About the online event

Ignite Life Science Foundation, Cactus Communications, and IndiaBioscience have come together to co-host this live online event. In a relaxed and conversational format, the interlocutor for each session will uncover the background story to the work and life of an eminent scientist. This will not only afford students, young scientists, and the science-curious in India a first-hand/ringside view of what it takes to become successful in science but also give them an opportunity to direct questions to the invited scientist. This is a platform for students, young scientists, and the science-curious in India to connect with the stories behind the work of eminent scientists, in preparation for their own journey in science.

This series of online live events will explore the lives and work of scientists in an informal chat session. The series will kickstart with a conversation with well-known physician-scientist and glycobiologist Ajit Varki, UCSD.

Date: 28 February 2022

Time: 19:30 — 20:30 IST | 06:00 — 07:00 PT

The next IN CONVERSATION with IGNITE will be on 27 April 2022 with Ronald Vale (Vice President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and executive director, Janelia).

Who should attend

The IN CONVERSATION with IGNITE’ sessions are public events meant for the science-curious early and mid-career faculty, senior scientists, students, and the broader society. We would especially like to invite undergraduate, Master, and Ph.D. students from across India to attend these sessions to hear some remarkable stories behind some equally remarkable science and interact with the speakers.

Up to two audience members will be awarded a cash prize for actively participating during the sessions and asking interesting question/​s.

1. First prize — 5000/- Rs.

2. Second prize — 3000/- Rs.

Note: You may also submit your questions via the registration form. So stay curious and keep asking questions!

All are welcome. Come to discuss and celebrate science!


This live online event will be hosted on Zoom.

Click here to register.

There is no registration fee to attend this online event.


  • 19:30 IST

    Welcome & Housekeeping rules

  • 19:36 IST

    About In Conversations with Ignite

  • 19:41 IST

    In conversation with Ajit Varki

    Ajit Varki + Swami Subramaniam

  • 20:11 IST

    Audience Q&A

  • 20:26 IST

    Audience prizes


Ajit Varki

Ajit Varki is a physician-scientist who is a distinguished professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, co-director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and co-director of the UCSD/​Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA). He is also executive editor of the textbook Essentials of Glycobiology and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore. He is a specialist advisor to the Human Gene Nomenclature Committee.


Swami Subramaniam

Swami Subramaniam is currently CEO of Ignite Life Science Foundation after spending nearly 3‑decades working in the global biopharmaceutical industry. By training, he is a physician-scientist with an MD (PGI, Chandigarh) in Clinical Pharmacology and a PhD (University of Pennsylvania) in Molecular Neuropharmacology.


For any queries related to this online event and also to share your ideas ahead of the event, write to swamis[at]ignitelsf[dot]in.