Gandhinagar, Gujarat, November 18 – Gujarat Biotechnology University (GBU), India’s first biotechnology university, recently announced the appointment of Dr. Subeer S. Majumdar as Director General. Dr. Majumdar is a well-known scientist and leader and has started in his new role this week (14 Nov 22). Other recent appointments were of Mr. Dilip Shanghvi, MD, Sun Pharmaceuticals as Chairman to the University and Mr. Sudhir Vaid, Chairman & MD, Concord Biotech as Chairman Advisory Council.
Dr. Subeer S. Majumdar’s research focus is on animal biotechnology, livestock genomics, therapeutic proteins, and transgenic animals. He did his Doctoral Research at the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi and has trained at the School of Medicine, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA and at the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh, USA. He is a fellow of all three Academies of Sciences, Tata Innovation fellow (DBT) and JC Bose fellow (SERB) and is a council member of INSA.
Dr. Majumdar’s livestock genomics project delivered the ‘IndiGau’, the world’s largest SNP chip for cattle that can help conserve indigenous cow breeds with highly valued characteristics including heat, drought and disease resistance. The chip was released by the Hon’ble Minister of Science & Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh in August 2021.
A key achievement by Dr. Subeer’s group was a new technique of transgenesis, easing the development of humanized disease models. During COVID-19, Dr. Majumdar led a DBT funded One Health programme drawing together AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur, medical colleges in Chennai, Hyderabad, Meghalaya, ICMR regional centers, wildlife health providers, veterinary universities (IVRI, GADVASU, MAFSU, TANUVAS etc.), to address animal to human disease transmission.
From 2016 to 2021, Dr. Subeer steered the development of the youngest DBT institute, the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad. Under his leadership, several kits to detect veterinary diseases have either been transferred or are in the process of being transfer to industries for commercialization. Based on this success, the PM Cares Fund entrusted NIAB with the responsibility of developing one of two vaccine batch testing facilities for Covid 19 in India, and this is now notified by the Drug Controller of India,
Dr. Majumdar has achieved remarkable success in the production of therapeutic proteins in the milk of small animals using biotechnology, and is working on affordability and accesibility to the population at large in India. His lab developed technology around SARS-Cov2 virus which allows for rapid antiviral screening in a minimum biohazard environment.
A member of various professional societies, advisory committees, national and international bodies, Dr. Subeer has also worked on multiple socio-economic projects. He has authored more than a hundred papers, publications and books and has filed five patents. Dr. Subeer says, “My aim is to ensure the implementation and execution of a growth-fuelled roadmap for Gujarat Biotechnology University. I believe that the commitment and support of the state government will definitely yield remarkable results soon, making GBU a globally competitive institution for manpower as well as resource generation”.
The University delivers post-graduate programmes in five biotechnology domains – Plant Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology, Environmental Biotechnology, Medical Biotechnology, and Industrial Biotechnology. GBU welcomed the first batch of MSc students in August 2022, and will soon launch PhD programmes.
The Gujarat Biotechnology Policy 2022-27, unveiled this year, is likely to attract capital investment of over Rs 20,000 crore. The Gujarat government is all set to revolutionise the biotechnology sector, and the Gujarat Biotechnology University will be a pioneering catalyst to realise this vision.
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