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Friday, November 18, 2016

 PRASANTH MANOHAR an IIMAR MEMBER and student of IIMAR, Vellore COORDINATOR  Professor Dr N. Ramesh  from VIT, Vellore wins YOUNG SCIENTIST award for developing a NEW THERAPY against ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANT BACTERIA 


Contributed by Dr. Ashok J. Tamhankar

PRASANTH MANOHAR, an IIMAR MEMBER and a research scholar at VIT University, Vellore, has bagged a prestigious science award for his research on ‘Phage therapy’. His research focuses on the preparation of freeze-dried preparation of cocktail phages to treat infections caused by superbugs- the Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria.

Prasanth is currently working in ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE LABORATORY at VIT, University, Vellore, under the guidance of Professor Dr N. Ramesh, (on left in the photograph) of Antibiotic Resistance laboratory and HTS, SBST. He explains that ‘Our research work includes the identification of carbapenem, colistin and tigecycline resistant bacteria from clinical samples. And we are creating and conducting antibiotic resistance awareness programmes for the public through Indian Initiative for Management of Antibiotic Resistance-IIMAR. Our future aim is to develop our lab into an antibiotic resistant and phage therapy centre. We are currently pursuing our collaborative work in cooperation with six countries such as Turkey, Australia, USA, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and the UK. 

The young scientist competition was initiated in 2014 with the aim of giving young researchers from India and Europe a suitable podium to promote their research projects and ideas for Indo-European cooperation. Through such a competition, young scientists gain enormous exposure not only from their peers on social media platforms but also from the scientific community.
In 2016, young scientists from Europe and India submitted their ideas in the field of “bioeconomy, biotechnology and biobased-energy” to the competition. 4 young scientists, who made it past the scientific expert panel and Facebook video competition, presented their research in the finals held at the EU-India STI Cooperation Days 2016. Prasanth Manohar emerged the winner of the competition, bagging a fully paid trip to a conference of his choice in Europe. 

Explaining about his research Prasanth says, ‘My research topic is PHAGE THERAPY. I am currently working in identifying the prevalence and dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among clinical pathogens in India and isolating and characterizing novel  ‘lytic phages’ for therapeutic purpose against multi-drug resistant bacteria. I want to continue my research on phage therapy and want to develop it into a product that will save millions of people in the future.