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Vol. 02 NO 11 March 13th, 2018.

NEWS - PAGE 2 NEWS - PAGE 3 SCHOLARSIP/AWARDS - NEW JOBS AVAILABLE


A WHOLE NEW CLASSIFICATION OF GENETICISTS BUILD WORLD’S BIGGEST PAGE 10
DIABETES: RESEARCH IDENTIFIES FIVE FAMILY TREE INVOLVING 13 MILLION SMART 2018 SCHOLARS PROGRAMME @ PAGES 11-12
DISTINCT TYPES PEOPLE ACROSS 11 GENERATIONS SINGAPORE

NOVEL BIOLOGICAL SAMPLE STORAGE


AN ALTERNATE STORAGE
METHOD - NEW FROM
RESEARCHERS
FROM WASHINGTON
UNIVERSITY
By Disha Padmanabha

NOVEL BIOLOGICAL SAMPLE


STORAGE METHOD NOT
REQUIRING REFRIGERATION
DEVELOPED
Researchers at the Washington University gelatinase-associated lipcalin (NGAL), and
have found an alternate storage method- stor- blood samples spiked with CA-125, a bio-
ing the biological samples in tiny metal-or- marker for ovarian cancer. The team mixed
ganic hybrid structures- using nanotechnolo- the samples with precursors of the nanopo-
gy. With this method, the samples maintain rous material ZIF-8 and let them dry on the
95 percent of their purity and the information paper at room temperature.
on which important health-care decisions are Using standard bioanalytical techniques,
based. the team determined that the samples with
The team led by Srikanth Singamaneni, as- ZIF-8 encapsulation had more than 95 per-
sociate professor of mechanical engineering cent of NGAL preserved.
& materials science in the School of Engi- The researchers then, in an attempt to test
neering & Applied Science, used a nanoporo- its Real-world application, put the paper with
us material to essentially shrink wrap protein the dried samples in a standard envelope and
biomarkers in blood and urine samples by sent them via regular mail to a colleague in
growing crystals around the molecules. Then, California, who mailed them back to Wash-
they transferred the shrink-wrapped mole- ington University. The researchers tested the
cules onto standard lab filter paper. Once dry, samples after the 10-day round trip and found
the paper can be shipped at any temperature up to 90 percent of the NGAL was preserved.
to a lab for testing.
“One of our next steps is to take the technol-
“Once you are ready to analyze the sample, ogy out of the laboratory and commercialize
you extract everything from the paper back it so that it can work to the greatest good for
into liquid,” Singamaneni said. “We showed the greatest number of people,” said Khar-
that this method maintains the integrity of the asch, also director of the Center for Clinical
biospecimens.” Pharmacology. “This would make it widely
available in both first-world countries as
This inexpensive and accessible method well as emerging countries and in emergency
has wide applicability, the researchers said, situations or environmental disasters where
with the potential to be used in developing we need to deploy people and have scarce
countries with limited access to health care resources.”
and electricity, in rural areas with limited re-
sources, or at off-site clinics or screenings.
To test their technique, the team used arti- http://bit.ly/crispr-course
ficial urine samples spiked with neutrophil

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March 13th, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 11

Researchers Develop
Synthetic Polymer Capable
of Vanquishing Superbugs
By Disha Padmanabha
With no effective and safe treatments avail- worldwide each year, and by 2050, it is esti-
able, multidrug-resistant (MDR) infections mated that 10 million people could die each Normal cells of the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria before (left) and after (right) treatment with the polymers. Image on right showed that the cytoplasmic
substances within the bacterial cell membrane have precipitated, killing the bacteria. [Credit: Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology]
are quickly morphing into a global health- year if existing antibiotics continue to lose
care threat. Polymyxins remain the last line their effectiveness. Clearly, the medical com-
treatment for multidrug-resistant (MDR) in- munity needs more choices in treating these
fections. As polymyxins resistance emerges, patients. While research on synthetic poly-
there is an urgent need to develop effective mers for these purposes exists, challenges
antimicrobial agents capable of mitigating such as toxicity, non-biodegradability or lim-
MDR. ited ability to target multiple bacteria strains
have arisen.
“There is an urgent global need for new an- In this direction, this international team of
timicrobials that are effective against super- researchers brought together by Dr Yi Yan
bugs. The situation has become more acute Yang from IBN have developed a new class mers on mice with two types of systemic in- promise for the treatment and prevention of
because bacteria are starting to develop re- of antimicrobial polymers called guanidin- fections caused by superbugs: peritonitis (an multidrug-resistant systemic infections.”
sistance to the last-line antibiotics, which are ium-functionalized polycarbonates with a infection of the stomach’s inner lining) and “This study illustrates the potential for this
given only to patients infected with bacteria unique mechanism that can target a broad lung infections from Pseudomonas aerugi- new research field we denote as ‘macromo-
resistant to available antibiotics,” said Pro- range of multidrug-resistant bacteria. It is nosa. The polymers eliminated the bacterial lecular therapeutics’ to create entirely new
fessor Jackie Y. Ying, Executive Director of biodegradable and no significant toxicity to infections in both groups of mice with negli- classes of treatments for multiple diseases,”
IBN. human cells has been detected. gible toxicity. said Dr James Hedrick, Distinguished Re-
The team tested the polymers on mice in- search Staff Member, IBM Research – Al-
Now, an international research team led by fected with five hard-to-treat multidrug-re- Dr Yi Yan Yang, Group Leader at IBN said, maden, San Jose, California. “In 2016, we
the Institute of Bioengineering and Nano- sistant bacteria: Acinetobacter baumannii, “We have demonstrated the first example of a demonstrated the efficacy of synthetic pol-
technology (IBN) of the Agency for Science, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, me- biodegradable synthetic macromolecule with ymers to combat deadly viral diseases. The
Technology and Research (A*STAR) and thicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureu and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity in current research for treating bacterial infec-
IBM Research developed a synthetic mole- Pseudomonas aeruginosa. mice, unique killing mechanism and no tox- tions rounds out our ability to someday treat
cule that can kill five deadly types of mul- The results showed that the bacteria were icity. Once the polymer finishes its job of kill- a spectrum of infectious diseases with a sin-
tidrug-resistant bacteria with limited, if any, effectively removed from the mice and no ing the bacteria, it will be naturally degraded gle, new type of mechanism without the onset
side effects. toxicity was observed. The researchers then after three days and will not remain in the of resistance.”
Superbugs kill around 700,000 people further tested the effectiveness of the poly- body. This antimicrobial agent shows great

A Whole New
Classification of Diabetes:
Research Identifies Five
Distinct Types
Diabetes is presently classified into two results were confirmed using data from 5,795
main forms, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but other adult patients across another three fur-
type 2 diabetes in particular is highly heter- ther databases from Sweden and Finland.
ogeneous. A refined classification has now Based on their analysis, the team identi-
yielded 5 new subgroups of patients with fied five replicable clusters of patients with
adult-onset diabetes, representing a first step diabetes. These subgroups had significantly
toward precision medicine for the roughly different patient characteristics and risk of
425 million patients with the chronic condi- diabetic complications. Individuals in cluster
tion. 3, the most resistant to insulin, had signifi-
cantly higher risk of diabetic kidney disease,
“Current diagnostics and classification of compared to individuals in clusters 4 and
diabetes are insufficient and unable to pre- 5. However, cluster 3 had been prescribed
dict future complications or choice of treat- similar diabetes treatment. Retinopathy risk
By Disha Padmanabha
ment”, explains Professor Leif Groop, who was highest in cluster 2, which was insulin
initiated the study. deficient. Genetic associations in the clusters
differed from those seen in traditional type 2 it’s not yet clear whether patients can move diabetes subtypes. Larger studies, that in-
He believes that the results represent a par- diabetes. between clusters over time, and the authors clude additional variables and more diverse
adigm shift in how to view the disease in the Genetic analysis revealed that all five sub- say they can’t yet claim that their clustering populations, are still needed.
future. groups are genetically distinct. Researchers method is the best classification system for
At present, diabetes is classified into two say the groupings held both for those with
main forms, both of which have links to ge- newly diagnosed diabetes and those who
netics. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition had long had the disease, further suggesting
where the hormone insulin is not produced, the five categories are not simply down to
and which generally develops in childhood. different stages of the same form of diabe-
The more common form, type 2, in which tes – although further work is needed to ex-
little insulin is produced or does not trigger plore whether patients can move between the
glucose uptake by the body’s cells, generally types. It is also not clear if the different clas-
develops later in life and is linked to obesity. sifications have different causes.
In the present study, researchers describe The researchers say their classification
how they discovered the five sub-groups by system could be helpful for both newly di-
analysing information from 8,980 diabetics agnosed patients as well as those who have
diagnosed as adults in a Swedish registry. The had type 2 diabetes for many years. However, Today’s classification to the left and the new classification to the right.

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Vol. 02 NO 11 March 13th, 2018.

In a First, Scientists
Genetically Engineer Crop
to Take Up
25% Less Water
Demand for primary foodstuffs, that is, By altering a single gene, scientists coaxed
grains and seeds of our major crops, may tobacco plants — a model crop often used in
increase by 70–100% by 2050. And a ma- experiments — to grow to near normal size
jor barrier to meeting this large demand will with only 75 percent of the water they usually
be availability of water for crop production. require.
Crop productivity strongly depends on hav- By Disha Padmanabha
ing a sufficient supply of freshwater, and ag- “These plants had more water than they Stephen P. Long, a professor of crop sciences and of plant biology (center), with postdoctoral researchers Johannes Kromdijk, (left) and Katarzyna Glowacka,
riculture consumes 90% of total global fresh- needed, but that won’t always be the case,” developed crops that use water 25 percent more efficiently by boosting the level of a protein.

water. said co-first author Katarzyna Glowacka, the future.” two other proteins could improve photosyn-
A large proportion of global food crops de- a postdoctoral researcher who led this re- thesis and increase productivity by as much
pend on irrigation, which is depleting global search at the IGB. “When water is limited, By carefully tweaking PsbS expression, re- as 20 percent. Now the team plans to com-
groundwater, and putting the sustainability these modified plants will grow faster and searchers were able to improve the ratio of bine the gains from these two studies to im-
of global food production at risk. To capture yield more—they will pay less of a penalty carbon dioxide entering the plant to water es- prove production and water-use by balancing
atmospheric CO2 during photosynthesis, sto- than their non-modified counterparts.” caping (water use efficiency) by 25 percent. the expression of these three proteins.
matal pores need to stay open to allow CO2 The improvement demonstrated in field trials
diffusion into the leaf. However, stomatal “This is a major breakthrough,” said RIPE was achieved without sacrificing photosyn- “Making crop plants more water-use effi-
opening causes most of the water absorbed Director Stephen Long, Ikenberry Endowed thesis performance or yield. This was partly cient is arguably the greatest challenge for
by plant roots to be lost via transpiration. Chair of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences. made possible by the fact that humans have current and future plant scientists,” said
To remedy this, an international team of sci- “Crop yields have steadily improved over increased the CO2 concentration in the at- co-first author Johannes Kromdijk, a post-
entists lead by the University of Illinois, dis- the past 60 years, but the amount of water mosphere by 25 percent in just the past 70 doctoral researcher at the IGB. “Our results
covered that a specific protein called Photo- required to produce one ton of grain remains years. The higher CO2 content allows plants show that increased PsbS expression allows
system II Subunit S (PsbS) can be increased unchanged—which led most to assume that to absorb enough of the gas without fully crop plants to be more conservative with
to force a plant to partially close its stomata. this factor could not change. Proving that opening their stomata. water use, which we think will help to better
The stomata, tiny pores in a leaf, open and our theory works in practice should open distribute available water resources over the
close to either let carbon dioxide in or oxygen the door to much more research and devel- This research complements a previous work duration of the growing season and keep the
out, regulating the process of photosynthesis. opment to achieve this all-important goal for which described how increasing PsbS and crop more productive during dry spells.”

Geneticists Build World’s


Biggest Family Tree
Involving 13 Million
People Across
11 Generations
Family trees are mathematical graph struc- crowdsourced an enormous family tree and
tures that can capture mating and parenthood boom, came up with something unique,”
among humans. As such, the edges of the said the study’s senior author, Yaniv Erlich,
trees represent potential transmission lines a computer scientist at Columbia Universi-
for a wide variety of genetic, cultural, so- ty and Chief Science Officer at MyHeritage, By Disha Padmanabha
cio-demographic, and economic factors. a genealogy and DNA testing company that Researchers constructed this 6,000 person family tree using graph theory.
After downloading 86 million public profiles on Geni.com, researchers used
mathematical graphing to clean and organize the data into family trees. This
Quantitative genetics is built on dissecting owns Geni.com, the platform that hosts the Individuals spanning seven generations are in green, connected with red lines,
signifying marriage. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
one has 70,000 relatives connected through marriage and shared ancestors.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
the interplay of these factors by overlaying data used in the study. “We hope that this da-
data on family trees and analyzing the cor- taset can be useful to scientists researching a The experts discovered that before 1750, The study offers some hints that previous es-
relation of various classes of relatives. In range of other topics.” most U.S. marriages seen in the data set took timates of how much your genes impact your
addition, family trees can serve as a multi- place between people born about six miles longevity may have given heredity a little too
plier for genetic information through study To create the tree, a team led by New York from each other. The distance, however, in- much credit. The researchers tracked longev-
designs that leverage genotype or phenotype Genome Center geneticist Joanna Kaplanis creased rapidly to around 60 miles after the ity—how long a person lives compared to
data from relatives, analyzing parent-of-or- collected 86 million records from genealogy Industrial Revolution began in 1870. their expected lifespan at birth—among lin-
igin effects, refining heritability measures, website Geni.com, a database of genealogical During the period from 1650 to 1850, the eages in the sprawling family tree. Because
or improving individual risk assessment. information maintained by enthusiasts. The average genetic relationship between married there were so many connections, even among
Beyond classical genetic applications, large- site compares and contrasts users’ families partners was that of 4th cousins. The genet- very distant relatives, the team was able to
scale family trees have played an important trees, which was useful for the researchers’ ic relationship widened to the order of 7th rule out the effects of people living in the
role across disciplines, including human evo- aim of analysing and combining as many of cousins after 1850. The team also found that same household and look for patterns that
lution, anthropology, and economics. these trees as possible. during 1800 to 1850, the distance partners could be attributed to heredity.
Now, scientists have created a massive fam- What resulted is the transformation of those traveled to marry each other became double, Geni.com and MyHeritage recently estab-
ily tree of 13 million people that spans 11 records into 5.3 million family trees. The big- possibly due to the progress in transportation lished their own DNA test, and Erlich says
generations to try and find answers to larger gest of these is a tree that connects 13 million mode such as railways. It made travel faster future work could map genetic information
questions about the human population, from people, covering a timespan of 350 years be- in the United States and Europe. that people provide through that product onto
the heritability of long life to the ways whole tween 1650 and 2000. The increase in distance traveled to get mar- the existing genealogy data.
families dispersed and intermarried over the Armed with that map of human connections ried to someone went along with an increase Also, the family tree is publically available,
past few centuries. on a massive scale, the team was able to spot in genetic relatedness between partners. In and the team hopes other researchers take ad-
some interesting patterns of migration, mar- simple terms, during these five decades, peo- vantage of the resource to answer any num-
“Through the hard work of many genealo- riage, and longevity over time. ple journeyed farther to marry close relations. ber of genealogical and scientific questions.
gists curious about their family history, we

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March 13th, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 11

23andMe’s
Direct-To-Consumer
Genetic Cancer Risk Test
Receives FDA Nod
The first direct-to-consumer DNA test for self-collected saliva sample, and the report
three BRCA1/BRCA2 breast cancer gene describes if a woman is at increased risk of
mutations has now received the federal ap- developing breast and ovarian cancer, and if a
proval. man is at increased risk of developing breast
The genetic testing powerhouse 23andMe cancer or may be at increased risk of devel-
is now all set to launch the testing kits. The oping prostate cancer. The test only detects
forthcoming kit, which will be made availa- three out of more than 1,000 known BRCA
ble without a prescription, tests for BRCA1 mutations. This means a negative result does
and BRCA2, which are linked to higher risk not rule out the possibility that an individual By Disha Padmanabha
of ovarian, break and prostate cancer. carries other BRCA mutations that increase
cancer risk. giving them direct access.” that increase or decrease cancer risk,” he
“Being the first and only direct-to-consum- Studies suggest that some 1 in 40 people added.
er genetics company to receive FDA author- of Ashkenazi descent has one of these three “The test provides information to certain
ization to test for cancer risk without a pre- variants, Shirley Wu, 23andMe’s director of individuals who may be at increased breast, The FDA announcement stresses that the re-
scription is a major milestone for 23andMe product science said, and women with one of ovarian or prostate cancer risk and who sults of the tests are limited in scope, do not
and for the consumer,” the company’s CEO the variants have a 45 percent to 85 percent might not otherwise get genetic screening, mean other cancer-causing gene mutations
Anne Wojcicki said in a release tied to the chance of developing breast cancer by age and is a step forward in the availability of are not present, and should not be used to de-
announcement. “We believe it’s important 70. The genes also suggest a higher risk of direct-to-consumer genetic tests. But it has a termine treatments without other testing and
for consumers to have direct and affordable ovarian cancer in women, and breast cancer lot of caveats,” said Donald St. Pierre, act- genetic counseling.
access to this potentially life-saving infor- in men. ing director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnos- Still, 23andMe’s new testing kit could serve
mation. We will continue pioneering a path tics and Radiological Health in the F.D.A.’s to show the potential benefits and risks of at-
for greater access to health information, and “Traditionally you only would get tested for Center for Devices and Radiological Health. home testing, and it may serve as an important
promoting a more consumer-driven, pre- BRCA if you have a family history of cancer” stepping stone on the path to comprehensive
ventative approach to health care.” said Wu. “We are providing a test people at “The test should not be used as a substitute tests to determine a person’s risk of develop-
risk that otherwise would have been missed. for seeing your doctor for cancer screenings ing cancer and other health conditions.
The test analyzes DNA collected from a This is a giant step forward for consumers in or counseling on genetic and lifestyle factors

Urine Test to Determine


Biological Age
How old are you really? RNA,” explains Jian-Ping Cai, a researcher
involved in the study. “As we age, we suf-
It’s no surprise that ageing rates between fer increasing oxidative damage, and so the
individuals who share the same birth year levels of oxidative markers increase in our
can vary significantly. Most of us have all body.”
had the experience of being surprised to find
out that someone is far younger than we had The biomarker 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguano-
imagine — for instance, when an individu- sine, or 8-oxoGsn for short, results from
al we thought was in their late 50s turns out oxidation of RNA. In previous studies, Cai
to actually be in their mid-40s. And, by the and colleagues found that 8-oxoGsn levels
same token, we will occasionally discover increase in urine with age in animals.
that someone is considerably older than we To see if this is true for humans as well, the
had guessed. The reason for these discrepan- team collected spot urine samples from 1,228
cies is often because their biological ages are healthy people between the ages of 2 and 90,
different than their chronological ages. all of whom were undergoing routine health
Therefore, there exist a number of param- checkups. The participants were split about
eters that help with the measurement of bi- evenly between male and female.
ological age that identifies an age-related Sure enough, in individuals aged 21 and
change in body function or composition older, there was an age-dependent increase in
could more accurately predict your chances urinary 8-oxoGsn.
of developing age-related disease. Such bio-
markers of ageing could be used to identify “We found an age-dependent increase in
people at risk of disease, prompting preventa- urinary 8-oxoGsn in participants 21 years
tive measures in lifestyle or early treatment. old and older.” said Cai. “Therefore, urinary
They could also be used to check how effec- 8-oxoGsn is promising as a new marker of
tive new anti-ageing therapies are. aging.”
Now, Chinese researchers say they have
identified a natural chemical in urine that ap- Interestingly, levels of 8-oxoGsn were
pears in higher concentrations as we age. The roughly the same between men and wom-
researchers said the chemical may serve as a en, except in post-menopausal women, who
marker of your “biological age,” or how fast showed higher levels. This may have been
you’re aging, as opposed to your chronologi- caused by the decrease in estrogen levels that
cal age, which is based on your birth date. It’s happens during menopause, as estrogen is
easy to detect in urine, too, they added. known to have anti-oxidant effects.
The team’s rapid analysis technique could
“Oxygen by-products produced during nor- be useful for large-scale aging studies, as it By Disha Padmanabha
mal metabolism can cause oxidative damage can process urine samples from up to 10 par- Image caption: When a listener understands speech, a strong response signal is seen over the mid back part of their scalp (top row; blue and green waveforms show
to biomolecules in cells, such as DNA and ticipants per hour. response at two specific recording locations). When they can’t understand (because, for example, the speech is played backwards), the signal completely disappears
(bottom row; red and yellow waveforms show the lack of response at the same two specific recording locations). Credit: Professor Ed Lalor.

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Vol. 02 NO 11 March 13th, 2018.

Antibiotics Use and It’s


Influence on Cancer
Treatment
In recent years the combined use of chemo- lethal.”
therapy and immunotherapy, collectively
termed chemoimmunotherapy, has emerged In this high-stakes arena, where chemo-
as a promising treatment option for patients therapy is increasingly packaged with newer
with cancer. immunotherapies, Dr. Gang Zhou, immunol-
Antibiotics are commonly used to reduce ogist at the Georgia Cancer Center and the
infection-related complications in patients Department of Biochemistry and Molecular
undergoing chemotherapy. Intriguingly, ac- Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at
cumulating evidence has implicated gut Augusta University, who led the study, says
microbiota as a critical determinant of host they have more evidence that antibiotics’ im-
antitumor immune responses, raising the pact on the microbiota can mean that T cells,
question as to whether the use of broad-spec- key players of the immune response, are less
By Disha Padmanabha
trum antibiotics would invariably diminish effective and some therapies might be too.
tumor response to chemoimmunotherapies. They report that antibiotic use appears to
Now, in one of the first evidences, we have have a mixed impact on an emerging immu- T-cell therapy continued to respond well to this case to treat B-cell lymphoma. In addi-
scientists at the at Augusta University find- notherapy called adoptive T-cell therapy, in cancer treatment. The investigators noted tion to directly killing rapidly dividing cancer
ing that the impact of antibiotics on cancer which a patient’s T cells are altered in a vari- that antibiotic use also depressed the efficacy cells, CTX gets the attention and help of en-
therapies is mixed. Infections are typically ety of ways to better fight cancer. of cyclophosphamide when used as mono- dogenous T cells, and antibiotics reduced that
the biggest complication of chemotherapy, In the study, the researchers found adoptive therapy. T-cell response, the scientists report.
and antibiotics are commonly prescribed to T-cell transfer was less effective in combi- Mice with colorectal cancers that did not
prevent and treat them. nation with cyclophosphamide in mice with receive antibiotics were cured after being “It is clear in animal models that if you
colorectal cancer when the animals were also treated with the chemotherapy CTX followed wipe out the intestinal microbiota, like you do
“We give a lot of medications to prevent in- given antibiotics. by CD4+T-cell therapy. However, with anti- with antibiotics, it will attenuate the chemo-
fections,” says Dr. Locke Bryan, hematolo- Even long-term antibiotic use does not seem biotics on board, this curative effect was lost therapy efficacy,” says Zhou. “There is also
gist/oncologist at the Georgia Cancer Center to hinder the efficacy of CAR T-cell therapy in three out of five mice three weeks after emerging clinical evidence showing that for
and MCG. “White blood cell counts can go against systemic lymphoma in their animal treatment. Their studies also confirmed that CTX-based chemotherapy, some patients
so low that you have no defense against bac- model. While they could see the impact of antibiotic use impacts the efficacy of the who also get antibiotics for a longer period
teria, and that overwhelming infection can be antibiotics on the microbiota, mice with CAR widely used CTX, when it’s used alone, in of time, seem to have less optimal outcomes.”

Common Superbug Found


to Exhibit
“Heteroresistance” to
Last-Resort Antibiotic
In a concerning find, scientists have now sistant bacteria.
detected “heteroresistance” in the already But the Emory study suggests that colistin
highly resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, a may not work in some patients, even though
bacterium that causes blood, soft tissue and lab tests doctors rely on to decide treatment
urinary tract infections. show that it should. Carbapenem-resistant
Klebsiella pneumoniae cause pneumonia,
“This is concerning because Klebsiella is bloodstream and other infections in people
a more common cause of infection than En- with weakened immune systems, who are
terobacter, and these isolates were carbape- usually hospitalized with other conditions.
nem-resistant, which means that they might Heteroresistance means that bacterial re-
actually be treated with colistin,” says David sistance to particular antibiotics is harder to
Weiss, professor of medicine at Emory Uni- monitor. Heteroresistance is caused by a mi-
versity School of Medicine and Emory Vac- nor subpopulation of resistant bacteria which
cine Center. “To our knowledge, this type of are genetically identical to the rest of the sus-
heteroresistant Klebsiella has not been ob- ceptible bacteria.
served in the United States before.” The bacterial isolates used in the study were
not detectable with current diagnostic tests,
Antibiotic resistance is a growing crisis and although it was possible to see them by wait-
a grave threat to human health. It is projected ing an extra 24 hours for the resistant popula-
that antibiotic-resistant infections will lead tion to grow out.
to 10 million annual deaths worldwide by It appeared that maintaining colistin re-
the year 2050. Among the most significant sistance all the time is disadvantageous for
threats are carbapenem-resistant Enterobac- bacteria. Probing the mechanism of heterore-
teriaceae (CRE), including carbapenem-re- sistance, the team was able to see a signature
sistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP), of colistin resistance, in terms of genes turned
By Disha Padmanabha
which lead to mortality rates as high as 40 on and off.
to 50%. In animal models of peritonitis (body cavity
Colistin is an old antibiotic which doctors infection), infection with the heteroresistant the kidneys. the authors say. “However, the extra time re-
administer to patients as a last resort, when isolates was lethal and untreatable by colis- quired is a downside. Novel diagnostics that
the bacteria infecting them are resistant to all tin. Colistin is viewed as a last resort measure “Clinical laboratories should consider rapidly and accurately detect colistin heter-
other antibiotics. It is often the only antibiotic for bacterial infections that are resistant to testing for heteroresistance to colistin if this oresistance are needed.”
that will work against these highly drug-re- other drugs, partly because it is poisonous to last-line antibiotic is required for treatment,”

5
March 13th, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 11

Cell Cycle Regulation to


Enable Cardiac
Regeneration
Through normal wear and tear, our tissues developed the first efficient and stable meth-
experience regular cell loss that is countered od to make adult cardiomyocytes divide and
by replenishment mechanisms. Aging itself repair hearts damaged by heart attacks, at
is argued to be a cumulative outcome of the least in animal models.
gradual decline in our bodies’ natural capac- They identified four genes involved in con-
ity to balance these events. Each tissue dis- trolling the cycle of cell division. They found
plays specific rates and mechanisms of cell that when combined—and only when com-
turnover. bined—these genes cause mature cardiomy-
Human intestinal epithelial cells last about ocytes to re-enter the cell cycle. This results
a week, whereas erythrocytes persist for 4 in the cells dividing and rapidly reproducing.
months before elimination. At the other end By Disha Padmanabha
of the spectrum, cardiomyocytes, the con- “We discovered that when we increased
tractile cells of the heart, display an estimated the function of these four genes at the same Deepak Srivastava (left) and Tamer Mohamed (right) identified genes that make adult cells divide again and regenerate tissues. [Photo: Diana Rothery]

turnover rate of 0.3 to 1% per year, with most time, the adult cells were able to start divid-
renewal events reported to occur in the first ing again and regenerated heart tissue,” said their heart function after three months and a birth, their state is really locked down—
decade of life. Tamer Mohamed, scientist at Tenaya Thera- reduction in the size of the scar tissue com- which might explain why we don’t get heart
peutics and former postdoctoral scholar in pared to mice that did not receive the injec- tumors,” said Srivastava. “Now that we
“Because so many adult cells can’t divide, Srivastava’s laboratory, who is first author of tion. know our method is successful with this diffi-
your body can’t replace cells that are lost, the study. “We also showed that, after heart The team was able to further refine their cult cell type, we think it could be used to un-
which causes disease,” explained Deepak failure, this combination of genes significant- method by replacing two of the four genes lock other cells’ potential to divide, including
Srivastava, MD, president of the Gladstone ly improves cardiac function.” with chemical inhibitors that had similar nerve cells, pancreatic cells, hair cells in the
Institutes and senior investigator. “If we functions. Throughout the process, the team ear, and retinal cells.”
could find a way to get these cells to divide This 4F strategy worked in mouse and rat did not observe the development of heart tu-
again, we could regenerate a number of tis- cardiomyocytes and also was successful in mors caused by the 4F treatment. They attrib- This could lead to a powerful regenerative
sues.” stimulating cell division in 15%-20% of hu- uted this fact to the short-term expression of approach to treat not only heart failure, but
man cardiomyocytes. When they injected 4F 4F in the cardiomyocytes. also brain damage, diabetes, hearing loss, and
In the new study, Srivastava and his team into the hearts of mice that had suffered heart blindness. And one day, the human might just
finally reached this long-sought goal. They attacks, they observed an improvement in “Heart cells were particularly challenging outperform the salamander.
because when they exit the cell cycle after

Impaired “Epigenetic
Landscape” Hallmark of
Alzheimer’s : Study
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most They therefore profiled the epigenomic
common cause of dementia in the el- landscape of AD brains, specifically in one
derly. A complex interaction between genetic of the regions affected early in AD, the lat-
and environmental factors likely contributes eral temporal lobe. They compared these to
to the molecular processes that drive AD. both younger and elderly cognitively normal
Although genetic variation in specific genes control subjects. The team described the ge-
increases the risk of AD, age is the strongest nome-wide enrichment of a chemical modi-
known risk factor. How molecular processes fication of histone proteins that regulates the
of aging predispose to AD, or become dereg- compaction of chromosomes in the nucleus
ulated in AD, remains to be understood. (called acetylation of lysine 16 on histone
It is seen in animal models, that epigenetic H4, or H4K16ac for short).
By Disha Padmanabha
marks such as histone acetylation are asso-
ciated with learning and age-related mem- “This is the first time that we have been able
ory decline. Histone acetylation is reduced to look at these relationships in human tis-
at memory genes in mouse models for AD, sue by using donated postmortem brain tis-
and treatments with nonselective histone sue from the Penn Brain Bank,” said Shelley
deacetylase inhibitors aiming to reverse loss Berger, PhD, a professor of Cell and Devel-
of acetylation have shown promising results opmental Biology in the Perelman School of
in restoring synaptic and cognitive plasticity Medicine and a professor of Biology in the
in mouse models of AD. School of Arts and Sciences. “Our results
Among the histone acetylation marks, establish the basis for an epigenetic link be-
H4K16ac is a key modification because it tween aging and Alzheimer’s disease.”
regulates chromatin compaction, gene ex-
pression, stress responses and DNA damage A three-way comparison of younger, older,
repair. In model organisms, modulators of and AD brain tissue revealed a specific class
H4K16ac play a role in whole organism ag- of H4K16ac changes in AD compared to
ing and cellular senescence. Also, senescent normal age-established changes in the brain.
cells display H4K16ac enrichment over pro- This finding indicates that certain normal Coronal section of human brain indicating the lateral temporal lobe (red circle) used in this study. Credit: The lab of Shelley Berger, PhD, Perelman School of
Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
moter regions of expressed genes. aging changes in the epigenome may actu-
Therefore, the scientists at the Perelman ally protect against AD and when these goes that AD is not simply an advanced state of fellow in Berger’s lab.
School of Medicine at the University of awry, a person may become predisposed to normal aging, but rather dysregulated aging
Pennsylvania hypothesized that epigenetic AD. that may induce disease-specific changes to The team next hopes to discover the phys-
regulation by H4K16ac may be involved the structure of chromatin – the combination iological changes that cause the decrease of
in aging of the human brain and perhaps “These analyses point to a new model of of histone proteins and DNA.” said first au- H4K16ac specifically in AD brains, but not
in the progression of AD. Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically it appears thor Raffaella Nativio, PhD, a postdoctoral in normal-aged brains.

6
Vol. 02 NO 11 March 13th, 2018.

The Brain Nod: A Signal of


Understanding
An exclusive brain signal indicating com- sponse that reflected how similar or different
prehension. a given word was from those that preceded it
People routinely hear and understand in the story.
speech at rates of 120–200 words per minute. The signal disappeared when the subjects
Thus, speech comprehension must involve either could not understand the speech, for
rapid, online neural mechanisms that process instance if the background was too noisy, or
words’ meanings in an approximately time- when they were not paying attention. The re-
locked fashion. However, electrophysiologi- searchers said that this signal represented an
cal evidence for such time-locked processing extremely sensitive measure of whether or
has been lacking for continuous speech. not a person is understanding speech.
Now, in this direction, scientists have have
identified a specific brain signal associated “The presence or absence of the signal may
with the conversion of speech into under- also confirm if a person in a job that demands
standing. The signal is present when the lis- precision and speedy reactions – such as an
tener has understood what they have heard, air traffic controller, or soldier – has under-
but it is absent when they either did not un- stood the instructions they have received, and
derstand, or weren’t paying attention. it may perhaps even be useful for testing for
the onset of dementia in older people based
Ussher Assistant Professor in Trinity’s on their ability to follow a conversation,”
School of Engineering, Ed Lalor, led the said Ed Lalor.
research team comprised of scientists from
Trinity and the University of Rochester. La- Further work is required, he said, to get a
lor noted in a press statement that, though complete picture of all the computations per-
there is more work to be done in this field, formed in the understanding of speech.
“we have already begun searching for other
ways that our brains might compute mean- “We are also excited about the dementia
ing, and how those computations differ from testing possibilities because the system is not
those performed by computers.” unpleasant or difficult to wear, and it has the
potential to catch symptoms long before they
The researchers recorded brainwaves using manifest. The most interesting aspect from
a technique known as electroencephalog- a healthcare point of view is that it can de-
raphy (EEG)— when a cap of electrodes is tect things in people who may be non-verbal,
placed on the scalp— as participants listened such as young children or those who are un-
to audiobooks. They identified a specific re- conscious.” By Disha Padmanabha

7
March 13th, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 11

SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS


Life Reimagined / Synthetic Biology access to meaningful collaborations within have outstanding contribution and pub-
Merck and all the resources and connections lication in the specific area.
Challenge 1: What is the next generation that this allows. • The candidate must have a regular
production technology for biologics? permanent position in a University/In-
How to Apply? stitute/Organization and should be en-
We are constantly in search of ways to im- gaged in research and development. If
prove efficiency and lower cost for biologics Fill out the Application Form using only he/she is availingany other fellowship,
production. The Merck 350 Research Grant non-confidential information & send it via he/she will have to opt for only one of
will be awarded to the development of con- email to: the fellowships.
tinuous production technologies, real time 350researchgrants@merckgroup.com • The applicant should have spent at least
sensors continuous chromatography, and 5 years in India before applying for
flow-through purification. thefellowship
• Evidence of outstanding track record
Challenge 2: Can you revolutionize mi- and a deep commitment to find inno-
350 Research Grants 2018 crobiome research? vative solutions to major problems in
@ Merck KGaA | Grants of health care, agriculture and other areas
EUR 350,000 per year Understanding and harnessing the micro- related to life sciences and biotechnol-
biome has the potential to impact the world ogy.
around us and revolutionize human health,
agriculture, and environmental restoration. Nature of Support:
Apply Online for the 350 Research However, understanding how we can harness
Grants 2018 available at Merck KGaA. In and accelerate the promise of the microbiome • The amount of the fellowship is Rs.
honor of 350 years, Merck has announced is one of the toughest challenges in life sci- 25,000/- per month in addition to reg-
the 350 Research Grants with up to EUR ence. The Merck 350 Research Grant recog- ular salary from the host institute. If an
350,000 per year, apply online as per the nizes the need for microbiome specific tools awardee is receiving salary from inter-
details below: and methods to enable and translate microbi-
Tata Innovation Fellowship national organization, he will be enti-
ome research. This award would support the 2017-18 For Life Sciences tled for research grant i.e. contingency
Merck is all about science and technolo- development of workflow tools, predictive only.
gy. At the occasion of its 350th anniversary & Biotech
models, culturing and imaging techniques, • In addition, each Fellow will receive
Merck offers a series of research grants to omics and informatics that enable technical a contingency grant of Rs. 6.00 lakh
stimulate innovative research in challenging advancements for deciphering the microbi- per annum for meeting the expenses
areas of future importance. ome. Check the details on Tata Innovation on consumables, equipment, interna-
Merck intends to provide several research Fellowship 2018. Official notification for tional and domestic travel, manpower
grants of up to EUR 350,000 per year for 3 Who Can Apply? Tata Innovation Fellowship 2017-18 is giv- and other contingent expenditure to be
years in various topic areas with the option of en below. DBT India has announced no- incurred in connection with the imple-
extension or expansion. Researchers from around the world may ap- tification for Tata Innovation Fellowship mentation of ongoing research project
We are looking for innovative research ply for the grants. 2018. PhD Life sciences candidates and under the fellowship.
proposals from scientists worldwide. Top MSc Biotechnology candidates eligible to • The Tata Innovation Fellows would
submitters will be invited to a Deep Dive The research proposed for the grant must apply for Tata Innovation Fellowship 2018 be eligible for other regular research
workshop to further advance the proposals not: as per the details given below: grant(s) through extramural and other
together with Merck scientists. The deep dive research schemes of various S&T agen-
workshop will include decision on grant re- • involve interventional clinical research GOVERNMENT OF INDIA DEPART- cies of the Government of India.
cipients. Merck will then enter into bilateral • involve the testing of competitors’ MENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY MINISTRY
collaboration agreements with the winning products OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY TATA IN- Host Institution:
recipients to enable pay-out of the research NOVATION FELLOWSHIP: 2017 18
grant and project start in 2019. How Does It Work? • The candidate will continue to work at
Applications are invited for Tata Innovation the place of his/her employment.
Research Areas: Fill out the Application Form with your re- Fellowship , a highly competitive scheme in- • The Institution where the candidate is
search proposal, use only non-confidential stituted by the Department of Biotechnology, working would provide the necessary
Healthy Lives / Drug Discovery information by August, 15th, 2018. Please Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of infrastructure and administrative sup-
make sure you have read and accepted the India to recognize and reward scientists with port for pursuing the research under
Challenge 1: What is the next terms and conditions before you submit the outstanding track record in biological scienc- this fellowship.
game-changing molecule or technology to application form. es and a deep commitment to find innovative
help cure cancer or autoimmune disease? All selected applicants will be invited to a solutions to major problems in health care, Number : Five per year.
three day workshop after signature of a confi- agriculture and other areas related to life
Drug discovery has made significant pro- dential disclosure and workshop participation sciences and biotechnology. Duration :
gress in recent years with immune check- agreement to discuss and optimize a more de-
point inhibitors revolutionizing the treatment tailed confidential research proposal further Objective: Three years, extendable further by two
of cancer or the emergence of completely together with Merck scientists. years on a fresh appraisal.
new therapeutic approaches such as geneti- At the end of the workshop participants will The scheme is aimed at rewarding interdis-
cally engineered T-cells just to mention a few present their optimized research proposal and ciplinary work where major emphasis is on How to Apply:
examples. the winning applicants will be selected by innovation and translational research with a
At the occasion of our 350-year anniversary Merck. Merck will then enter into bilateral potential towards commercialization. Application (six copies) may be sent as per
we are launching a call for research proposals collaboration agreements with the winning proforma downloadable from DBT website
on projects to identify and characterize the recipients to enable pay-out of the research Eligibility: (www.dbtindia.nic.in) and duly forwarded
next game-changing molecule or technology grant and project start in 2019. by the competent authority to Dr. A. K. Ra-
to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease. • The fellowship is open to Indian Na- wat, Director, Department of Biotechnology,
What are new breakthrough enabling tech- Your Benefits tionals residing in India who are below Block-2, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New
nologies for drug discovery, which molecular the age of 55 years as on 21st Novem- Delhi -110 003, latest by 31st March, 2018.
targets or pathophysiological pathways have Merck intends to provide research grants ber, 2017. The fellowship is co-termi-
tremendous untapped potential to deliver the of up to EUR 350,000 per year for 3 years nus with the superannuation of fellow Last Date : by 31st March, 2018.
next big therapeutic breakthrough? How can in several topic areas. Top submitters will be in his organization.
translation from and predictivity of preclin- invited to a Deep Dive workshop to further • The applicant should possess a Ph.D
ical models to the clinical situation be en- advance the proposals together with Merck degree in Life Sciences, Agriculture,
hanced? scientists. The deep dive workshop will in- Veterinary Science or a Master’s de-
clude decision on grant recipients. Merck gree in Medical Sciences, Engineering
will cover all travel and accommodation or an equivalent degree in Biotechnol-
costs. Furthermore, grant winners may gain ogy / related areas. The applicant must

8
Vol. 02 NO 11 March 13th, 2018.

been done entirely in India. All fellows will be hosted in an APC aca-
iii) For Young Category Award: Citizens demic host organisation (University College
of India should have made significant and Cork, Teagasc Moorepark or Cork Institute
outstanding contribution in the areas of bi- of Technology) and will be required to com-
osciences/biotechnology during last 5 years plete a mandatory secondment in a relevant
and the work must have been done entirely industry host.
in India. The aim of APEX is to develop the next
iv) The senior category award is for excel- generation of scientific leaders who will gain
lence in research (and not for governance/ hands on experience developing cross-disci-
promotion of Science) and not for age and plinary and entrepreneurial skills through in-
thus there is no age limit. For the young cate- dividual research projects.
gory, the candidate should be below 45 years Applicants choose their research area (with-
of age as on the 31st December of the year in the remit of APC), APEX supervisor, and
of Award. APEX Postdoctoral secondment organisation in the non-academ-
National Women ic sector.
Fellowship 2018 : Marie
Bioscientist Awards Nominations :
Sklowdowska-Curie Duration Of The Fellowship
2017-2018
Women scientists working in the area of Cofund
biosciences/biotechnology can be nomi- The total duration of each fellowship is two
nated by members of the SAC(O), DBT; years, commencing October 2018 and Octo-
Apply for the DBT India National Wom- Vice-Chancellors of Universities/ Deemed 2018 INDICATIVE CALL SCHEDULE ber 2019.
en Bioscientist Awards 2017-2018. Noti- Universities; Chairman, UGC; DGs of CSIR,
fication is out for DBT National Women ICAR, ICMR, DRDO; Directors of National • Call 1 announcement - 12th January, Eligibility Criteria
Bioscientist Awards 2017-2018. Research Laboratories etc; Presidents of ap- 2018
proved scientific societies and academies of • Deadline for proposal submission - 9th To be considered eligible, applicants must
Government of India All India Nature; Secretaries of S&T Depart- April, 2018 fulfill the following criteria:
Ministry of Science & Technology ments / Ministries such as DST, DBT, DSIR, • Call outcome - July, 2018
Department of Biotechnology MES, MOEF, Atomic Energy, Department of • Fellowship start date - October 1st • Applicants may be of any nationality.
NOMINATIONS FOR NATIONAL WOM- Space, New and Renewable Energy, Com- 2018 • Applicants must be fluent in English
EN BIOSCIENTISTS AWARDS: 2017 & merce, Industry, Health & Family Welfare (written and spoken)
2018 and Human Resource Development and Ad- A new intersectoral training, career devel- • Applicants must be Experienced Re-
visor/ Member (Science) Niti Aayog. Nomi- opment and mobility fellowship which focus- searchers.
Objective: nations will have to be sent in the prescribed es on the research strengths and expertise of
proforma (Annexure). the Institute in the area of gut microbiota and An experienced researcher must at the ap-
To recognize outstanding contributions their role in human health and disease. plication deadline (1st call:9th April, 2018;
of women scientists in basic and applied Nomination from individuals sponsoring APEX is a postdoctoral fellowship Marie 2nd call: 9th April, 2019), be in possession of
research in the areas of biosciences and bi- their own names will not be considered. Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) CO- a doctoral degree or have at least four years
otechnology including agricultural, biomed- FUND programme, based at APC Micro- of full-time equivalent research experience in
ical and environmental sciences with poten- Selection : The selection of candidates for biome Ireland at University College Cork academia or industry.
tial for application/product and technology the award will be made on the basis of rec- (UCC), and cofunded by H2020. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience
development. ommendations of Selection Committee. Only The APEX programme will offer 20 pres- is measured from the date when a research-
nominations complete in all respects as per tigious two-year postdoctoral fellowships for er obtained the degree entitling him or her to
National Women Bioscientist Award proforma will be considered. incoming mobility across two calls over the embark on a doctorate, either in the country
(Senior Category) (one) 60 months duration of the programme. Fel- in which the degree was obtained or in the
Presentation of the awards : The awardees lowships will be targeted at experienced re- country in which the researcher is recruited,
The National Women Bioscientist Award will receive the awards at a formal function searchers. (An experienced researcher must even if a doctorate was never started or en-
(Senior Category) is awarded to senior wom- organized by DBT. at the application deadline (1st call: 9th April, visaged.
en scientist for life time contributions, who 2018; 2nd call: 9th April, 2019), be in pos-
has done excellent research in the country Payment of TA/DA : TA/DA to the awar- session of a doctoral degree OR have at least • Mobility Requirements:
and has applied the results for benefit of stu- dees for attending the award ceremony will four years of full-time equivalent research
dents and society. The Award carries a cash be paid by the Department of Biotechnology experience in academia or industry). International mobility is a core element of
prize of Rs 5.00 lakh along with citation and as per Govt. of India rules. All fellows will be hosted in an APC aca- the APEX programme. Applicants must be
a gold medal. demic host organisation (University College incoming fellows to Ireland and fulfill the
How to Apply : Cork, Teagasc Moorepark or Cork Institute mobility requirements:
National Women Bioscientist Award of Technology) and will be required to com-
(Young Category) (Two) The details of the Award, eligibility criteria, plete a mandatory secondment in a relevant Applicants may not have resided or carried
and proforma for nomination are given be- industry host. out their main activity (work, study) in the
The National Women Bioscientists Award low. The nominations (2 copies) neatly typed Fellowships will be offered in the four the- Republic of Ireland for more than 12 months
(Young Category) is given for outstanding in double space on plain paper in the pre- matic APC research areas of ‘Microbes to in the 3 years prior to the Call deadline.
contributions of women scientists below 45 scribed proforma complete with enclosures Molecules’, ‘Diet and Microbes at the Ex- For Career Restart and Reintegration: Ap-
years of age in basic and applied research in should reach on or before 15th April, 2018 to tremes of Life’, ‘Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis’ plicants may not have resided or carried out
the areas of biosciences and biotechnology Mr. J.K. Dora, Under Secretary, Department and ‘Host-Microbe Dialogue’. Adhering to their main activity in the Republic of Ireland
including agricultural, biomedical and envi- of Biotechnology, Room No. 518, 5th Floor, the MSCA principle of ‘individual-driven for more than 3 years in the 5 years immedi-
ronmental sciences with potential for appli- Block-III, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New mobility’, APEX applicants will have the ately prior to the call deadline.
cation/product and technology development. Delhi – 110 003 and a soft copy in MS-Word freedom to choose their research topic (with-
Contributions made during last 5 years would .doc file to be e-mailed to jagadish.dora@nic. in the remit of the APC), their supervisor and • Secondment Eligibility
be the main consideration. The Award carries in. their secondment organisation. Secondments
a cash prize of Rs 1.00 lakh with citation and will be relevant to the fellows’ research pro- Eligible secondment hosts are research per-
a gold medal and Research Grant of Rs 5.00 ject and their career development. forming non-academic organisations located
lakh per annum for a period of 5 years. There will be two calls under the APEX anywhere in the world.
programme, with application deadlines of Secondments must be 3 to 6 months in du-
Eligibility April 2018 and April 2019, for start dates of ration and can be a single period or split into
October 2018 and October 2019 respectively. short stays.
i) Any Citizen of India who is engaged in There will be 10 fellowships awarded in this Secondments must be relevant to the fel-
basic and applied research in the areas of bi- call. low’s project and career development.
osciences and biotechnology in the country.
The work for which nomination is made must Fellowship Details: Project Eligibility:
have been carried out in Indian institutes and
acknowledged in the publications. The APEX Fellowships are open to experi- Proposals must describe a research project
ii) For Senior Category Award: Citizens of enced researchers of any nationality, resident to be implemented during a 2-year period.
India should have made life time significant anywhere in the world (provided the mobility Adhere to the ethical standards as stated in
and outstanding contribution in research eligibility criteria are met), seeking a pres- the programme documentation.
in the areas of biosciences/biotechnology tigious career development fellowship in re-
and has applied the results for the benefit of search of the gut microbiota and their role in
students and society and the work must have human health and disease.
Next Page>>>>

9
March 13th, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 11

Include a secondment in the non-academic Select the SMART Interdisciplinary Re- ary 2018 to 13 April 2018, Singapore time.
sector. search Group (IRG) you would like to con- The status of your application will be sent by • A PhD, or near to completion, in a med-
The topic must fall within the broad APC duct your research in. The proposed research email on or before 23 May 2018, Singapore ical/biological subject, together with
research themes : project should align with one of the SMART time. relevant experience.
IRGs: FM, LEES, AMR or DiSTAP. • Be no more than 3 years post PhD at
• Microbes to Molecules, There is also an opportunity to work with the start of the fellowship. This condi-
• Diet and Microbes at the Extremes of the Innovation Centre. Here, scholars will tion will be relaxed proportionately for
Life, have the opportunity to research the Innova- applicants who have had a career break.
• Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis tion Centre’s processes, assess the centre’s • A strong CV, having published in high
• Host-Microbe Dialogue. strenghts and weaknesses, and provide rec- impact journals and presented at inter-
ommendations for improvements. national meetings.
Application Process: • An enthusiastic interest in diabetes and
2. MIT Mentor metabolic research.
• The application process starts with the
publication of the call for proposals. Identify the MIT faculty member who be- The key selection criteria for the Clinical
Call 1 open since 12th January, 2018. longs to SMART that you feel could best Research Training Fellowships are:
• All applications will be emailed to the provide mentorship and guidance on your
APEX address APEX@ucc.ie, with proposed research. SMART 2018 Scholars • Have prior research experience (typ-
the subject heading: Call 1. Programmea Novo ically a BSc), a medical degree and
• The application system will close 3. Research Statement some specialist experience, typically
on the submission deadline, at 23.59 Nordisk – Oxford having obtained MRCP or equivalent,
(GMT) 9th April, 2018. Submit a 1-3 page description of the re- Fellowship Programme – but not CCT or consultant status.
search project you propose to conduct at 2018 @ Singapore • Have a strong academic record (eg
Application Deadline – 9th April, 2018 SMART, including some background/con- prizes, first class degree etc).
text, technical approach and anticipated re- • GMC registered Medical Practitioner
Candidates with PhD Bioscience Degree,
sults. or ability to obtain GMC requirements
Life Science PhD Degree and are looking
and practice in the UK (please see the
for Biotech Fellowship / Life Science Fel-
4. Objective General Medical Council website for
lowship can apply for Novo Nordisk – Ox-
further details).
ford Fellowship Programme – 2018.
Provide a brief description of why you want • A strong CV, as evidenced by publica-
to conduct your research at SMART in Sin- tions in international journals.
The Novo Nordisk – Oxford Fellowship
gapore. Include some indication of how the • Committed to a career in diabetes or
Programme aims to support the development
proposed research might benefit from being metabolic medicine, clinical practice
of a new generation of exceptional young di-
conducted in Singapore, and how it might and research.
abetes researchers, who will become future
promote collaboration between the SMART
leaders in the field. The programme also aims
faculty member from MIT, the Nanyang How to Apply :
to further develop scientific excellence with-
Technological University (NTU), the Na-
in diabetes and ultimately improve the lives
tional University of Singapore (NUS), and Call For Application
of patients. We support both postdoctoral re-
the Singapore University of Technology and
search fellows and clinical research training
Design (SUTD). The 2018 call for applications is now
SMART 2018 Scholars fellows. This ensures that the research in our
open, with a closing date of midday on Fri-
programme spans the translational spectrum,
Programme @ Singapore 5. Career Goals
from basic biological research through to
day 23 March.
clinical application.
Describe your long-term career goals and • Apply for Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral
role of this postdoctoral experience in achiev- Research Fellow in Diabetes and Me-
SMART 2018 Scholars Programme at What they Offer ?
ing them, including future plans for collabo- tabolism (3 posts)
Singapore. Singapore-MIT Alliance for rative activities. • Apply for Novo Nordisk Clinical Re-
Research and Technology (SMART) Cen- We offer fellows a cutting edge research
search Training Fellow in Diabetes and
tre in Singapore 2018 Notification. Check project based at the University of Oxford,
6. CV Metabolism (2 posts)
details on the same below: which is supervised by world-leading re-
searchers in the field of diabetes and metabo-
Curriculum Vitae not to exceed 2 pages. If you would like to apply for a fellowship
We will be accepting qualified applications lism. In addition, each fellow is given a men-
position, you must list up to three research
for the SMART 2018 Scholars Programme. tor at Novo Nordisk. As part of their project,
7. List of Publications projects as part of your supporting statement,
These awards will provide a unique opportu- fellows will spend a period of time in the labs
in your application.
nity for recent or soon to be Ph.D. graduates of Novo Nordisk in Copenhagen. Fellows
Provide a complete list of publications. In We advertise fellowship positions each
to participate in the Singapore-MIT Alliance will therefore get an insight into research in
addition, also include copies of not more than spring, with an expected start date in autumn
for Research and Technology (SMART) Cen- both academia and industry.
3 publications, combined in a single PDF file, of the same year. We recruit between three
tre in Singapore, and to become members of The postdoctoral research fellowships are
that you consider to represent your best work. and six fellows in each recruitment cycle. We
an alumni network that we anticipate will aimed at early career researchers with a ba-
will have subsequent calls in Spring 2019 and
continue to evolve and expand over the years. sic science background. The clinical research
8. Optional Spring 2020.
The awards, to be given annually, are open to training fellowships are aimed at clinicians
those with less than three years post doctoral who wish to undertake a DPhil (PhD) and
Provide the Selection Committee any other Please check Research Projects on:
experience and provided they have received who aspire to a career in academic medicine.
information you feel will be helpful in ac- https://www.biotecnika.org/2018/03/
their doctoral degree by 1 August 2018. The Our prestigious fellowships are fully funded
cessing your application. novo-nordisk-oxford-fellowship-pro-
fellowship recipient would be able to conduct for a three year period and provide the fel-
gramme/
research of his/her own choice in Singapore low’s salary, a generous travel allowance and
9. Referees
within, but not necessarily tied closely to, a consumable support for the lab in which they
current project in one of the SMART Inter- are based. Our fellowships are open to out-
Provide 3 professional names of your ref-
disciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) and or standing candidates of any nationality.
eree. One must be your doctoral supervisor
the SMART Innovation Centre. It is antici- and the other 2 persons must be qualified to
pated that the recipients will take up their ap- Eligibility & Selection Criteria
comment on your scholarly achievements.
pointments at SMART by 1 September 2018. Your referees must submit their recommen-
The fellowship programme is international
dation online together with your application
Award : The awards provide a fixed annu- and therefore applicants from any country
through our online application. A reminder to
al salary of S$120,000 per year (not eligible are eligible to apply. However, please note
your referee to prepare the letter using their
for 13 month bonus or annual increment), a that while we will consider all applications,
official institution or organization’s letter-
research grant of up to S$20,000 per year, the funding provided for the clinical research
head.
computer purchase grant of up to S$1,000, a training fellowships will only cover home/
travel grant of up to S$2,500 per year, and el- EU DPhil fees. Find out information on stu-
NOTE: For questions regarding the
igible for a six-month stay at MIT with funds dent fees at the University of Oxford.
SMART Scholar Fellowship, send an email
up to S$15,000.. We aim to recruit fellows with the potential
to smart_scholar@smart.mit.edu.
to become leaders in the field of diabetes in
Application Requirements: subsequent years.
Application Period and Timeline:

1. SMART IRG The key selection criteria for the Post-


The application period is from 01 Febru-
doctoral Research Fellowships are:

10
Vol. 02 NO 11 March 13th, 2018.

JOBS
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES GOVT JOB @
NATIONAL DOPE TESTING LABORATORY
WITH RS. 60,000/- PM SALARY

Apply for a high paying govt job at testing and data analysis. Desirable – Specialized experience in re- details of all the qualifications & experience
NDTL – National Dope Testing Labora- search & development in the field of drug possessed in the relevant field over & above
tory. National Dope Testing Laboratory Name of the Position : Scientist – ‘B’ (on analysis / sports dope testing / quality man- the minimum qualifications/experience pre-
is hiring MSc & PhD candidates for Rs. Contract basis) agement system as per ISO 17025 / industrial scribed along with attested photocopies of
60,000/- per month Scientist position as / scientific organization mark sheets/ certificates.
per the details given below: No.of.Posts : 05
How to Apply: The Laboratory Director
NATIONAL DOPE TESTING LABORA- Remuneration : Fixed Monthly remunera- National Dope Testing Laboratory
TORY (Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports) tion of Rs. 60,000/- will be payable. Eligible and willing candidates may submit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Complex
J N Stadium Complex their applications in the prescribed Perfor- CGO Complex, East Gate,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003 Qualifications: ma attached at Annexure – II on or before Lodhi Road,
02/04/2018 (05:00 PM) by post and by e-mail New Delhi – 110003
National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) Essential – M. Sc (Chemical Sciences/ Bi- to The Laboratory Director on following ad- ndtlindia@nic.in
an autonomous organization under the Minis- ological sciences/Pharmaceutical sciences / dress.
try of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government applied sciences in relevant fields from rec- Applications incomplete in any respect Application Deadline – on or before
of India invites applications for engagement ognised university or equivalent with 2 years (i.e. unsigned, without photograph, without 02/04/2018 (05:00 PM)
of Scientist –‘B’ on contract basis initially for experience) required documents/certificates etc.) will e
a period of one year extendable upto a max- summarily rejected.
imum three years for routine dope sample Or Ph. D The applications, should, therefore, furnish

LIFE SCIENCES JOB @ INDIAN NATIONAL


SCIENCE ACADEMY WITH RS. 40,000 PM
SALARY

Apply for Programme Associate position and the Engineering and Physical Sciences shall be reckoned as on 01.03.2018. communication shall be made through
at INSA. Indian National Science Acade- Research Council (EPSRC) and Econom- • Candidates are required to possess a the email ID only given by the Candi-
my hiring for Programme Associate posi- ic and Social Research Council (ESRC), valid active email ID and Mobile Num- dates. Final selection will be made on
tion for which applications are open. Its a as part of the Research Councils UK ber which is to be filled in the appli- the basis of performance in the Inter-
Life Sciences Job @ Indian National Sci- (RCUK)” cation form correctly and legibly. In- view.
ence Academy , Go through the details giv- timation to shortlisted candidates for • The envelope containing the appli-
en below: Educational Qualification : Interview will be sent through email cation form must be superscribed as
only. The Academy will not be respon- “Application for engagement as Pro-
Name of the Position : Programme As- Ph.D. Degree in Basic Sciences / Life sible for bouncing of any email sent to gramme Associate / Executive Assis-
sociate Sciences / Engineering / Pharmacy from the candidates. tant on Contract Basis”.
any recognized University or Institute. Can- • Candidates who wish to apply for more
No.of.Posts : 02 didates who have submitted their thesis can than one category should submit sepa- Applications in the prescribed format with
also be considered rate application forms. necessary self attested documents may bersj.
Age Limit : • Applications received incomplete in jwels_1892@yahoo.in sent to “Deputy Exec-
How to Apply: any respect, wrongly filled-in or un- utive Director-II (F&A), Indian National Sci-
Not exceeding 35 Years (as on 01.03.2018) signed or without supporting self at- ence Academy, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg,
• Candidates must apply in the pre- tested photocopies of educational New Delhi-110002″ so as to reach the Acad-
Consolidated Remuneration : scribed application form which should certificates, mark sheets, age, caste emy latest by 20 March 2018 (5.00 p.m.).
be downloaded from the Academy’s certificate (wherever applicable) and
Rs. 40,000.00 per month website: www.insaindia.res.in. Appli- experience certificate (wherever appli- The last date for the receipt of applica-
cations received in any other format / cable) or without photograph will not tions is 20 March 2018. Applications re-
Name of the Project : “India-UK Energy form shall be summarily rejected and be entertained in any case. ceived after the last date will be summarily
Demand Reduction in the Built Environ- no correspondence shall be made in • Selection Procedure: Shortlisted can- rejected.
ment Programme involving India‟s De- this regard. didates shall be called for Interview to
partment of Science & Technology (DST) • The age, qualification and experience make an assessment for selection. All

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March 13th, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 11

BIOCON RESEARCH CAREERS – MSAT


FORMULATION BIOSIMILAR POST VACANT

Biocon is recruiting for Msc and PhD • Support Clinical and commercial man- tions: Root cause investigations for Therefore the candidate must have
candidates for research positions. MSc & ufacturing (for process, analytical, deviations and OOS, Trending and strong documentation skills. She or He
PhD Biochemistry and Biotech job open- equipment, facility related activities) analysis of data from clinical batches must value accurate, thorough and de-
ing at Biocon. Check the details on the • Support Process Validation with pro- onwards, Regulatory support, Process tailed documentation practices.
same below: tocol, reports and support functions of improvements initiatives, Studies sup- • Investigative spirit and technical cu-
cleaning and hold time validation. porting alternate raw materials sources, riosity is a must. The candidate must
Job Title : MSAT Formulation Biosimi- Support Process Validation, Support have a drive to “dig” until the root
lar SCIENTISTS/Engineers: Engineering and Instrumentation. cause is found.
• MSAT person will also have access to
Location : Bengaluru Area, India • Looking for Candidates with formula- TECHNICAL / FUNCTIONAL & BE- large body of data. Hence the candidate
tion and fill finish for sterile injectable HAVIORAL SKILLS: must be well organized and methodical.
Job Functions : Research experience. • Since the position involves interacting
• Hands on experience on formulation, Technical Skills with QA, QC, Manufacturing, Instru-
Job Description : MSAT provides tech- lyophilization, mixing processes, ster- mentation and Engineering, strong In-
nical support for products manufactured at ile filtration process development and/ • Strong knowledge of Lyophilization, terpersonal skills are required.
microbial and mammalian facility at Biocon. or process scale-up required. sterile filtration, stability studies, con- • Good communications skills required
• Understanding of workflow for Bio- tainer closure interactions.
Key responsibilities of the team are listed similar process and product develop- • Hands on experience in formulation Behavioral skills:
below: ment with the perspective of Reference • Strong concepts in Protein Biochemis-
Product Quality Attributes is desirable. try. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
• Responsible for monitoring, trouble- • Strong concepts of drug product devel- • Understanding of the concepts of in-
shooting and improving upstream, opment such as DP specifications, con- strumentation associated with the pro- • Experience: 4- 8 years hands on expe-
downstream and formulation unit op- tainer closure design and interactions, cess function rience with process development and/
erations as well as related analytical sterile filtration operations, stability • Knowledge in HPLC related work- or scale up. Experience with processes
in-process and release testing starting studies (shelf life extrapolation), in use flows is a plus run at production scale is preferred
from vial thaw to the finished drug studies (infusion studies), shipping and • The core function of MSAT is docu- • Qualification: M.Pharm/M.Sc./ MTech
product. excursions studies and Extractables mentation of manufacturing activities or PhD with specialization in any of the
• Root cause investigations of deviations and Leachables program is a must. to Quality assurance regulatory agen- following Biochemistry, Biotechnolo-
and OOS • The job involves the following func- cies, both national and international. gy, Chemistry, Chemical engineering.

GOVT MICROBIOLOGY JOB @ INDIAN JUTE


INDUSTRIES’ RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
(IJIRA)

Apply for a government job opening at In- Number of Posts : 01 Desirable : To


dian Jute Industries’ Research Association. Director
IJIRA job opening for MSc & PhD Microbi- Consolidated pay package : • Ph. D (Microbiology). Indian Jute Industries’ Research Associa-
ology candidates for a Senior Microbiologist • Having minimum 2 years experience tion
position as per the details given below: 33,000 (Consolidated) in applied Microbiology especially on 17, Taratala Road, Kolkata 700 088
Jute-Microbes interaction.
Applications are invited for the posts of Nature of the Appointment : • Experience on bulk production of mi- 2) The candidates should also send their ap-
Senior Microbiologist candidates, who pos- crobes through fermentation. plication through mail address as in below:-
sess the requisite qualification, for filling Contractual. • Operational experience in analytical in- taniya.addya@ijira.org
up the following post is requested to apply struments in laboratory.
with proper bio-data within 13/03/2018. The Qualifications: Application Deadline : 13/03/2018
details of the contact address are mentioned How to Apply:
bellow: Essential :
1) Deserving candidates should send their
Name of the Post : Senior Microbiologist M. Sc (1st Class) in Microbiology from a applications in a sealed envelope to the ad-
reputed University. dress below and clearly mentioning the post.

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