A virtual conference on
Infectious Disease, Microbiome, and Public Health
In the current scenario

August 10-11, 2020

Convener: Palok Aich, School of Biological Sciences, NISER

Background & objectives

As far as the records are available or the traditional knowledge tells us that the 1st known epidemic of infectious disease (ID) is over 3000 years old. We have seen since then, a basket of varieties of infection such as Small Pox, Plague, Cholera, Typhoid, Chikungunya, Meningitis, MERS-CoV, Nipah virus, hemorrhagic fever, West Nile fever, Yellow fever, Zika virus, HIV, Ebola virus, Dengue, Avian Influenza A(H5N1), Swine Flu, SARS, and now novel Corona –COVID-2019 along with that we have standing threats of other infectious diseases such as TB, malaria, variants of common flu and other neglected and re-emerging IDs.

While a comparative trend analysis of the transmission of select IDs that became epidemic or pandemic during its reign is imperative but a detailed one is yet to come. The IDs are caused by microbial organisms that are pathogenic.

On the contrary, the human body harbors a multitude of microbes that can easily outnumber the number of pathogens that caused havoc in human society. Many of these resident microbes are also beneficial to our physiology to maintain health. Although progress has been made in studying microbiome their therapeutic or prophylactic abilities have only started to emerge. The role of microbes has already shown protective roles against colitis or other enteric diseases.

The present-day world is going through a huge crisis of COVID-19 pandemic. While mankind is in search of vaccines or effective medication against COVID, it is only tantamount to think if somehow our own immunity can be boosted in a natural way to combat COVID-19 or other stubborn IDs, perhaps the world could have different.

With this goal in mind, I plan the conference on Infectious Disease, Microbiome, and public Health--In the current scenario.

The objective is to understand the global trend in microbiome and probiotics to deal with an outbreak associated with Infectious diseases. To achieve the milestones, we plan an online conference for two days. The conference is planned for August 10-11, 2020.

The challenge of a virtual conference is the time-zone of various speakers and participants. Keeping that in mind, we will perhaps start the meeting in the afternoon or evening of India.

There will be scope of e-posters and a few brief oral presentations by junior participants. Kindly register. Posters and oral presentations will be selected from the submitted abstracts. Due to time restrictions, only a handful of abstracts will be selected. Please note that keeping in mind the bandwidth and other limitations of the virtual or online meetings, we might be restricting the total number of participants to the first 50.

Registration : (Maximum number of participants reached. The registration is closed for this conference.)

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Here are some of our speakers

K VijayRaghavan

K VijayRaghavan

Zoonosis

Lorne A Babiuk

Lorne A Babiuk

Evolution of Vaccinology

John Quackenbush

John Quackenbush

Using Networks to Link Genotype to Phenotype

Neerja Hajela

Neerja Hajela

The Role of Probiotic Foods in Building Immunity

Vikram Misra

Vikram Misra

Bats, viruses and pandemics

Satya Prakash Dash

Satya Prakash Dash

The interaction in the liminal space between the Indian biotech/medtech entrepreneurial ecosystem and the Indian public health ecosystem: lessons in translational R&D

Jason Kindrachuk

Jason Kindrachuk

Characterizing Tissue-Barrier Specific Pathogenesis of Epidemic and Pandemic Emerging Viruses

Tirumala K Chowdary

Tirumala K Chowdary

Structure biology of pandemic viruses – lessons learnt on biology, pathomechanism and spread

Santasabuj Das

Santasabuj Das

Gut-lung axis: Can healthy gut microbiome protect against respiratory viral infections?

 Ramjee Pic

Ramjee Pallela

Overview on the PPP - Healthcare Innovation Scenario in the Current Times

SCHEDULE

Here information of schedule

Brochure

KVR_jpg
K. VijayRaghavan

Title: Zoonosis



Brief Bio:
Professor K. VijayRaghavan is the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, succeeding Dr. R. Chidambaram on April 3, 2018 and the Chairperson of Prime Minister's Science, Technology & Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). He was Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India from January 28, 2013 to February 2, 2018.

The Principal Scientific Adviser works with all arms of the Government, with our States, our citizens, national and international agencies. The goal is that the benefits of science, technology and innovation solutions reach the most needy, for the sustainable development of India and for the well being of our planet.

VijayRaghavan is also a Distinguished Professor at the National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Bangalore (TIFR) and was the NCBS Director till 2013. He studied Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, was a Senior Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. His research is on nerves and muscles and how complex behaviour emerges during animal development.

VijayRaghavan is a Fellow of the Indian Science Academies, the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2013.

Babiuk
Lorne A. Babiuk

Title: The evolution of vaccinology


Brief Bio:
Dr. Lorne Babiuk is an internationally recognized leader in Canadian vaccine research who has devoted his career to Canadian-based research aimed at safeguarding the health of people and animals at home and abroad. The vaccines that he was involved in developing have had a significant impact on the economy as well as reduced mortality and morbidity caused by infectious diseases.

He specializes in immunology, pathogenesis, virology, molecular virology, and vaccinology, and is a world expert in infectious diseases and their control, specifically by vaccination. He has published over 600 manuscripts, with over 29,000 citations an H index of 82 and an i10 index of 568, awarded 42 patents, and trained over 100 PhD and post-doctoral fellows who have gone on to successful careers in academia, industry, and government.

Among his many honours, he is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (USA) a Member of the European Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Babiuk was also honoured to receive the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and to be inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame. Dr. Babiuk was awarded the Helmholtz International Scholar, the 2012 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, the Killam Prize in health sciences in 2013, and the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2016.

Before taking up his position (2007-2017) as Vice-President (Research) at the University of Alberta, Dr. Babiuk was the Director of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). During his time at VIDO, Dr. Babiuk built the organization into an international powerhouse carrying out major research in immunology, pathogenesis, virology, molecular virology, and vaccinology


Abstract:
Vaccines have saved more lives than all other therapies for infectious diseases. This is especially true in today's environment where vaccines are having a major impact on the health of humans and animals as well as enhancing food security, especially in the developing world. New vaccine design, such as live recombinant vaccines and new formulations and delivery methods for killed or subunit vaccines will be described. For example, novel adjuvants based on their ability to modulate both the magnitude and quality (immune balance) of the immune response have been developed. These adjuvants can also act as delivery vehicles to provide mucosal immunity and eliminate the use of needles for delivery. These adjuvants are based on our understanding of the role of innate immunity and how innate immunity drives specific immune responses. Secondly, our ability to develop viral vectors that are thermostable and can carry genes from multiple pathogens provides an opportunity to control multiple diseases with a single immunization. These approaches are creating opportunity to reduce both economic losses and disease transmission between species, especially animal-human transmissions, will be described

Jason
Jason Kindrachuk

Title: Characterizing Tissue-Barrier Specific Pathogenesis of Epidemic and Pandemic Emerging Viruses


Brief Bio:
Dr. Kindrachuk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, University of Manitoba, Canada, and holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the molecular pathogenesis of emerging and re-emerging viruses. His research expertise and experiences have focused on emerging virus pathogenesis and outbreak preparedness with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. He is also actively engaged in multiple international scientific outreach activities with regional partners across Africa including Sierra Leone, Gabon and Kenya.

His research investigations focus on the circulation, transmission and pathogenesis of emerging viruses. In this capacity, he has focused on viruses that pose the greatest threat to global human and animal health. These have included ebolaviruses, coronaviruses and influenza viruses. Past and present findings from his investigations will help inform emerging virus therapeutic treatment strategies, outbreak prediction and preparedness efforts with impacts on both human and animal health.

Dr. Kindrachuk has served on multiple expert committees and working groups with the World Health Organization. He is also actively involved in international outbreak response efforts, including during the West African Ebola virus disease epidemic and most recently with COVID-19. He also serves as an Associate Editor with multiple scientific journals and as a scientific contributor with Forbes. He actively participates training young investigators for careers in infectious disease research and participates in media outreach locally, nationally and internationally to help provide knowledge dissemination to the public


Abstract:
Emerging viruses pose a significant and unpredictable threat that have severe impacts on public health and global economies. However, there is often a paucity of information regarding the molecular events underlying clinical illness, persistence in the recovered patient and circulation in the natural reservoir host. This information is critical for the timely identification of supportive care and therapeutic treatment options for patients and characterization of spillover events from wildlife. My laboratory focuses on the interface of basic and clinical research to characterize the molecular pathogenesis of emerging viruses with a focus on tissue barriers. Here, we have provided important insights into the persistence and sexual transmission of Ebola virus, the pathogenesis of respiratory virus infections in the lower respiratory tract and the development of platforms for characterizing emerging virus persistence in reservoir hosts. These insights will help inform patient treatment strategies, outbreak containment coordination and virus spillovers at the human-wildlife interface.

John
John Quackenbush

Title: Using Networks to Link Genotype to Phenotype



Brief Bio:
John Quackenbush is Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Professor in the Channing Division of Network Medicine, and Professor in the Department of Data Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. John's PhD was in Theoretical Physics, but in 1992 he received a fellowship to work on the Human Genome Project. This led him through the Salk Institute, Stanford, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), and to Harvard in 2005. John uses massive data to probe how many small effects combine to influence human health and disease. He has more than 300 scientific papers and over 73,000 citations. Among his honors is recognition in 2013 as a White House Open Science Champion of Change.


Abstract:
One of the central tenets of biology is that our genetics—our genotype—influences the physical characteristics we manifest—our phenotype. But with more than 25,000 human genes and more than 6,000,000 common genetic variants mapped in our genome, finding associations between our genotype and phenotype is an ongoing challenge. Indeed, genome-wide association studies have found thousands of small effect size genetic variants that are associated with phenotypic traits and disease. The simplest explanation is that these genetic variants work synergistically to help define phenotype and to regulate processes that are responsible for phenotypic state transitions. We will use gene expression and genetic data to explore gene regulatory networks, to study phenotypic state transitions, and to analyze the connections between genotype, gene expression, and phenotyope. We have found that the networks, and their structure, provide unique insight into how genetic elements interact with each other and the structure of the network has predictive power for identifying SNPs likely to be associated with phenotype through genome wide association studies. I will show multiple examples, drawing on my work in cancer, in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and in the analysis of data from thirty-eight tissues provided by the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project.

Vikram
Vikram Misra

Title: Bats, viruses and pandemics


Brief Bio:
Vikram Misra is a professor of Microbiology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Vikram has also served as the coordinator of One Health initiatives, an area of priority for the University. Vikram obtained his PhD in Medical Virology at the University of British Columbia, Canada, with post-doctoral and sabbatical experience at Univ. of B.C., McGill University and the National Microbiology Laboratory, Canada, and the Marie Curie Cancer Research Institute, UK . His research interests have been devoted to studying how stress influences the host-virus relationship. Currently, his research group – the Bat Zoonoses Laboratory – is examining the benign relationship bats have with their viruses and how stress can unbalance this relationship leading to spillover of viruses to people.


Abstract:
Several viruses, that appear to cause no overt disease in their natural bat hosts, have spilled over into other mammals causing serious and often fatal disease. These include viruses that cause: Coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19), Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS); Marburg and Ebola haemorrhagic diseases; Hendra and Nipah respiratory and neurological diseases; and porcine epidemic diarrhea and swine acute diarrhoea.

In humans and other animals an overblown inflammatory response exacerbates the pathology in these diseases. In contrast, bats appear to have a balanced and benign relationship with their viruses, likely due to evolutionary adaptations made necessary to modulate the toxic metabolic effects of flight. While bats respond to viral infection with robust anti-viral responses, they either do not activate inflammation or actively turn-off the inflammatory pathways. This allows viruses to persist in bats without causing disease and bats appear to harbor more viruses than other mammalian orders.

The objective of our research group is to examine the apparently benign relationship between viruses and their natural bat hosts as well as the factors that upset this relationship leading to increased virus replication and, potentially, to spillover to other species.

Hotel 1
Satya Prakash Dash

Title: The interaction in the liminal space between the Indian biotech/medtech entrepreneurial ecosystem and the Indian public health ecosystem: lessons in translational R&D


Brief Bio:
Dr. Satya Prakash Dash is a technology policy leader who has contributed over the last decade to nurture and build a vibrant biotech and medtech innovation ecosystem in India. He was the founding Head of Strategy Partnerships & Entrepreneurship Development at BIRAC- the nodal biotech innovation agency in India where he conceptualised, designed & implemented 15 national programs such as BIG (India's largest biotech funding program), SPARSH (social innovation program), BioNEST (incubator program), SoCH (sustainable & community health) SEED & AcE (equity funding) amongst others as well as national & international partnerships with Nesta/Longitude Prize on AMR, University of Cambridge, UK and WISH Foundation. He grew BIRAC's footprint through establishing regional centers such as BRIC at IKP Hyderabad & BREC at CCAMP Bangalore. He was also the Founding Coordinator for Make in India at BIRAC/DBT. Dr Dash was the Director of Global Innovations at PATH, a non-profit health agency where he built an innovation platform & an accelerator arm for medtech startups to interface with public health agencies, COO of ABLE -the nodal biotech industry body (where he authored the Indian biotech roadmap for 2025 giving the stated policy goal of the Government of India to achieve US$100 billion Indian biotech industry by 2025) and Consultant to IIM-Bangalore and researcher at University of Cambridge.

He is currently Member, Board of NCL-Venture Center, Pune- India's largest S&T innovation incubator, an Independent Advisor to Longitude Prize, UK & Board of Advisors at SciTal (a digital education startup). He is currently in sabbatical in Germany.

Education: Dr Dash holds triple masters from the universities of Cambridge UK, Leicester UK and Sambalpur Odisha India and a PhD from University of East Anglia Norwich UK. His interests are in S&T policy, impact, outcomes, system design & re-design, and catalysing positive serendipities across innovation ecosystems.


Abstract:
The Indian biotech/medtech entrepreneurial ecosystem has grown over the last decade fuelled by injection of public funding through organisations such as the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)-BIRAC, Department of Science & Technology (DST), MeitY (Ministry of Electronics), Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)- Niti Aayog to name a s few as well as other funding organisations especially not-for-profits such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to name a few. Currently the ecosystem has evolved to a semi-mature stage with many biotech and medtech products at cusp of stepping out from their proof-of-concept stages to be validated and manufactured at scale while adhering to the paradigm of marrying excellent quality with affordability. On the other hand, the Indian public health system which has historically suffered long periods of neglect needs strengthening including infusion of new products that can create positive health impact. The talk will delve (using case studies of two products- one commercialised and one in stages of development) into the current scenarios of the entrepreneurial and translational ecosystem, as well as the challenges biotech and medtech products need to overcome to be commercialised, adopted and scaled in the Indian context.

NeerjaHajela
Neerja Hajela

Title: The Role of Probiotic Foods in Building Immunity



Brief Bio:
Dr. Neerja Hajela has done her Ph. D in Biotechnology and has a special interest in probiotics. She is currently the Head of Science and Regulatory Affairs at Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd. She has over 16 years of experience and has worked in organizations like Ranbaxy Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. and Biotech Consortium India Limited (Department of Biotechnology).

She is involved in the development, planning and implementation of scientific programmes including clinical trials for the company. She handles all the regulatory issues and ensures compliances related to the category and individual product. She works closely with health care professionals and scientists to advance the science, promote evidence-based clinical use, and improve consumer understanding of probiotics. She is associated with the Asian Federation of Societies for Lactic Acid Bacteria (AFSLAB).

She is a member of the Gut Microbiota and Probiotic Science Foundation (India) that aims to establish credibility for the science of intestinal microbiota and probiotics in the country. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Probiotic Association of India. She is also a member of the Governing Council for ILSI-India Knowledge Center for Functional Foods, Gut Health and Immunity (IKFHI).

She has presented at International and National conferences and has several publications in peer reviewed journals.


Abstract:
Interestingly researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) in Australia discovered that COVID- 19 does not affect everyone in the same manner. According to them, in their recently published paper in Nature Medicine, some people actually recovered from the infection like they would from common flu. Therefore, as we continue to battle the threat of COVID-19 in the absence of defined treatment options and vaccines, the good news is that the strength of our immune system may play an important in fighting and warding off the infection. According to Professor Katherine Kedzierska, co- author of the paper, "this is an incredible step forward in understanding our immune system and what drives recovery of COVID-19". (Irani Thevarajan et al, Nature Medicine, 2020).

Therefore, while the cornerstone methods for building immunity remain nutrition, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, an important organ that could decide the strength of our immunity is the intestine. This forgotten organ which harbours about 70% of the body's immunity is also the largest immune organ of the human body. Intestinal immunity is controlled by trillions of microbes living in intestine which weigh almost 1.5 kg and are collectively known as Intestinal Microbiota. It has been long known that the intestinal microbes play an essential role in the body's immune response to infection and maintaining overall health (R.E. Ley et al, Cell 2006).

Huge amounts of data from across countries suggest that a probiotic intervention could reduce the negative influence of viral infection. In fact, China's National Health Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends probiotics in the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 infection. According to them, probiotics could help maintain the balance of the intestinal microflora and prevent secondary bacterial infection (Gao QY et al, Dig Dis 2020).

Numerous studies have shown that the probiotic benefits are strain specific and every strain has to be validated with its own dossier of scientific data for both its safety and efficacy. Studies conducted on the probiotic bacteria - Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota have shown that the probiotic can exert its immunomodulatory properties because of the presence of a unique Polysaccharide - Peptidoglycan complex in the cell wall which activates macrophages to induce production of the cytokine Interleukin-12 which activates T cells to secrete Interferon-gamma (IFN - Ƴ). This in turn is capable of augmenting Natural Killer (NK) cell activity. NK cells play a critical role in immune surveillance against tumour development and viral infection ( Shida K et al, Gut Microbes, 2011)

Several studies have also shown that LcS can help to increase and maintain Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) levels in the saliva. Salivary IgA is considered as the "first line of defence" against mucosal pathogens and there is consensus that reduced Salivary SIgA levels are associated with an increased risk of developing infections (Gleeson et al, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2010).

A study where Lactobacillus casei Shirota was consumed for 12 weeks by adults in the age group of 30-49 years old showed that the incidence of upper respiratory infections and flu was lower in the probiotic group. Recovery was faster and immune function was significantly improved (Kan Shida et al, Eur J Nutr, 2017). Other studies using different strains of probiotic bacteria suggest a reduction in the negative effects of the influenza virus and reduced incidence of viral respiratory diseases.

Probiotic strains of the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have the ability to produce lactic acid and acetic acid which reduce the intestinal pH and prevent the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, while also stimulating phagocytic activity of lymphocytes and macrophages.

From a clinical view, studies around the world have shown that improving the balance of the microbiota may help preventing respiratory infections and viral influenza (Bradley KC et al, Cell Rep, 2019). A Cochrane review of 12 studies that evaluated the benefit of probiotics in preventing upper respiratory tract infections (URTI's) like common cold in all age groups including children, adults and the elderly showed a reduction in incidence of URTI's by 30% ( Hao et al, Cochrane Review, 2015 )

All these studies are indicators of the potential use of probiotics to prevent viral infection. At present, there is no direct evidence of the benefit of probiotics in prevention or treatment of COVID – 19 infection, however modulation of the intestinal microbes towards a more favourable balance and strengthening immunity could be a welcome addition in the fight against COVID -19.

Tirumala
Tirumala Kumar Chowdary

Title: Structure biology of pandemic viruses – lessons learnt on biology, pathomechanism and spread



Brief Bio:
Dr. Tirumala Kumar Chowdary's is a Reader-F in the School of Biological Sciences, National Institute of Science Education and Research. He did his Ph.D in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India, and post-doctoral training on structural biology of herpesvirus cell entry proteins from Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA. Dr. Chowdary's research group is focused on structural biology of viral protein complexes that are essential in viral entry, replication and genome packaging.


Abstract:
A grim reality is that COVID-19 is neither the first viral pandemic nor will be the last. Understanding the biology of these pandemic viruses can help us prepare better in the unfortunate event of another pandemic in future. Structural biology of the viruses that caused pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, explained how the structure of the virus evolved for rapid spread, better adaptation to human host and pathomechanism. Because of the advancement in the tools and techniques of structural biology, we are in a better place now than a decade ago to understand the structure and use that knowledge to come with therapeutic and vaccine strategies faster. I will discuss some of the published Cryo EM studies on SARS-CoV-2 that helped us understand the tropism, viral cell entry and the rapid spread of the virus. I will also discuss some of the work from our research group on understanding the viral entry machinery of chikungunya virus – an aedes mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that had spread worldwide in 2006-2011.

Tirumala
Santasabuj Das

Title: Gut-lung axis: Can healthy gut microbiome protect against respiratory viral infections?




Brief Bio:
Dr Samtasabuj Das is currently a senior scientist at ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, India. He received his postgraduate degree (MD, General Medicine) from the University of Calcutta, Kolkata in 1996. He received postdoctoral training in Immunology from India (NCBS, Bangalore) and USA (Thomas Jefferson University and Tufts University) and worked extensively on the signal transduction mechanisms underlying immune regulation. Dr Das is a recipient of the National Bioscience Award for Career Development from the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and the Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship by the Department of State, Federal Government of USA and the Government of India.

His current research interest is to study host-pathogen interactions in the intestine and the regulation of mucosal immune responses during health and disease. His laboratory has developed a novel mouse model of oral Salmonella Typhi infection that helped to identify several virulence factors critical for epithelial invasion and phagosomal survival of the bacteria. A subunit candidate vaccine developed in his laboratory generated strong Th17 and secretory IgA response in the intestine and protected mice from Salmonella Typhi challenge. He has also studied the signal transduction mechanisms underlying cationic antimicrobial peptide expression at the intestinal mucosal site.


Abstract:
It is known for thousands of years that a healthy diet boosts body's immune system to protect against infectious diseases. However, the role of gut microbiome in this protection was elaborated only recently. Not only the microbiota and their metabolites help in the development of the intestinal immune system, but they also regulate the systemic immune responses. Crosstalk between the gut microbiome and the respiratory mucosa protect the latter against viral invasion as well as secondary bacterial infections. Respiratory infection by the viral and bacterial pathogens is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Restoration of a healthy microbiota in the intestine by diet, probiotics and prebiotics were shown to accelerate recovery from respiratory viral infections and limit lung pathology. Further mechanistic understanding of these beneficial effects and identification of particular member(s) of the gut microbial communities and their products will advance novel therapeutic discovery to limit future epidemics and pandemics of respiratory viruses.

Ramjee Pic
Ramjee Pallela

Title: Overview on the PPP - Healthcare Innovation Scenario in the Current Times




Brief Bio:
Dr. Pallela is placed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Atal Incubation Centre of CCMB (AIC-CCMB), Hyderabad, since June 2018. Prior to this position he served as Chief Manager, Grants Management Division of IKP Knowledge Park (2014-2018). Being a Program Manager, he was more specifically engaged in Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) scheme of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). His career at IKP has involved igniting scientific brains through meetings and personal interactions, inspiring proposals for start-up grants and mediating the process with BIRAC through IKP. His association with DBT started since his previous engagement as a Research Scientist/Project Manager at DBT-ICGEB centre for advanced bioenergy research, ICGEB, New Delhi.  With a Ph.D. from Osmania University [CSIR-IICT as pedestal workstation], Hyderabad, Dr. Pallela has engaged in high quality research during his postdoctoral stay at South Korea spanning from 2009-2012. He started working towards transplanting his scientific acumen into management roles with a P.G. Diploma in Patent's Law from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University, Hyderabad, India in 2005 and strengthened it with an MBA degree from Pondicherry University in 2014. Accolades in his scientific excellence is marked with more than 40 research publications in varied national and international journals/books.


Abstract:
The healthcare industry in India has emerged as one of the most promising and progressive sectors in recent times. However, despite its impressive growth, the Indian healthcare scenario needs to improve in terms of global quality standards to be competitive. In recent times, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have emerged as a very feasible, viable, and preferred mode of creating infrastructure for healthcare innovations across the nation in specific and globally in general. A well strategic PPP model can be a catalyst for innovations especially in developing nations where there is low investment in creating adequate infrastructure required for high level healthcare management. India, through its various Ministries and Departments like NITI Aayog, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) or other public entities, is actively engaging in the PPP model to nurture various healthcare innovations in the nation, and it is reaping rich rewards. Moreover, role of innovation and incubation ecosystem in the nation is catalytic to trigger the PPP scenarios in the nation, which is a positive sign for the country to grow as a powerhouse of innovation, especially in the healthcare sector.

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