TIGS hosts an expert panel discussion on ‘Modern Biology’ during India Science Festival 2021

Experts share their thoughts on ‘Selected Advances in Modern Biology’

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Bengaluru: The Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS), India, hosted an expert panel on “Selected Advances in Modern Biology” as part of India Science Month Online (ISMO) 2021, which was organized by India Science Festival, in partnership with TIGS.
TIGS has supported the India Science Festival, a platform that aims to facilitate deeper engagement between scientists, professionals, entrepreneurs, and students, for two consecutive years now. This collaboration aspires to promote science and technology in India and encourage more students to take up a career in science.
The panel was curated and moderated by Professor Suresh Subramani, Global Director of TIGS, and involved eminent speakers from across the globe sharing their thoughts on various topics related to the central theme of ‘Modern Biology’.
Dr Vivek Malhotra, Group leader at the Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain, spoke first about “Controlling mucus levels in the lung airway and the colon”, and its applications in developing therapies to treat certain cancers. Then, Dr Sonia Sen, Senior Scientist at TIGS, spoke about “How to build a brain” using insects like fruit flies and mosquitoes as model organisms. Her talk was followed by Dr Amita Sehgal, John Herr Musser Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania. She addressed an important question, “Why do organisms need sleep and what happens if the sleep cycle or circadian rhythm is disrupted?”
Dr Venkatesan Sundaresan, Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Biology, UC Davis, spoke next about “Genome editing of crop plants to meet food needs through clonal hybrids”, a subject that’s crucial in discussions about food security. Professor Subramani then engaged the panel in a discussion about how research in the biological sciences has evolved through the ages.
The panelists also shared experiences from their careers, which challenged them, inspired them, and validated their efforts. The discussion closed on an inspiring note, encouraging young researchers to continue exploring new ways and means to find answers to the questions that excite them the most.