Science pursuit knits this sextet of young scholars

Diversity of cultures is an ethereal experience. What made the opening of the Commonwealth Science Conference at IISc warm and pleasureable was not only the presence of senior scientists from very different countries and cultures, but also the presentations by six young research scholars from six countries.

The start was truly multinational and multicultural. The young scholars came from South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh, West Indies, Canada and United Kingdom.

All of them made quick presentations and received warm applause from the audience.
Tetsuto Miyashita from University of Alberta, Canada, is researching the origin of jaws. “Would you believe that we were once fish? Or at least that our ancestors were? And would you know that the jaw was seen first in a fish. I am into fish history which takes me to very exotic locales. I’ve heard so much of India, I am now here to see it, its people, culture, tradition and everyday life. It is a treat to be here.”

Malebogo Ngoepe from University of Cape Town, South Africa, is working on human brain and is mapping clotting in the cerebral aneurysms.

“I am looking at clotting in the brain’s aneurysms – how it occurs and what its effects are. I also examine whether ruptures occur in this clotting. I hope to find researchers working in a similar field and I see my Indian travel as an effort to understand what other scientists are doing.”

Kirsten Coupland from Sydney, Australia, is working on the role a protein like Tau plays in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Gene mutations are also mapped in this research. “I came to Bengaluru and the Cmmonwealth conference to understand what cutting-edge research is now and what scientists are working on. This will tell me where I and my research belong,” says Ngoepe.

Maria Rahman from Bangladesh is focussed on anti-resistant and anti-Microbial agents. “The resistance to anti-biotics is a growing concern all over the world. I am looking at using nano composites in treatments concerning microbes. I am curious whether I’ll find researchers working on a similar subjects, so we can share notes.”

Zeyar Min from University of West Indies is working on the design and synthesis of materials with potential medical applications. “I love the line-up of speakers. It’s amazing. We’ll get to see contemporary research in the commonwealth. We need to have a measure of what research is going on in the Commonwealth.”

Aisleen Bennett from University of Liverpool, the UK, is researching the effects of vaccination against Rotavirus, found in a particular community in Africa. “Commonwealth meet is an opportunity to meet sceintists” says Bennett.

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