March 27, 2010
Health Sciences Campus, Kochi
Dr. Deepthy Menon, Associate Professor at the Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, was recently chosen for the prestigious BOYSCAST fellowship award.
The BOYSCAST (Better Opportunities for Young Scientists in Chosen Areas of Science and Technology) fellowship, instituted by the DST is awarded each year to select Indian scientists for conducting advanced research in overseas research institutes of their choice.
The award will enable Dr. Deepthy to pursue advanced training for three months at the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) in the US. An apex body under the National Cancer Institute, NCL helps enable standardized, safe and reliable development of nanotechnology-based products for cancer patients.
Dr. Deepthy’s research has focused on the design and development of targeted multifunctional nanomedicines for cancer diagnosis and therapy. She has worked with biocompatible fluorescent quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles, natural and synthetic biodegradable polymers, nanophytomedicines and plasmonic nanocrystals for photothermal therapy.
“We are developing several biocompatible nanocrystals at our research center,” shared Dr. Deepthy. “These possess multifunctional properties and are derived from metallic, semiconductor, metal oxide and inorganic materials. I have also worked with biodegradable polymeric nanomaterials for the delivery of anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory drugs.”
With such advances in nanomaterials development, it is imperative to perform a standardized analytical cascade that tests the pre-clinical toxicology, pharmacology and efficacy of the developed materials, both in vitro and in vivo, in order to accelerate the transition of basic nanotechnology research to clinical applications.
In this endeavor, an advanced training of the kind extended by NCL, would be very useful for furthering research in the field of Cancer Nanotechnology,” stated Dr. Shanti Nair, Director of the Center. “We also envisage that the expertise gained by Dr. Deepthy during the fellowship period will lead to the initiation/strengthening of the national programs in these areas.”
Dr. Deepthy will be guided in her work by Dr. Scott E. McNeil, Director, NCL. She has prior post-doctoral experience from the International School of Photonics, Cochin University of Science and Technology as well as the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Dr. Deepthy has a doctorate degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Notable honors received by Dr. Deepthy include the Best Thesis Award constituted by the Indian Laser Association; Young Research Award from the International Union of Materials Research Societies; Young Scientist Fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology and Rapid Young Investigator Grant from the Department of Biotechnology.
The Amrita fraternity congratulates her on this latest achievement and wishes her the very best.