National Workshop On Stem Cell, Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics (SMB-2016)

Stem cells has opened the doors of unabated technological advancement in science by acting as a connecting link to other branches of science such as embryology, cell and molecular biology, bioinformatics, tissue engineering etc. forming an interdisciplinary field. Advancement in science and technology with a better research comes through interdisciplinary research focus. Thus, being masters of all subjects is imperative for a successful research outcome. As a part of Departmental activities and to create awareness on the imperativeness of the connecting link of key interdisciplinary subjects, Department of Stem cells and Regenerative Medicine organized a National workshop on Stem cell, Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics on 9th & 10th of July, 2016 in D. Y. Patil University, Kolhapur. The pioneering companies like Thermofisher scientific, My Lab life solutions and Arraygen Technologies Pvt. Ltd were collaborators.  The Chief Guest of this workshop was Dr. R. R.  Bhonde who is a well-known scientist in the field of Stem cell and Former Dean & Professor of School of Regenerative Medicine, Manipal University, Bangalore.

The first day started with a welcome address by the Convener Dr. S. Indumathi, followed by the lighting of lamp by the dignitaries, Prof. R. K. Sharma-Dean, Medical College, Research Director Prof. C.D. Lokhande, Distinguished Professor and former Vice-Chancellor Prof. S. H. Pawar, Medical Superintendent Dr. B.C. Patil and Head of the Department Dr. M. G. Joshi. The Vice-Chancellor Dr. Prakash B. Behere, though was not present physically, has left a message for the workshop conveying the importance of the workshop and his wishes for the same. Dr. R. R. Bhonde, Chief Guest addressed the gathering with his inaugural speech followed by the presidential address by Prof. S. H. Pawar. The inauguration ended well by vote of thanks, by Dr. M. G. Joshi.

As the saying goes “Education is the knowledge, not only of facts, but of values”, the technical session commenced to understand the value of these techniques. It was started with a key note address by Dr. R.R. Bhonde, chief Guest. He highlighted on importance and applications of stem cells, especially with special reference to mesenchymal stem cells and its differentiation into various cell types for its applications in regenerative medicine in a very interesting and interactive manner. This was followed by a talk on “Stem cells: A Double-edged sword”, by Dr. Indumathi S, Convener. She explained both how stem cells are advantageous to cure diseases & at the same time, how the same stem cells, when goes awry, are the culprit to cause diseases. She also explained the isolation of stem cells from various sources. Dr. M.G. Joshi highlighted on the regenerative medicine using a tissue-engineering based approach, especially focusing on artificial organs. Some of the artificial organs created in-house were shown. This was followed by a great interesting session on “Chick embryo Yolk sac membrane assay”, by Dr. Savita Datar, Associate Professor and Head, S.P. College, Pune. She explained well how chick embryo could be used as a model to study angiogenesis, and also showed a video for processing of chick embryo assay.  The pre-lunch session ended with a short and sweet talk on scope of stem cells, and some upcoming aspects of stem cell research by Dr. Manisha Rajebhosale, Head, K.I.T College of Engineering, Kolhapur, who had earlier worked in UCL, London. In the post lunch session , a Live demonstration of the same was shown to the students followed by hands-on training. The students showed an overwhelming response and enthusiasm in doing the experiment. When it comes to molecular assay, the first important thing is  Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Both theoretical and practical applications of PCR along with a demonstration of every step of conventional PCR, towards preparation of sample, setting of reaction, analysis of the result and so on were demonstrated to the students in order to understand its applications in research and diagnostics.

First day ended with great inspirational and informative way, with this agenda mentioned above with a tea.

Second day started with highlighting the activities of first day by the Convener, followed by a very useful tool called Bioinformatics. Bioinformatics, almost has become a part of every research person, who works on DNA, RNA, proteins, as an easier tool to sequencing and small RNA analysis. Mr. Rajesh Kumar Mahato, CEO and founder of ArrayGen Technologies Pvt. Ltd, briefed about the stepwise protocol of genome browser, retrieval of data, genomic tools, BLAST, primer designing and so on. Hands-on training was also given for the students in batches. This was followed by an important speech by Distinguished Prof. Dr. S.H. Pawar, on Nanotechnology and stem cell applications, highlighting the convergence of stem cells and nanomedicine for a better therapeutic application. A group discussion with experts was also arranged, where students actively participated in the interactive sessions, and clarified various questions. Besides, fluorescent microscopy and tissue engineering techniques were also effectively demonstrated for the students.

The session was closed with a valedictory function, where students were asked for their feedback, and certificates were distributed to all participants.

The analysis of feedback revealed that the entire workshop was very useful for the participants where students could know and understand the wide opportunities in the field of stem cells and Regenerative medicine. In all 120 students, research scholars, teachers, clinicians from life science background were participated in the workshop.  Overall, the workshop was informative, interesting and imperative and made innovative for all the participants.