The Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) Workshop on “Lipid Signaling in Health and Diseases in Plants and Animals” during December 05-15, 2016.
Prof. Podile Appa Rao, Vice-Chancellor, UoH has inaugurated the workshop on December 5, 2016 at School of Life Sciences. In order to characterize the different functional networks of lipid metabolism and their biological relevance the School of Life Sciences, organized a workshop on “Lipid Signaling in Health and Disease in Plants and Animals” under the auspices of the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) program of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India from December 05-15, 2016 at Hyderabad. This workshop focused on characterizing role of different lipids and their metabolites under various physiological and pathophysiological conditions in animals and plants. It was open for students, faculties and participants from various countries to take the opportunity to envisage the development of lipid biology and its intersection with biotechnology, in developing therapeutics and diagnostics that impact both animal and human health.
The objectives of the workshop was to expose participants to the structural and functional diversity of lipids in microbes, plants and animals and highlighting on the fundamentals of lipid signaling in health and disease in plants and animals. In addition the participants were provided with information on current biomedical research on lipid signaling, identifying emerging topics with particular emphasis on the possibility of pharmacological interference and on strategies of future drug development. This workshop also laid emphasis on understanding the role of lipid signaling in plants in the regulation of normal physiological processes as well as mediating variety of pathological manifestations, mediated by oxylipids such as jasmonic acid, traumatin, hexena(o)ls, nonena(o)ls in plants and prostanoids, leukotrienes, lipoxins, resolvins etc. It also highlighted the importance of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in promoting maternal and child health and counteracting various inflammatory disorders such as allergy, asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, coronary heart diseases, Alzheimer’s diseases etc.
The most exciting feature of this workshop was that the scientific program not only involved expert lectures and theoretical discussion but also practical courses, in which the students and faculties practiced basic techniques of sample preparation, such as liquid and solid phase extraction of lipids from biological sources and advanced methods of lipid analysis, such as GC-MS, LC-MS, for lipidome analysis. The workshop, scheduled for 10 days with a specific theme for each day, encompassed all the aspects of lipid biology to advanced approaches in diagnostics and therapeutics in plants and animals. All the sessions were designed to include lectures and demonstrations by a group of experts in their area of specialization. Each day the participants were given the opportunity to present short talks on topics relevant to the theme of the workshop.
The workshop kick-started with inaugural lecture by Prof. Ram Rajasekharan, Director of CFTRI, Mysore on the commercial value of fats and oils as nutraceuticals and dietary supplements. Prof. Hartmut Kuhn comprehensively introduced the participants to lipid signaling and its biomedical impact and also lipid hormones beyond steroids and their roles for the homeostasis of living systems. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion on topics such as “structural and functional diversity of lipids in living systems”, “Omega-3 versus Omega-6 PUFAs: Beneficial and harmful effects”, “Lipid signaling in mediating defense responses in plants and animals”, followed by valedictory address given by Dr Amit Ray, Neurosurgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.
Prof. Hartmut Kuhn, University Medicine Berlin–Charite, Germany International faculty & course coordinator and Prof. P. Reddanna, Dean, School of Life Sciences and Dr. S. Rajagopal and Prof. Attipalli R. Reddy are local coordinators for the workshop. Dr. Raju Tatituri from Harvard Medical School has been instrumental in coordinating practical component of the workshop. Other key experts include Dr. BR Lokesh from CFTRI, RBN Prasad from IICT, Dr. Amitabha Mukhopadhyay from CCMB, Dr. Manoj K Bhat from NCCS, Prof. YB Tripathi from Banaras Hindu University, Prof. Nitin Karandikar from University of Iowa, USA, Prof. Uma Maheswari from Sri Padmavathi Mahila University, Tirupathi, and Dr. Mohana Krishna Reddy from IICT in addition to local experts from the School of Life Sciences. Organizing team includes, Dr. GV Reddy, Ms. Monica Kannan, Dr. Dinesh and other enthusiastic volunteers.