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Photo contributed by Integrated PhD student Ronit Debnath: Campus entrance as seen from Baner Road 

RESEARCH

A rose is a rose is a rose; not so for calcium! 
To understand the basis of memory, a new paper by Dr. Suhita Nadkarni’s group investigated the role of calcium ions and showed that calcium from different sources impacts memory in unique ways. More 
 
On the therapeutic potential of heparan sulfates  
In a series of papers, Dr. Raghavendra Kikkeri’s group explored the therapeutic potential of heparan sulfate, a linear carbohydrate (polysaccharide) molecule, which is typically found at the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix that holds cells together. More
 
A computational tool to track single molecules through microscopy 
Dr. Chaitanya Athale’s group developed an image-analysis programme to track intracellular granules under a differential interference contrast microscope. This will help researchers track and study single molecules in a quantitative, yet non-invasive, manner. More
 
The force is strong with this one! 
Research groups of Prof. Aloke Das and Dr. M.S. Madhusudhan showed an extremely unconventional hydrogen-bond to be as strong as a conventional hydrogen-bond. More

 
A tale of lipid tails
In a paper published in Cell Chemical Biology, Dr. Siddhesh Kamat's research group studied the role played by the lipid tail of a lipid molecule, lyso-PS, in regulating the function of cells involved in immune response. More   
 

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

Many of our faculty members have been recognised during the recent months for their research accomplishments. These awards include induction as Fellows of national academies, awards, and fellowships. See here a compilation of these awards and recognitions.

Several of IISER Pune students are among those selected for this year's Prime Minister's Research Fellowship (PMRF) (More); and the IISER Pune student team won a Gold medal at the iGEM 2020 Synthetic Biology Competition. (More)

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Centre for Water Research
IISER Pune has established a Centre for Water Research (CWR) to generate interdisciplinary knowledge about water systems, train the next generation of scholars to look at water from a multi-dimensional lens, and provide a platform for the institute to engage in research that can inform action and policy. More
 
I-Hub Quantum Technology Foundation 
This Hub has been set up by the Physics department at IISER Pune under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems. Over twelve IISER Pune researchers along with a large number of collaborators from other national institutes will be part of this initiative. More

CAMPUS UPDATES

Welcome to IISER Pune! 
Impact welcomes the newly admitted first year BS-MS students and PhD students to the institute. We hope Impact brings some of the campus hustle and bustle a little closer to you in these times of online classes and physical distancing. 
 
Volunteering at the COVID-19 testing centre
In this video prepared by the IISER Pune Science Media Centre, volunteers at the COVID-19 testing centre on campus share their thoughts on contributing to the cause. As of Feb 27, 2020, the COVID-19 testing centre tested over 40,000 samples arriving from hospitals in Pune. Kudos to all involved! 
Valedictory ceremony for the 2020 outgoing batch of students
To celebrate the graduation of our students in a year disrupted by the pandemic, the outgoing batch of students were congratulated and awardees felicitated through an online valedictory ceremony in November 2020. More

IISER PUNE IN THE MEDIA

Links to some of the recent articles in news and media outlets about research and outreach activities of IISER Pune. Visit our In the Media page for more articles.
  • Prof. Sujit Ghosh’s group has developed a hybrid material that can purify water by removing a wide range of toxic ions. Times of India 
  • A recent paper in PLOS Biology from Stanford researchers created a database of citation metrics and listed top 100,000 scientists and top 2% scientists in their subfield discipline. Those from IISER Pune on this list included Dr. Nirmalya Ballav, Prof. Satishchandra Ogale, Prof. Jayant Udgaonkar, and Prof. Deepak Dhar. Maharashtra Times 
  • IISER Pune and Prashanti Cancer Care Mission are part of the Centre for Translational Cancer Research which would be sequencing the genomes of individuals to document the genetic diversity in Indian populations. Indian Express
  • Various online activities initiated during the pandemic-induced lockdown by the Science Activity Centre reported by Sakal (Akola)
  • As part of the serological and epidemiological survey for COVID-19 in Pune city, Dr. Aurnab Ghose and his colleagues found that 85% of the set of COVID-19 positive samples showed the presence of neutralising antibodies. Times of India, Hindustan Times reported.
  • A team of 14 students from IISER Pune won a gold medal at the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) contest held virtually. Indian Express and Times of India covered the news.

PARTNERSHIPS 

CoE in Chemistry, with C-CAMP 
IISER Pune will serve as a centre of excellence for chemistry on the Indigenisation of Diagnostics #InDx project, anchored at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platform (C-CAMP), Bengaluru. Prof S.G. Srivatsan is the lead investigator from IISER Pune on this effort. More
Memoranda of Understanding
  • With the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Regional Station, Pune (IARI-RS) (Jan 22, 2021): for academic collaboration and to strengthen each other’s research and facilities
  • With Johns Hopkins University (Dec 07, 2020): to formalise the intent of academic and research collaboration
  • Between all seven IISERs and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), Germany (Nov 05, 2020): This renewed network-level MoU supports research collaboration and faculty exchange
  • With School of Engineering, Osaka University (Oct 12, 2020): to support bilateral student and faculty exchanges, to develop academic and research partnerships
  • With King's College, London (Oct 02, 2020): to support faculty/student exchange
Mimamsa undergraduate Science Quiz, in partnership with Praj
A student-led event, the Mimamsa competition tests for scientific concepts and not facts alone. Held in partnership with Praj Industries for the first time last year, Mimamsa 2020 was held at 21 centres across India. To participate in the next edition of Mimamsa, register now by April 4, 2021. More
Support through Endowments
We acknowledge the support extended by our benefactors to the institute activities and to our students through endowments. We thank them all for their continued support.
  • In 2020-21, 6 BS-MS, 5 Integrated PhD, and 10 PhD students have been awarded scholarships by Integrated Decisions and Systems (India) Private Limited (IDeaS).
  • Infosys Foundation Tuition Fee Waivers were extended to 45 BS-MS students and to 3 Integrated PhD students during 2020-21.
  • Cipla Foundation has supported the COVID-19 Testing Centre to procure essential consumables. 

EVENTS

The month of March 2021 and the week leading it have been particularly busy here at the institute. Recordings are available at the given links.
  • Led by the Science Activity Centre on campus, the celebration of the 2021 National Science Day included day-long online events with public talks and fun science activities. A documentary on GN Ramachandran produced by the Science Media Centre was premiered.
  • Spread over 3 days, the 2021 Math Day programme put together by the Math department and the Math Club had lined up a slew of events.
  • Organised by the Women in Science Committee of the institute, the 2021 International Women's Day was observed through talks and discussions as a way to create awareness on gender equity in science and in the society.
Online Science Demo Series
Being conducted since the lockdown, this series has received an overwhelming response from all parts of the country. On December 06, 2020, the Science Activity Centre team hosted the 25th episode of the series where Padma Shri awardee, Mr. Arvind Gupta conducted one of the sessions in the series. More
 
Republic Day
January 26, 2021
With many of our PhD and research students having returned to the campus in phases over the latter half of 2020, this year's Republic Day celebrations saw the largest gathering in a long time, with physical distancing norms in place. More 
 
Training workshop on scientific project management 
January 5-9, 2021
With support from the Department of Science and Technology, this workshop was organised by Dr. Vandana Gambhir and CA. Vasundhara Laad from the Grants and Finance sections, respectively. Mentors at the workshop discussed budgeting and accounting basics, technology licensing, and more. More
Workshop on writing about science for non-scientific audiences 
December 7-11, 2020
This workshop was funded by NCSTC of the Department of Science and Technology and organised online by the IISER Pune Science Media Centre in collaboration with IndiaBioscience.
 
7th Annual Homi Bhabha Memorial Public Lecture
November 6, 2020
The Annual Homi Bhabha Memorial Public Lecture hosted by the Physics department was delivered by Prof. Rainer Blatt, University of Innsbruck.
 

IISER PUNE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

FACEBOOK
IISER Pune alumnus Dr. Shraddha Karve was selected for the Indian National Science Academy's Young Scientist Medal for her doctoral work carried out at IISER Pune on the evolution of bacteria under fluctuating environments. More
LINKEDIN
Science Media Centre's (SMC) production 'The Trials and Triumphs of G N Ramachandran' won the Best of Festival award at the International Science Film Festival of India 2020. The film was directed by SMC member and IISER Pune BS-MS alumnus Rahul Iyer. More
TWITTER
The SUNRISE project on solar power research led by Swansea University received International Collaboration of the Year award from Times Higher Education. Research groups of Prof. Satishchandra Ogale and Dr. Atikur Rahman at IISER Pune are part of this project. Prof Ogale is the team leader of this multi-institutional UK-India programme on the Indian side. More
TWITTER
This article in the Wire by Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar from IISc, Bengaluru describes evolution in the context of dispersal. The article talks in detail about the research and experimental setup of Prof. Sutirth Dey's work from IISER Pune using the fruit fly model to study the ecology and evolution of dispersal. More
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The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune is an autonomous research and teaching organisation of the Ministry of Education, Government of India. 

This newsletter is produced by the Research Communications Office in association with the Partnerships and Outreach Office of IISER Pune. You can reach us on rescomm@acads.iiserpune.ac.in

Mailing Address: IISER Pune, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pune 411 008, Maharashtra, India 

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