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IndiaBioscience by Arpita Mukhopadhyay - 13h ago

Arpita Mukhopadhyay is an Associate Professor at the Division of Nutrition, St. John’s Research Institute, Bangalore. She attended YIM 2017 as a YI. In this guest post, she writes about why she got back to a full-time research career after having quit it earlier.

I was curious enough in school to pluck off the primary shoot apex of the marigold plant in my garden, when we were taught about the suppressive action of auxin produced by the primary shoot apex on the growth of secondary axillary buds. Repeat action ensured an extremely bushy plant that later bloomed beautifully. 

Despite my curiosity and interest in finding why things behave the way they do, my entry into biomedical research was not a straightforward one. My father had hoped for me to get into medicine. However, I did not qualify in the entrance exams owing to a lack of interest and ended up in the biomedical research track.

As the first PhD student of Maneesha Inamdar at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, I learnt valuable lessons in not just designing, conducting and interpreting experiments but also in overcoming the obstacles involved in setting up of a lab. This entrepreneurial zeal also helped me in applying to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India for a Foreign Travel Grant to attend the Mouse embryo microinjection workshop at Penn State University and the Society of Developmental Biology- Mid Atlantic regional meeting at University of Pennsylvania in 2003. During that trip, a chance encounter with a postdoctoral researcher in Boston introduced me to Zebrafish, a developmental model I got completely sold on. Therefore, I started applying exclusively to Zebrafish labs for my postdoctoral research. Since I had no previous experience in working with Zebrafish, it took me almost 9 months of search to finally get accepted in the lab of Prof. Randall T. Peterson at the Cardiovascular Research Center, Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston where I used small molecules to probe into cardiovascular development of Zebrafish.

Unfortunately, I had to prematurely resign from my position 2.5 years later to take care of my 8-month-old son. I moved back to Bangalore with my family with no intentions of getting back to research. I had made up my mind to focus on my family, quite like a large number of once would-be women scientists. Little did I know at that time how difficult it would be to be a stay-at-home mom after being in the lab forever. However, my daughter was born about a year later forcing me to extend my away-from-research break. 

Though my in-laws were staying with us, I still assumed that balancing a research career with two young kids was beyond me. As a result, I started to look for so-called alternate/work-from-home careers and when my daughter turned two, I joined a Knowledge Process Outsourcing company in Bangalore that had the primary job of creating supplements (=question banks) on books they received from international publishers on subjects ranging from management to law to chemistry. When the management there finally let me start working from home about 9 months after joining, I realised within a week how difficult it can be for a mother of 2 young kids to extract ~7 hours worth of work from home. With that realisation, I started looking for teaching/industry R&D jobs. I hit a wall with both, due to lack of teaching experience and an accumulated gap of 3.5 years by then.

As I then started looking for ways to get back to research, I came to know that Dr. Anura V. Kurpad, Head of the Division of Nutrition, St. John’s Research Institute, was looking for a developmental biologist to carry forward the human placental work that had been started as an off-shoot of the St. John’s birth cohort established about a decade and half earlier. I joined as a lecturer in 2012 and have since then established the Molecular Physiology Lab, secured funding and started getting our findings published. 

I started a modular course in Fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology for the first year medical undergraduate students during the academic year of 2015-2016 that I have continued every year since. I am also the co-coordinator of the Molecular biology course for postgraduate medical students started this academic year (2017-18).

Despite the successes, my stint at St. John’s Hospital was peppered with challenges. My foremost challenge was to align my research interests with the division’s on-going research themes. This balancing act has been a rewarding and enriching experience as the Division of Nutrition has an eclectic mix of physiologists, nutritionists and public health experts. Another equally daunting adaptation that I had to make was to learn to apply my training in developmental, cell and molecular biology to the model organism Homo sapiens, one I had never worked with before. A few lessons I learnt on the way: one, the art of explaining your research questions to subjects and clinicians for getting them enthused is perhaps the first step in being able to do human research; two, working with human subjects made me learn and appreciate the nuances in research ethics like never before; three, the variability involved in data from human subjects and the factors influencing that variability is something I am still coming to terms with and finally, the experimental limitations of the Homo sapiens model makes me appreciate the power of animal models, or better, the power of a complimentary approach.

In a society where research is falling behind in attracting the best students and talent, I continue to find my motivation for a research career in the clichéd yet relevant hope of being able to come up with original findings that make a difference in the life of a patient. The other source of motivation is, of course, my long-time friend curiosity!

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Date February 27, 2018 Location Pondicherry, India Website pondiuni.edu.in/conferences/bc… →

SciComm & Career workshop @ Pondicherry University

As a parallel session on February 27, 2018, during Bio-Gene-Sys 2018 organized by Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Pondicherry University.

Wellcome Trust/ DBT - India Alliance in partnership with Nature Jobs & nature.com periodically conducts one-day science communication workshops throughout the year. For their Workshop at Pondicherry University, they have partnered with Bio-Gene-Sys 2018 and thus SciComm & Career workshop @ Pondicherry University is scheduled to be held on 27th of February, 2018 during 9:30 AM – 5:30PM at the Ground Floor Seminar Hall of the Convention Centre as a parallel session.

For more information click here.

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IndiaBioscience by Manjula Harikrishna - 2d ago
Date March 19-20, 2018 Location Noida Website conservationbiolog.wixsite.com… →

The SCB-India Chapter, to be inaugurated at the Conference, will encourage wildlife study and conservation in India.  Memberships  will be invited at the Conference. 

India is a leading country in wildlife conservation in Asia, being a mega-diversity country and harbouring a vast number of globally important sites for biodiversity. India has a growing number of academic programmes in wildlife ecology and conservation biology and can also boast of being a leader as far as laws and policies are concerned. Yet we face a decline in natural ecosystems, ecosystem services and biodiversity during this new century, which can be attributed to unplanned development, demographic pressures and inefficient management of natural resources. Creating a cadre of Indian scientists and professionals who can contribute to wildlife conservation through research, outreach and field implementation is an important task to which conservationists are committed.

The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the maintenance, loss, and restoration of global biological diversity. The Society's membership comprises a wide range of people interested in the conservation and study of biological diversity: resource managers, educators, government and private conservation workers, and students make up the more than 5,000 members world-wide.  SCB has 80 members in India and over 200 members who are interested in Asian conservation issues from an academic standpoint.

Given the far-reaching threats to wildlife, biodiversity and ecosystems in India, including rapid land use change, over-exploitation and pollution, the SCB has offered professional support to the Amity Institute of Forestry & Wildlife to initiate an independent chapter of SCB India. The aim of SCB–India Chapter will be to foster and encourage wildlife study and conservation in India through building capacity, networking and the development of technical and soft skills that are necessary for the modern conservation professional, whether located in academia, government or the non-profit sector. Further SCB--India Chapter  will be able to expose students to international professional opportunities for training and placements.

For more information click here.



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NII, New Delhi New Delhi, Delhi & NCR Deadline 28 FebruaryEngagementContractHoursFull-time Project Cancer Research Program” funded by DBT Profile

Applications are invited for the position of Junior Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow (Project) for the following time-bound sponsored project as per the details given below:

Money

The selected candidates may be placed in any of the below categories depending upon qualification & experience.

1. Junior Research Fellow: Rs. 25,000/- consolidated p.m. plus 30% HRA
2. Senior Research Fellow: Rs. 28,000/- consolidated p.m. plus 30% HRA

Qualifications

1. Junior Research Fellow: M.Sc or equivalent degree in the Biological Sciences.
2. Senior Research Fellow: M.Sc/M.Tech in Life sciences with two years of research experience.

PS- The Candidate should have qualified any ‘National Level Examination’ such as NET/GATE etc for applying the above position

Experience

1. Junior Research Fellow: Candidates should have knowledge of Molecular Biology techniques, Recombinant protein technology, cell culture, RT-PCR and Cancer Immunology

2. Senior Research Fellow: Candidates should have experience in Cancer Cell line culture, Immunohistochemistry, Real Time PCR, Western Blotting and animal handling.

To Apply

Interested candidates may apply directly, STRICTLY IN THE PRESCRIBED FORMAT GIVEN BELOW, through e-mail, to the Investigator of the project, clearly indicating the name of the project along with their complete C.V., e-mail id, fax numbers, telephone numbers. Only Short listed candidates will be called for interview and they required to submit attested copies of all their certificates and a Demand Draft of Rs 100/- drawn on Canara Bank or Indian Bank payable at Delhi/New Delhi in favour of the Director, NII (SC/ST/PH and Women candidates are exempted from payment of fees) subject to submission of documentary proof), at the time of interview.

For more information click here.

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Vitamin C a nutritional supplement when taken with regular tuberculosis (TB) medication can enhance the treatment and enable a faster recovery, suggests a new study performed by Jaya Sivaswami Tyagi and colleagues at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. 

Tuberculosis has its highest incidence in India with an estimated 2.79 million cases in 2016. The treatment regimen lasts for a long six month-period, to ensure all pathogenic bacteria are killed - even the ones that survive in low metabolic state and become dormant. These dormant bacteria survive in a ‘viable but not culturable’ (VBNC) state, but are capable of becoming active again leading to recurrence of TB in patients and hence pose a serious threat to the development of active disease in infected individuals. 

Back to 2010, in Taygi’s lab, the link between TB and vitamin C was established and it was concluded that the vitamin C induces dormancy in the bacilli by slowing down its growth and subjecting it to multiple stress. Vitamin C modulates the physiology and metabolism of the TB pathogen to boost the efficacy of the TB drugs in combination treatment. The current study adds two new dimensions to existing knowledge about Vitamin C’s role in TB, first, it “provides a detailed mechanistic insights into vitamin C action on the TB bacillus and second, we demonstrate the application of these insights into improving the efficacy of TB drug”, says Tyagi.

The researchers find vitamin C to be particularly useful in combination treatment as it makes TB bacteria more amenable to be killed by pyrazinamide (PZA), a key first line TB drug. Aided by, vitamin C, PZA kills the dormant and replicating bacteria, negating the tolerance of the bacteria to TB drugs- rifampicin and isoniazid in combination treatment.

The results of the study are of high clinical relevance as the researchers tested the effect of vitamin C in combination therapy in an intracellular model, akin to human infection. The researchers are hopeful that vitamin C can be used as an adjunct to boost efficiency of drugs currently being used in combination therapy for TB.

‘’These initial findings are definitely very exciting and offer new hopes for developing more effective TB treatment approaches,‘’ says Vikram Saini, microbiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He further adds, ‘‘this research from AIIMS highlights an often ignored but an important fact that our diets can have substantial impact on the disease outcomes. This is a truly innovative study with massive translational value and should be evaluated in humans.’’

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IndiaBioscience by Manjula Harikrishna - 3d ago
NCBS Bengaluru, Karnataka Deadline 23 FebruaryEngagementContractHoursFull-timeWebsite ncbs.res.in/jobportal/node/259… → Profile

This Communications Office of the Bangalore Bio Cluster (BLISc) comprising of NCBS, inStem, and C-CAMP – is responsible for the creation, curation, coverage, and reportage of campus events, news, and communications. The Office also manages the Cluster’s digital assets, social media accounts, and oversees the planning, strategy, and production of all communication collateral and material representing the Cluster.

The NCBS Communications Office is seeking an intern for a period of three months with immediate effect who are looking for fresh experiences in the area of communications within a scientific milieu will find this opportunity fresh and exciting. Please note: This is NOT a biological sciences Internship.

Internship Description:

This internship is ideal for a candidate looking for rich experiences working across channels and media, and handling varied communication related tasks for Institutes of the BLISc.

Tasks include (but not limited to):

- Managing and covering campus news & events

- Planning & execution of Communication initiatives

- Assist with film-making & video editing projects

- Digital & social media management

- Vendor management

- Outreach coordination

- Misc. administrative duties

- Design (graphic) and writing skills a plus

Qualifications

Graduate and post-graduate students (or even higher qualified) from any discipline i.e. sciences, humanities, arts, etc.

To Apply

Interested candidates please email comms@ncbs.res.in with a CV, brief write-up covering letter describing why you think this is the right internship for you. 

For more information click here.

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IndiaBioscience by Manjula Harikrishna - 3d ago
NCBS Bengaluru, Karnataka Deadline 22 FebruaryEngagementContractHoursFull-timeWebsite ncbs.res.in/jobportal/node/258… → Profile

The Bangalore Life Science Cluster, an innovative institutional model for cutting-edge scientific research and technology development in India, invites applications from suitable individuals for the position of Program Manager (Stem Cell Programs).

The Bangalore Life Science Cluster comprises of NCBS (www.ncbs.res.in), a premier centre for research and teaching in frontier areas of biology, inStem (http://instem.res.in/), an institute with a research focus on the broad area of stem cell and regenerative and CCAMP (http://www.ccamp.res.in/), created for enabling research and entrepreneurship at the Cluster and beyond. It is envisioned that synergistic associations at the Cluster will have a far greater impact on life sciences research than the sum of individual contributions from each member institution.

The Program Manager (Stem Cell Programs) will be will be recruited to administer a multi-institutional program research program in Stem Cell Biology, ASHD.

ASHD, or Accelerating the application of Stem cell technology in Human Disease is an exciting new collaborative and interdisciplinary program which is expected to provide a strong stimulus to research in stem cell biology in India, while building enduring research links between NCBS, inStem and partner institutions NIMHANS and CMC Vellore. Key focus areas for this integrated program will be on the use of stem cells in research, diagnostics and therapeutics and the creation of a pool of Indian scientists who can work on stem cell technology.

The activities of the incumbent will help in the management, monitoring and promotion of the activities of the ASHD program. The role will require coordination between the teams at all participating institutions. The Program Manager will be based at the Research Development Office at NCBS, with some travel between the participating institutes.

Key duties of the Program Manager (Stem Cell programs) will include:

  • Project co-ordination, communicating with scientists and clinicians at the participating institutions
  • Working across with the administrative teams at NCBS and other collaborating institutions as needed
  • Monitoring expenditure on the grant funding the program, in coordination with the administrative teams
  • Organizing meetings for the management board, steering committee, executive committee etc
  • Interacting with government departments and external agencies on behalf of the program as needed
  • Helping with project reporting and collation of report materials from the investigators
  • Facilitating regulatory matters
  • Outreach to the agencies funding the program
  • Working across with colleagues at the RDO and the Cluster as needed
  • Undertaking any other duties that may be required from time to time
Qualifications
  • Ph.D in Life Sciences or a clinical qualification
  • Significant prior administrative experience
  • Proven communication skills
  • Strong time-management and interpersonal skills
  • Initiative, enthusiasm and a flexible approach to work
  • The ability to analyze, summarize and communicate information
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a team
Experience

Additional relevant experience (desirable):

  • Prior experience working with Government departments
  • A background in stem cell biology, molecular and cell biology
To Apply

An application package, consisting of the following should be uploaded via the NCBS job portal and an application package consisting of the following information should be sent via Hard Copies by a deadline of February 22, 2018.

  • Up-to-date CV with names and contact details of two referees
  • A one-page description of why you believe you are an appropriate candidate for the role

HOW TO APPLY:

Step 1: Interested candidates should register ONLINE through the link on our website using valid email ID.

Step 2: You will receive an user ID and password on your registered email ID.

Step 3: Using your ID and password you can fill in the application by clicking on “Submit Application”

Step 4: Once you fill in the application you can SAVE or PREVIEW the application. Please Note: Any corrections should be made before you SAVE the application.

Step 5: After you SAVE, you can submit the application by clicking “SUBMIT” .

Step 6: Take a Print out of the application form by clicking “PRINT” in “MY APPLICATION” and send the same duly Signed to the Administrative Officer (Establishment), NCBS-TIFR, GKVK PO, Bellary Road, Bangalore- 560065, along with copies of certificates regarding date of birth, educational qualifications, experience, caste certificate etc.

For more information click here.

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IndiaBioscience by Manjula Harikrishna - 3d ago
NCBS Bengaluru, Karnataka Deadline 14 FebruaryEngagementContractHoursFull-time Profile

The Bangalore Life Science Cluster is an innovative institutional model for cutting-edge scientific research and technology development in India. The Cluster comprises three leading entities, namely:

  • NCBS (www.ncbs.res.in), a premier centre for research and teaching in frontier areas of biology
  • inStem (http://instem.res.in/), an institute with a research focus on the broad area of stem cell and regenerative medicine
  • C-CAMP (http://www.ccamp.res.in/), created for enabling research and entrepreneurship at the cluster and beyond.

It is envisioned that synergistic associations at the Bangalore Life Science Cluster will have a far greater impact on life sciences research than the sum of individual contributions from each member institution.

The Bangalore Life Science Cluster now invites suitable applications for the position of Development Officer.

The Development Officer will head the Development vertical of the Research Development Office (RDO), and in doing so, help create and manage a portfolio of corporate grants and charitable donations to the Cluster. The activities of the Development Officer are expected to broaden in scale to sustain charitable donations to the campus.

Key duties of the Development Officer will include:

  • Working with campus colleagues to identify institutional priorities requiring charitable funding
  • Working with campus colleagues to develop strategies for identifying donors for the Cluster
  • Identifying potential charitable donors for the campus
  • Cultivating and sustaining professional relationships with prospective donors and organizations
  • Helping to design fund raising pitches to a range of charitable donors
  • Relationship management with donors
  • Coordinating specific fund raising campaigns for the Cluster
  • Contributing to communications and publicity events relating to donors
  • Facilitating the award of grants from corporate sources
  • Creating and managing a dedicated webpage for fundraising activities
  • Managing grants and donations to the Cluster
  • Contributing to other tasks/ projects within the team of Development Office, as needed
Qualifications
  • A PhD in Life Sciences with a grasp of a wide range of biology research areas
Experience
  • Prior experience with fundraising and donor engagement
  • Prior experience with social media and press communications
  • Proven communication skills, including experience working with graphics and digital media
  • Report writing skills and experience
  • Excellent background research skills
  • Minimum two years’ administrative work experience
  • Strong time-management and interpersonal skills
  • Initiative, enthusiasm, and a flexible approach to work
  • The ability to analyze, summarize, and communicate information
  • The ability to work, both independently, and as part of a team
To Apply

Closing date: 14th February, 2018 (Only candidates shortlisted for interview will receive a response)

Application procedure:

  1. Interested candidates (with required skill sets) may register ONLINE through the link on our website (www.ncbs.res.in/job portal) using valid email ID.
  2. You will receive a user ID and password on your registered email ID.
  3. Using your ID and password you can fill in the application by clicking on “Submit Application”
  4. Once you fill in the application and CV is upload you can SAVE or PREVIEW the application. Please Note: Any corrections should be made before you SAVE the application.
  5. After you SAVE, you can submit the application by clicking  “SUBMIT”.
  6. Take a Print out of the submitted application form by clicking “PRINT” in “MY APPLICATION” and send the same duly signed, to the Administrative Officer (Establishment), NCBS-TIFR, GKVK PO, Bellary Road, Bangalore- 560065, along with copies of certificates regarding date of birth, educational qualifications, experience, caste certificate etc. The last date for receiving the application is 14th Feb 2018.
  7. In addition, the application package to be sent via hard copy should consist of the following information
  • Up-to-date CV highlighting relevant experience with names and contact details of two referees
  • A one-page description of why you believe you are an appropriate candidate for the role
  • A PDF version of a 10-slide fundraising pitch for any research area on the Bangalore Life Science Cluster campus
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IndiaBioscience, NCBS Bengaluru, Karnataka Deadline 22 FebruaryEngagementContractHoursFull-timeWebsite ncbs.res.in/jobportal/node/258… → Profile

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Handling external or internal communication and correspondence including monitoring incoming and outgoing mail; receive and sign for mail/packages from couriers and deliver to proper recipient
  • Planning and arranging events / meetings by scheduling appropriate meeting times, booking rooms, equipment including organizing catering, etc.
  • Organizing, arranging and coordinating meetings
  • Monitor stock lists and maintain office equipment; inventory supplies and order replacement supplies as needed
  • Assist with travel arrangements and bookings
  • Organize special functions and social events
  • Prepare correspondence, documentation, or presentation materials
  • Assist other departments with administrative or clerical support
  • Create agendas and take meeting notes
  • Assist in purchase orders and invoicing
  • Filing of records - Photocopy and file appropriate documents as needed
  • Managing administrative and accounts work: Should have detailed experience in the payment of bills, Book keeping, finalization of Monthly & Annual Accounts, preparation of MIS reports, Bank Reconciliation, preparation of Budget, Government procurement, Drafting of Purchase Orders, Contracts, MoUs, General office procedures etc.
Money

On the basis of qualification and experience

Qualifications
  • Graduate with minimum of 50% of marks.
  • Minimum of Three (3) years of experience in any Institution/ Organization of repute handling accounts and administration work.
  • Candidates should have good typing skills on computers and use of latest office application software.
  • Knowledge of Tally ERP latest version is a must.
Experience

Desirable:

  • Experience in working in a Research Organization handling correspondence with other Agencies etc.
  • Highly organized multitasker who works well in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
To Apply

An application package consisting of the following information should be sent via Hard Copies by a deadline of February 22, 2018.

HOW TO APPLY :

Step 1: Interested candidates should register ONLINE through the link on our website (https://www.ncbs.res.in/jobportal) using valid email ID.

Step 2: You will receive an user ID and password on your registered email ID.

Step 3: Using your ID and password you can fill in the application by clicking on “Submit Application”

Step 4: Once you fill in the application you can SAVE or PREVIEW the application. Please Note: Any corrections should be made before you SAVE the application.

Step 5: After you SAVE, you can submit the application by clicking “SUBMIT” .

Step 6: Take a Print out of the application form by clicking “PRINT” in “MY APPLICATION” and send the same duly Signed to the Administrative Officer (Establishment), NCBS-TIFR, GKVK PO, Bellary Road, Bangalore- 560065, along with copies of certificates regarding date of birth, educational qualifications, experience, caste certificate etc.

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Madhulika Dixit is an Associate Professor at Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras. She attended YIM 2010 as a YI. In this invited piece, she writes about her unique experience as a faculty at an institute where majority of researchers are from Engineering background and often unaware of requirements of biological research.

As I pen down this article, I am taken down the memory lane of a young, enthusiastic Assistant Professor in 2007, joining a newly formed School of Biosciences at IIT Madras. Having done my PhD in Molecular Biology from IIT Bombay, I was aware of the hardships of doing research in India, but little did I realise then as a student, that doing Biological research in an Engineering Institute is a different ball game. I guess as PhD students, we were oblivious to struggles that our faculty members had to put up with in establishing the Department of Biotechnology at IIT Bombay way back in late 1980s.

Being allotted a designated lab space, I was all ready to set-up my cell culture Lab in IIT Madras, thanks to generous IYBA funding from DBT. Here I was with my first two students ordering routine instruments and lab-ware when, one fine day I got an SOS call from the purchase section asking me to see the Dean urgently. So, I rushed to his office to find a concerned Dean worried about how can he authorise the order of a “Recombinant Human protein”? His concern was about the “Recombinant Human”! Well, I had placed an order for human recombinant vascular endothelial growth factor (hrVEGF) as a media supplement for my cell culture experiments. So an hour later, only after explaining to him what are engineered bacterial expression systems and by giving him the analogy of commercial insulin production, did I manage to get the purchase order made. I soon realised that I will be spending plenty of my time translating biology to my non-biologist colleagues at IITM, in a language of logics, by borrowing principles of Physics and Chemistry. These experiences and a pertinent advice from my senior colleague in the Department on “Do what is doable”, made me re-invent the way I will be approaching my research in the coming years. 

A few years later, I was having this animated discussion with a colleague of mine from Mechanical Engineering Department, about the use of small animals in medical research. Being an ardent animal lover, he was put off with the whole idea of using rodents for pre-clinical studies and insisted on simulating the entire human physiology in silico in order to do away with clinical trials. It was only upon highlighting the complexity of absorption of drug through gut, its clearance from the kidney, detoxification in the liver and the role of tissue perfusion and blood rheology, could I convince him about the multi-dimensionality required to even develop an in silico model, let alone its acceptability for replacing clinical trials in Pharma industry. By this time I was a pro in understanding their language and conversing with them in terms of restrictive boundary conditions, dynamicity, degrees of freedom and the chaos of biological systems. It was the same colleague of mine who came to my rescue when I was trying to design a cone-plate based device to impart laminar shear forces on cultured endothelial cells. His expertise in fluid dynamics came in handy in designing, crafting and validating the instrument. Under his supervision not only did my students make a small portable device in the ‘Institute Workshop’, they also managed to get me a programmable controller to run the set-up non-stop for 72 hours.

We have come a long way since those days of being lost in translation. Now the ‘Stores and Purchase’ section is sensitised to handling perishable biological reagents. The same goes for our Engineering Unit which now ensures uninterrupted power supply to our freezers and our Workshop team which carries out minor repairs of our high end equipment every now and then. I now look forward to discussions with my colleagues, be it in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or even Mathematics, a subject that I barely managed to clear in my high school. 

Today, when I am dealing with large scale micro-array, NGS or proteomics data, I do not feel lost. All I need to do, is to walk to the offices of my colleagues working in machine learning, mathematical modelling, computational biology or metabolic flux analysis. A chat over a cup of coffee with them is always an enthralling prospect as I always leave with new ideas and solutions. 

So friends, I would conclude by saying that instead of just making lemonade from lemons, in the interdisciplinary world of IIT, you can make a lemon tart, pie or even a meringue! All it needs from you is to see the glass as being full. 

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