Amrita School of Biotechnology (ASBT) organized a two day event called the “Biocrest 2017” on January 19-20, 2017. The International Symposium was on Microbial Pathogenesis. This subject has recently become a major worldwide concern due to the global emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, predominantly due to overuse and/or misuse of antibiotics. The mechanisms underlying pathogenesis are extremely complex and require creative solutions. BIOCREST 2017 brought together experts in the many diverse areas of pathogenesis, drug resistance and drug discovery, with an effort to create a better understanding of the host-pathogen interaction and antibiotic resistance.

Invited speakers included Dr. Victor Nizet, Professor at UCSD; Dr. Jeff Perry, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at UC Riverside; Dr. Anirban Banerjee, Assistant Professor at IIT Bombay; Dr. M. D. Nair, retired stalwart of the Pharmaceutical Industry, Dr. Sanjeev K. Singh, of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. K. Sathyamoorthy of Manipal University and Dr. Bhabatosh Das, Assistant Professor at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute.

The event started with the lighting of the lamp and Swamini Krishnamritaprana addressing the audience. She stressed the importance of going back to traditional practices in medicine and seeking possible solutions from them to solve the antibiotic resistance crisis of today. The chief guest of the event, Prof. Victor Nizet, started the scientific session by introducing the idea of, “Boosting Endogenous Antimicrobial Activities to Combat Multi-Drug Resistant Bacterial Pathogens”. In this session he also shared the work and areas his lab is currently focusing on. Dr. Anirban Banerjee followed with a talk, “Pneumolysin: The Sword or the Shield?” which looked at Streptococcus pneumoniae virulence associated with bacterial meningitis.

The Townhall Meeting, hosted by Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean of Amrita School of Biotechnology (ASBT), and Dr. Anand Anandkumar, CEO of Bugworks, gave all the dignitaries a forum to share their view on the challenges faced globally due to antibiotic resistance, as well as the research work to be done and the policies to be implemented to improve the present scenario.

The event also included Student Tech Talks, a student level competition where students were asked to present a scientific hypotheses related to the topic of the conference. The judges made it a point to mention how impressed they were at the innovative and advanced thought process displayed by the students of ASBT. The day drew to a close with a variety of cultural programs showcased by the student community of ASBT.

The second day consisted of a series of seminars starting with Dr. Nizet’s talk on “Unexpected Functions of Five Classical Group A Streptococcal Virulence Factors to Modulate Innate Immunity”. This was followed by a talk on “Antibiotic Stewardship and Infection Prevention”, by Dr. Sanjeev K. Singh and “Host-pathogen Interactions in Diabetic Foot Ulcers”, by Dr. K. Sathyamoorthy. Dr. Jeff Perry spoke on “Improving Early Stage Drug Discovery Through Emerging Structural Biology Techniques”, and “Multidrug Resistant Enteric Pathogens: Molecular Insights into Resistance Traits of Isolates from India”, by Dr. Bhabatosh Das, was the final talk of the day.

The day concluded with the closing ceremony, in which Mr. Ajith Madhavan, Assistant Professor, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri, summarized the proceedings of the conference. All the participants were highly satisfied with the organization of the conference and they spoke highly about the student community of Amrita. Students who presented the best hypotheses and those who asked the best questions were awarded. The conference concluded with vote of thanks by Dr. Bipin Nair.

Chief Guest

Dr. Victor Nizet (Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, US) leads a large basic and translational research laboratory focused on discovering virulence factors of Gram-positive bacterial pathogens, elucidating mechanisms of host innate immunity, and novel approaches to infectious disease therapy. He is also currently leading the initiative for a UCSD Health Sciences Center for Immunity, Infection & Inflammation which debuted in 2014. Dr. Nizet has authored over 340 peer-reviewed publications (> 100 since 2013), including several in the most prestigious general scientific journals. He has collaborated with several biotechnology interests in developing new antibiotic and immune-based therapies against drug-resistant pathogens. Dr. Nizet's work has been recognized by an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, the American Lung Association Career Investigator Award, the American Asthma Foundation Senior Investigator Award, and the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics. Dr. Nizet has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Academy of Microbiology.


Anand Anandkumar
CEO, Bugworks Research Inc,
India Affairs

Anirban Banerjee
Asst professor
Dept. of Biosciences and Bioengineering
IIT-Bombay, India

Bhabatosh Das
Asst professor
Centre for Human Microbial Ecology,
Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI),

Jeff Perry​
Asst professor
Department of Biochemistry,
Riverside, US

K Satyamoorthy​
Professor and Director,
School of Life Sciences,
Manipal University, India

Taslim Arif Saiyed
Director and COO,
C-CAMP (Centre for Cellular and
Molecular Platforms)

Prem Nair
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences,
Kochi, India

M D Nair
Pharma Consultant


Event Details
2017-01-19 09:00 to 2017-01-20 17:00
School of Biotechnology