Recent Trends in Chemical Sciences

This is the International Year of Chemistry. Events around the globe are bringing people together to celebrate the importance of chemistry in our daily lives.

During August 26-27, Amrita also celebrated chemistry’s contributions to humanity at a lecture workshop on Recent Trends in Chemical Sciences sponsored by the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad; and Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi.

The Department of Chemistry at the Amritapuri campus hosted the workshop, which was co-chaired by Dr. Zeena S Pillai, Department Chairperson at Amrita and Dr. R. Ramaraj, Director, Centre for Photoelectrochemistry at Madurai Kamaraj University.

Over one hundred participants including faculty members and students from Tamil Nadu and Kerala participated.

Recent Trends in Chemical Sciences

The first day’s inaugural function included welcome speeches and introductory talks by the the co-chairs as well as felicitations by Dr. Balakrishnan Sankar, Associate Dean, Amritapuri campus.

The first technical session began with a talk by Dr. D. Ramaiah, Scientist, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) on Photodynamic Therapy. Dr Ramaiah explained the importance of photochemistry in cancer chemotherapy with special reference to porphyrins and squaraine dye systems.

During the afternoon session on the same day, Dr. Ramaiah spoke again, this time on Biomolecular Recognition.

Other speakers on the first day included Dr. M. L. P. Reddy, also Scientist at NIIST, who spoke on Lanthanide Coordination Complexes as promising materials for organic light-emitting diodes and Environmentally Benign NIR reflecting rare earth based inorganic pigments as energy saving materials.

Recent Trends in Chemical Sciences

The second day’s session began with Dr. Thilagar from IISc Bangalore shedding light on boron chemistry and boronopeptides in a lecture titled Proteosome as a Therapeutic Target in Cancer.

This was followed by Dr. C. T. Aravindakumar, Mahatma Gandhi University, explaining the importance of femtosecond spectroscopy in studying fast reactions in a talk titled From Millisecond to Femtosecond Molecular Mechanism in DNA Radical Chemistry.

In the afternoon session, Dr. Aravindakumar enlightened the audience with his talk on Green Chemistry elaborating on its importance to address current environmental problems.

The concluding session drew feedback from participants. “All talks were interesting and very informative. We would like to participate in more such events,” commented a delegate from Kalasalingam University, Tamil Nadu.

“The event was well organized and the hospitality highly appreciated. We would like even more detailed discussions in forthcoming similar workshops,” said Dr. Rema Devi, Faculty, SN College, Chennganur.

The International Year of Chemistry aims to increase public appreciation about the valuable contribution of chemistry in solving some of the world’s biggest food, water, health and energy related problems. Amrita is also contributing to this essential cause.

September 30, 2011
School of Arts and Sciences, Amritapuri

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