Microbiology

The year 2017-18 saw Ms Sufiya Ansari ranked first among our post graduates with a CGPA of 3.88 of 4 and Ms. Keertana Venkatesh ranked first amongst our graduates with a CGPA of 3.84 of 4.

One of the highlights for the department was a Doctorate in Microbiology awarded to Ms. Karuna Gokarn by the Mumbai University in March after she successfully defended her thesis entitled “Extraction of siderophores from Mycobacterium smegmatis and their evaluation as novel therapeutic agents”. 

Our faculty and students engaged in several activities -

Student Activities

  1. Being socially responsible: The SYBSc students checked the potability of water points in the college every month through the academic year.

 

  1. Peer learning: SYBSc students welcomed the fledgling FYBSc batch with an exhibition entitled ‘HOW I MET MICROBES’ on 10th of July, 2017 in the Microbiology Laboratory. Students learnt from each other about the various aspects of Microbiology and its scope. Other interested Junior, Senior college students and faculty also visited the exhibition. This annual exhibition creates bonding, teaches team work, boosts confidence and self-worth amongst students.

The Exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Vivien Amonkar, former head of department.

 

  1. Organising And Attending Talks And Seminars: Students helped in the organization of talks, workshops and seminars and attended them.

  • Compost Bin Inauguration: The Compost Bin was set up by Ms. Sangeetha Chavan in association with the Stree Mukti Sanghatna was inaugurated by Dr. Anthony D’Souza SJ, our Rector on 30th of June. Students of the T.Y.B.Sc. and S.Y.B.Sc. participated by adding canteen waste into the bin after segregation.

  • Seminar At HBCSE, Mumbai: Five T.Y.B.Sc. students attended a seminar on ‘ Genomics , post – genomics, …and back to the basics’ at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science and Education ( TIFR) on the 13th of July 2017.

  • Lecture By Dr Sharad Kale: The DBT sponsored lecture by Padmashri Dr. Sharad Kale lecture’s on ‘Environmental Sustainability’ was held on the 28th July, 2017 to a packed audience of teachers and students of F.Y., S.Y. and T.Y. and M.Sc. 

  • The science fiction movie, Contagion was screened on the 16th of Sept. The movie touched upon the quick spread of virus and disease from one country to another. Dr. Aparna Talekar conducted a discussion on issues relevant to microbiology from the movie.

  • Department of Microbiology together with the Department of Biotechnology organized a lecture by Dr. Sangeeta Prakash, Professor, Dept of Food Technology, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia, on the 27th of September, 2017. The speaker spoke about 3-D Food Printing.

  • A workshop on Scientific writing was conducted by Cactus Communications in association with the department of Biotechnology on 24th of November, 2017. Many of our students participated in it and this led to one of our students eventually being placed with the company.

  • Science Day: Department of Microbiology along with Cancer Patients Aid Association hosted a talk by Eminent Molecular Oncologist Dr Dhananjaya Saranath on Cancer Awareness- Facts, Fiction & Myths on the 28th of February.

  • Career Guidance Seminar-2018 was held on the 21st of April. Guest speakers invited were alumna, Ms. Harsha Kavale, Associate Director, Cipla, Dr. ShilpaVerekar, Head – Technical Projects (PAN India), MicrochemSillikerPvt Ltd, and alumnus Mr. Mahesh Jagtap, Mumbai. Sales Head-India at PQE Group, Pharma Quality Europe, Italy.

  • UMAX (Undergraduate Microbiology Association of Xavier’s): organized the activities for the Silvassa trip, Khandala seminar, Micro day and the Farewell for our M.Sc. and T.Y.B.Sc. students. 

 

  1. Honours programme: was co-ordinated by Ms. Sangeetha Chavan. The first years had a workshop on antimicrobial effects of plants, herbs and spices for 2 credits conducted by Ms. Miriam Stewart. The second year studied the cytotoxicity of chemicals using animal tissue culture conducted by Dr. pampi Chakraborty for two credits. The thirds years attended a lecture series on IPR (Intellectual property rights) conducted by Dr. Biswa Prasun Chatterjee for 1 credit.

 

  1. Celebrating Micro Day: Micro Day was marked by the release of the department magazine; “The Michronicle” on the 5th of December. The Principal, and Dr. Vivien Amonkar graced the occasion and released the magazine. The annual magazine was compiled by a team of very enthusiastic T.Y.B.Sc. students led very ably by Editor-in-Chief Neha Banwani. For the first time The Michronicle was uploaded on to the college website. 

 

  1. Educational visits and Khandala seminar :

Silvassa trip was organized for the 12th, 13th and 14th of November, 2017. We visited four factories there.

Khandala seminar, St. Xavier’s College villa: was held on the 12th and 13th of February, for S.Y. and T. Y. students. The annual evaluation of the Department was completed using a feedback questionnaire and a discussion. Students and staff shared their thoughts on how to improve the curricular and co-curricular activities of our department, which will be implemented in the next Academic year. Dr. Karuna took a session on Learning Skills and students were guided into understanding their learning type.

 

  1. Educational Visit by M.Sc.s: The MSc Part 2 students visited Dombivali, CETP in March, 2018. MSc Part 1 students visited Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre to see techniques in virus cultivation. 

 

  1.  Lectures and talks by our ALUMNI

Our alumni Ms. Judann Ambrose, Senior Manager Global Marketing at Biogen, USA Ms. Gargi Banerjee, a Masters student in France, and  Dr. Andrew Salazar, Merck, Germany and Dr. Ritwik Sawarkar, Max Planck Institute interacted with our current students to share their experiences and guided them at various times during the year.

 

The TYBSc and MSc II farewell : was hosted by the UMAX and M.Sc. Part 1 students on the 17th of February 2018

 

  1. The Department under the leadership of Faculty member Ms. Sangeetha Chavan continued the task of Solid waste management using canteen waste, with the help of students from the department. Ms. Chavan also initiated a cleanliness drive in the canteen.

 

  1. Student Achievements and Awards

Internships: Most of our SY and a few of our FYBSc students worked on an internship in the winter and summer breaks. Several students were chosen on an All India Level and Globally for prestigious internships such as the POBE-2018 (Ms. Ishi Mahajan, Ms. Saanjbati Adhikari),   JNCASR, Summer Research Fellowship Programme (Ms. Ishita Bapna, Ms. Sreedeepa Saha), WINStep Scholarship at University of Chicago (Ms. Shiva Joshi), Institute of Chemical Technology (Ms. Savannah Baptist, Mr. Mathew Salazar and Mr. Marwan Malik), BITS, Pilani (Mr. KartikeyanPremrajka)and IISER, Pune (Ms. Devaunshi Mudodi) during the months of April, May and June 2018.

 

  • Research Projects:  Every SYBSc, TYBSc and MSc Part 2 student participated in internal project activity guided by the faculty members of the department.

  • M.Sc. II External project: All MSc Part II students worked on their external dissertations in premier institutes like ACTREC, BARC,TMH and NIRRH for 4 months from May to August 2017.

  • 17th Microbiolympiad :34 students of our department i.e. 9 FY, 11 SY and 14 TY students participated in the 17thMicrobiolympiad, an all Maharashtra quiz conteston various aspects of  Microbiology. 

  • Research Award : T.Y.B.Sc. students Bibakhya , Ritvik, Lavanya, Sian and Lenisa obtained the Second Prize  in OralPresentation at K.C. College at Jigyaasa Undergraduate Research Scholars Meet 2018 and presented a paper entitled ‘Effect of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) in consortia on the growth of Moong (Vignaradiata)’

  • Bioentrepreneur award : Miss Durva Panchal and Miss Flevia Anthony won the First prize for their ‘RHIZO-FARM-KIT’ on 3rd March 2018, in the Bioentrepreneur 2018 fest held at C.H.M. College, Ulhasnagar. 

  • Competitive exams : Several of our T.Y.B.Sc. students cleared all India competitive exams for postgraduation which include the JEEBILS, JAM and CAT.5 of our M.Sc. II students cleared the GATE exam and 1 student cleared SET.

 

Faculty Achievements

 

Research Publications by faculty

  • Gokarn K and Pal RB (2018). Activity of siderophores against drug-resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, Infection and Drug Resistance, 11: 61—75, Impact Factor: 3.779.

  • Patrawala R,  Odakayi R, palkar S, Rodricks C, Algamary B, Amonakr V and Chakraborty P (2017). Screening of feather degrading bacteria and its application, International Journal of Advanced Research 5(7):565-573: doi:10.21474/IJAR01/4753

  • Chakraborty P, Kulkarni S., M.G.R. Rajan and Sainis KB (2017). Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains from ancient and modern lineages induce distinct patterns of immune responses, Journal of infection in developing countries, 11(12):904-911 doi:10.3855/jidc.8596

 

Research Presentations

  • Dr. Karuna Gokarn was an invited speaker at the International Conference on Clinical and Pharmaceutical Microbiology to be held on October 18-20, 2017, at Rome, Italy. She presented a paper on “Preliminary evaluation of anti-tuberculosis potential of siderophores against drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis by mycobacteria growth indicator tube-drug sensitivity test”. 

 

Research grants

  • Ms. Sangeetha Chavan completed the UGC Minor research project on  ‘Effect of silver and titania nanoparticles on soil microbial diversity’. Grant obtained Rs 3,47,000/-.
  • Dr. Karuna Gokarn completed the UGC Minor research project on ‘Cloning of genes involved in the biosynthesis of Exochelin MS from Mycobacterium smegmatis.’2015-2017, grant obtained Rs. 2,82,000/-.

 

Seminars, Conferences and Workshops attended by Faculty outside college

  • Ms Miriam Stewart participated as a delegate in the Mini-Symposium on ‘Current Challenges in Cervical Cancer : Screening, Early Detection and Prevention’ organized by Cancer Patents Aid Association on 4th February 2018 in Mumbai, India. 

  • Ms Miriam Stewart attended a one day Seminar on Predictive Microbiology and Prof. J.V. Bhat Memorial Lecture jointly organized by CHIFSS, Bhavan’s Research Centre and AFSTI- Mumbai Chapter held on Thursday, 22nd June 2017 at Bhavan’s College.

  • Ms. Sangeetha Chavan and Dr. Aparna Talekar attended the workshop on ‘Integrating Concepts in the Undergraduate Biology Laboratory Course’ held in Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR) on the 7th and 8th September 2017 .

  • Ms Sangeetha Chavan attended the workshop on Statistics for biological sciences using R software – conducted by the Dept of Statistics, St .Xavier’s College on 27th – 29th Sept and 3rd Oct 2017.

  • Dr. Pampi Chakraborty attended the ‘Applied Bioinformatics Workshop’, organized by Department of Life Sciences, K.C. College, Mumbai on 12th and 13th July, 2017.

  • Faculty members also attended various staff seminars and talks organized in college through the year.

 

Orientation programme

  • Dr. Aparna Talekar and  Dr. Pampi Chakraborty attended the Orientation programme conducted by the UGC-HRDC at the University.

 

Subject Expert

  • Ms. Miriam Stewart continued as Subject expert in Microbiology on Ad hoc subject board (BOS) of Mithibai College 

  • Miriam Stewart was Microbiology Subject Expert to interview candidates for a full-time faculty appointment for the Academic year 2018-2019 at Mithibai College, Mumbai .

 

Other faculty activities

Miriam Stewart 

  • Was Resource person for  Heras Institute workshopon ‘Methods Of Conserving Material Culture’and took a series of lectures and practicals on Biodeterioration and Conservation of Ancient Books  and Paintings 

  • Was Resource person involved in formulating a syllabus for the UGC course on Conservation of Material Culture held by the Heras Institute.

  • Was judge for FYBSc Quiz at 17thMicrobiolympiad in Shirpur

 

Pradnya Gogte

New Faculty Appointment, MSc Microbiology, submitted Ph.D thesis to Mumbai University.

 

The Department has had a very successful Academic year 2017-2018 with a plethora of activities which encouraged learning and brought home a number of accolades. We firmly believe that developing academic and social responsibilities in our studentsand igniting our own potential benefitssociety and our Nation.

 

Ms. Miriam Stewart

Head of Department

Additional information