R. Ajeetha, M. Vishal and R. Keerthana, the fourth year students of the Department of Biotechnology and working under the guidance of Dr. N. Selvamurugan at the Tissue Engineering and Cancer Research Laboratory (TECRL), secured the “Best Oral Presentation Award’ for presenting their paper entitled ‘A Network of MicroRNAs for Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells towards Osteoblasts’ dealing with techniques to allow safe and successful bone rejuvenation and regeneration at the 5th International Conference In Stem Cells and Cancer, held at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Their talk focused on differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) differentiation into osteoblastic lineage which is tightly controlled by several regulators including microRNAs (miRNAs). During skeletal development, several miRNAs have been identified and they are considered to be a closely related regulator of osteogenesis. The main objective of their work was to study the expression of MSC specific and osteoblast specific miRNAs and their functional role during stem cell differentiation towards osteoblast. The signaling pathways and their components regulated by miRNAs were presented. In addition, the putative target genes and their expression in MSCs and osteoblasts were discussed. This work was funded by Indian Council of Medical Research, India.
The conference spanned over three days from the 8 to 10 November, 2014 witnessing renowned scholars and dignitaries from all over the world. Despite being the only final year students amongst an elite crowd of PhD scholars and experienced researchers, they stood out and satisfied the crowd with their precise answers to the questions posed.