Interview 1:- Dr. Pranav Kumar Prabhakar

We are glade to come with our first online interview with Dr. Pranav Kumar Prabhakar , Associate Professor, Lovely Professional University Punjab. We are sure that you will like to read it and take out some interesting points and teachings from the same.

About Dr. Pranav Kumar Prabhakar

Name:- Dr. Pranav Kumar Prabhakar

Post:- Associate Professor, Lovely Professional University Punjab

Please tell us about your Qualification and achievements

I have received my PhD in Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, India in 2011 and Master in Biochemistry from Patna University Bihar, India in 2003. Currently, I am working as Associate Professor in Lovely Professional University Punjab, India.

Until now, I have guided 27 M.Sc and more than 40 B.Sc students. I am also guiding 6 doctorate students at present. I also served various committee Members University level. My research interest is synergy, Phytomedicine, metabolic disorders and combination therapy. I am also serving as an editorial member of several reputed journals & expert Reviewers for many journals.

I have authored 60+ research articles, 2 books, and 9 book chapters. I am also the life and regular member of various professional societies across the globe. I am a member of Royal Society of Chemistry and Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological& Environmental Engineering Society (APCBEES).
Basically, I am from Madhubani Bihar. My primary education till intermediate has been completed at Madhepur Madhubani. I came to Darbhanga for my graduation and I have got admission in Chemistry (H) at C. M. Science College Darbhanga, which is one of the best colleges in LNMU Darbhanga. After graduation I have taken admission in M.Sc Biochemistry at Science College, Patna University Patna. Fortunately, I have got a seat at IIT Madras for my PhD in the Biotechnology Department. There I worked Prof. Mukesh Doble and my word was on alternative therapy for Diabetes Mellitus.

I have seen my fate as teacher and due to him my inclination was towards teaching as profession. After completion of my PhD from IIT Madras I joined Lovely Professional University as Assistant Professor and now I am working as Associate Professor. I have learnt and developed a number of skills as teacher and mentors. Currently I am guiding six PhD scholars on different aspects of diabetes mellitus.

What according to you is the future of Biotechnology in India?

Biotechnology and Applied Sciences is the future of the world. The Biotech sector in India is projected to grow by 30.46% CAGR by 2025, making India stand amongst the top 12 biotech destinations in the world. Since it is an interdisciplinary field, the subject combines engineering technologies with biological sciences to influence and control living organisms and biological systems. The course helps in designing products that have known to advance medicine, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, food, and even environment management.

Having gained popularity in recent years, this research-oriented discipline is dedicated to improving the quality of people’s lives. After a graduate degree in Biotechnology, students can find jobs in pharmaceutical companies, enzyme based firms, food technology companies, IP-related firms, research labs, and medical institutions in India. For those who want to advance their scientific and research skills, they can opt for MSc or MPhil degree, and pursue research/ teaching jobs in prestigious research organizations in the country. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical sector, healthcare, biological sciences, food processing industry, and chemical industries are hiring biotechnology pass-outs to fill the position of production engineers, quality control analyst, R & D scientist etc.

Tell us something exciting about your research/ journey during research work, the challenges you may have faced?

My PhD thesis topic was, “Interaction of Pure Phytochemical with Commercial Oral Antidiabetic Drugs”. Diabetes imposes a very serious economic crisis as the diabetic drug market is growing very rapidly. Even after very path breaking scientific discoveries, availability of a better healthcare infrastructure, rise in literacy rates, the diabetes burden is continuously spreading in various sections all over the worlds but more especially in low- and middle-income countries. The recent development in scientific discoveries have given a number of new generations of antidiabetic medicines such as sulphonylurea, biguanides, thiazolidinedione, alpha glucosidease inhibitors. All these drugs have proved significant reduction in blood glucose level. If we regulate those genes with natural product which are effective, with fewer side effects and comparatively less costly, it will be a safe and easy way to manage diabetes. My work is to find out the hypoglycemic mechanism of action of some of the selected natural plant constituents and see the interaction of these natural compounds with oral hypoglycemic drugs.

I have used nine phytochemicals (Arecoline, berberine, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, eugenol, ferulic acid and vanillic acid) have been selected for the current study based on the antidiabetic activity reported by their corresponding plant sources. The current research has shown that these phytochemicals increase 2DG uptake via translocation of GLUT4 which may be activated either by PI3K, PPARγ or AMPK. ADME calculation also suggests that these phytochemicals can be used as drugs. A reduction in the quantity of the use of OHD could lead to a reduction in the side effects and toxicity caused due to their excess usage. Proper precaution and care should be taken to avoid the severe hypoglycemia that may occur due to combination of these phytochemicals and OHD.

What was your main inspiration to go with Biotechnology as a career field?

My source of inspiration is my father. I have seen him since my childhood and the way he is living and his way to face challenges, all his acts motivated me. He is a great teacher, philosopher, motivator, leader for myself. After seeing my father only, I had decided to be a teacher and here I am. As we know, diabetes is one of the most common metabolic diseases and the fastest growing non communicable disease. Once we have got diabetes, we cannot cure it only we can manage our blood glucose level under control through different ways like medicines, insulin, physical activities and diet and daily activities. The cost of diabetes management is very high as we have to take medicine through out our life. Today also every diabetic does not not receive proper medicines and food as per their requirement. Mother nature has given our many things and many of them are still undiscovered. So, I wish one day I will have some herbal formula for the diabetes and its complication management which can be cheap, efficient, and effective.

What is your message to the Students of the field?

In my regular classes I used to ask my students regarding their goal and what they want to be in their life. I always encourage students to analyses the use of time, money and resources and how to make them more effective and fruitful. Every student has some kind of qualities we need to understand and motivate them to excel in that area. I never pressurize students for any kind of work. I am always available for my students to
help them in every manner to excel their career and guide them. Other than education students should be a good human being and understand moral and ethical values and respect everyone.

How Biotechnology play role in transforming the Modern Scientific Research?

Biotechnology is a multidisciplinary scientific research field which uses living organisms or their parts to develop or modify products, or improve plants, animals and microorganisms. Biotechnology and the world of colors are always connected with each other through biotech applications. This has encouraged the requirement to construct a classification system based on colors. Advance technologies and products are developed within the areas include medicine (development of new medicines and therapies), agriculture (development of genetically modified plants, bio fuels, biological treatment) or industrial biotechnology (production of chemicals, paper, textiles and food), environment (maintenance of biodiversity, bio remediation) etc. However, Biotechnology achieved considerable progress in the branch of healthcare sector. Pharmaceutical biotechnology is a relatively new and growing field in which the principles of
biotechnology are applied to the development of drugs. A majority of therapeutic drugs in the current market are bio formulations, such as antibodies, nucleic acid products and vaccines. Biotechnology helps
the pharmaceutical industry to develop new products, new processes, methods and services and to improve existing ones. This article is an inclusive review of use of biotechnology in the development of novel
pharmaceutical products. It also covers the impact of biotechnology in research and invention related to different aspects of medicine. There is a widespread list of bio pharmaceutical products in healthcare management available for therapeutic use.

We would like to thank Dr. Pranav Kumar Prabhakar for his valuable time, guidance and the experiences he shared with us. We are sure that it will be beneficial to many out here.

Disclaimer:- This post can neither be copied nor re shared for commercial use without prior permission of the author. We have received the permission to share the interview from the author.

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