Nine individuals receive NASI-Scopus Young Scientist Award 2016
New Delhi: To recognize India’s contribution to the world of science, the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) along with Elsevier have awarded nine recipients from scientific disciplines including biological sciences, physics, medicine . The NASI-Scopus Young Scientist Award 2016 was awarded to nine individuals from the 650 applications received.
Sachin Kumar: Agriculture
Sachin Kumar, is an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati in the department of biosciences and bioengineering. Kumar is awarded the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) - Scopus Young Scientist Award 2016 for his contribution/ research in the field of Agriculture. His research focuses on understanding the biology of ‘avian paramyxovirus’ and development of vaccine against them using reverse genetics system.
The paramyxoviruses include viruses that are isolated from many species of terrestrial, avian and aquatic animals. It leads to huge economic losses to the poultry industry in India. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is an example of this virus and is a leading cause of respiratory disease in avian species. Apart from poultry, Kumar and his team are also trying to develop a better diagnostics and vaccine against classical swine fever virus.
Kumar completed his bachelor’s degree in veterinary sciences from Maharashtra animal and fishery sciences university, Nagpur in the year 2004 and masters from Indian veterinary research institute (IVRI), Bareilly in the year 2006 and moved to the University of Maryland (UMD) for PhD, understanding the biology of avian paramyxovirus. He further went to the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) for postdoctoral research post which he returned to India in 2012 and joined IIT, Guwahati.
Amit Singh: Biological Sciences
Amit Singh joined Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, as an Assistant professor in 2014, after serving at International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, for four years. Singh is awarded the NASI Scopus Young Scientist Award 2016 for extensive research in the field of Biological Sciences.
Singh received his Bachelor’s degree in Science from University of Delhi in Microbiology and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from IIT Roorkee in 1998. He joined the department of biochemistry, University of Delhi, south campus in 1999 and was awarded Ph.D in 2004. He obtained his post doctoral training at University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), USA, where he worked in the area of redox signalling and latency mechanisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb).
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is an extremely successful pathogen due to its ability to persist despite the use of multiple anti-tuberculosis drugs. Despite the years of research, very little information is available on the metabolic and physiological state of persistent Mtb. In this context, his group has characterized the role redox sensors in Mtb, which are essential to facilitate pathogen’s entry, maintenance, and emergence.
Rajnish Kumar: Chemistry
Rajnish Kumar is a Senior Scientist at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune India. Kumar has been awarded with the NASI Scopus Young Scientist Award 2016 for his research in the field of Chemistry focusing on developing technology and methods to recover methane trapped in natural gas hydrates which is considered as a potential energy resource.
Kumar and his research group is working closely with industries to understand gas hydrates at molecular level, its energy potential and to develop sustainable solutions for exploitation of available reserves. He is also interested in developing innovative technologies on the energy-water nexus.
Kumar completed Bachelors in chemical engineering in 2001 from Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University and Masters in 2003 from Indian Institute of Science with the same specialization. He finished his PhD (chemical engineering) in 2009 from the University of British Columbia, after which he joined National Research Council in Canada, Ottawa for his post doctoral fellowship and finally moved to National Chemical Laboratory in 2010. Kumar is also a recipient of most cited paper awards for three of his publications.
Jaydeb Sarkar: Mathematics
An associate professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, Dr. Jaydeb Sarkar research contributions have been in the area of multivariable operator theory, the classical one variable operator theory and function theory. A long term goal of his research program is to illuminate the relationship between four different mathematical traditions: operator theory, commutative algebra, complex geometry and several complex variables.
Sarkar has over the years developed a number of ideas and results for quotient modules and submodules of natural Hilbert modules including reproducing kernel Hilbert modules. He received an MSc Degree in pure mathematics from the University of Calcutta in 2000 and did his PhD in mathematics from Indian Institute of Science. Later he worked a visiting assistance professor at Texas A&M University, USA, during 2006-2009 and in 2010 moved to the University of Texas, San Antonio, as a visiting assistant professor. He likes playing table tennis and badminton, listing to Indian classical and western music, travelling and photography.
Manav Bhatnagar: Engineering
An Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, Dr. Manav Bhatnagar’s research interests include signal processing for multiple-input-multiple-output systems, cooperative communications, non-coherent communication systems, distributed signal processing for cooperative networks, multiuser communications, ultra wideband-based communications, free-space optical communication, cognitive radio, software defined radio, power line communications, physical layer security, smart grid, and satellite communications. He is working for developing low cost, affordable, and secure communication technology for people.
His many works have been popular papers of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) journals and letters and his current emphasize is over developing low cost broadband links using free-space optical communication and satellite communications.
He is also working over the area of visible light communication and its hardware implementation. Dr. Manav Bhatnagar received his Ph.D. degree in wireless communications from the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, in 2008, and an M.Tech. degree in communications engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, New Delhi, India, in 2005. He has authored about 64 journal papers out of which 48 are very high quality IEEE transactions and letters.
Vinayak Sinha: Earth, Oceanographic and Environmental Science
A professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali , Dr.Vinayak Sinha, is recognized internationally for his contributions and expertise as an analytical and atmospheric chemist who has pioneered field measurements of hydroxyl radical reactivity and volatile organic compounds using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry. His world famous scientific contribution is the Comparative Reactivity Method (CRM-OH reactivity instrument) developed in 2008 and improved further in 2014.
The instrument developed by Dr. Sinha has been emulated by several labs in USA, France, Germany and China advancing global scientific understanding of atmospheric oxidation processes and the cleansing capacity of the atmosphere in varied ecosystems around the world.
His current research objective is to understand mechanistic level radical and ozone photochemistry so as to quantify the atmospheric cleansing capacity over the Indian region and ascertain the role of biogenic emissions on regional climate. Dr. Sinha obtained his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and University of Mainz, Germany in 2007. Prior to his doctoral studies, he completed his BSc and MSc in Chemistry from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and M.Tech in Analytical Chemistry from IIT Delhi.
Biman B. Mandal: Medicine
Biman B. Mandal, an associate professor at department of biosciences and bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, is working towards developing affordable healthcare products through tissue engineering, biomaterials and stem cells. Mandal and his team are working on a range of products which include bio-artificial skin, smart wound dressings, bio-artificial liver devices, cardiac patches, corneal grafts, bone, cartilage, targeted anti-cancer drug delivery devices and affordable bioreactors and bio-instrumentation.
Mandal received his bachelor’s from Presidency College, Calcutta University in 2003 and his master’s in Biotechnology, H.P. University in 2005. He went on to pursue his Ph.D in Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and completed his Post Doctoral Research at Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, USA in 2011. Over the years, Mandal has contributed as an inventor with four patents in the US, six Indian patents and is also on the editorial board of five international journals.
Sanjib Kumar Agarwalla: Physics
Sanjib Kumar Agarwalla area of research is high energy particle physics, with main stress on neutrino properties. Currently a Reader-F at Institute of Physics, Bhubaneshwar, Agarwalla has made several contributions in neutrino physics. He has also worked on dark matters searches, precision electroweak tests using neutrinos, and the possibility of a sterile neutrino. Besides this, he is also actively involved in the upcoming neutrino observatory in India which is a flagship project.
His research work helps to identify methods in areas of unsolved issues including the determination of neutrino mass ordering and mixing angles. He is currently supervising two Ph.D. students, and one post – doctoral research associate in neutrino physics. Dr. Sanjib Kumar Agarwalla was awarded and appointed as Simons associate of The Abdus Salam International Centre for theoretical physics (ICTP) in 2015 and the National academy of sciences (NASI)- Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award in 2014.
Vishal Gupra: Social Sciences
Vishal Gupta, an associate professor in the organizational behavior area at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India, secured his doctorate in Organizational Behaviour & Human Resource Management from the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, India, in 2013. His current areas of research include compensation management, public-sector leadership, organizational justice, creativity and innovation management, research & development management, and high-performance organization design.
Gupta has consulted for organizations like the State Industrial & Investment Corporation Of Maharashtra Limited, Uttar Pradesh State Road Transportation Corporation and has conducted trainings in various areas of management for organizations like Ambuja Cements Limited, Pepsi.
Before joining IIM-A, Gupta was working as an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and has also worked as a hardware design engineer with Infineon Technologies AG in Germany where he was involved in the design of high-performance Application-Specific Integrated Circuits.