6 bio-scientists awarded Swarna Jayanti Fellowships for 2018-19

The Swarna Jayanti Fellowships scheme was instituted by Government of India to commemorate India's fiftieth year of independence

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New Delhi: Swarna Jayanti Fellowships have been awarded to 14 Scientists associated with projects containing innovative research idea and with potential of making impact on R&D in the respective disciplines. The scientists, selected for the award through a rigorous three-tier process, will be allowed to pursue unfettered research with freedom and flexibility.

The Swarna Jayanti Fellowships scheme was instituted by Government of India to commemorate India’s fiftieth year of independence. Under this scheme, a selected number of young scientists, with a proven track record, are provided special assistance and support to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.

The awardees are supported by Department of Science & Technology, for fellowship and research. This will cover all the requirements for performing the research and include a fellowship of Rs 25,000/- per month as well as a research grant of 5 lakh Rupees for 5 years in addition to their salary.  Out of the 443 applicants, 14 scientists have been finally selected this time for this scientist specific fellowship.

Out of 14 scientists, 6 scientists are from the leading institutes of India and are pursuing research in the area of biotechnology.

Dr Sheetal Gandotra from CSIR- Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology,
Delhi is interested in studying host-pathogen interaction with a focus on the crosstalk between the host and mycobacterial metabolism, especially lipid metabolism. Her major interests are Macrophage triglyceride metabolism induced by M. tuberculosis which is crucial for the innate immune response in TB. Through her study she aims to provide a link between the infection induced pathology which leads to lipid droplet accumulation and the function of lipid droplet localized proteins in enabling the pathogenic immune response.

Dr Jitender Giri from National Institute of Plant Genome Research is interested
in understanding molecular regulation of low phosphate adaptations with focus on
finding novel genes and understanding their functions in cellular signaling. His
proposed work includes generating new rice varieties with improved P-useefficiency & low water requirements.

Dr Rakesh Singh Laishram from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology,
Thiruvananthapuram is interested in understanding the mechanism of gene
regulation by RNA processing and how it affects various human diseases. He aims
to define the regulatory pathway of RNA processing in oxidative stress response,
cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Dr Vishal Rai from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal is
keen in the study of Organic Chemistry & Chemical Biology. He proposes to
develop chemical platform that can render methods for single site modification of
proteins in the field of drug discovery.

Dr Gopalan Rajaraman from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai is
interested in Computational inorganic chemistry, magnetism and materials science, surface chemistry, calculation of spectral parameters, modelling catalytic reactions in relevance to bioinorganic chemistry. He aims to address some outstanding issues in the area of molecular spintronics devices using molecular magnetic materials.

Dr Apoorva Khare from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru is interested in
Positivity and analysis; representation theory of Lie algebras and discrete
mathematics. Through his study he aims to study functions that preserve positivity
in various forms when applied to continuous and discrete data, matrices and so on
and to develop two way connections to symmetric function theory and algebra and
other subfields of mathematics.