Inter-disciplinary interaction leads to progress in microgravity & stem cell research
Sufyan Ibrahim and Himanshu Yashavanthi Nagesh of Kasturba Medical College, India, won the prestigious Fujio Cup Quiz (FCQ), an active knowledge gaining academic event of NCRM NICHE 2020, on stem cells and regenerative medicine, in a toughly fought contest among teams representing Monash University, Australia, Birla Institute of Technology (BITS-Pilani), India and Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia, who came second. The virtual event had lectures by Prof. Masaharu Seno, Okayama University on induced pluripotent stem cells, Dr Maria Nostro, University of Toronto on pancreatic progenitors for diabetes and Fr Francis Xavier, Loyola College, Chennai in the inter-disciplinary conclave on stress management during Covid-19.
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Winners of XV Fujio Cup Quiz, Dr. Ibrahim and Mr. Nagesh of Kasturba Medical College, India, with the 2020- Joyce and James Till Travel Grant Awardee, Dr. Natarajan, a 2013- FCQ Elite. (Graphic: Business Wire)
Regenerative Medicine is a specialty demanding inter-disciplinary interaction, as physical forces like gravity and elasticity, chemically synthesized polymers and nanomaterial scaffolds, provide suitable micro environment to the cells for in vitro culture in the lab, which are transplanted to replace, restore, repair and regenerate tissues to address organ failures. FCQ, a part of NCRM NICHE started in 2006 is conducted in Tokyo, Japan, since 2017 in which young scholars of different specialties of science from all over the world participate, cross several steps of quizzing and assignments to win the trophy. Alumni of top scoring teams of FCQ (FCQ elites) are eligible to nominate candidates to Edogawa NICHE Prize (www.edogawanicheprize.org). The Joyce and James Till Travel Grant (www.j2t2grant.org) instituted in 2018, with a grant by Prof. James Till, 2018 Edogawa NICHE Prize recipient, was awarded this year to Dr. Rupesh Kumar Natarajan, (2013 FCQ elite), now pursuing fellowship in pediatric cardiology, University of Minnesota, USA.
FCQ as an innovation platform, has started attracting multinational companies for collaboration following development of novel solutions like BEES-HAUS for urethral stricture (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/iju.13852), cartilage repair (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352320420300274) and the recently granted patent on microgravity based enhancement of nitric oxide synthesis by blood cells, specially NK cells.
Dr. Shojiro Katoh, (Founder, EELS) congratulated the winners and hopes to invite to Japan beside honoring the 2020 Edogawa NICHE Prize recipient Dr. John Venter in the coming years, by when the Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) in Edogawa Hospital (http://bnct-cancer.com/center.php) could be ready to offer treatment to cancer patients from abroad and start research collaboration with overseas institutes. Event information will be updated in: www.ncrmniche.org
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Samuel JK Abraham