• 24 April 2013
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  • By Rekha Jain

“Indian research stands on par with world-class research”

Ms Rekha Jain, who is presently working on a project related to JAK/STAT pathway and cancer in IIT Bombay, talks about how the biotechnology tools impact our daily lives


Ms Rekha Jain, senior research fellow, Proteomics Lab, IIT Bombay

I am currently working as a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) at IIT Bombay. Originally, I belong to Rajakhera, which is a small town in Rajasthan. I topped in my secondary school examinations with distinction in science and mathematics and completed my higher schooling from Balak Mandir, Gwalior (MP). Later, I graduated in biosciences in the year 2003 and completed my masters degree in biochemistry from Jiwaji University, Gwalior (MP). After which, I taught biochemistry and immunology to the bachelors and masters students at Sha-shib college of Science and Management, Bhopal (MP). In 2009, I qualified for the CSIR/UGC Net 2008 and GATE 2009 exams. I joined the Phd program at IIT Bombay in July 2009 and currently, I am working on a project related to JAK/STAT pathway and cancer. Here, I am studying the therapeutic applications of STAT3 inhibitor in glioblastoma, which is the most devastating brain tumor associated with poor prognosis and limited therapeutics.

Biotechnology is a platform where people from different scientific disciplines interact and work together for human welfare. Personally, I feel that in India biotechnology has left a great impact in every aspect of our life, more predominantly in agriculture, pharma, disease diagnosis and treatment. Using biotechnological applications, many diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, cystic fibrosis and diabetes can now can be detected at early stages and thus can be treated safely and completely. Also with the use of vaccines, we are now able to prevent the occurrence rate of many diseases as we all know that prevention is better than cure and it has been made possible only with the applications of biotechnogy. From the economy aspect also India has emerged as a very promising market for USA and UK-based life science and pharma companies. In the last decade, a number of biotechnogical companies have set up their R&D in India to assist their customer in every possible way. Indeed, biotechnology has helped in solving food shortage, industrial issues such as detoxification and has also made quite few advancements in medicine and veterinary sciences.

At present, unquestionably, Indian research stands on par with world-class research. We are proud to have many renowned scientists with us who have contributed significantly in the scientific field. Also, young scientists are encouraged to come back to India and start a setup with world-class research with the help of the funding from government funding agencies such as Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Human Resource Development, and Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences.

Biocon, Panacea Biotec, Piramal Healthcare, Zydus Cadila, to name a few, are some of the best biotechnological companies of India that are doing great research and development works in their respective fields. Ranbaxy and Lupin are top pharmaceutical companies that has an enviable position in the global pharmaceutical market. Several other companies such as Reliance life sciences are making efforts in order to provide services to common people in a cost-effective manner. Certainly, the future of biotechnology is very bright in India. However, there are some safety and ethical issues associated with biotech research which should be taken care of. By managing such issues, certainly, we can look forward for exciting projects which can lead to medical as well as industrial breakthroughs and thus could be important for improving our daily life and welfare.

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