For the fact that, we all need that hint of inspiration to push ourselves towards the destiny, Indian Life Science Network’s Knowledgehub events are conceived to make the young aspiring researchers to become familiar with the pioneers in the field, their ongoing researches and their involute journey towards the same. It is a hamlet for insightful talks, panel discussions and podcasts from expert professionals!
ILN Knowledgehub session #1: Masters and PhD in Europe
While carrying oneself through a masters or PhD program in Europe is a far-fetched fantasy for most science enthusiasts, here in this very first knowledgehub session of Indian Life Science Network, our pioneers who got through the artful esplanade, discuss about the perks of doing a masters or PhD in Europe as well as the challenges they went through the process.
We have our panelists:
Chella Krishna- Ph.D student at University of Copenhagen
Denmark Hridi- M.Sc student at LMU, Germany
Vignesh- Ph.D student at Helmholtz Centre Munich, Germany
Priya- Ph.D student at Helmholtz Centre Munich, Germany
And our Moderator:
Ramakrishnan-Ph.D student at Helmholtz Centre Munich, Germany
deploying the discord stage of Indian Life Science Network on 30th May 2021, for a lively and insightful discussion session to guide the aspiring undergraduate students of India.
ILN Knowledgehub session #2: Let’s talk about iGEM
iGEM which stands for International Genetically Engineered Machine is a premiere international synthetic biology competition that is conducted worldwide annually to encourage the young science enthusiasts to work on innovative and economically feasible problem statements to solve the important issues prevailing in everyday world. Here in this discussion session we have Ms. Shruti Sridhar, iGEM ambassador, Asia to tell us on the multidisciplinary nature of iGEM, its eligibility criteria and about how iGEM works as an open collaborative platform that is crucial for implementing high end research in science. The session was hosted by Ms. Shubhra Singhal, IISER Tirupati on 29th August 2021 at the Indian Life Science Network, discord server.
ILN Knowledgehub session #3: Research in Germany
As Germany is rightly called “The hub of biotechnological research”, the country has around 202 research facilities for biotechnology which are split around various colleges, universities and non-academic research institutions. The educational cost in Germany is very much inexpensive as most of the German universities are state-funded. And this becomes the obvious reason for any neophyte in biotechnology to look for research opportunities in Germany. But as novices we would have several doubts and questions which remain unanswered by the common-people. So here we have expert professionals to clarify them and provide even miniscule details about how a research community works there in the area of biotechnology. The panelists are:
Joel- Ph.D student, MPI-Cologne
Pavithran- Ph.D student, HHU-Dusseldorf
Mahesh- Ph.D student, MPI-Dortmund
Amit- Ph.D student, Univ. of Potsdam
And the moderator being: Navaneel- Master’s student St.Xavier’s College, Kolkata to host the session in the Indian Life Science Network, Discord server on 12th September 2021.
ILN Knowledgehub session #4: Utilizing Science to save cattle(Gomatha)
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a major zoonotic disease of cattle that is endemic in much of the world that limits livestock productivity and represents a global public health threat. Bovine TB can spread to humans through contaminated dairy products, and is estimated to cause about 10% of human TB cases worldwide. Until now, the only diagnostic method for bovine TB is the injection of a mixture of inactivated TB proteins into the animal’s skin and watching for any allergic reactions, which is an approach that was developed in the late nineteenth century. But a major limitation of this test is that it also yields a positive result for vaccinated animals and hence the clear-cut distinction between the truly infected and the vaccinated animals becomes difficult.
Hence addressing this problem, Dr. Sreenidhi Srinivasan and her colleagues at the Penn State University,USA have developed a cocktail of peptides that are present in Mycobacterium bovis, the bacterium that causes bovine TB, but which is absent from the bacterial strain that is used to make the TB vaccine. So an injection of these peptides produced an immune response specific to only the infected cows and not the vaccinated cows. This approach has opened new avenues for speeding up vaccination programs to control the disease especially in low and middle-income countries like India.
It is inevitable to learn about Dr. Sreenidhi’s diagnostic interventions for bovine tuberculosis as well as her emphasis on why it is important to control zoonotic infections worldwide and this significant breakthrough was interviewed by Ms. Sathya Muthusamy at the Indian Life Science Network’s Knowledgehub channel, discord server on September 26th 2021.
ILN Knowledgehub session #5: Transitioning from a wetlab to drylab researcher
Having graduated with his Masters and PhD degrees at the Department of Life sciences in the National Cheng Kung University of Taiwan, Dr. Chung Wen Lin is currently working as a postdoc at the Institute of Network Biology, Helmholtz Centre, Munich. Though having a wide range of wet-lab research experiences such as gene cloning, protein expression and plant tissue culture during his masters, he entirely focused on high-throughput data analysis such as microarray and next generation gene sequencing techniques during his PhD. After exploring the different technical fields in biotechnology, he has been successfully transitioned to a dry-lab researcher!
Dr. Chung Wen Lin expressed his immense pleasure in sharing his academia life experience at the Indian Life Science Network’s Knowledgehub session which took place on November 7th, 2021 at 6.30 p.m IST. The session was hosted by Ramakrishnan Pandiarajan, PhD student at LMU, Munich, Germany.
ILN Knowledgehub session #6: Research in USA
As USA ranks number one in all the other fields of technological development, so does it in the area of biotechnological research! Although there are biopharma companies all over the country, the two largest hubs for biotech companies are in Boston and San Francisco . The U.S. pharmaceutical market alone accounts for 45 percent of the global market. Life science sales hit $450 billion in the year 2016 and six of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies are headquartered in the U.S., including Pfizer, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. Those three companies alone account for more than 240,700 jobs worldwide. And this becomes the obvious reason for most of the aspiring undergrads to look for higher education and career positions in USA.
But as neophytes in the area of life science research, one would have a lot of doubts and questions about the ongoing research works there, the cost of living, stipend and career opportunities. Hence NGSF organized a discussion session at the Indian Life Science Network, in which, young scientists working on various areas of life science in USA, were made available for answering all the questions. The event was scheduled to take place on November 14th, 2021 at 8:00 p.m IST and we had our panelists Mr. Pratheek Pandesha, Ms. Afreen and Ms. Anjaly Prasannajith along with Mr. Akshay to host the event. Ample scope was provided for the audience to interact one-on-one with the panel enabled through our Discord stage channel- Knowledgehub.
ILN Knowledgehub session #7: Research in Canada
Canada is a country known for its diverse talent pool, advanced infrastructure, a wide variety of disciplines, well-equipped research facilities and skilled technicians. Canada offers high-end research facilities in a variety of locations such as universities, research institutes, companies and government institutions. It is known for some of the world’s best universities for life science research and offers a wide arena of courses allowing for deep learning and understanding.
But as beginners in the area of life science research, one would be skeptical about the ongoing research works there, the cost of living, stipend and career opportunities. Hence NGSF organized a discussion session at the Indian Life Science Network, in which, young scientists working on different areas of life science research in Canada, were made available for answering all the questions. We had our panelists Dr. Manoj Rathinaswamy, PhD graduate from University of Victoria and Ms. Sharon Samuel, Senior Research associate at Deep Genomics along with Ms. Sathya to host the event on January 30th, 2022.
ILN Knowledgehub session #8: Pioneers in Science- Meet Dr. Gautam Basu
Next Gen Scientists Foundation made its launch for the next biggest initiative to promote motivation among the young and aspiring researchers in the field of life sciences. Through the Indian Life Science Network in discord, we planned to host a series of interviews titled-“Pioneers of Indian Science“, wherein senior Indian scientists were invited to address the questions of curious students and to have casual conversations with them, to help them have a perspective of the life of a scientist. We kick-started this series with Dr.Gautam Basu who is a retired biophysicist from the Bose Institute, as our first guest.
Dr. Gautam Basu is a Biophysicist who worked as a Professor at Bose Institute, India, until his retirement in July 2021. After studying at Presidency College, Kolkata, and IIT Kanpur, he did his PhD from Cornell University, USA, and later pursued his postdoctoral studies from Kyoto University, Japan. The focus of his research group is to understand how molecular structures play a vital role in orchestrating biological functions. The interview was hosted by Tanaya Roychowdhury, Senior Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology on February 12th, 2022.
ILN Knowledgehub session #9: Finding Internship opportunities and Research interests
Finding internship opportunities had become extremely difficult for life science students, especially in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Since internships play a pivotal role in shaping the amateur students into experienced researchers, they are crucial to introspect and find one’s specific area of interest in science.
Hence NGSF organized a discussion session at the Indian Life Science Network, in which, current PhD students working on different areas of life sciences, were made available for answering the doubts of inquisitive undergrad students. We had our panelists Mr. Ramakrishnan Pandiaarajan, PhD student at the Helmholtz centre, Munich, Germany and Mr. Pavitran, PhD student at HHU, Germany along with Ms. Madhumitha Suresh to host the event that took place on 13th March, 2022. The major aim of the session was to help the undergrad students find their research interests by sharing experiences of current PhD students around the world and also help them with getting the first internship lab. As the deadline for applying to the NGSF internship program was also close to end within that month, queries on NGSF internship program were also discussed in this session.