Department of Biotechnology (DoBT), Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra organized an Invited Lecture on 12th September, 2017; wherein Eminent Professor (Dr.) Umesh Desai, Director, Institute of Structural Biology, Drug Discovery and Development, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA, spoke on the topic “Biotechnological Approaches in the Synthesis of Glycosaminoglycans”. At the outset, Dr. Indu Bhushan, Assistant Professor, DoBT extended a warm welcome with a brief introduction of Prof. Desia highlighting his academic and research achievements. He recollected his lab experiences where he recently completed his Post-Doctoral training under the UGC-Raman Fellowship granted in 2016-17 with the able guidance of Prof. Desai.
Dr. Desai is a renowned Scientist in the area of Drug Discovery and has to his credit many International publications in journals of high repute, awards and patents. He is nationally and internationally known for his work in developing a new line of anticoagulant agents expected to alleviate adverse affects seen in current thrombotic therapy used with heart attacks and strokes. The Lecture was attended by the Faculty members, research scholars and UG/PG students of the Department and was very interactive and interesting. Dr. Desai in his lecture talked about “Heparin” on which he and his research group is working to design a synthetic mimetic of heparin, a commonly used, animal-derived anticoagulant agent. The research has been a key factor in launching a new field of medicinal chemistry – nonsaccharide glycosaminoglycan mimetics – and the molecules being developed might also prove to be of use in treating cancer, HSV, HIV and chronic wounds. He has also visited all the labs of the Department accompanied by Dr. Sharada M. Potukuchi, Associate Prof. and Academic Coordinator, DoBT and Dr. Indu Bhushan. He interacted with the scholars and students and was interested in their research areas. Prof. V. Verma, Head, Department of Biotechnology & Dean, Faculty of Engineering extended a vote of thanks to Prof. Desai for taking time out to visit SMVDU and deliver such an exciting and interactive Lecture.