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President of the Royal Society
Professor of Biological Sciences & Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University
Chief Scientist at Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad
Vice Chancellor, Ahmedabad University

Date & Time

Wednesday Wed, 15 Jan 2020


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

Is India obsessed with IT & Engineering studies and are we ignoring investment in Pure Science education? With the limited resources we have shouldn’t we be focused on finding answers to the immediate issues of today’s  society or should we invest in pursuing long-term scientific breakthroughs as well as well? What are the big questions in Science that impact Indian society and what should be our priorities? What are the paths to innovation? Are patents necessary or will we be restricting access from beneficiaries?  

These are some of the many questions that are constantly raised in both academic and social circles in India, apart from the press. A panel of leading minds from the Indian scientific community will debate these challenges along with Nobel Laureate Professor Venkataraman ‘Venki’ ‘Ramakrishnan. It would be an enthralling opportunity to learn what these scientific experts have to say about these vexed questions, and is bound to offer meaningful insights to the audience. The Panel will be moderated by Prof. Ramaswamy, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Ignite Life Science Foundation, and they will also accept questions from the floor.

Presented by Ignite with Support from Cytecare:


Venkatraman "Venki" Ramakrishnan

President of the Royal Society

In his career as an outstanding international Researcher and Teacher, and as the President of the Royal Society, Padma Vibhushan & Nobel Laureate Prof. Venkatraman ‘Venki’ Ramakrishnan has had a ring side view of scientific education across the globe. Besides, he has never been at a loss in speaking his mind on a variety of subjects on matters science.

As is well-known, Prof. Ramakrishnan’s eclectic mind has been shaped from multi-disciplinary streams. Growing up in India, where he graduated in Physics from the MS University (Baroda), he completed his PhD in Physics from the University of Ohio in 1976. His  research thesis was about the ferroelectric phase transition of potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP). 

Thereafter, he studied Biology at the University of California, San Diego. Over the years, he has been associated with a number of Institutions around the globe, including India, and he is currently based at the Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom. 

In 2009, Prof. Ramakrishnan received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with two other Scientists. Apart from numerous global awards and Fellowships for his unique contributions in the field of science, Prof. Ramakrishnan has also been knighted by the Queen in 2012.

S ‘Rams’ Ramaswamy

Professor of Biological Sciences & Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University

Acknowledged as an outstanding Scientist, Science Administrator, Institution Builder, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Advisor, Teacher, and Enabler, Rams is a structural biologist with expertise in protein crystallography, who earned his Ph.D. in molecular biophysics from the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. After graduation, he moved to Uppsala, Sweden, for a fellowship at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Ramaswamy stayed at SLU for eight years, serving as a researcher and docent before moving to Iowa City for a faculty position at the University of Iowa. While working as assistant dean and director of core research facilities in Iowa, Ramaswamy helped create an unique structural biology program — an accomplishment he later duplicated at inSTEM in India. Ramaswamy was the founding Dean at inStem & also co-founded and served as the first CEO of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, Bangalore, a life sciences innovation hub for academia, industry and start-up companies.

Jyotsna Dhawan

Chief Scientist at Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

Dr. Jyotsna Dhawan obtained a PhD in cell biology and biochemistry from Boston University in 1991 and pursued postdoctoral work on stem cells and gene therapy at Stanford University. She joined the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, India in 1996. After retirement she continues to run an active research program as Emeritus Scientist. From 2009-2014, she helped establish the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) in Bangalore. She has won many honors and awards, as well been an active member of several committees and international panels, including the Human Frontier Science Program.

Pankaj Chandra

Vice Chancellor, Ahmedabad University

Dr. Pankaj Chandra is currently a Professor, Vice Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Ahmedabad University. Before this he was the Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He is a PhD from the Wharton Business School and is a committed Educationist and innovation expert. He sits on the Board of several organizations including being the Independent director of BIRAC (which he helped found), the largest public funder for Biotech Start-ups in India. His book “Building Universities That Matter: Where Are Indian Institutions Going Wrong?” is a must read for any educationist around the world.