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IIIM celebrates 81st Foundation day

Jammu, December 01, 2021: CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), under Union Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, celebrated its 81st Foundation Day here today. In this connection, an impressive programme was held at IIIM auditorium which was largely attended by eminent scientists, faculty members of research & educational institutions, entrepreneurs, invited dignitaries, guests, members of press & media and members of CSIR-IIIM. Prof. Sandeep Verma, Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India was chief guest.

While welcoming Prof. Sandeep Verma, the chief guest, Dr. D Srinivasa Reddy, Director, IIIM Jammu introduced him to the audience and described him as a decorated and renowned Chemical Biologist. He further mentioned that Prof. Verma after doctoral degree from the University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago in 1994, followed by two postdoctoral stints is USA and Germany, he joined the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1997, where he became a Professor of Chemistry. He is also an affiliated faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Center for Nanoscience, and Center for Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT, Kanpur.  To name a few, his work has been recognized by the Goyal Prize, J C Bose Fellowship, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, DAE-SRC Outstanding Investigator Award, Swarnajayanti Fellowship, B M Birla Science Prize. He recently received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He is an elected fellow of Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Sciences, India. He is an Associate Editor of Chemical Communications (Royal Society of Chemistry, UK) and serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Cell Chemical Biology, ChemBioChem, and Journal of Peptide Science.

As prelude to the Foundation day programme, earlier during forenoon session, curtain raiser event of India International Science Festival was also organised.

On the occasion, Prof. Sandeep Verma, the chief guest has delivered the foundation day lecture entitled, “Strategies in Gaseous neurotransmitter release and New Antibiotics”. In his address, Prof. Verma eulogised the composite research platform established at IIIM, Jammu right from the times of its founder Director, Col. Sir Ram Nath Chopra till time, he said IIIM has been bestowed with lot number of opportunities in the area of drug development from plants. With all expertise in the area of Natural Products Chemistry, Synthetic Chemistry and Biology are available under one roof, IIIM is a rich resource base for plant-derived drug discovery though numerous challenges are there, including procurement and authentication of plant materials, implementation of high-throughput screening bioassays and scale-up of bioactive lead compounds, said Prof. Verma. At the same time, there are opportunities for India as it is rich in genetic resources and traditional knowledge, which are key components for bioprospecting and value-addition and these are required to be tapped and scientifically studied.

While deliberating on the research strategies for gaseous neurotransmitter release, he said his research group is focussed on bioessential molecules for creating organic frameworks, to study biomimetic processes and to decipher ordered aggregation relevant to certain neurodegenerative diseases. These studies encompass a broad canvass of synthetic organic chemistry, crystallog-raphy, microscopy, and cell and material studies.

On this occasion, the chief guest also distributed prizes for different activities like Science Quiz, Best Research Paper Award, and winners of various tournaments/activities like Badminton, musical chairs and cricket organised as part of foundation day celebrations. Prizes were also given to the winners of Hindi language competition.

Among many others, Prof. Bechan Lal, Vice Chancellor, Cluster University, Jammu Dr. D.M Mondhe, Chief Scientist & Head, Pharmacology Division, Er. Abdul Rahim, Chief Scientist & Head RMBD&IST Division Dr. Gurdarshan Singh, Sr. Principal Scientist & Head, PK-PD Toxicology, Dr. Zabeer Ahmed, Sr. Principal Scientist & Head IIIM Branch, Srinagar, Sh. Anjum  Sharma, Sr. COA, I.B.Dixit, CoF&A, Dr. Sandip B. Bharate, Principal Scientist & Head, Natural Products & Medicinal Chemistry Division, Dr Asha Chaubey, Principal Scientist & Head Fermentation and Microbial Biotechnology Division, Dr. Dhiraj Vyas, Principal Scientist & Head, Plant Sciences and Agrotechnology Division (PSA). Dr. Deepika Singh conducted the proceedings while Er. Rajneesh Anand, Chief Scientist & Head of Quality Management & Instrumentation Division, presented vote of thanks.

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