Roorkee: Professor Pranita P Sarangi, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee has been awarded Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award 2017 (IYBA-2017) by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. Prof. Pranita was chosen based on her scientific achievements and the proposed work in the field of cancer immunology. The IYBA award covers a research grant up to Rs. 50 Lacs and a cash award prize of Rs. 1 lac per year during the project period.
Talking about the achievement, Prof. Pranita said,” This is a highly prestigious scheme from the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, to identify and nurture outstanding young scientists with innovative ideas to pursue research in frontier areas of biotechnology “
Explaining about her work, Prof. Pranita said, “Cancer is the second largest cause of death worldwide including India, after heart diseases. Current therapeutic approaches available for treating cancers are primarily based on chemotherapies, which are highly toxic, and recurrence of tumors requires higher doses of such reagents leading to severe toxic side effects. The host immune system plays a crucial role in protecting our body from the development of cancers but in a cancer patient, with progression of time, the anti-cancer immunity is gradually reduced and become non-functional. Scientists have shown that cancer cells adopt various mechanisms to make our immune cells non-functional.”
“The proposed work will discover new molecular interactions in a cancer environment that re-educate our immune cells not to fight against the cancerous cells. Thus, this will help in the development of novel targeted therapeutics that could further help in managing cancer patients by restoring the functions of the immune cells”, she added.
About Prof. Pranita P. Sarangi
Prof. Pranita has completed her PhD from College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, USA. She is also working as Special Research Volunteer, Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology Section, NIDCR/National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA since 2013. Her work has won her AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant Award, Immunology-2017, Washington DC, USA.