bengaluru; Dr. Gangadhar – General Secretary, Membership Affairs, ISCA; Dr. N Sundararajan – Vice Chancellor, JAIN and Dr. Ramakrishna S Convener, ISCA, Bangalore Chapter.

Dr. N Sundararajan spoke about the recent trend in the emergence of three ITs (InfoTech, BioTech and NanoTech) and how it has revolutionised Science and Technology in India. Dr. Gangadhar stressed on the role played by ISCA in promoting the research culture for the growth and development of the country.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Rajan Dighe, the chief guest of the conference, advocated freedom of expression and opined that encouraging a certain degree of disagreement in academics can lead to more creativity among faculty and research scholars. His talk also focused on the need for improving writing skills among the younger generation. Dr. Ramakrishna S delivered the vote of thanks.

The scientific sessions on the first day of the conference started with a keynote address delivered by Dr. Rajan Dighe. He explained the mechanism of action of glycoprotein hormones and their receptors at physiological and molecular level. His lab has attempted in answering the questions related to how gonadotrophin regulates gonadal function in male reproduction? Prof. Dighe’s lab is also involved in studying the interaction between hormones and receptors at molecular level. His lab has developed and used polyclonal, monoclonal and recombinant antibodies against both hormones and receptors.

Lecture by Dr. Shivaprasad (NCBS, Bengaluru) and Dr. Shravanthi (inStem, Bengaluru) followed. Dr. Shivaprasad’s lecture revealed how multiple yield-related traits associated with rice domestication are linked to micro (mi) RNA – mediated regulation. He concluded his talk by suggesting that miRNAs largely contribute to crop domestication associated phenotypes.

Dr. Shravanti spoke about epigenetics and stem cells and clarified the concept of stem cell development and homeostasis. She specially focused her lecture on the importance of euchromatic histone methyltransferase 1 (EHMT1), also known as G9a-like protein (GLP) – a protein that in humans is encoded by the EHMT1 gene in development, disease and aging. She summarised her lecture by showing the possibility and the advantages of engineering EHMT1 in neurodevelopment.

The second day of the conference started with a section on “Asymmetry in nature: why and how?” delivered by Dr. K N Ganeshaiah, INSA fellow and Prof. (retd), University of Agri Sciences, Bengaluru. His talk was related to the rule of “self-organising principle” and “asymmetry”. His studies involved investigating the asymmetrical approach taken by a group of ants to have their food. He also mentioned how symmetry if introduced into the asymmetrical portions of the plants such as soybean can result in increased yield.

This was followed by the talk on “Floristic diversity in India: challenges ahead” by Dr. R R Rao (INSA Honorary Scientist). Dr. Rao spoke extensively on the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of genetic resources and its immense opportunities for bioprospection in India. Throughout the lecture he emphasised on the need to convert biological resources into economic wealth by developing global level products.

The final lecture was on “Transcriptome profiling of breast cancer” by Prof. Paturu Kondaiah, IISc, Bengaluru. Prof. Kondaiah explained how transcriptome profiles of breast cancer tissues are elucidated using whole genome arrays in different categories of breast cancers in patients. In order to identify differentially expressed genes in breast cancer tissues, Prof. Kondaiah’s lab performed microarray hybridisations and analysis of breast tumor RNAs against pooled normal RNA using Oligonucleotide arrays. Analysis of microarray data revealed differentially expressed genes between all invasive tumors compared to normal breast tissues.

The event saw 208 participants with 23 oral presentations and 20 poster presentations.