Dr. B. Ravindran
Dr. B. Ravindran is a Microbiologist trained in JIPMER, Pondicherry and Delhi University and later in Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, and University of Connecticut Health Centre, USA. He worked as a scientist with the Indian Council of Medical Research for more than two decades and spent 10 years as Director of Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, an autonomous research institution under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India. His scientific interests include Immunobiology of Infectious Diseases, regulation of inflammation and macrophage biology and evolution of the immune system in mammals.
He has been an active member of a large global consortium of investigators from Universities and Research institutions in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Netherlands, Malaysia and Indonesia for nearly a decade working on Immuno-biology of metazoan pathogens. He has been a visiting Professor/visiting Scientist at University Edinburgh, University of Bonn, Pasteur Institute at Lille during the last 15 years.
He has published 120 scientific papers in international journals and trained 19 Ph.D. and 16 MD students. Currently, he is a Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Life Sciences and Adjunct Professor at NISER, Bhubaneswar and Ahmadabad University. He spends part of his time mentoring young investigators in Universities and Institutions in the country apart from serving in Board of Governors and in Scientific Advisory Committees of several Research institutions and functions as a peer-reviewer for several scientific journals and funding agencies in India and abroad
Professor M. Radhakrishna Pillai
Professor M. Radhakrishna Pillai is currently the Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, a national research institute of the Government of India in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State, India. Professor Pillai is one of India’s well-known cancer biologists. A fellow of all the Science and Medical Academies of India and the Royal College of Pathologists, London, Dr. Pillai currently leads a major European Union-funded program on HPV in the development of oropharyngeal cancers and an International Research Agency for Cancer (IARC) program on the efficacy of different doses of the HPV vaccine.
Dr. Pillai has over 220 international peer-reviewed research publications and has mentored 25 PhDs. In recognition of his contributions to medical biotechnology, Professor Pillai was appointed Director, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in 2005, making him then, the youngest head of a national research institution. Professor Pillai used RGCB’s excellent expertise for nation-building through new start-up industries and utilization of infrastructure for education, research, and testing facilities by managing a technology development incubator – BioNest at Cochin. This incubator now boasts of 17 start-up companies – the only biotechnology institute in the country to do so. Professor Pillai has undoubtedly one of the best and unique track records in India as a director, administrator, and scientist bringing with him a history of 11 years of institute leadership tenure and excellent track record of achievements in medical science research.
Dr. B. Gopalan
Dr. Gopalan is a synthetic organic chemist with extensive experience in the field of drug discovery and development. After completing his PhD from University of Madras, he went to Harvard University where he worked with the Nobel Laureate, Prof. E.J. Corey, as a post-doctoral fellow. Subsequent to this he joined Syntex Research Inc. in California to work on the synthesis of unnatural amino acids. After a year, he moved to Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey, to contribute to their program on novel antibiotics and ACE inhibitors. Dr. Gopalan then moved back to India in 1982 to join the Drug Discovery Research Division of Boots Pharmaceuticals (India) Ltd. in Mumbai. Over his decade long stint there he contributed extensively to their drug discovery program, and one of the product candidates that he developed went up to Phase-2 clinical trials in both USA and UK. He then moved to Sun Pharma Advanced Research Center as Vice-President and, after a year, took up the position as General Manager at Glaxo (India) Ltd. in 1993. Here, he worked in a broad range of areas that included process development, synthesis of impurities of APIs, and generation of small molecule libraries to support drug discovery efforts to Glaxo, France. In 1999 he took over as Senior Vice President of the Drug Discovery Chemistry Division of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. where he was involved in the design and development of inhibitors for PDE IV and DPP IV, as well as agonists for CB2. After a 6-year stint at Glenmark, Dr. Gopalan joined Matrix Laboratories Ltd. as CSO and Executive Vice-President, where he successfully helped to develop novel and selective inhibitors for PDE4 and DPP4. Five years later he became CSO and Executive Director of Orchid Pharmaceuticals Ltd in Chennai. He served in this capacity for close to a decade, contributing extensively to drug design and development in the broad segments of oncology, anti-infectives, and anti-inflammatory & metabolic disorders. Since 2017, Dr. Gopalan has been associated with CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology as a Scientific Advisor.
Dr. Gopalan’s illustrious career is endowed with numerous successes. He has been inventor, or co-inventor, of several drugs or candidate drugs. These include the novel potassium channel blockers BTS-67582 (BTI-2927) for tpe-2 diabetes, the PDE IV inhibitors Oglemilast (COPD) and Revamilast (RA); DPP IV inhibitor Melogliptin; a selective Cannaboid-2 agonist Tedalinib (Neuropathic pain); a Beta lactamase inhibitor Enmetazobactum (OCID-5090); OCID-18034 (an inhibitor of KPC enzyme); and OCID-18174 (an inhibitor of P. arugenosa). Most of these compounds were out-licensed to major international pharmaceutical companies such as Forest Laboratories Inc. USA, Teijin of Japan, Merck KGaA of Germany, Allecra of Switzerland, and Merck & Co. USA. Dr.Gopalan has 34 publications in National and International Journals, has contributed a Chapter,Co-authored with Professor K.K.Balasubramanian (IITM) on Applications of Click Chemistry in Drug Discovery and Development in a Book on Click reaction in Organic Synthesis, published by Wiley-VCH VERLAG GmbH &Co,KGaA, Weinheim,Germany,Chapter 2, p 25-70,2016, edited by Prof. S. Chandrasekharan (IISc,Bangalore) & 51 Patents.
Commensurate with his achievements, Dr. Gopalan has also received many awards. The more prominent of these include Inventor’s award by Glenmark (2004), Ranbaxy Science Foundation Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2005), and the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Chemistry from Vels University (2011).