A new hope for scar-free healing discovered

Srinivas Allanki is from Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India. He did his Bachelor’s and Master’s (Dual-Degree) in Biotechnology from the Department of Biotechnology at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras). His Master’s research, under the joint supervision of Prof. Madhulika Dixit and Prof. Nandan Kumar Sinha, mainly focused on devising strategies to analyze and model transcriptomic data. After graduating from IIT Madras in 2016, he joined the research group of Dr. Sven Reischauer in the Department of Developmental Genetics led by Prof. Didier Stainier at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany. The primary goal of his doctoral research is to identify and characterize the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate tissue regeneration in zebrafish, paving the way for potential therapeutic strategies in human regenerative medicine. He identified Interleukin-11 signaling as a global regenerative pathway in zebrafish that suppresses scar formation. This work was recently published in Science Advances. He currently continues to investigate the molecular and genetic consequences of Interleukin-11 signaling during regeneration and scarring after tissue damage, in Dr. Reischauer’s group in the Department of Experimental Cardiology, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany, which focuses on cardiac development and pathologies.

Aggregation of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies by bubbling induced air/liquid interfacial agitation

Shravan Sreenivasan is currently working as a Ph.D Research Scholar with Prof. Anurag S. Rathore at Bioprocessing & Bio-Separations Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. As part of the Ph.D, he is working on degradation of therapeutic proteins. Before joining IIT Delhi, he had worked at Curateq Biologics (Aurobindo Pharma), Hyderabad. He has done his M.Tech in Bioprocess Technology from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and B.Tech in Biochemical Engineering from University of Kerala.

Agricultural nano diagnostics for plant diseases monitoring

Nidhi Verma completed her graduation from G.N Khalsa College, Mumbai. Followed by her Post-graduation from Institute of Science, Mumbai. Always been attracted by science as a child was inquisitive about practically everything. Because of her compassion, she decided to pursue science further. With time, learning new scientific areas became more appealing, but nano diagnostics stood out as a promising area as it offered to use nanotechnology in affordable disease diagnosis. Currently, a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar working under the supervision of Dr. Alok Pandya, exploring myriad of avenues for disease detection using paper microfluidics. Her research area also includes developing paper-based electrochemical sensors for disease detection. Apart from being in research, she is also a canophilist at heart. 

Are prion-like proteins a missing link in plant stress and memory?

Dr. Sampurna Gara is a Ph.D. in Life Sciences (2016), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She pursued her Ph.D. under Prof Baishnab Tripathy. For her Ph.D. dissertation, she studied the changes in nitrogen and sulfur metabolism in plants through the modulation of enzymes involved in the siroheme biosynthesis pathway. Thereafter, she worked as a post-doc with Prof Sopory studying the light and abiotic stress signalling crosstalk. She has been awarded CSIR-SRA (Pool Scientist) fellowship and is currently working on the characterisation of prion-like proteins in rice with Dr. Sneh Pareek at Plant Stress Biology group, ICGEB, New Delhi.

Recycling critical signaling receptors regulates renewal of germline stem cells

Dr. Pushpa Kumari is an example of multicultural India. She studied in various Kendriya Vidyalayas throughout the country for schooling, which helped her explore and understand our country’s diversity and multi-faceted culture. While growing up among different communities and understanding other languages made her know how a particular society thrives and ignited her interest in understanding the mechanics of diverse living systems. She completed her formal integrated bachelor’s degree (B.Sc-B.Ed), where she gained knowledge of plant and animal systems. She understood how chemistry works in its way into these living systems while getting trained to become a professional teacher. As fate had it, she went on to pursue her Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, which helped her strengthen her basic foundation in biomedical science. She further pursued her career in Developmental Biology under the Supervision of Dr. K. Subramaniam – one of the pioneers of the Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm) model system in India – at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. Pushpa was awarded Junior Research Fellowship from CSIR and a National Doctoral Fellowship from AICTE. After completing her Ph.D. in biological sciences, she developed a research interest. She further followed her career in cell and developmental biology and became a Post-Doctoral fellow with Dr. Sivaram Mylavarapu at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Faridabad. She won her first independent research grant as an Early Career Fellowship from the DBT/Wellcome India Alliance. Pushpa Kumari, in the future, wants to pursue her career in academic research and contribute to the field of Reproductive Biology.

Designing food preservatives of the future: Safe, Stable and Anti-bacterial

Dr. Yashavantha Vishweshwaraiah completed his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof. Balaji Prakash at Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore. During his doctoral studies, he worked on understanding the structure-function relationship in plant lectins and engineering antibacterial peptide inhibitors. In February 2019, he joined the Dokholyan lab at PennState College of Medicine, PSU, where he works on engineering novel proteins.

A co-first author on this paper, Abhishek Acharya, is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Prof. Ulrich Kleinekathöfer’s group at Jacobs University Bremen. He obtained his M.Tech. Degree in 2013 from BSBE, IIT Kanpur. Thereafter, he worked on a few projects in Prof. Balaji Prakash’s group, and briefly in a start-up. Initially trained in microbiology and biochemistry, he later transitioned to theoretical modeling and simulations that enable atomic-level insights into the dynamics of proteins and other biomacromolecules. He is interested in the application of computational methods to the study of native proteins and protein engineering for novel applications.

Filling a gap in the Drosophila circadian neural circuitry: Investigation of the roles of gap junctions in regulating circadian rhythms

Aishwarya Ramakrishnan works as a Ph.D. student under the guidance of Dr. Sheeba Vasu at JNCASR, Bangalore. She has completed her Masters in Biotechnology from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, and her Bachelor’s in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai. She is interested in understanding the neuronal mechanisms that govern circadian rhythms using Drosophila as a model system. For her Ph.D. thesis, she investigated the roles played by gap junction genes in regulating circadian rhythm properties. Her research has uncovered a novel mechanism by which a gap junction protein, Innexin2,regulates an important circadian rhythm property, the free-running period of activity rhythms in Drosophila.

Novel freshwater cyanobacteria species identified using foldscope

Dr. Kirti Nitnaware is an Assistant Professor at Hutatma Rajguru Mahavidyalaya, Rajgurunagar, Pune. She completed her master’s degree and went on to do Ph. D. studies on “Isolation and characterization of bioactive metabolites in cyanobacteria from Pune and adjoining region of western ghat” under the supervision of Prof. T. D. Nikam from Department of Botany, Savitribai Phule Pune University Pune. She worked as JRF and SRF under DAE-BRNS funded research project and as a CSIR SRF at the same institute. After joining as Assistant Professor she continued her research work on cyanobacteria. Dr. Nitnaware was successful to receive a research grant from Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India to develop image retrieval system model for identification and classification of cyanobacteria using foldscope microscope. This project included field survey with assistance of JRF fellow Mr. Kiran Raskar and together they collected over 108 cyanobacterial samples from a long the Western Ghats region of Pune district using foldscope microscope. Using foldscope, about 72 samples were identified as known cyanobacteria species and Pseudanabaena punensis was identified as a new species isolated from drinking water pipeline in the area of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Furthermore, she collaborated with Dr. Gunvant Patil, Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University, USA to understand genomic architecture of this newly identified fresh water cyanobacteria. Additionally, to promote the importance of foldscope in day-to-day research she conducted workshop and demonstrated the applications of foldscope to middle school and college students and academic staff.

Keeping up with gut microbiome

Dr. Tarini Shankar Ghosh is a Research Support Officer, currently working in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork, with Prof. Paul W O’ Toole and group. He did his M.Tech from BSBE, IIT Kanpur in 2007, under the supervision of Prof. R. Sankararamakrishnan. He is a computational biologist investigating gut microbiomes. His main research theme is to identify the generic microbial markers of health, their variation across various population-strata, their alterations in different disease conditions and finally the formulation of personalized diet/symbiotic-based microbiome restoration strategies for improving human health. In the current narrative, he would be discussing some of his recent studies that have provided crucial insights into the above aspects.

A step towards artificial liver implant by Silk- Decellularized Liver matrix

About author: Aarushi Sharma is pursuing her research from the Department of Textile Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. She completed her B. Tech and M. Tech. in Biotechnology from Banasthali University, Rajasthan. During her master’s project, she developed interest in the field of 3D-bioprinting. After completing her master’s project, she continued her research by joining Regenerative Engineering Lab. Her research interest lies in development of cell-friendly biopolymers to develop anatomically relevant constructs using 3D bioprinting.