2019 Orientation Speakers

Orientation Speakers

Name: Dr. Shahid Jameel
Title: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Institution: Wellcome Trust – DBT India Alliance
Dr. Shahid Jameel is an Indian virologist and the chief executive officer of Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance. Known for his research in Hepatitis E virus, Jameel is an elected fellow of all the three major Indian science academies, namely, National Academy of Sciences, India, Indian Academy of Sciences, and Indian National Science Academy. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex agency of the Government of India for scientific research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in 2000. He is a member of Guha Research Conference as well as the American Society for Microbiology and the award orations delivered by him include the Dr. M.R. Das Memorial Lecture of the Indian National Science Academy. Dr. Jameel completed his graduate studies (BSc) at Aligarh Muslim University in 1977 and moved to the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur to earn a master’s degree (M.Sc.) in 1979. His doctoral studies were under the guidance of B.A. McFadden at the Department of Biochemistry at Washington State University. After completing his PhD in 1984, he did his postdoctoral work on molecular virology with A. Siddiqui at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Three years later, he joined the institute as an Assistant Professor at the Division of Rheumatology. His stay there lasted a year and on his return to India in 1988, he joined International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) where he established the Virology Research Group. He continued his research at ICGEB as a senior scientist and the head of the virology research group for around 25 years. In 2013, he moved to Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance as its Chief Executive Officer and holds the position until now. He was shortlisted as one of the five choices for the post of the vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University in January 2017.


Name: Professor LS Shashidhara
Title: Professor
Institutions: Ashoka University and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune
Professor L. S. Shashidhara specializes in Genetics, Developmental Biology and Evolutionary biology. He has served as the Vice-President of Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in the past and is currently the President of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and is steering an international project on Climate Change Education. He has served/is serving as Chair/co-chair/member of various apex committees of Government of India (of DST, DBT, CSIR and ICMR) and S&T organizations, particularly those dealing with education, basic/applied/translational research, innovation, policy, international relations and outreach. He is a key member of Indiabioscience and young investigators meetings in India, UK and USA. He has facilitated the training of more than 10,000 school and undergraduate teachers in adopting inquiry-based teaching methods. Besides, he has organized several alternate career workshops for scientists, particularly women scientists, in science journalism, science policy, administration and management that have benefited more than 300 scientists from across the country.


Name: Dr. Praveenkumar Somasundaram
Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India
Dr. Praveenkumar Somasundaram, a Scientist of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India has been involved in several R&D promotional schemes of DST at various levels. He, a doctorate in Physics (Perovskites and Ferrites) had steered some significant R&D Programs for Young Scientists in Physical & Mathematical Sciences. He also worked as an Examiner of Patents and Designs in Patent Office, Government of India. He was closely involved in the establishment of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of DST. Currently, he is responsible for implementing Overseas Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships; Visiting Doctoral Fellowships; Internship Programs of SERB such as S.N Bose Scholar Program, GROW of NSF and National Postdoctoral Fellowship. He is instrumental in building partnerships with top-ranking Universities across the globe. VAJRA Faculty Scheme, presumed to be a game-changer in Indian S&T, for bringing international R&D expertise to the Indian ecosystem is the latest responsibility assigned to him for implementation. He is also associated with IMPacting Research, INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) Scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India and DST to address major engineering challenges relevant to India through an inclusive and sustainable mode of translational research steered by the top engineering institutions in the country. SERB-SUPRA (Scientific and Useful Profound Research Advancement) for practicing scientists who are working in realms of highly unconventional pathways of transformative research is the new assignment given to him for implementation.


Name: Kayla Huemer
Title: Fulbright Scholar
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kayla is a 2018 graduate of UW Madison in Biomedical Engineering with interest in low-cost medical solutions and device design. This past year, she completed a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship at CMC Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. During her project, she developed a diagnostic tool aimed at reducing the incidence of amputations due to foot ulcers that often plague people with diabetes in India. Upon her return, she has begun working at Exact Sciences in Madison Wisconsin as a robotics and automation software engineer. In her time outside of work, she has also accepted an affiliate researcher position with UW Madison to continue her Fulbright work with students, faculty, and clinicians. She is actively looking for opportunities to stay involved with Global Health Innovation projects, especially in India!


Name: Professor Sourav Pal

Title: Director

Institute: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata

Professor Sourav Pal is serving as the director of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata since 2017. He is a former Director at National Chemical Laboratories, Pune. He has made fundamental contributions in the field of computational and quantum chemistry. His current research interests include theoretical investigations of Hard-Soft Acid-Base relation, the study of electron-molecule scattering, development and application of ab-initio molecular dynamics, density functional response approach for molecular properties, magnetic properties and application to problems of chemical physics and computational materials science.

Name: Professor Manoj Singh Gaur

Title: Director

Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu

Professor Manoj Singh Gaur assumed the charge of Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu on June 29, 2017. Before joining IIT Jammu, he was a Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) Jaipur, India. Additionally, he was Professor-In-Charge (Coordinator) of IIIT Kota, which is currently being mentored by MNIT Jaipur. He has been Dean, Students Affairs and Head, Central Computer Centre at MNIT Jaipur as well. He also served as Chairman, Senate UG Board at MNIT Jaipur. He completed his Master’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Science Bangalore and Ph.D. from University of Southampton, UK. In his teaching and research career of more than two decades, he has been Investigator of several funded research projects in the area of Information Security and Networks on Chip. He has been part of the core group of Project ISEA (Information Security Education and Awareness) which is a major multi-institutional project in the domain of Information Security in India. His current research interests include Computer and Network Security (Network Attack Models and Countermeasures), Mobile Platform Security, Cloud Security, Malware Analysis, Networks-on-Chip, and Software-defined networking (SDN).


Name: Professor Umesh Varshney

Title: Chairman

Institution: Division of Biological Sciences, IISc Bangalore

Professor Umesh Varshney is a Professor and the Chairman of the Division of Biological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India. He is a J. C. Bose National Fellow of the Department of Science and Technology and is known for his studies on protein synthesis and DNA repair in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. An elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and the National Academy of Sciences (India), he is also a recipient of the National Bioscience Award for Career Development of the Government of India. He was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 2001 and the G.N. Ramachandran Gold Medal for Excellence in Biological Sciences & Technology in 2004 for his fundamental contributions to biological sciences. Professor Varhsney’s research is primarily focused in the area of protein synthesis and DNA repair in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. His research contributions are known to have assisted in a wider understanding of the biology of mycobacterium, more specifically the interaction between ribosome recycling factor and elongation factor G as well as the uracil excision repair pathway. These studies are reported to have been aimed at developing newer drug targets and the attenuated strains.


Name: Professor Umesh Varshney

Title: Chairman

Institution: Division of Biological Sciences, IISc Bangalore

Professor Umesh Varshney is a Professor and the Chairman of the Division of Biological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India. He is a J. C. Bose National Fellow of the Department of Science and Technology and is known for his studies on protein synthesis and DNA repair in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. An elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and the National Academy of Sciences (India), he is also a recipient of the National Bioscience Award for Career Development of the Government of India. He was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 2001 and the G.N. Ramachandran Gold Medal for Excellence in Biological Sciences & Technology in 2004 for his fundamental contributions to biological sciences. Professor Varhsney’s research is primarily focused in the area of protein synthesis and DNA repair in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. His research contributions are known to have assisted in a wider understanding of the biology of mycobacterium, more specifically the interaction between ribosome recycling factor and elongation factor G as well as the uracil excision repair pathway. These studies are reported to have been aimed at developing newer drug targets and the attenuated strains.


Name: Professor Souvik Bhattacharyya
Title: Vice-Chancellor
Institution: Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani
Souvik Bhattacharyya graduated from Jadavpur University, India with a bachelor’s degree, MS from University of Cincinnati and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Mechanical Engineering. After a post-doctoral research stint at Texas A&M University, he joined the faculty of IIT Kharagpur, India in 1991 where he has been a Professor since 2003 and was Dean (Students’ Affairs) during 2009-12. He also held faculty position at University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand during 1998-2000. He also served as the Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India and as Deputy Director of IIT Kharagpur, India. Currently, he is the Vice-Chancellor of BITS Pilani for its four campuses at Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad, and Dubai. Prof Bhattacharyya has published over 230 research articles in indexed international journals and refereed conference proceedings; he is a co-author of the Heat Transfer text with J P Holman.  Prof. Bhattacharyya is currently the national Chairperson of Teachers Associateship For Research Excellence (TARE) Expert Committee and TARE Screening Committee, and a member of the IISc Bangalore Court and Council; he has been member of Editorial Boards of several reputed international journals, member of Expert Committees of several Science & Technology Committees charged with disbursement of research grants, e.g. SERB Civil & Mechanical PAC, DST Fast-Track Committee, Research Council of CSIR-CGCRI. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Science, India and West Bengal Academy of Science & Technology. He is known as an adored teacher among the students of IIT Kharagpur and was the first recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award of Indian National Academy of Engineering in its inaugural year in 2013.


Name: Dr. Rajiv Sharma
Title: Senior Vice President and Director General
Institution: Ritnand Balved Education Foundation (Sponsoring Trust for Amity Universities) and Director General, Amity Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation Alliances (AFSTIA)
Dr. Rajiv Sharma is currently the Senior Vice President of Ritnand Balved Education Foundation (Sponsoring Trust for Amity Universities). Prior to this, he served as the Secretary, Science & Engineering Research Board, India (a NSF like organization of Government of India) as well as Head, Technology Missions in the Department of Science & Technology related to research, development and demonstration in areas of Water, Clean Energy and Supercomputing for the Government of India. He previously headed the bilateral Indo-US Science and Technology Forum as Executive Director for over 4 years during which the activities almost doubled in terms of numbers and more than four times in terms of budgetary support to INR 1 billion per year. Concurrently managed the US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund of about INR 145 million per year for promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship and projects worth INR 370 million were supported with 6 products near commercialization stage. Also administered the INR 1 billion, 5-year Indo-US Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre in India during this period. Earlier, in various capacities as Director, Advisor and Coordinator respectively for International Cooperation in Department of Science and Technology (DST) Government of India, he implemented science and technology cooperation with several countries including African Countries, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Norway, Sweden and USA; and co-chaired bilateral joint committees/ boards with several countries.


Name: Professor Raghu Raman
Title: Chairman, Amrita School of Business Director, Center for University Rankings & Strategy

Institution: Amrita School of Business
Prof. Raman is Chairman for Amrita School of Business and leads the University’s strategy for Global Rankings.  Under Chancellor AMMAs direct guidance, Prof. Raman has put together an outstanding MBA & Ph.D. program that develops socially responsible leaders. At Amrita School of Business world-class faculty from Wharton, Kellogg, IIMs, Berkeley, IITs, Harvard, XLRI, Cornell and others inculcate leadership qualities in students. The school is a member of AACSB International, a gold standard for Business Schools world over. As Principal Investigator for multiple research projects, Prof. Raman, has raised over $3.2m in research funding leading to over 50 publications and has several patents filed. Prof. Raman has over 30 years of executive management experience with Fortune 500 companies including 15 years at Amrita. As CEO of Amrita Technologies, Prof Raman led a healthcare technology start-up that developed a patented and CCHIT certified Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System with global customer base. As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NEC Research Labs USA, and he was instrumental in identifying multiple technologies for commercialization, raising over $26m in venture funding leading to new start-ups. Formerly, he was the Executive Director of Product Development at IBM, where he provided product leadership with an annual budget of over $8m. Prof. Raman holds an MBA from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley and is the recipient of President of India gold medal. He serves on the board of director for Amrita Technology Business Incubator; as Member, Standing Committee, National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT) and is the past chair of IEEE Education Society Chapter, IEEE India Council.


Name: Dr. Anuja Gupta

Physician, Real Estate Developer, Women-Empowerment Chicago Founder and Managing Partner, Verandah Retirement Community

Dr. Anuja Gupta, a physician, entrepreneur & real estate developer. After practicing as a Cardiologist in Chicago for 10 years she recently switched to pursue a full-time career in real estate development. She currently serves as the Managing Partner of Verandah Retirement Community, a $43 Million senior living facility in Schaumburg township designed to uniquely serve both Indian & American lifestyles. She was awarded the Influential Women in Business 2018 award by the Daily Herald Newspaper in recognition of her work at Verandah. Dr. Gupta is passionate about serving the community through women-empowerment & civic engagement. She is the co-founder of the Women’s Empowerment Campaign Chicago (WE), a networking & empowerment platform for Indian & Southeast Asian women in Chicagoland with 1700+ members. The top goal of WE is to support entrepreneurship in the Indian women community. She is also the co-founder of the Voice of Indian-American Voters (VIA), a non-partisan platform for the civic engagement of Indian-Americans. Her other commendable accomplishments include being a member of the Will County Economic Development Board & advisory board member of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) Chicago. Dr. Gupta is married to Dr. Gaurav Kapoor & has one daughter. She is based in Frankfort, IL. She attributes her professional accomplishments to grit & tenacity that help her overcome successively bigger obstacles. Her personal motto is to keep challenging herself to be more impactful.


Name: Dr. Shubhasis Haldar
Title: Assistant Professor of Biology
Institution: Ashoka University
Dr. Shubhasis Haldar did his doctoral studies at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in the area of single-molecule biophysics. After completion of his Ph.D., he joined Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (Germany) as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Ulrich Hartl, where he directly measured the chain dynamics of proteins inside molecular chaperonin and confirmed the active cage model. Then he moved to Columbia University (United States) and started working with Prof. Julio Fernandez. In Columbia University, he showed the mechanical role of chaperones by which it assists the translation or translocation processes. Dr. Haldar came back to India in July 2018 and joined Ashoka University as the Assistant Professor of Biology. Here, he built the first covalent magnetic tweezers (CMT) in India, which can be used to monitor the effect of force on protein molecules and can also be used for drug candidate screening. Dr. Shubhasis Haldar, Assistant Professor of Biology at Ashoka University has been awarded prestigious Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship by the Department of Biotechnology, INSPIRE Faculty Award by Department of Science & Technology and Ratna Phadke Award by Indian Biophysical Society.


Name: Professor K.V. R. Chary

Title: Director

Institute: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Berhampur

Prof. K.V.R. Chary obtained his B.Sc. (Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry; 1974), M.Sc. (Physics; 1976) and Ph.D. (Physics; 1983) from Osmania University, Hyderabad and joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (TIFR) in 1983. He was a Visiting Scientist in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Professor Kurt Wüthrich at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Eidg. Technische Hochschule, Zürich, Switzerland during the period 1988-90. Thereafter, he served at TIFR in various capacities, including as the Chairman of the Department of Chemical Sciences, and was most recently a Senior Professor (I). Prof. Chary is a renowned expert in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and over the last thirty-five years, has made notable contributions to several diverse areas in structural biology, molecular biophysics and biological chemistry. In recognition of his scientific contributions, Prof. Chary was awarded the G. N. Ramachandran Gold Medal for Excellence in Biological Sciences and Technology in 2017, by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). In addition to his rich contributions to fundamental research, Prof. Chary has contributed immensely towards institution building, science education, and the induction of young citizens towards mainstream fundamental research. In 2007, when it was clear that the Mumbai campus of TIFR was reaching its capacity, Prof. Chary conceptualized, procured the site for and undertook the development of the new campus of TIFR at Hyderabad. In 2017, he was entrusted with the responsibility of nurturing and navigating the new IISER campus at Berhampur, as its founding director.


 Name: Professor P.B. Sunil Kumar
Title: Director
Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Palakkad
Professor P.B. Sunil Kumar is currently the Director of IIT Palakkad. He is a Professor of Physics with interests in the area of physics of complex systems, namely, biological physics and soft matter. His current research interests include the fields of active systems, polyelectrolytes, membranes and rheological properties of micellar solutions.



Name: Prof. Sunil Mukhi
Title: Professor and Dean
Institution: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune
Prof. Sunil Mukhi is Professor of Physics and Dean, Faculty at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, India. He obtained a B.Sc. in Mumbai and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in 1981 from Stony Brook University (then called the State University of New York at Stony Brook). After a postdoctoral stay at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy, he returned to India in 1984 and worked for the next 28 years at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. At TIFR he was Dean, Graduate Studies (2003-2005) and Chair, Department of Theoretical Physics (2010-2012). In 2012 he moved to IISER Pune where he was Chair of the Physics Department (2012-2018) and Dean, Faculty (2019-present). His research deals with the physics of elementary particles, specifically String Theory, Gravitation and Quantum Field Theory.


Name: Professor Saumitra Das
Title: Director
Institution: National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, West-Bengal, India
Professor Saumitra Das is an Indian microbiologist and a professor at the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology of the Indian Institute of Science. Known for his studies in the fields of molecular virology and molecular biology, Prof. Das is an elected fellow of all the three major Indian science academies namely, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, India and the Indian National Science Academy. The Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India awarded him the National Bioscience Award for Career Development, one of the highest Indian science awards, for his contributions to biosciences in 2005. His laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science has been studying the biology and pathogenesis of several RNA viruses, such as Hepatitis C and Coxsackie B3 virus. In continuation of his interests on RNA viral diseases, he is involved in research on Dengue virus while serving as the Director of National Institute of Biomedical Genomics.


Name: Professor Sudhanshu Vrati
Title: Executive Director
Institution: Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad, Haryana, India
Professor Sudhanshu Vrati is currently the executive director at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad, Haryana, India. He did his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The Australian National University, Canberra. He was a Post-doctoral Researcher at CSIRO Molecular Sciences, Sydney. He has been awarded the Australian Alumni Excellence Award, Australian High Commission, India in 2010, Tata Innovation Fellowship, DBT, Govt. of India in 2009, NASI-Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Award, NASI, Allahabad in 2006, Alembic Award, Association of Microbiologists of India in 2005, Professor K P Bhargava Memorial Medal, INSA, New Delhi in 2005, FNASc (Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India) in 2004, FASc (Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences) in 2003, National Bioscience Award, DBT, Govt. of India and Vasvik Industrial Research Award, Vividhlaxi Audhyogik Samshodhan Vikas Kendra, Mumbai. He was also one of the Elected Members in the Guha Research Conference. He has 10 patents and several peer reviewed publications.


Name: Professor Neeraj Jain
Title: Director
Institution: National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) India
Professor Neeraj Jain is serving as the Director of National Brain Research Centre (NBRC). He did his Post-Doctoral research work with Prof. Jon Kaas at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA, where he worked on the organization and plasticity of the somatosensory system. He continued at Vanderbilt as Research Assistant Professor before moving to NBRC. His current research interests include organization and information processing in the primate and rodent sensorimotor system. More specifically, he investigates on determining how the brain reacts to injuries to the spinal cord and its perceptual and behavioral consequences. The lab is also interested in interventions such as stem cell transplantation to improve recoveries from spinal cord injuries and to develop assistive devices for patients using brain-machine interface.


Name: Mr. Dinesh Jain
A prolific entrepreneur and a business leader with over 35 years of experience operating globally in Life Sciences, InfoTech & Knowledge industry. Dinesh is the Founder CEO of Aagami, Inc. providing Strategic Consulting and Technology Licensing services to Global Life Sciences companies covering the Biotech, Pharma, Nutraceuticals and Medical Devices sectors. In Aagami successfully supported over 80 companies from over 20 countries, like the US, Canada, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Norway, UK, South Korea, Japan, Australia, India, Brazil, Turkey, etc.  Before switching to Life Sciences, Dinesh led several companies in Information Technology industry for 18 years across the Globe in Top executive positions as CEO, VP, and Representative Director of Several companies. Dinesh is an Electrical Engineer and an M.B.A. with an additional B.A. in Economics. Dinesh lived and worked in US, Japan, India and Spain and managed businesses across 4 continents.  Dinesh is Board member and Advisor of Sagacious Research, a Global Intellectual Property research firm and is Co-Founder and President of Nagpur First Foundation, a City growth and Development organization. He speaks at global conferences on Lifesciences, IT, Entrepreneurship and Religion. He taught Religion and Hindi (language) at Jain Center, Chicago for over 14 years. Dinesh lives in Naperville IL with his artist wife and they have two grown up children.


Name: Dr. Siva Prasad Kumpatla
Title: Global Leader, Data Science
Institute: Corteva Agriscience
Dr. Siva Prasad Kumpatla is an accomplished senior R&D Leader with more than 25 years of technology and product development experience driving scientific excellence, innovation, and change in very large multinational organizations. He holds two Masters degrees, one in Genetics and Plant Breeding from Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), India, and the other in Bioinformatics from Indiana University, USA, and a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology from Texas A&M University, USA. He is an influential and versatile leader with a passion for improving global agricultural productivity by employing molecular, biotechnological, analytical, genomics, and digital approaches and by building national and international partnerships across industry and academia. Dr. Kumpatla has a broad knowledge and experience base in diverse disciplines and in R&D pipeline, from ideation to registration of agricultural products, attested by 350+ internal and external publications, presentations and Intellectual Property (IP) contributions. He is a recipient of several top honors at and outside Corteva Agriscience that includes Excellence in Science award. He also served on the advisory/steering committees of several international initiatives focused on developing and applying next-generation tools and technologies for crop improvement. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of BioHealth Informatics at the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.


Name: Dr. Ramakanth Beesetty
Title: Associate Director, R&D, Innovation
Institution: Novartis India
Dr. Ramakanth is a medical doctor with post-graduation (MD program) in medical science and technology from IIT Kharagpur. He is also an innovation fellow from Stanford India Biodesign and a research fellow in robotics from IRCAD-Taiwan which is the Asian center of IRCAD France, Strasbourg University. He is presently an architect at Bosch who heads R&D for medical devices as part of New Business team for Bosch India. Being a part of new business team, he also plays a key role in business innovation and product management other than core R&D. He has his medical specialty in emergency medicine and critical care and research specialty in diverse areas which includes computational imaging, medical devices, robotics, machine learning, computer vision and augmented reality, medical optics, spectral and molecular imaging, statistics and pattern classification, microfluidics and BioMEMS, etc. He is presently working on ophthalmic medical devices and computational microscopy with more than seven patents filed and another seven to nine patents pending.


Name: Dr. Prabuddha K Kundu
Title: Executive Director
Affiliation: Premas Biotech
Prabuddha has studied from IIT-Bombay. His specialization is primarily in the protein expression and scale-up of biomolecules and MAbs. He has over 16 years of experience in various companies, and positions, including establishment of production facilities, for biologicals, vaccines and blood-derived products. He has worked for companies such as Bio-Rad, Ranbaxy, etc.  In his most recent role, as an entrepreneur, he has co-founded Premas Biotech 6 years ago, along with the team. The investment has come for a group of UK based angel investors. At Premas, he has managed mutli-group specialties, including manufacturing, marketing and business development, with a keen understanding of the bio-market in India and USA. He is the Executive Director and heads the Services business.  Apart from his other business interests, he is most interested in process efficiency enhancement and has been very actively involved and implemented “Lean Management” at Premas Biotech, or the “Toyota production Process” one of the first company in India for the biology sector, along with electronic information acquisition and documentation. This provides entire bandwidth of traceability, information management and process deliveries.


Name: Prof. Souri Banerjee
Title: Professor of Physics & Dean of Faculty Affairs
Institution: Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani
Prof. Souri Banerjee holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata. He works in the area of Nano-electronic Devices which involves fabrication of Single Electron Transistor and Single-Electron Non-volatile Memory. Currently, he is working on electronic properties of double-stranded DNA molecules bridged between nano-electrodes and on metal-doped zinc-oxide thin films for their novel applications in molecular electronics and Memristors, respectively. Prof. Banerjee is also a Visiting Professor in the department Electronics & Electrical Engineering, University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo Japan.


Name: Mr. Sam Pitroda
Title: Founder & Chairman, C-sam
Sam (Satyan) Pitroda, known by many as the Father of the Indian Telecom Revolution, is an internationally respected development thinker, telecom inventor and entrepreneur who has spent more than 45 years in Information and Communications Technology and related human and national developments. He worked to make telephones available to even the most remote parts of rural India, believing that information communication technology (ICT) is as important as water or education to the developing third world. Sam Pitroda holds around 100 technology patents worldwide and has built several successful companies while creating thousands of jobs. He served as the chairman of the National Knowledge Commission and formally served as the Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation. He is currently serving as Founder and Chairman of C- sam. C- sam creates enterprise-grade mobile wallets for payment and non-payment transactions.



Name: Dr. Dhananjay Kumar Tiwary
Title: Counsellor (Science & Technology wing) at Embassy of India in Washington D.C.
Dr. Dhananjay Kumar Tiwary is a Counsellor (S&T) Embassy of India in Washington D.C, USA.




Name: Prof. Arindam Mondal
Title: Assistant Professor
Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Dr. Arindam Mondal is currently working as an assistant professor at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur where he is leading the RNA virus research group. He had received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Biotechnology, University of Calcutta before moving to the United States to pursue postdoctoral research. He had worked as postdoctoral research associate at the University of Virginia and at University of Wisconsin, Madison and was subsequently promoted to Assistant Scientist at the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined IIT Kharagpur in 2016 and received the prestigious DBT-Ramalingaswami Fellowship at the same time. The Mondal laboratory, now, is interested in understanding the basic molecular mechanism by which RNA viruses hijack the host machinery to facilitate their replication using the Influenza virus and Japanese Encephalitis virus as the model systems.


Name: Prof. Debashree Ghosh

Title: Associate Professor

Institution: Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata

Dr. Debashree Ghosh is currently a faculty member at IACS Kolkata since 2017. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University, USA in 2009. She pursued postdoctoral research at University of Southern California, Los Angeles from 2009-2012 before Joining National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune in India as Senior Scientist from 2012-2017. She then moved to IACS, Kolkata in 2017 as Associate Professor in Chemical Sciences division to continue her research program in computational chemistry. Her research involves developing and applying accurate quantum chemical methods to understand the interaction between light and coupled bio-chromophores.


Name: Prof. Abhijit Majumdar
Title: Assistant Professor
Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Dr. Majumdar is a faculty member at the department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 2010. He did postdoctoral work at the institute for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine in Bangalore, India from 2010-2012, and later at MIT-Harvard, Boston in USA from 2013-2014. He received the TR-35 India Young Investigator Award, DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance Early Career Fellowship, Peeble Travel Grant Award and Runners Up for Alan Gent Award. His research includes understanding mechano-sensing and the role of mechano-signals in determining stem cell fate.

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