To mark the National Science Day celebrations and superannuation of one of its senior faculty members, Prof. P. Reddanna, Department of Animal Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad organized a one day symposium, “Academia-Industry Interaction: A way forward” on 27th February 2019. The symposium was inaugurated by Prof. P. Prakash Babu, Pro-Vice Chancellor. The Dean, School of Life Sciences, Prof S. Dayananda, , Head, Department of Animal Biology, Prof Anita Jagota, faculty from School of Life Sciences and other schools, students and distinguished guests from various industries participated in the event.
Eminent scientists from both academia and industry delivered talks related to the theme of the symposium. In his talk on “Academic Research on Early Development: Translational Research Potential” Prof. Polani B. Seshagiri, Indian Institute of Science, emphasized the importance of basic science and how basic science can be translated to useful technologies. He has also listed various initiatives of Govt. of India for promotion of translational research and academy-industry interactions. Dr. AKS Bhujanga Rao from NATCO Pharma, Hyderabad shared his experiences in developing new drugs and formulations with academia-industry collaborations. He has mentioned NATCO has been interactiong with University of Hyderabad, specifically with Prof. P. Reddanna’s group for its drug Discovery programs since 2003. Delivering a talk on “Study of Solid State Properties of Pharmaceutical Products”, he highlighted the importance of analytical tools, including Raman Spectra in the analysis of Isopolymorphism in drug discovery programs. Former Director of Huck Institutes of Life Sciences at Penn State University, Prof. C. Channa Reddy delivered a talk on “University-Industry Partnership in Technology transfer: Penn State Model”. Prof Reddy showcased the successful model of Penn State in raising seed funds for start-up companies from the consortium of industries.
During the second session, Prof. G. S. Prasad, Director, Technology Industrial liaison Entrepreneurship (TIE-U) narrated various initiatives taken by University of Hyderabad for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the campus, which includes establishment of TIE-U to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and oversee the academy- industry interactions; setting up of a Section 8 company, “ASPIRE” to oversee and run the incubation centers in the campus viz; TBI, TIDE and BioNEST. Dr. Hemanth Nandigala, MD, Virchow Biotech, Hyderabad explained various public funding opportunities and how his company was benefitted from collaborations with academia and funding from various Govt. programs. Prof. Hartmut Kuhn, Institute of Biochemistry, Charite, University Medicine Berlin, Germany, narrated his own experience in interacting with the industries.
In his keynote address on “Vaccines Development”, Dr. Krishna Ella, CEO and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech International Ltd, Hyderabad shared his experiences in the entrepreneural journey and how his company has contributed in making India the global leader in the vaccine industry, not only in biosimilars but also in innovative drugs. He also emphasized on the importance of the academia-industry interactions for developing effective health care solutions and innovative drug discovery programs.
Prof. Pallu Reddanna Achievements: He earned his PhD in Sciences from SV University in 1979. After serving a few years as a lecturer at SV University, he moved to the University of Hyderabad as a Reader (1990) and became Professor in 1998. Besides his postdoctoral experience at Penn State University (USA), he was also a visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Humboldt University (Germany). He has guided 41 students for PhD, also trained 20 post-doctoral and nearly 200 masters students for their projects.
Prof. Reddanna’s major research focus lies in the areas of inflammation and cancer. He has published nearly 200 publications, extensively on the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and eicosanoids in cancer and inflammation. Ever committed to his conviction of bridging the gap between fundamental research and translational medicine, he has used the insights he has gained on Cyclooxygenases and Lipoxygenases to design novel anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs. A firm believer in the much-needed interaction between academia and industry, Prof. Reddanna has been instrumental in setting up the collaborations with leading Biotech and Pharma industries of national and international status. He has played a pivotal role in the establishment of BIRAC supported BioNEST and Technology Business Incubation center (TBI) at the University of Hyderabad. In his eventful 29-years long career at University of Hyderabad, Prof. Reddanna has made significant contributions to teaching, research and service. He has occupied several positions of importance including Dean and Executive Council member at the University and Founding Director of National Institute of Animal Biology (NIAB), Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.
While felicitating Prof P Reddanna, on the eve of his superannuation from University of Hyderabad services, Prof Arun Agarwal, Pro-Vice chancellor, University of Hyderabad released “Prof Reddanna GOLD MEDAL”, instituted in the honour of Prof. Reddanna by his former students and associates. The annual GOLD MEDAL will be given to the best research publication by a PhD scholar from Department of Animal Biology. Various faculty, non-teaching staff of the university, invited guests and his students fondly recollected their association with Prof. Reddanna and shared their experiences. Responding to the felicitations, Prof Reddanna thanked the University administration, faculty, scholars and students for their sentiments expressed. He said that for all his achievements the credit goes to the enabling environment at University of Hyderabad, encouragement from Vice Chancellor, Prof. Podile Appa Rao and very good mentors that he encountered throughout his journey from elementary school to the present day. They include Sri KS Nagarajan, late Prof. Govindappa, Prof. PRK Reddy, Prof. Seyed E. Hasnain, Prof. D. Yogeswar Rao among others. He also mentioned the contributions of his students and associates in his research activities and industry collaborations. He concluded his speech by emphasizing the need of innovation in research activities and importance of academia-industry collaborations in promoting translational research.