Encourage students to take up research works: Ex-VC

Former vice-chancellor S N Hegde called upon the teaching faculty to encourage and motivate students to do research.

He was addressing a gathering during the inaugural ceremony of an international workshop on ‘Biology and Applications of Actinomycetes’, organised by of University of Mysore (UoM) and Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany at Vijnana Bhavan, here.

He said, compared to yesteryears, the facilities, accessibility and communities are better and the youngsters can be more aggressive. "The youths from divergent backgrounds should come for research. The quality of research must be improved to the international level as the future will be more challenging and competitive. Indian students are good in research. But, there is a need for better research. Proper motivation in classrooms and training through workshops would help in producing qualitative research works," he said.

Actinomycetes are one of the most important sources of natural products with industrial and
therapeutical applications. Using traditional approaches, the search for novel natural products in Actinomycetes with bioactive properties is difficult. However, new biosynthetic gene clusters have been identified using genome mining techniques. These newly discovered genes in actinomycetes could be explored for the potential novel natural products, he said.

The workshop organising convener V Ravishankar Rai said, "The event is organised to provide a platform for discussion on diversity, chemical biology and ecology of Actinomycetes and the application of modern genomic platforms for discovery of antibiotics, anti-infectives and anticancer drugs from Actinomycetes.

The theme of the workshop was ‘Diversity, Chemical Biology and Ecology of Actinomycetes; and the Discovery of Natural Products’ and ‘Genomic and synthetic biology approaches in Actinomycetes drug discovery'.

The sessions focus on the effects of biological and chemical elicitation at the molecular level on secondary metabolism in Actinomycetes and topics including the application of metabolic engineering to optimize natural product synthesis, the use of omics data and the engineering of regulatory genes, were discussed.

Professionals such as Joachim Wink of Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany, Michael Steinert of Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, Tohru Dairi of Hokkaido University, Japan, Chenghang Sun of Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology (IMB) Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China, and others conducted sessions.

UoM Vice Chancellor G Hemantha Kumar was present.

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