Dr. Rama Vaidyanathan is the Director of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Center of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Dr. MGR. Educational and Research Institute at Adayalampattu Campus. The Center focuses on Innovative Research, Consultancy and Entrepreneurial Education. It is funded by DST – NewGenIEDC, National Science Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, Govt. of India.
Dr. Rama specializes in Entrepreneurship education and is the coordinator of the Entrepreneurship Cell of the University where she teaches Entrepreneurship to students. She joined the Entrepreneurship Educators course organized by Wadhwani Foundation in 2009 and has attended advanced workshops offered by NEN on finance, mentoring and scaling up. She has helped several students from the University with their entrepreneurship start-ups. She has been instrumental in launching the Wadhwani Learnwise Courses in Entrepreneurship in the MGR Campus. There are at present 8 Entrepreneurship Educators and more than 500 students engaged in the course in the campus.
Dr. Rama is a Professor of Biotechnology and has over 25 years of experience in research in Biotechnology. She did her Ph.D. in Biotechnology at SPIC, Chennai in Plant Biotechnology. She was the recipient of research fellowship from CSIR for her tenure. Subsequently she did her post doctoral research at the University of California San Diego, USA. She specialized in Plant functional genomics at UCSD.
Her research at Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute is focused on studying mechanisms operating in antibiotic resistant bacteria and identification of new compounds against these bacteria. Her research group focuses on developing high throughput assays for identifying molecules against multi-drug resistant bacterial biofilm formation or antibiotic efflux. They also focus on next generation sequencing technologies to understand methods of evolution of antibiotic resistance determinants in bacteria. The other focus areas in the Center include Bioprospecting Microbial biodiversity for industrial Uses. Some of these projects have been funded by the CSIR and DBT. She has over 15 publications in international research journals. The group also has consultancies and collaborations with Industry.
Dr. Venil Naranan Sumantran is a senior researcher/professor who brings over 22 years of experience in top-ranked universities and research organizations in USA, Europe, and India. Her research expertise encompasses cancer, gene therapy, cell biology, biochemistry, assay development, Ayurvedic drugs, arthritis, and microarray analysis. From 2011-2016, she served as Expert Reviewer for India’s DBT- BIRAC and SIBRI programs.
Dr. Venil Naranan Sumantran has 1 patent, 43 research publications, 1383 citations and an H-index of 18. Nine publications have >50 citations, and five of these resulted from her research in India.
Dr. Sumantran served as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on USA- NIH funded research. at the University of Michigan (1987-2000), where she developed a selective, suicide-gene therapy for human breast tumors: this approach is in clinical trials. In Gothenburg University Sweden (2000-2002), she tested a novel gene therapy strategy for killing human neuroblastoma cells.
Between 2002-2007, Dr. Sumantran developed 3 in vitro assays to evaluate anti-arthritic activity of selected Ayurvedic drugs on human osteoarthritic cartilage (Pune, CSIR-NMITLI project). This work produced 1 patent and 7 papers. She also published 3 papers on retinal diseases at the Vision Research Foundation, Chennai (2007-2009). From 2011-2016, Dr. Sumantran served as Adjunct Professor at the Biotechnology Dept of IIT-Madras, where she taught advanced courses and published 1 paper. She also has 3 publications with AUKBC center, Anna University (2016-2018). Currently, she is the Scientifc Advisor at the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Center of Excellence in Innovation at Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, Maduravoyal, Chennai, India
Venil N. Sumantran holds a Ph.D. degree in Biology/Biochemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1987. USA.
Name - Subhashini Sen
BA Honours English literature from Delhi University
MA English literature from Delhi University
CELTA ( Certificate in English Language Training for Adults) from Cambridge University