CDRI scientist wins CSIR-Young Scientist Award in Biological Sciences

The Award promotes excellence and recognizes the outstanding contributions made by the young CSIR scientists for their research work done primarily in India during the last five years

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New Delhi: Dr Bidyut Purkait of  Lucknow based CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute has won this year’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) ‘Young Scientist Award’ in biological sciences.

Dr Purkait is a young, brilliant molecular parasitologist currently working in Molecular Parasitology and Immunology Division of CSIR-CDRI. He has made very significant contributions in the field of Drug Resistance in Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) or Kala-azar caused by Leishmania donovani.

Dr Purkait reported first time the Amphotericin B clinical isolates and decoded the mechanism of Amphotericin B resistance in this clinical isolates of L. donovani. He demonstrated the synergistic involvement of membrane composition (membrane ergosterol is replaced by a modified sterol), ABC transporter (MDR1 involving AmB efflux) and thiol metabolic pathway (involving in AmB induced ROS detoxification) in conferring AmB resistance.

In connection with this resistance mechanism, he has explored how molecular level histone deacetrylase enzyme, Silent Information Regulator2 (Sir2) regulates Amphotericin B resistance mechanism by controlling drug efflux mechanism (MDR1), AmB induced ROS concentration and apoptosis-like phenomena and also proposed Sir2 as a new resistance marker for visceral leishmaniasis. This work has been published in high impact International Journal and is highly cited.

His contribution, commitment and achievement in the field of visceral leishmaniasis (drug resistance) is praiseworthy. In search for the new drug targets, Dr. Purkait is currently working on both the Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) and Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) and started characterizing RNA editing pathway, a unique post-transcriptional modification process of L. donovani and trehalose biosynthetic pathway, an important sugar metabolizing pathway controlling female reproduction in LF causing Brugia malayi. Dr. Purkait has 19 publications in major international journals proving the scientific significance of his work.

About the CSIR-Young Scientist Award

For promoting excellence and recognizing outstanding contributions made by the young CSIR scientists for their work done primarily in India during the last five years preceding the year of the Award. This Award is given annually in the following fields: i) Biological Sciences, ii) Chemical Sciences, iii) Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, iv) Engineering Sciences v) Physical Sciences.

Each award consists of a citation (signed by the Director General, CSIR and the Vice-President, CSIR), a cash prize of Rs.50000 (Rupees fifty thousand) and a plaque. Awardees are entitled to a Special Honorarium of Rs 7500/- (Rupees seven thousand five hundred) per month till the age of 45 years. This incentive shall be admissible as long as the recipient remains in the service of CSIR. Research grant of Rs 25 lakh (Rupees twenty-five lakh) over a period of five years, is also given, which is normally to the tune of Rs 5 lakh per annum per CSIR Young Scientist Awardee.