Microbiology

MICROBIOLOGY 

The graduation ceremonies at the beginning of the year felicitated the graduates and post geaduates of 2017-2018. Ms. Shivani Nandha ranked first among all thepost graduates in college with a CGPA of 3.94 of 4 and Ms. Bibakhya Saikia ranked4th amongst all Science graduates and first amongst Microbiology graduates with a CGPA of 3.91 of 4.

Dr. Karuna Gokarn was appointed as an Honorary Consultant – Research Scientist in the department of Microbiology at Sir HN Medical Research Centre (Sir HNHRC) and at Sir HN Medical Research Society (Sir HNMRS)in July 2018 and DBT Star Programme Co-ordinator of the College in September 2018. She got recognition as a Ph.D. guide in Microbiology at Sir HN Hospital and Research Centre from University of Mumbai.

 

Ms. Pradnya Gogte was conferred the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) by the University of Mumbai for her thesis titled ‘Characterization and Optimization of Poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate production by microbial isolate obtained from soil’ under the guidance of Dr. (Mrs.) Varsha K. Vaidya from The Institute of Science, Mumbai at the Convocation held on 11th January, 2019. 

Our undergraduate students got admission into postgraduate courses like the LIVE Erasmus Mundus, Masters in vaccinology, UA Barcelona, UAntwerp, UCB Lyon, National Brain Research Centre, Gurgaon, Vels University  (VISTAS), Chennai, National Institute of Virology ,Pune, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar, M.S. University Baroda, Vellore Institute of Technology, Mumbai University, Manipal University,Pondicherry University, Missouri State University, IIT Kharagpur. Our post graduate students have taken different avenues such as industry employment, research and teaching.

 

Our faculty and students engaged in several activities -

Student Activities and Achievements

  1. Being socially responsible, the SYBSc students checked the potability of 10 drinking water points in the college every month through the academic year, far exceeding their 5 hours for SIP.

  2. Peer learning: SYBSc students welcomed the new FYBSc batch with an exhibition entitled ‘THE HITCH HIKER’S GUIDE TO MICROBIOLOGY on the 6th and 7th of August, 2018.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 which creates bonding, teaches team work, boosts confidence and self-worth amongst students. We also welcomed 15 students from Lord Harris UPMS, BMC school along with their Principal. All concepts were explained in Marathi, this was a new experience for our students. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Vivien Amonkar, former head of department.

  3. Talks and workshops conducted by the department:

  • IPR lecture was organized on 7th July by Mrs Miriam Stewart along with PLEA a Programme for Legal Education Awareness which was started by our alumnus Mr, Roger Mendonca. Well-known IPR lawyer Mr Janaksinh Jhala spoke on ‘Is Patent Law right for me?’. The lecture was thrown open to the students of Biological sciences. 

  • On the 10th of January our alumni Dr. Ritwick Sawarkar and Dr. Foster Gonsalves spoke to the students about their work.

  • Dr. Nithya John, Senior Trainer, Skill and Knowledge Management, Cactus Communications, Mumbai was invited by Dr. K Gokarn to conduct sessions for our SYBSc students as part of Scientific Communication Skills.

  • A one day workshop on Academic Writing And Popular Science writing was conducted on the 6th of February, 2019 for all M.Sc part - I students who interacted with the resource team from Cactus Communications, Mumbai. 

  • A career guidance talk was organized by the Department of Microbiology with an aim to provide information about career opportunities in scientific writing leading to placements by CACTUS Communications, Mumbai. The talk was held on the 23rd of February, 2019 and was attended by MSc and TYBSc students.

 

  1. Honoursprogramme: was co-ordinated by Dr. Pampi Chakraborty. The activities included workshop on Antimicrobial effects of Indian plants, herbs and spices conducted by Ms. M. Stewart, workshop on study of cytotoxicity of chemicals using animal tissue conducted by Dr. P. Chakraborty, lecture series on IPR. In addition, Ms. Sangeetha Chavan and Dr. Aparna Talekar conducted a series of lectures cum demonstrations on ‘Microbiology in everyday life’ for students from non-biology background.

 

  1. Department Magazine ‘The Michronicle17-18’: our annual magazine was compiled by a team of 10 very enthusiastic TYBSc students lead very ably by Editor-in-Chief Ishita Bapna with funds raised by the UMAX (Undergraduate Association of Microbiology of Xavier’s) and DBT Star 17 grant.

 

  1. Educational visits and Khandala seminar:

  • On the 19th and 20th of January a Khandala trip to the Xaviers villa was organized by Ms. Stewart for the evaluation of the Department and sharing by TYBSc students about their Internships. 

  • A trip to Wai and Panchgani was organized on 8th and 9th February by Dr. K. Gokarn for UG and PG students who were accompanied by Dr. A. Talekar and Dr. P. Gogte. They visited Pure Gold Cheese Factory in Panchgani and Kisanveer Shakari Sakhar Karkhana, a sugar and Ethanol industry.

  • Four of our FYBSc students Sarah Thomas, Jyoti, Aakasha Mishra and Julia Justin were invited for the National Science Day at BARC on the 27th February, 2019.

  • Ms S. Chavan accompanied MSc part II students for a visit to CETP, Koparkhairane on 4th April 2019

 

  1. The TYBSc and MSc IIfarewell : hosted by the UMAX, First , Second Years and MSc-I students wason the 23rd of February in the Fell’s Gymnasium. The theme was ‘Casino Royale’. The event was organized by the UMAX committee.

 

  1. The Department continued the herculean task of Solid waste managementof canteen waste, with the MSc 2 students roped in to manage the compost pit in our college with help from the under graduate students. 



  1. Student Achievements and Awards

  • Internships: Most of our SY and a few of our FYBSc and TYBSc students worked on an internship in the winter and summer vacations. Several students were chosen on an All India Level and globally for prestigious internships during the months of April, May and June 2019: 

Saanjbati Adhikari, TYBSc, continued her JNCASRPOBE – 2017,fellowship program in Jakkur.

Ishita Bapna TYBSc, did a Summer Research Fellowship in JNCASR in Jakkur

Maitri Khemka, SYBSc, obtained an IAS Research Fellowship at the Biotechnology Dept in Amity University,Jaipur under Prof SL Kothari

Ishita Dewan, obtained an internship in Johns Hopkins University, USA. 

 

  • Research Projects:  Every SYBSc, TYBSc and MSc Part 2 student undertook project in the academic year.

MSc II External project: 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 2018 while five internal projects were carried out by students in groups in the months of January to April.

  • 18th Microbiolympiad :45UG students of our department participated in the 18thMicrobiolympiad, an all Maharashtra Microbiology quiz contest. During the preliminary round on the 9th January, 2019 some of our students did exceptionally well in this round but unfortunately could not attend further rounds. 

  • Research Paper Presentation

  • Rashmi Kokare presented Oral Paper titled “Minimum Inhibitory Concentration(MIC) Results of Ceftriaxone and Azithromycin for Blood Culture Isolates of Nalidixic Acid Resistant Salmonella Enterica Causing Enteric Fever” in XXIV Maharashtra Chapter Conference of IAMM organized by Department of Microbiology, Krishna Institute of Medical sciences, Karad on 29th-30th September 2018.

  • Rashmi Kokare presented Scientific Paper entitled ‘In vitro activity of Tigecycline and comparators against Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens from multiple sites encountered in a tertiary care hospital in Mumbai’ in the World Congress on Infectious Diseases & Antibiotics- 2018 held on 28th& 29th November 2018 held at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India.

  • Joanna Pereira presented Oral Paper titled “Comparison of Broth Microdilution Test Results of Colistin with VITEK 2 Compact for Carbapenam Resistant Gram-negative Bacteria (CRGNB)” in XXIV Maharashtra Chapter Conference of IAMM organized by Department of Microbiology, Krishna Institute of Medical sciences, Karad on 29th-30th September 2018.

  • Joanna Pereira presented Scientific Paper entitled ‘Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of Ceftriaxone for Blood culture isolates of Nalidixic acid resistant Salmonella enteric- A 9 years study’ in the World Congress on Infectious Diseases & Antibiotics- 2018 held on 28th& 29th November 2018 held at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India.

  • Student Awards at fests

BSc students:

Students of the department participated in fests organized by other colleges with Kritika Choudhary securing first position in the Petrisign event and Mathew Salazar and Maitri Khemka winning the first prize at the Quiz Competition at the event PRIMERS at Elphinstone college on 11th -12th December. Sayandrila Paul won second prize in Bio-Toon event at the Annual Intercollegiate Departmental festival- “Chimera 2018-19” held on 24th December 2018 and participated in Quick before Tick, Treasures of Biotechnica and Mutable Menicus at Ruia College.

Marwan Malik, Maitri Khemka, Subhashri Acharya, Moumita Sengupta and Sanket Gosavi applied for PRE-iGEM competition 2019 under the guidance of Dr. K. Gokarn and Dr. P. Chakraborty.

  • MSc Students

Mrunmayee Saraf was a member of the team which won the inter-collegiate quiz competition during Open Day organized at ICMR- National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health on 28th September, 2018.

Joanna Pereira participated in CME Programme on ‘JPGMCON 2019- Journey from Research to Publication’ held on 23rd March 2019 at Seth G. S. Medical College & K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai.

  • Competitive exams: Several of our TY BSc students cleared all India competitive exams for postgraduation which include the JEEBILS, JAM and Management. Nine of our MSc students cleared the GATE exam and four were awarded the UGC-CSIRJR fellowship.

 

  1. Faculty achievements

 

  • Research Publications by faculty

Effect of Nanoparticles on Plant Growth-Promoting bacteria in Indian agricultural soil. Sangeeta Chavan, Vigneshwaran Nadanathangam, Agronomy, 2019, 9, 140

  • Research grants

  • Dr. K. Gokarn was the recipient of Mumbai University grant-teachers for a project on ‘Repurposing of the over-the-counter drugs as antibacterial and anticancer agents’. The sanctioned amount is Rs. 35,000/-.

  • Dr. A. Talekar was the recipient of Mumbai University grant-teachers for a project on ‘Bacterial degradation of a wide spectrum of azo dyes from industrial effluents into non-toxic products’. The sanctioned amount is Rs. 25,000/-.

  • Dr. P. Chakraborty was the recipient of Mumbai University grant-teachers for a project on ‘Study of anticancer activity of wine prepared from banana.’ The sanctioned amount is Rs. 25,000/-.

 

  • Guiding student research projects and internships:

  • Dr. K. Gokarn guided a TYBSc Biotechnology student from Amity University, Noida for her one-month internship (1st March to 31st March 2019) on ‘Cloning of siderophore genes’.

  • Dr. K. Gokarn guided a SYBSc Microbiology student from Fergusson College, Pune for her one-month internship (2nd May to 31st May 2019) on ‘Cloning of Exochelin MS genes’.

  • Ms M. Stewart taught Basic Microbiology techniques to Mr Aniruddha Venkatakrishnan, a student of Broward College, Mumbai campus and in the First Year during a one-month(16th March – 16th April 2019) internship in the Microbiology Department at St. Xavier’s College,Autonomous, Mumbai.

 

  • Seminars, Conferences and Workshops attended by Faculty outside college

  • Dr. P. Chakraborty 

  • participated in a Workshop on ‘Power of Microscope with high speed analysis of Flow Cytometry’ held in ACTREC, Mumbai (24th July, 2018)

  • attended a Two-Day Workshop on “Research Methodology & Research Data Analysis” conducted by the Department of Biotechnology, University of Mumbai. (25th -26th February 2019)

 

  • Dr. K. Gokarn 

    • participated in A National Hands-on Training Workshop on Innovative Experiments in Biological Sciences for College Teachers’ at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai from 29th August – 4th September 2018.

  • participated in a three-day workshop on Synthetic Biology at ICT, Mumbai from December 13-15, 2018.

  • attended a conference on “Precision Medicine is closer than you think and also chaired a session on Translational research in cancer at ACTREC, Navi Mumbai.

  • attended a Two-Day Workshop on “Research Methodology & Research Data Analysis” conducted by the Department of Biotechnology, University of Mumbai. (25th -26th February 2019)

  • attended a seminar on “SSS as a Quality Practice” conducted by the IQAC at Vaze College, Mumbai in March 2019

 

  • Ms M. Stewart 

  • attended the International Science Conference : from Health to Well Being : An Interdisciplinary approach from Fundamental Sciences to Translational Medicine, at St. Xavier’s College Mumbai from the 9th – 11th Jan, 2019.

  • was deputed by the college to attend the 4th India International Science Festival, IISF -18 in Lucknow on the 5th-8th Oct, 2018 under the DBT-STAR Program.

 

  • Dr. A. Talekar 

  • participated in a short-term course on, Biostatistics: a user’s perspective’ at IISER, Pune from 27th December 2018 to 30Th December 2018.

  • participated in the LTMT sponsored teacher training programme on ‘Experimental Approach for Drug Studies’ from 17th – 19th January, 2019 at Sophia College.

 

Other faculty activities

  • Orientation/refresher programme

  • Dr. A. Talekar and Dr. P. Chakrabortyparticipated in a three-week refresher course in Environmental Studies at Somaiya college, Vidyavihar from 1st June to 21st June 2018

  • Subject Expert

  • Ms. M. Stewart was appointed as Subject expert to the Microbiology Board of Studies of K.J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce.

  • Ms. M. Stewart was appointed as Subject expert to the Microbiology Board of Studies of Sophia College(Autonomous)

  • Ms. M. Stewart conducted sessions on the “Biodeterioration and Conservation of Paintings and Manuscripts using lectures and practical demonstrations “at the UGC sponsored Diploma Course on Conservation and Preservation of Material Culture in St. Xavier’s College on 18th June to 5th July,2018

 

  • College committees 

All staff members served on different committees in college.The Department has had a very successful Academic year 2018-2019 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 students and igniting our own potential benefits society and our Nation.

 

Ms. M. Stewart

Head. Department of Microbiology

Additional information