Professor M. S. Swaminathan And Professor Harald Zur Hausen Speak At IGC 2015

SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur witnessed the grand inaugural of the Indian Genetic Congress, 2015, followed by lighting the lamp by Dr. P. Sathyanarayanan, President of SRM Institute of Science and Technology , Registrar Dr. N Sethuraman, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Founder of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and Nobel laureate Prof. Herald Zur Hausen. The dignitaries were greeted by Dr. N Sethuraman, Dr. P. Sathyanarayanan, Dr. K. Sreedhar Pro Vice Chancellor, Medical and Dr. M. Vairamani, Dean of Department of Biomedical Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology . Dr. N. Sethuraman in his welcome address noted that Prof. Herald Zur Hausen is the 7th Nobel laureate visiting SRM Institute of Science and Technology .

Dr. Sathyanarayanan in the presidential address said that SRM Institute of Science and Technology is proud to host such a national event. He stated that research in genetics is going to trace the history of people and future of generations, thus acting as a bridge between the past and future. He added, ‘it is by no means breaking the law of nature, but circumventing one law of nature by another.’ The President, in his thought provoking and inspiring speech added that the twenty first century is witnessing high growth in science and technology, so more medical research and allocation of funds is required for research in science and technology.

Dr. K. Sreedhar said that SRM Institute of Science and Technology is the ideal place for interdisciplinary research. He added that “genes play role from creation to cremation”.Dr. M Parani, HOD, Department of Genetic Engineering, threw light on the agenda of the Indian Genetic Congress. He said that the Congress is supported by 767 registered delegates with submission of 149 research articles and publication of selected articles in BMC Biotechnology – the prestigious Biomedical journal.

Dr. Sundeep Sarin, Director of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, highlighted upon the concept of genetic revolution and modern genomics. He added that genetics is the basis of modern biotechnology.

The President felicitated Prof. M.S Swaminathan, Prof. Herald Zur Hausen and his wife Prof. Mitchele-De-Villiers, followed by the felicitation of Dr. Sundeep Sarin by Dr. D. Narayana Rao, Director, Research, SRM Institute of Science and Technology. The awardees of the Genetic Researcher Award hoped that this Congress would have far reaching effects in human life.

Prof. M.S Swaminathan, the Father of Green Revolution and Founder of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, congratulated Dr. Sathyanarayanan upon the launch of this ground-breaking event. He also highlighted the aspects of genomics, from Mendelian to Integrated Breeding. He noted that the year 2013 marked the transition from ‘ship to mouth’ to ‘right to food’ with home grown food and briefed about Zero Hunger Challenge, Evergreen Revolution, CRISPR, GBS (Genotyping By Sequencing) and Pulses Revolution. He added the major approaches towards Biofortification and the Zero Hunger Challenge.

Professor Harald Zur Hausen, Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine 2008, a German virologist credited with the discovery of Papilloma viruses that cause cancer of the cervix, delivered the inaugural Nobel Laureate Lecture, 'Prevention of Cancers Linked to Infections.'  He received 15 honorary MD and Ph.D. doctorates from the Universities of Chicago, USA, Umeå, Sweden, Prague, Czech Republic, Salford, UK, and many more. He received various national and international awards, among them the Robert-Koch-Price, the Charles S. Mott Price of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Federation of the European Cancer Society’s Clinical Research Award, the Paul-Ehrlich-Ludwig Darmstätter-Price and the Jung-Price, Hamburg, to mention a few.

Professor Zur Hausen's specific field of research is the study of oncoviruses. He said that 21 percent of global cancer is caused by infections and human papillomavirus play an important role in the cause of cervical cancer. He later briefed about HPV16 and HPV 18 in cervical cancers, which helped in developing vaccine against the third most frequent kind of cancer affecting women. The inaugural ceremony ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. M. Vairamani.