Pune: CSIR-NCL celebrates its 71st Foundation Day

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Pune, 6 January 2021: CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune celebrated its 71st Foundation Day on January 6, 2021. On the occasion chief guest, Prof. Gagandeep Kang, Professor of Microbiology, Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Christian Medical College, Vellore virtually delivered the CSIR-NCL Foundation Day lecture on a topic “COVID-19 and Vaccines: The Road Ahead”.


Prof. Gagandeep Kang initiated her talk by saying that outbreaks and epidemics can happen anytime but pandemics happen so rarely. The way that the world is changing today, the number and the diversity of outbreaks have changed over the past 30 years. SARS-CoV-2 is one among the zoonotic diseases such as Zika, AIDS etc. that came to human from animals. This is happening because we are traveling a lot, we displace the animal populations, remove the forests and promote the animal and human mixing and ultimately changing the climate as well.


Prof. Kang talked about the current state of SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in India which is trending nicely downward started in the mid of September 2020. She also threw light upon the data talking about the badly affected countries and situation there. The treatment of the disease depends on the understanding of the pathogenesis. There are antiviral therapies, anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant approaches to treat the severe disease. The vaccines and immune therapies need to be applied for post immunity at the right times and evaluated in appropriate population. She talked about different trials and studies carried out all around the world; out of which only few studies delivered the answers.

Prof. Kang informed about several vaccine candidates, their development, human trials and phases. She also underlined that safety is an ongoing concern because these vaccines have been developed very quickly. WHO has developed the standards for the testing of the vaccines and are being shared with the vaccine manufacturers for the future evaluations. The buying up of the doses in advance will cause the shortage of supply of the vaccines. The COVAX facility has been developed by CEPI GAVI and WHO that works towards the global access to vaccines. The goal is to provide 2 billion doses by the end of 2021 to reach 20% of the population in 190 countries. A large part of that vaccine supply is expected to come from India.


Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, Director (Addl. Charge), CSIR-NCL gave away the welcome remarks. Dr. Shekhar Mande, Director General, CSIR also addressed the staff of CSIR-NCL. He said that we should define our priorities for the coming few decades and work relentlessly so that industry in India and its population gets benefited.


NCL Research Foundation Annual Awards were also announced to the deserving scientists and staff of CSIR-NCL.


NCL RF Scientist of the Year Award sponsored by Dr. R. A. Mashelkar Endowment Fund was given to Dr. Sakya Sen for his insightful research to mimic the chemistry of transition metals with main group elements for catalytic transformations and Dr. Nilesh Mali for his research contributions in developing intensified and energy efficient distillation technologies. NCL RF- Cipla Hamied Award for the Best Process of the year was given to a group of researchers including Dr. Sanjay P. Kamble, Dr. Sunil Bhongale, Dr. S. G. Gaikwad, Mr. S. B. Wanjale and Mr. R Chandekar for their efforts towards “Process Development for the Production of Paracetamol” which is a cost effective, sustainable and environmental friendly process. Many other awards in other categories were also announced to deserving staff members.