Department Report 2012-2013

 “You can resist an invading army but you cannot resist an idea whose time has come”

-Victor Hugo

The vision of our Department is to ignite young minds with a passion for assimilating the nuances of Biotechnology. Academic Autonomy gave us the opportunity to revise our syllabus and even incorporate current advances in the field of Biotechnology.

Highlights of the MSc-II 2012 Batch : Distinction- 16, First Class- 8, Second class - 2

The following activities were conducted during the year 2012-13.

Palindrome 2012

The inter-collegiate fest Palindrome was held in St. Xavier’s College on 12th December 2012. Dr. Raj Kamboj, President-New Chemical Entity Research, Lupin Laboratories, was the Chief Guest. The fest included popular events like Born Star, Body P-art, X-factor, Grey matters, Crimes and Clues, ROFLD and Migraine. Three hundred students from colleges across Mumbai participated in the fest and SIESCollege emerged the overall winner. The social cause Team Palindrome undertook this year was ‘Reaching the Unreached’. The students organised a Christmas party for the underprivileged street children at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar School in South Mumbai. 

Paradigm 2012

St. Xavier’s College held Paradigm, its National Science Fest on 21st and 22nd December 2012. Groups of students from our department displayed two posters on ‘Spider silk and Hematopoietic stem cell culture’. Three of our students also participated in the event ‘Doomsday’. They proposed a hypothetical, yet novel end of the world as we know it: a  virus with  an all-pervading menace and even won the third prize for the same concept.

Industrial Trip to Rajasthan

Twenty one MSc Semester I and nineteen MSc II students accompanied by three faculty members, Dr. Shiney Peter, Ms. Norine Fernandes and Dr. Biswa Prasun Chatterji, visited Jaipur in October 2012. They visited Jaipur dairy, G. D. Morarka Memorial Research Centre and the Birla Institute of Scientific Research (BISR), where they were exposed to modern scientific research and applications.

Khandala Seminar

The department held a two-day seminar at St. Xavier’s Villa, Khandala on 24th and 25th of  January, 2013. Academic activities included a debate on the status of Bt crops, oral presentations on protein engineering and protein production from transgenic mammals by MSc I students, oral and Poster Presentations by M.Sc II students on their summer projects and some skits on relevant  topics related to the subject. 

Summer Research projects:

Some of the projects completed by MSc Part II students:

  • Development of a cell-based screening platform to identify pharmacological modulators stimulating hNIS expression in breast cancer – ACTREC,Mumbai;
  • Combinatorial effect of metal chelators and anti-malarials in the prognosis of experimental murine malaria – affkine Institute,Mumbai; Chemical modulators of melanin biosynthesis in Actinomycetes – Piramal Healthcare, Mumbai;
  • Molecular Cloning of Streptokinase gene in pET28a vector and its expression in E.coli DH5α – Biogenomics, Mumbai; Over expression and Purification of 38kda antigen from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and to screen clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with standardized multiple locus VNTR analysis (MIRU-VNTR typing) – BARC, Mumbai;
  • A novel cell-based approach for the discovery of anticancer drugs and determining their molecular mechanisms through pathway mapping studies in high content screening – Piramal Healthcare, Mumbai;
  • Screening of antibiotic residues in chicken meat sold in different regions of Mumbai-BombayVeterinaryCollege, Mumbai

Faculty Participation in seminars and lectures

All the faculty of the department attended the following:

Held at St. Xavier’s College:

Faculty Seminar: Publishing Academic Research by professionals from Scientific Communications, 12th June 2012

National Seminar/ Workshop: Advances in Microbiology: Food and Healthcare Industries, 10th January, 2013

Intercollegiate Seminar: Cancer Biology Research : the Indian Scenario, 19th January, 2013

Lecture: Overview of Molecular Biology of Fungal Pathogens by Dr. Mark Ramsdale, University of Exeter, 7th February, 2013

Seminar: DNA Barcoding by Dr. G.Khedkar, Paul Hebert Centre for DNA Barcoding, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, 10th March, 2013

Lecture: Antibodies: How do we make them by Prof. Aitken and Cushley, University of Glasgow, 18th April, 2013.

Seminar held in Khandala: Faculty seminar in October 2012

 Student Achievements at Intercollegiate Festivals

Students of the department won several prizes at the intercollegiate festivals hosted by JaiHindCollege, RuiaCollege, KhalsaCollege and KC College. In JaiHindCollege and RuiaCollege, our students won the Rolling Trophy for the BestCollege, doing all of us proud. Nikhil Bardeskar attended The Student Ambassadors for the Cellular Age Program in Rome. This program featured an inaugural class of 26 students representing 12 countries and 6 continents launched by The Stem for Life Foundation.

Dr. Ms. Vivien Amonkar

Head, Department of Biotechnology