|From Left: Prof. Yatnatti, SUCAB Centre, Prasad MP, Sangene Biotech Pvt Ltd and E Abraham Mathew at the event.|
BioSpectrum Starts Student Lecture Series
The first-ever Student Lecture Series organized by BioSpectrum kicked off to a very enthusiastic start at the packed Dr Ambedkar Bhavan auditorium in Bangalore on July 23, 2005. Speaking after inaugurating the event, E Abraham Mathew, Chief Editor, BioSpectrum, pointed out that BioSpectrum has done extensive coverage on the biotech industry and achieved tremendous success in all its endeavors in a short span of just two years. It was BioSpectrum, which mapped the size of the biotech industry of the country for the first time, he informed adding that the Indian biotech industry had crossed the $1 billion mark.
Stating that the industry had set itself a target of $5 million by the year 2010, he gave a call to the students to contribute towards realizing this dream by the year 2009 itself. Mathew said the lecture series was a great opportunity for students, who were the future captains of the biotech industry, to interact with the leaders of the life sciences industry and this would help students mesh their learning with the requirements of the industry.
With an objective "to provide a framework to engage and educate students about the promises and challenges of biotechnology", the series would be held across 10 cities in the country over the next six months.
While Dr BV Ravikumar, managing director, XCyton Diagnostics Limited, spoke on the diagnostics market scenario in the country, Dr R Soudhamini, who leads a research team at the National Centre of Biological Sciences lectured on "Development of resourceful computer packages for protein structure modeling." Narayanan Suresh, Editor, BioSpectrum, gave an overview of the biotechnology sector. The other speakers were Dr Mittur N Jagadish, director, Monsanto Research Center and Dr Kratish Bopanna, chief technology officer, Manipal Acunova Pvt Ltd.
The sponsors for the event were Sangene Biotech Pvt Ltd and SUCAB Centre.
"The event was informative as the lectures included topics covered in our syllabus and also topics on the recent advancement in the industry. It was a good idea to cover career prospects also in the lectures and such events will definitely go a long way in helping students tap the potential within them to build their careers in biotechnology. I feel the lecture series should not be restricted to only 10 cities in the country. It would be better if it were to be extended to other places also," commented Priyank Dashora, a IInd year B Sc student of Padmashree Institute of Information Sciences.
According to Kavitha Agarwal, a IIIrd year B Sc student of Mount Carmel College, "The program was really good. The speakers addressed all queries of the students regarding careers and now we are clear about what we want to do next. It is a good move that BioSpectrum will publish more student queries and also respond to the same in the forthcoming issue of the magazine and also post it on the website."
"All the lectures were very informative as the topics went beyond the confines of classroom lectures and I hope BioSpectrum makes this a monthly affair. Overall it has been a nice experience participating in the event," said Megha Basu, a IIIrd Semester B Sc student of Goutam College of Science.
"It was nice to know about the job opportunities in the biotech sector but I expected the lectures to cover more of academics-based topics. I hope in future the lectures will include topics which are more relevant to students at the undergraduate level," added K Divya Sharma, IIIrd year B Sc student, Mount Carmel College.
"The best part of the event was the whole perspective of the students focusing on what they could do in specific biotech companies. We also got to know more about the industry. I feel the lectures should focus primarily on what the students would be interested in rather than giving an overall view. More topics on bioinformatics and the R&D going on in the country should be included in the series," expressed Sanjana Rao who is doing her PG Diploma in Bioinformatics at IBAB.
Over 800 students participated in the event and several outstation students have requested BioSpectrum to conduct these lectures in several cities. On its part, BioSpectrum announced 10 lucky winners for complimentary subscription to BioSpectrum for a year.