Department Report 2014-2015

The academic year 2014-2015 was filled with several academic and cocurricular activities which ended with the passing out of the seventh batch of the postgraduates of the department.

Department Activities

Faculty and students organised a number of intercollegiate student events such as:

• National seminar on ‘Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology’ Organized on 2nd August, 2014, Dr. Suman Govil, Adviser, HRD Division, Department of Biotechnology (Ministry of Science & Technology) was the Chief Guest. The Resource Persons involved were:
• Dr. Rajiv Soni, Senior Manager, Novozymes, Bangalore
• Dr. Jayant Bhanushali, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Amar Immunodiagnostics Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad
• Mr. Lakshmikant Goenka, Founder, Dolcera ITES Pvt. Ltd. Hyderabad
• Dr. Caroline Mathen, CEO and Founder, OCT Therapies and Research Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai
• Mr. George M Tharakan, MD, Alltrack Tracking Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai
• Dr. Foster Gonsalves, VP, Preclinical Development, Rgenex Inc., USA and Coordinator - Dr. Biswa PrasunChatterji

Palindrome 2015, which was held on 11th of February ’15 and provided 232 students of 16 colleges across Mumbai, a platform to plan, perform and progress. The Chief Guest for the event was Dr. Cyrus Karkaria (President of Biotechnology division, Lupin Pharma). Lupin Ltd. was the chief sponsor while the Reach Education Action Programme (REAP) was the social cause of Palindrome‘15. Migraine, a series of mind challenging games; Finding Pneumo, which involved solving a murder mystery; Neuroscora, a quiz event; Enteropreneurship, a business plan event; The BIOTECHNOLOGY  Code, a Bioinformatics workshop and Crimes and Clues, a Forensic workshop were some of the highlights.

• Dr. Biswa Chatterjee conducted a two day workshop on IPR for undergraduate Bioscience students of Mumbai University on 27th &28th April, 2015.


• UGC Minor Research Grants (XIIth Plan) 

Norine Dsouza: Role of chloride ion channels in glioma and their exploitation in therapy, 2014-2016: Rs. 2,70,000/-


Basil D’Mello, Rajeshwar Valte, Annamma Anil, Varnica Khetrapal,and Vivien Amonkar (2014)- Pretreatedrice straw as a biofuel resource: substrate for production of cellulases by wild type strains of Trichoderma reesei and Aspergillus niger , XPLORE Xavier’s Research Journal, Vol. 5, Issue 1, December 2014, 1-14. ISSN 2249- 1878.

Oral Presentations

• Harshada Malvi, Keerthana Srinivasan, Oscar Peter, Rajlaxmi Panigrahi, Sonali Kokate, Trinkle Kothari, Vivien Amonkar and Biswa Prasun Chatterji, ‘Bioprocess Optimization for the Economic Production Of Xanthan Gum from Food Waste’, National Seminar on Recent Developments in Biotechnology at St Xavier’s College,Goa, 9th-10th March, 2015.

• Madhumita Vasan, Durmi Shah, Priya Upadhyay, Priyanka Telis, Cynthia Soans, Manisha Yadav, Stacy Vaz, Vivien Amonkar and Norine Dsouza, ’Bioremediation of Cadmium: Implication in Pollution Control, National Seminar on Recent Developments in Biotechnology at St Xavier’s College, Goa, 9th-10th March,2015.

• Anjali Pillai, Ninoshka Rodrigues , Rochelle Pereira, Kahaan Parikh, Amit Kumar, Robin George, Deepthy Hanna Poly, Vivien Amonkar and Shiney Peter, ‘Evaluation of Anthocyanin fromCroton SPP for their application in Food Industry’, National Seminar on Recent Developments in Biotechnology at St Xavier’s College, Goa, 9th-10th March,2015.

Poster Presentations
• Harshada Malvi, Keerthana Srinivasan, Oscar Peter, Rajlaxmi Panigrahi, Sonali Kokate, TrinkleKothari, Vivien Amonkar and Biswa Prasun Chatterji, “Bioprocess optimization for the economic production of Xanthan gum from food waste” in The Bangalore India Bio 2015 Conference at Bangalore , 9th-11th Feb, 2015.

• Norine Dsouza-Bioinformatics in Understanding Biological Molecules: An Academic Perspective, International conference conducted at Modern college , Pune and won the 2nd place for Best Poster Presentation, 26th- 27th February, 2015.

Student Research Projects

• In the third semester, students completed in-house group research projects on various aspects of Biotechnology guided by the department faculty.

• In the fourth semester, students completed external projects at BARC, IIT, TIFR, ACTREC, NIRRH Mumbai, CSIR-CDRI Lucknow, NIO Goa and PMFGR, NBFGR, Kochi.

• A collaborative project, DBT ICTSt. Xavier’ College, was completed by Lino Cardoz on ‘Isolation of Lactic acid bacteria and its application in CLA production’.

Student Achievements

Students won prizes at intercollegiate competitions and attended several lectures such as: GENACES, Jai Hind College: Overall champions Debaipsa Bhattacharya: 1st prize debate Oindrila De, Madhura Gurav: 1st prize quiz CONSORTIA, Pillai’s college: Debaipsa Bhattacharya: 1st prize debate Sejal Patel, Madhura Gurav: 2nd prize treasure hunt Madhura Gurav: 3rd prize face painting

• “Thermal stability of Aquaporin 0, an integral lens membrane protein” by S. Swamy Mruthinti, Associate Dean and Professor of Biology, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA on July 28th, 2014.

• ‘Computational imaging to visualize defects in vascular flow’ by Dr. Debu Banerjee, Rutger’s University on 22nd September, 2014.

• Workshop on Scientific Communications by Dr.Sorab Dalal, Principal Investigator, ACTREC on 27th September, 2014.

• Trinkle Kothari attended the 7 day Leadership Development Program, ‘Biocamp’, organised by Novartis and was the PG student representative at the seminar presided by Tony Abbott, PM of Australia, held at the University of Mumbai.

Faculty Achievements

Dr. Biswa Prasun Chatterji

• Attended a three day workshop on Techniques of cell and Molecular Biology conducted by Lady Tata trust and Caius research Laboratory, St. Xavier’s College in June 2014.

Ms. Norine Dsouza

• Resource person for ‘Bioinformatics’ at the Tata workshop on Techniques of cell and Molecular Biology for the college teachers of Mumbai University, St. Xavier’s College in June 2014.

• Resource person at a workshop in Palindrome, St. Xavier’s College, ‘Basic Bioinformatics’inFebruary, 2015.

• Attended a 2 day workshop on structure based drug designind conducted at NMIS , Mumbai, in January 2015.

• Organizing committee member of the National seminar on ‘Biosafety in Research’ conducted by St. Xavier’s College, March 2015. Dr. Shiney Peter Attended a Symposium and Workshop on ‘Pluripotent Stem Cells in Adult Mammalian Gonads’ held from 6-7 September 2013 at NIRRH, Parel, Mumbai. The biotechnology faculty also attended the following workshops/ seminars conducted in the college:

• Faculty development workshop on Moodle in July 2014

• Young teacher’s orientation programme in August 2014 and April 2015

• National Seminar on Biosafety in Researchin March 2015

Dr. Vivien Amonkar,

Head, Biotechnology