IIT Mandi Professor awarded with 'Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award’ 2018


  • His student received Indo-UK Newton Bhabha PhD  placement grant

Mandi,  : Indian Institute of Technology Mandi (IIT Mandi) Assistant Professor, Dr. Rajanish Giri, has been awarded with Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) 2018. He was selected by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology. Dr. Giri is selected for his proposed innovative idea on Zika virus Capsid Folding and inhibitor discovery. Additionally, he has proven expertise on understanding and solving the fundamental problems of protein folding in various structured and Intrinsically Disordered Proteins.

Speaking about the award, Dr. Rajanish Giri, Assistant Professor of Biotechnology, IIT Mandi, said, “This award is for an innovative idea to execute. I propose to work on Zika virus capsid protein biophysical perspectives.” 

Along with the award, Dr. Giri also received a research grant, for three years, to delve more insight into the biophysical research on Zika Capsid protein system by running well equipped lab and hiring and training the high quality people or Senior Research Fellows etc.

Dr Giri started his work on understanding Zika virus proteome in 2016, after the declaration of Zika virus as medical health emergency of international concern. His research finding led to understanding of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDPs) or dark proteome in Zika Virus system. In Future, Dr. Giri is interested in the Mechanistic insights into Zika virus parthenogenesis and the biophysics of Zika virus. Dr. Rajanish Giri is now known as one of the Zika researcher in India. In the field of Zika virus research, Dr Giri published several of his work in different reputed journals such as Journal of Molecular Biology, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology etc. Towards this end, Dr Giri has been successful in bringing international collaborations from several universities from abroad. Few to mention are, University of South Florida, Washington University in St. Louis, Belarus Academy of Sciences, University of Leeds etc.

Previously also, from his PhD and Postdoc work, Dr. Giri made significant publications in top notch journals such as PNAS, Biophysical Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Scientific Reports 

Additionally, in a separate note, under the supervision of Dr. Rajanish Giri, a PhD Scholar, Mr. Nitin Sharma from IIT Mandi received ‘Newton Bhabha Doctoral Placement Grant. This placement offer provides funding to India and UK PhD scholars for short period of their research at any UK or Indian higher education institution. The British Council, in partnership with the Departments of Science and Technology (DST) and Biotechnology (DBT), is providing this funding support.

In the lab of  Dr. Giri, PhD Scholar, Mr. Nitin Sharma, is also working on the Biophysics of Zika virus Envelope protein, membrane fusion and inhibitor discovery.

His future studies on biophysical and structural perspectives of Zika virus Envelope protein will provide new insights into the entry of Zika virus. This work can reinforce the drug development against ZIKV infection and can be fruitful with low-cost medicines in the future. This placement program will not only provide him with new skills and techniques to develop his Ph.D. project and validate current findings, it will also help his career progression into a senior scientific researcher