View this email in the browser 01 Feb 2022
From the IBS desk

Dear Reader,

We are really excited to announce the 14th Young Investigators’ Meeting 2022. This virtual meeting will be held from 3-5 May, followed by the PDF Satellite Meeting spanning 9-12 May. Please applybefore 25 February for illuminating talks by renowned scientists, poster presentations, and panel discussions that focus on a wide variety of topics, including choosing interdisciplinary science, building a research group/​community, funding opportunities, and open science.

Another upcoming event is our webinar on ‘Digital education through the lens of NEP 2020’ on 17 February. Digital literary expert Charu Dogra Rawat will discuss initiatives and strategies pertaining to digital education recommended in the National Education Policy 2020, and the roles of various stakeholders in realising these recommendations.

Register here to join the webinar.

We wish you to remain safe while enjoying all our articles, podcasts, and webinars, and tell us what you think of them through your comments. You can write to us at and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. If you wish to write for us in our news and columns sections, email us a brief description of your story in ~100-200 words. To get instant updates of our upcoming podcasts, please subscribe to our IndiaBiospeaks podcast channel on Spotify and other popular podcast apps. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to enjoy all webinars in one place and to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

Scroll down for highlights of our recent activities.

How to Crack a Career in Science

We conducted a session on ‘How to Crack a Career in Science' at the India Science Fest on 21 January, 2022. The session was an informal conversation with Varun Bhalerao, Ayesha Chaudury, Rajendra Kondapalli, and Sri Sailaja Nori, all of whom studied science early on in their careers and are now in diverse career paths of science. The attendees had a chance to hear the journeys of these individuals and were acquainted with what a ‘career’ means and the possibilities of science careers. The recording of the session can be accessed here.

Well Trodden Less Taken

Zill-e-Anam, our Program Coordinator (Outreach & International Grants Awareness Program) was invited to speak at the University of Delhi in the lecture series ‘Well Trodden Less Taken.’ She talked about ‘Expanding Horizon and Scope: Recognising Purpose and Building Your Career’ through the example of her own life and career journey.

In Conversation with a Mentor
Suchibrata Borah

The guest of the fifth episode of ​‘In Conversation with a Mentor’ was Manju Bansal, who is a professor in the Theoretical Biophysics group, Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. She is the Founding Director of the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology at Bangalore.

Many ways of reaching out

With the 2nd IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants, select scientists step out of their labs to connect with communities beyond academia. In this piece, Hansika looks at the initiatives being funded by IndiaBioscience in the current edition.

Two avatars of enzymes to make lipids
Somdatta Karak

A recent study by Rajan Sankaranarayanan’s group from the CSIR-Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad has found a novel mechanism of lipid metabolism. This opens up new avenues to understand the production of lipid-based bioactive molecules such as antibiotics.

Winners of the Infosys Prize 2021 announced
Anusha Krishnan

The Infosys Prize awardees last year were felicitated on 2 December, 2021. They represent the different disciplines of Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. The awardees have been recognised and lauded for extraordinary contributions in their respective fields.

When your Collaborator becomes your Mentor
Savneet Kaur

In the second article as part of community voices for international grants and fellowships, Savneet talks about the impact of an international collaboration early on during her independent research career and how it turned out to be an invaluable mentoring experience too.

Free-floating DNA in precision medicine
Ambika Kurbet

The levels of nucleic acids are enhanced in the blood of individuals affected by certain diseases. This understanding can be used for non-invasive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, genetic conditions in the fetus, and neurological disorders. In this article, Ambika Kurbet gives an overview of the use of cell-free circulating DNA in diagnosis.

A project-to-publication experience for a remote, student-led team during the pandemic
Shreeya Mhade, Stutee Panse & Karishma Kaushik

In this article, Shreeya, Stutee and Karishma recount their experiences on working remotely on a new research area during the pandemic, the former two as students and the latter as mentor. Their project led to a publication. Biofilm-AMP is now a published structural and functional repository of AMPs for biofilm studies. The work was also published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

Exploring the complexities of mutualism in nature
Shatarupa Sarkar

Intrigued by the rich flora and fauna in the campus of the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and the nearby forests of the Western Ghats of India, researchers from the institute examine the complexities of mutualistic relationships in nature.

Stories from the community: Myths about International Summer Fellowships
Anurag Kumar Srivastava

In the first article as part of community voices for international grants and fellowships, Anurag talks about myths associated with undergraduate fellowships. Apart from his research, Anurag mentors students for higher education and provides career guidance. Anurag has been an Erasmus Mundus Svagata fellow, National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) scholarship awardee, and Erasmus+ Trainee grant awardee.

Common misconceptions in biology: Making sense of the sense and antisense DNA strands
Maya Murdeshwar

Molecular biology textbooks teach us that during gene expression, only one strand of DNA is used to synthesize RNA. Does this mean that only one of the strands of an entire DNA duplex is functional? What does the other strand do? Which one is called the ​‘sense’ strand? Is it the same as the ​‘template’ strand? These are some questions that often baffle undergraduate students of biology. In this article, educator Maya Murdeshwar of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai describes how she approaches these concepts in her classroom.

Webinar by i wonder…: What do we know about SARS-CoV-2?

What is our current scientific understanding of SARS-CoV-2? How do we trace its origins? How do new variants arise? What predictions can we make for the impact of the Omicron variant in India? How effective are the current vaccines against currently known variants? How do we see this virus and our immunity to it evolving in the long run? Vijeta Raghuram explored these and more such questions in an interactive online discussion with the eminent virologist Shahid Jameel on 12 January, 2022.

Webinar by i wonder…: Mental health and the pandemic

Why is it important to engage with the topic of mental health in a classroom? What might such an engagement look like? What has been the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of students, teachers, people in isolation and the elderly? What can teachers do to support their family and students, and strengthen their own mental & emotional resilience? Vijeta Raghuram discussed these and more such questions with Dr Avantika Bhatia, an assistant professor of psychology at Ashoka University and a psychotherapist for adults in an online interactive discussion on 8 December, 2021.

Interactive Database of Life Science Researchers in India

We continue to update this interactive map/table showing the geo-distribution of life science researchers in India. The data that populates this resource is collected from a survey among the life scientists in India and published here with their informed consent. If you are a life scientist in India and if you would like to be featured on this database, please fill this form.

Public Communication by Scientific Institutions in India

The Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology-India (FAST-India) has released a brief working paper on public communication by scientific institutions in India. The paper provides a preliminary assessment of the status of public communication efforts by scientific institutions in India, its comparison with other countries, and proposes possible ways to build and enhance these activities in the country. The working paper can be found here. Feedback/inputs for this working paper can be emailed to by 15 February, 2022.

COVID-19: Looking Ahead

There will be a fireside chat with Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH) and Chief Medical Advisor to the US President on 2 February. This event is hosted by Janelia Research Campus, US and is part of the 2022 Life Science Across the Globe series.

The Indo-German Research Day

The second digital edition of The Indo-German Research Day will be held on 24 February, organized by the German Centre for Research and Innovation (DWIH), New Delhi. Explore the Indian and German research landscape, join interactive discussions, and discover opportunities for research funding and projects across disciplines. This event offers a virtual fair with 24 research institutions and a platform to enhance your international research cooperation. We will be exhibiting the International Grants Awareness Program (iGAP) at The Indo-German Research Day. For details and registration, visit:

Junior Research Fellow
Sri Narayani Hospital & Research Centre
Deadline: 4 February, 2022
Ph. D position
Amity University
Deadline: 15 February, 2022
Junior Research Fellow
National Institute of Technology, Rourkela
Deadline: 16 February, 2022
More Jobs
SERB International Research Experience [SIRE]
Science and Engineering Research Board
Deadline: 3 February, 2022
Biotechnology Ignition Grant
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council [BIRAC]
Deadline: 15 February, 2022
Call for Ignition Grants titled “Technology-based Energy Solutions: Innovations for Net Zero”
U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund & Social Alpha
Deadline: 15 February, 2022
More grants
28th National Conference on Communications
Indian Institutes of Technology (Indore, Dharwad, Gandhinagar, Goa and Bombay)
Deadline: 11 February, 2022
Hands on training on Histology and Immuno-histo/cytochemistry in animal models
University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana
Deadline: 15 February, 2022
More events


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