The names of 11 scientists, who received the country’s highest science award Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for science and technology 2021, were announced during the 80th foundation day of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Sunday.
The prize is given to Indian scientists below the age of 45 for outstanding research in seven fields—Biology, Chemistry, Environment Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine and Physics.
For Biological Sciences, Dr Amit Singh, department of microbiology and cell biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and Dr Arun Kumar Shukla, department of biological sciences and bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, were awarded. An expert in microbiology, Singh worked on deciphering the role of genes involved in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) pathogenesis during his PhD. Shukla is an Indian structural biologist (cell scientist), who has been working at IIT Kanpur since 2014.
In chemical sciences, two researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, Dr Kanishka Biswas from the International Centre of Materials Science and Dr T Govindaraju, from the Bio-organic Chemistry Laboratory, announced as recipients. While Biswas’ research field includes thermoelectric materials and devices that utilize the waste heat to generate electricity, Govindaraju’s work focuses on chemical biology and is engaged in solving challenging problems related to human health and society.
The award for medical sciences went to Dr Jeemon Panniyammakal, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, and Dr Rohit Srivastava, department of biosciences and bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Panniyammakal is a trained epidemiologist with at least a decade of experience in observational epidemiological studies and clinical trials, and Srivastava’s research interest includes fluorescent biosensors, nanoengineered sensors, and photothermal therapy for breast cancer.