New Delhi: The international biological engineering meeting (iBEM) was organized by Prof Pawan K Dhar and Prof Shailja Singh from Jawaharlal Nehru University with the help of Prof V Ravichandiran, Director NIPER Kolkata and several leading biotech and pharma industries. This event saw 30 speakers from India, USA and Singapore sharing their cutting-edge science with over 200 participants across India.
The theme of the meeting was design and construction of genes, proteins, networks and cells, for applications in health sector. The event started with a plenary talk by Professor S. Chandrasegaran of Johns Hopkins University. His lab has been involved in a path breaking science of chemically constructing the yeast chromosome from scratch. His work has led to global coverage and widespread appreciation for showing a new way to do biology. His talk set the stage of the event and was followed by a session to showcase latest technological breakthroughs to make cell factory for producing chemicals, drugs and so on.
The meeting also saw the convergence of engineers, biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians and science administrators for discussing latest scientific developments and providing funding avenues for the emerging community in India. Two panel discussions involving audience opened up several interesting leads and information avenues for the students and scientists.
This event was in direct alignment with the Make in India initiative launched by Prime Minister in September 2014 to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub. The concept of engineering in biology supports idea of making ‘cell factories’ i.e., converting microbes into manufacturing hubs for making industrial chemicals, drugs for pharma and so on.
Prof Pawan K Dhar and Prof Shailja Singh expressed deepest gratitude to the Vice Chancellor and the entire JNU Administration for their strong support in organizing India’s first international conference on biological engineering. The Rector II of JNU, Prof. S.C. Garkoti and Director Research, Prof. R. Chaturvedi expressed JNU’s strong commitment towards science and technology and offered their help and guidance in strengthening academia – industry collaboration for the best benefit of students, scientists and the society.