New Delhi, Oct. 27: Dr. Rajesh S. Gokhale, an esteemed scientist of the National Institute of Immunology (NII) New Delhi, has been appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India. DrGokhale takes over from DrRenuSwarup who is set to retire on the 31st of this month.

Dr. Gokhale joined NII in 1999 and spent a decade implementing a cutting-edge biotechnology research program. Subsequently, he served as the Director of CSIR-Insitute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) from 2009-2016, spearheading the prolific growth of the institute. He returned to his parent institute, NII, in 2017. He also briefly acted as the Director-in-charge of NII in 2021 before moving on deputation to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune (IISER Pune) as a Professor on 16th September 2021.

Dr. Gokhale is one of the world leaders in Tuberculosis research. His research has provided novel insights into metabolic pathways that operate in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and are critical for disease pathogenesis. He has also made critical contributions towards the understanding of the interplay between metabolic reprogramming and immunity autoimmune skin disorder Vitiligo. The research in his laboratory aims to understand disease pathogenesis and develop novel therapeutic strategies that will tackle the underlying causes rather than just the symptoms, NII statement said.

Dr. Gokhale has received several prestigious awards, including the Wellcome Trust (UK) Senior research fellowship (2001-2006), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Research Scholarship, USA (2005 – 2010), Swarnajayanti Fellowship, Department of Science and Technology, India (2006- 2011), Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize in Biological Sciences, India (2006), National Bioscience Award for Career Development, India (2009), Infosys Prize in Life Sciences (2013), IIT Bombay Distinguished Alumnus Award (2014), Sun Pharma Research Award (2014) – Medical Sciences, Basic Research Award, JC Bose National Fellowship (2018-Present).

Dr. Gokhale has been a member of many professional and academic bodies and societies. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi (2014), the National Academy of Sciences India, Allahabad (2012) as well the India Academy of Sciences (2007). He was elected as a member of the prestigious Guha Research Conference (2005). He also served as a member of the editorial board, The Journal of Biological Chemistry (2014 to 2017), section editor of Journal “Tuberculosis”, Elsevier (2007 to 2017), the Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics (2013 onwards). (India Science Wire)

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