A six-day workshop-cum-course on the basic mechanisms of epigenetic regulation, organised by Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) commenced at its Akkulam campus here, featuring an impressive line-up of top scientists and experts on the subject, including international delegates.
Dr Shekhar C Mande, Former Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, inaugurated the programme, titled ‘Immuno-India 2023’, with the theme ‘Epigenetic Regulation of Immune Responses’ last evening.
RGCB Director Prof Chandrabhas Narayana presided over the opening session of the programme, organised in association with International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS), an umbrella of regional and national societies of immunology, Indian Immunology Society (IIS) and Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania (FIMSA).
The event has a total of 37 participants and six of them are international delegates, besides the presence of 22 experts, who belong to national and international level.
In his opening lecture, Dr Mande, who is also the Distinguished Professor, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, said modern science must take cues from traditional practices around the world.
Noting that there is a strong revival of interest in this area, Dr Mande said the National Science Foundation (NSF) has earmarked a hefty budget to retrieve and mainstream the traditional practices of the indigenous people and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is also now in the process of setting up an institute in Jamnagar, Gujarat, to promote studies on development of traditional medicine.
Citing examples, Dr Mande said “the Rhinoplasty surgery that changes the shape of nose has been described in the traditional Indian text back in 1000 BC. The text of Sushruta, who is considered as the first surgeon in the world, has mentioned this procedure very well,” he said.
Commenting that there is lot to learn from traditional practices all around the world, he said in 400 AD, Vagbhata had laid down the protocol regarding the precautions to be taken while performing Rhinoplasty.
Referring to airborne infections like Tuberculosis (TB), Dr Mande said as part of ‘TB Mukt Bharat’ initiative, the government has set 2030 as deadline for making the country TB free.
He said the Ministry of Health and Welfare has started large number of vaccine trials, besides awareness campaigns informing the public that TB can be cured.
Dr Mande added that the government has adopted Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) programme very aggressively and medicines are given to TB patients only through DOT.
RGCB Senior Scientist Dr T R Santhosh Kumar; Scientists Dr Devasena Anantharaman and Dr Harikumar K B also spoke. The workshop will conclude on October 6.