The most awaited Indian Genetics Congress 2015 was inaugurated on 4th March 2015 in T.P. Ganesan Auditorium of SRM University, Kattankulathu rwith an invocation and lighting of the holy lamp. It is a three days congress starting from 4th March to 6th March. The Congress is first of its kind and attempts to bring together the scholars working in human, plant, animal and microbial genetics.
The vibrancy of the congress can be gained by the total registered delegates which totals to 767 from 18 states, representing 49 Universities and research institutions as highlighted by Dr. M. Parani, HOD, Department of Genetic Engineering and General Secretary of IGC 2015. Such an intellectual gathering was inspired to gather knowledge across the globe on genetics and find the link between the history and future by Dr P Sathyanarayanan, President, SRM University in the Presidential Address.Genetics revolutionized the world in 19th century and since then it has crossed one milestone after the other. The latest developments being recombinant DNA technology, gene therapy, pharmacogenomics andpharmaco genetics and today genetics has become the basis for the modern biotechnology in words of Shri Sundeep Sarin, Director, Department of Biotechnology, GOI.
The inaugural lecture of the congress was given by Padmavibhusan Dr. M. S Swaminathan, FRS, Founder, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation Chennai. He highlighted about his work on Genomics and Zero Hunger Challenge, a mission to remove hunger by 2025 and work against protein and micronutrient deficiency. He also talked about various methods involved like gene pyramiding, genetic checkmating of disease threats, bio- fortification and genotyping by sequencing. He also enlightened about his ultimate goal “children for happiness”.
Prof. Harald zur Hausen, Noble laureate in medicine 2008, German Cancer Research Centre Heidelberg, Germany with his wife Prof. de Villiers graced the event with their presence and the Noble laureate lecture on Papillomaviruses and cancer prevention by vaccination.
He showed that around 21% of the global cancer incidence is caused by infections due to parasites and bacteria.He focused on cervical cancer and its secondary prevention by vaccinesHe concluded with the results of the first successful papillomavirus vaccination that was performed in animal system, a puppy that was 100% cured from the precursor lesions of the mucosal cancer. He summarized the results of the clinical studies along with the characters required for effective vaccines. He also gave alternatives for future generations of vaccines as the acceptance of the vaccines is low in certain regions across the globe.
Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. T. Mohapatra, Central Rice Research Institute, Odisha