Fruitfly Drosophilia at the heart of global conference in Pune
Scientists from across the world who use the common fruitfly Drosophila as a model organism to address basic and applied questions in life sciences, will be participating in the 5th Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC5) and Indian Drosophila Research Conference here next week.
Two Nobel laureates, Eric Wieschaus and Michael Rosbash, renowned for their work in development biology and chronobiology respectively, will be among the 100 international and 330 Indian participants in this five-day conference. It is being organised for the first time in the country by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).
IISER’s Professor (Biology) Sutirth Dey, who is using Drosophilia for research in Ecology and Evolution said this common fruitfly is one of the most widely-used model organism in the world for research in life sciences over the last 100 years.
“Its genome is entirely sequenced and there is enormous information available about its biochemistry, physiology and behaviour. That is why it is one of the most preferred model organisms in Biology,” said Dey.
He noted that IISER, Pune, has a strong focus on Drosophila research with five professors and 30 PhD scholars using this organism to answer questions in developmental biology (Prof LS Shashidhara), cell biology (Prof Richa Rikhy), gene regulation and immunity (Prof Girish Ratnaparkhi) and neurobiology (Prof Aurnab Ghose).
IISER scientist and head, research communications, Shanti Kalipatnapu said, some of the biggest names in neurobiology, cell biology, developmental biology and evolutionary biology will be attending the conference. Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific adviser to the Government of India, will be one of the nine plenary speakers at the event.
Held previously in Taipei, Seoul, Beijing and Osaka, one of the highlights of this conference “is that we are explicitly encouraging undergraduates from various institutes of the world to participate,” said Dey.
A total of 57 talks and 240 posters covering topics such as Gametogenesisand Stem Cells, Pattern formation, Morphogenesis and Mechanobiology, Hormones and Physiology, Cellular Neurobiology, Behavioural Neurobiology, Infection and Immunity and Ecology and Evolution, will be covered in the conference.
One pre-conference symposium called “Signals from the gut” will be held in collaboration with the city-based National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS) with 70 participants.