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Dr. Prem V Nair

Director - Indian Virus Network (IVN)
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi

Dr. Prem V. Nair currently serves as the Medical Director of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) Hospital and Research Centre. A gastroenterologist by training, he has extensive clinical research expertise in chronic hepatitis B virus infections and has made several important contributions in better understanding the etiology and prevalence of Hepatitis B virus infections in hepatocellular cancers among the Indian population. While Chairman, Division of Gastroenterology and Director of Endoscopy at the Hospital of Good Samaritan, Los Angeles California USA and a faculty of the Gastroenterology Department at AIMS he was actively engaged in clinical research on chronic viral infections esp. chronic Hepatitis B virus infections and had guided and mentored many physician-postgraduates in clinical research. He has authored many books, chapters as well as published his clinical research work in leading international journals. Though not actively pursuing clinical research anymore he still continues to divide his time between hospital and clinical research duties as and when he can. His leadership has led to many successful public health partnerships with leading national health agencies and many Government of India (GoI) public health initiatives.

Dr. Abhay Chowdhary

Director& Professor of Virology, Microbiology and Immunology
Haffkine Institute

Dr. Chowdhary is a Professor of Virology, Microbiology and Immunology, Infectious Diseases' expert. He is the Director of the prestigious Haffkine Institute, Mumbai which was established in 1899. Over hundreds of publication to his credit, he is the president of Indian Association of Medical Microbiology. From framing guidelines to patient education in virology from decades, he is well known for valedictions, symposiums and gathering addresses for his excellent oratory skills. He works with a motto to promote knowledge of infectious viral diseases to prevent them amongst people to have strong, healthy India.

Dr. Arun Kumar

Professor& HOD, Regional Reference Laboratory
Manipal Centre for Virus Research, Manipal

Dr. Arun Kumar is the head of Manipal Centre Virus Research, Regional Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza/ Influenza- A H1N1/09, Manipal University from 2010, earlier to which he has been a faculty, Virology laboratory, Dept. of Microbiology, KMC from 1997. He was a junior research Fellow (CSIR/NET) at Dept of Microbiology, AIIMS, New Delhi in 1997. He has ICMR funded ongoing projects, runs a master’s virology program, research in viral encephalitis biosensors, KFD, vaccine preventable airborne viral diseases (Alabama, Birmingham, USA).

Areas of interest- Diagnostic Virology, Molecular Virology, Epidemiology of Viral diseases, Viral outbreak investigation, development of diagnostic assays.

Dr. K N Panicker

Emeritus Professor, Community Medicine
AIMS, Kochi

Dr. K. N. Panicker, was in the service of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), for over 30 years and have made many valuable contributions in the field of vector-borne diseases and their control. He is a renowned scientist of International reputation. During his tenure in ICMR, he has also served as Temporary Advisor Advisor of World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva and in different countries. Some of the research pursuits he has carried out have become pioneering models for communicable disease control with peoples' participation at global level. The very concept of Disease control as a by-product of Income generation was his brainchild which he has demonstrated for Malaria control in Pondicherry and filariasis control in Chertala, Kerala.

In view of his vast experience as a Medical Entomologist especially on vectors of Dengue he was invited by WHO Geneva in a meeting to design Global strategies of Dengue Control in 1995. He was also a Consultant of Rockefeller Foundation in Honduras for Control of Dengue. He has extensively worked in different parts of India investigating epidemics due to JE and Chikungunya. Associated with the isolation of some new viruses and on their epidemiological studies... Reported for the first time in Asia, some aspects of Ecology and Bionomics of Aedes aegypti.

Dr. Panicker is a recipient of JSPS Fellowship of Gov. of Japan to visit Japan as a visiting professor in the medical universities of that country. He is the recipient of many awards including MOT Iyengar Award of ICMR. In 2003 he was invited to the Medical University of Addis Ababa ,Ethiopia in East Africa as a Professor, where besides teaching, he served as an Advisor to the Federal Ministry of Health. There he could expose for the first time the Lymphatic Filariasis problem of that country with a research program with the support from Carter Centre and WHO Afro region.

He has also addressed the Donor countries Meeting of WHO in Geneva and Chaired a meeting of 37 countries in Washington.Currently he is an Emeritus Professor of Medical Entomology in the Faculty of Community Medicine in the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, a highly prestigious Medical Institution engaged in teaching as well as initiating various international research pursuits.

Dr. Balakrishna Anukumar

National Institute of Virology

Dr. Balakrishna Anu Kumar is a known name from National Institute of Virology, Kerala unit. He has carried out extensive works on Chandipura viral infection in animal models which has played a significant role in the clinical management and designing antiviral intervention in the district of Allappuzha. He is into Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) vector science forum studies on Aedes mosquitoes to determine vectors of Dengue and Chikungunya virus in Kottayam and Allappuzha district of Kerala. Very unassuming and down to earth, he is the favourite amongst the local media for timely scientific news regarding the viruses and the vectors as first responders along with Dr. Rajendran, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), India

Dr. Jayanthi S Shastri

Professor& HOD, Microbiology
T. N. Medical College & Nair Hospital, Mumbai

Dr. Jayanthi S Shastri is the Professor & Chair, Department of Microbiology, T. N. Medical College & Nair Hospital, Mumbai, India. She has been a rank holder throughout her medicine career, has a rich over 30 years of experience as a teaching faculty, has compiled a reference manual for HIV/AIDS for Health care providers and has over 30 international publications to her credit.

Areas of interest include rapid diagnostic techniques for the diagnosis of infectious diseases like dengue etc., biomarkers in infectious diseases, molecular identification of pathogens.

Dr. Shastri visited Einstein in 2004 to initiate collaborative research to study the natural history of HIV infection and its association with STDs among sex workers in Mumbai, India which culminated in a Albert Einstein college of Medicine-Montefiore CFAR funded study 'A pilot study of HIV among sex workers in Mumbai'.

In January 2008, a 4-week clinical research training workshop was held at T. N. Medical College, Mumbai under her leadership. Dr. Shastri revisited Einstein in 2009 to explore additional collaborations with the Einstein investigators.

Dr. Priya Abraham

Professor& HOD, Clinical Virology
Christian Medical College, Vellore

Dr. Priya Abraham was the former head of the department of Clinical Virology, at Christian Medical College, Vellore. Her main area of research is with blood borne hepatitis viruses. She was funded by the British Council on a Higher Education Links programme for a project entitled "Implications of paediatric gastrointestinal and hepatic infections in public health policy and practice in south India. She has also received funding from DBT to study the genetic basis of host immune responses to hepatitis B virus infections and chronic liver disease. ICMR has funded an ongoing study looking at emerging drug resistant hepatitis B virus. For her doctoral studies, she worked with macaques to study the potential pathogenic role of HGV and TT viruses.

Dr. Abraham has a long term interest in hepatitis B vaccines - testing efficacy of different vaccine formulations, efficacy of alternative vaccination schedules in immuno-suppressed individuals and studying the role of immuno-potentiating agents in vaccine response. She has also looked at the role of HLA types in non-response to the HBV vaccine.

More recently, in the field of human papilloma viruses, she has investigated the role of HPV PCR in screening for cervical cancer in a DBT-NIH funded study. Subsequently she was funded to study the role of HPV markers in prognosis of cervical cancer and also the molecular epidemiology of HPV in India and its variants. She is part of the Indian HPV working group. She is currently working on HPV infection in HIV seropositive individuals (ICMR-NIH) and is working on HPV in head and neck tumours in collaboration with McGill University Canada and Albert Einstein College, New York. She has over 50 international publications to her credit.

Dr. Radhakrishnan R

Scientist, Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Diagnosis
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum

Dr. Radhakrishnan is with Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum, India from over two years as Scientist E1, Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Diagnosis, before which he was the Dean and Professor of Biochemistry, Consultant Laboratory Medicine, Atlantic University NY, USA. He has also served as Professor and Chair of Biochemistry Spartan University NY, USA for a period of two years. He has been an Associate professor of Biochemistry at various places like Sultan Quaboos University Oman Medical College, West Virginia University, Muscat, Oman, as Head division of Laboratory Medicine, MOSC Medical College, Kolencherry, Ernakulam Kerala India and Division of Laboratory Medicine Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokahra Nepal. He has also served at IbnSina Teaching Hospital, Al Tahadi University, Sirte, Libya as Consultant & Head Division of Laboratory Medicine & Molecular Biology.

Dr. Rajendran

Deputy Director

Dr. Rajendran is the Alappuzha unit Deputy Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Government of India. He has contributed extensively on ecology and epidemiology of mosquito borne viral diseases in the state of Kerala. His activities include Training and Capacity building, Research, Specialized services and Outbreak investigation and control. His other achievements in virology include clinico-parasitological and entomological activities, Surveillance of Aedes mosquitoes, the vectors of dengue and Chikungunya in different parts of Kozhikode and Alappuzha districts, Several classes on Chikungunya and dengue for prevention and control to different categories of persons, Evaluation of NOMOS, a mosquito repellent cream against day biting Aedes albopictus in Kerala in collaboration with the Centre for Medical Entomology and Vector Management, NCDC, Delhi , Post Chikungunya medical camp organized by Cherthala Municipality with the active participation of NCDC and Supervision of containment activities in Bird flu affected areas of Dibrugarh district of Assam. He is ever eager to share his experiences as a scientific resource person for various symposia, workshops, seminars and at commemoration of world health days.

Dr. Sanjay Bhattacharya

Consultant Microbiologist
Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata

Dr. Sanjay Bhattacharya did his MD in Microbiology in 2000 from JIPMER, Pondicherry and DNB in 2001, then went on to do his Diploma from the Royal College of Pathologists in 2005 (in Microbiology) and finally his FRCPath (in Virology) in the year 2009. He has ten years of experience of working in august institutions both in India and abroad like SSKM Hospital (Kolkata), AIIMS (New Delhi), JIPMER (Pondicherry), University Hospitals of Leicester, UK, University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire, UK, City Hospital, Heart of England NHS Trust, University Hospital, Birmingham, UK.

Before joining TMCT, Dr. Bhattacharya had been working at Health Protection Agency’s London Regional Laboratory at King’s College Hospital, UK, as a locum Consultant in Virology. He has also worked as a locum Consultant in Microbiology at the West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust. Dr. Bhattacharya has got several scientific publications to his credit in various national and international journals. His areas of interests include antibiotic and antiviral therapy, transplantation virology, and infection management in ICU and among immunocompromised patients, viral hepatitis, HIV, congenital CMV.

Dr. Sara Chandy

Consultant Virologist, Clinical Virology
Christian Medical College, Vellore

Dr. Sara Chandy is with the clinical virology wing of Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, from over five years as a research associate. She is also a part of Infectious Disease Training and Research Center (IDTRC), Vellore. She works as a virology consultant in Pushpagiri Research Center, Tiruvalla as well and has been instrumental in setting up a virology laboratory at the place.

Dr. Chandy takes the credit of first putting Hanta virus on the Indian map and has spent years in carrying out in depth studies on the same, which have also won her many international publications.

Dr. Suryanarayana

Ex-Principal Scientist, Molecular Virology Laboratory
Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bangalore

Dr. Suryanarayana is the Emeritus Professor and ex- principal Scientist at the Molecular Virology Laboratory, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bangalore, India. He has been the recipient of various prestigious awards like Dr. K. S. Nair Memorial Award 1983, Dr. Vancheeswaran Memorial award 1986, Director’s and Industry Meritorious Award for Outstanding Research in Animal Sciences in 2001.

He was the Councilor for Medical & Veterinary Virology 1998-2001 (Indian Virological Society) and has been the member of various working committees like Taskforce Committee on Animal Biotechnology 2000 – 2007 and task force Committee on Regulation on GM feeds 2003-2004. He has served as a faculty member in Dept. of Veterinary Microbiology, and Plant Biotechnology, UAS, Bangalore, Dept. of Biotechnology and Biochemistry, Bangalore University. Bangalore, Dept. of Biochemistry, S.K. University, Anantapur and in the Division of Biotechnology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, deemed University.

He is also a founder member of Society of Biotechnologists, India and a life member of Indian Association of Veterinary Immunologists and Biotechnologists, Indian Virological Society, Indian Association of Veterinary Microbiologists, Immunologists and Specialists in Infectious Diseases and Association of Microbiologists of India. He has authored two books in his field and has over 15 international publications. He has six patents to his credit and has developed 5 technologies during his research.

Dr. Vinod Scaria

Bioinformatician

Dr. Vinod Scaria is a young and dynamic medico turned bioinformatician, interested in genome analysis. He is involved in the development of bioinformatics tools and their application. He has used adopted novel and creative strategies like the use of Wiki tools, twitter and remote participation of undergraduate students to accelerate genome annotation. His core scientific area has been in Computational Biology and Genome Informatics, while his major research areas include Computational Biology of noncoding functional RNAs, Clinical Genomics, Genome Informatics and organization of information in genomes and Integrative analysis and Community Annotation of Genomes and large Genomics datasets. He is a Member Senate of Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) and has many awards and fellowships to his credit with an impressive academic record - CSIR Young Scientist Award (2012), Senior Research Fellowship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India (2006),Gold Medal in Biochemistry, Calicut Medical College, Calicut University (2000), Gold Medal in Physiology, Calicut Medical College, Calicut University (2000), Genecon 2000 National Biochemistry Quiz(2000) and has over twenty international publications from his accomplished works.