Meera Christopher, a final year M. Tech. Biotechnology student, won the first prize in poster presentation at the recently held National Conference on Recent Advances in Algology, Mycology and Plant Pathology. The conference was conducted by the University of Madras to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of its Centre for Advanced Study by UGC, New Delhi.
Ms. Christopher presented a poster entitled ‘Purification and Characterization of α-Amylase inhibitor from Leucas aspera (Willd.) Link’. The work was carried out in the School of Bioengineering, under the supervision of Dr. Raman Pachaiappan. In addition to being a pioneering work on functional proteins from the plant Leucas aspera, the project highlighted the crucial role that native Indian medicinal plants can play in combating disorders linked to carbohydrate-metabolism, and opens up the possibility of developing pathogen-resistant transgenic crops based on this plant’s genome.
The judges of the competition, Dr. P. Mehta (Professor, Dr. H. S. Gour Central University, Sagar) and Dr. Vidya Patni (Department of Botany, University of Rajasthan) were impressed by the therapeutic potential and commercial applications of the work, as well as its well-structured design and execution, thereby helping Ms. Christopher beat 46 other participants from all over India and secured the first prize in the Plant Pathology session.