Dr. Jogi Madhuprakash, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been selected for the prestigious NASI (The National Academy of Sciences, India) -Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award for the year 2018, in the field of ‘Plant Sciences, Agriculture and Environment’.

The award has been conferred in view of the commendable efforts made by Dr. Jogi Madhuprakash towards the improvement of transglycosylation property of chitinases for the production of bio-active long-chain chitooligosaccharides from Chitin, the second most abundant polysaccharide. Chitooligosaccharides are gaining special interest due to a wide range of potential biological applications, especially in the food, medical and agriculture fields. Enzymatic methods for production of chitooligosaccharides from Chitin are gaining importance over the chemical methods, as the latter have risks associated with environmental pollution during the synthesis procedure, lower yields, toxicity, etc. Dr. Madhuprakash has made significant contributions in understanding the process of transglycosylation by chitinase-D from Serratia proteamaculans (SpChiD). Notably, he has generated the hyper-transglycosylating mutants of SpChiD, which are now in use for developing enzyme based bioprocess for large-scale production of bio-active chitooligosaccharides to improve plant immunity.

Earlier to this, Dr. Madhuprakash was conferred with the most prestigious Prix Braconnot Award from the European Chitin Society (EUCHIS) (first Asian to receive this award) and also Young Scientist Award from the Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences, for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the Chitin Science. He is also a recipient of INSPIRE-Faculty Award from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Reacting to the award, Dr. Madhuprakash said “I am very happy to receive this prestigious award from NASI, the Oldest Science Academy of India. I would like to express my gratitude to my mentor Prof. Appa Rao Podile, well-wishers and University of Hyderabad for all their support and encouragement.”

The NASI Young Scientist Award will be presented during the valedictory function of 88th Annual Session of NASI on 8th December 2018, at Chitrakoot, Satna (M.P.).