Revolutionizing  Life Sciences and Disease Biology:  Anuj Tiwari

Revolutionizing Life Sciences and Disease Biology: Anuj Tiwari

Akshat Sitani | Jun 10, 2019

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European Molecular Biology Organization or EMBO is a professional organization of more than 1,800 life scientists. Its goal is to promote research in life sciences and enable international exchange between scientists. It organizes workshops, courses, conferences, publishes scientific journals and supports individual scientists and projects. Recently, it conducted a conference in Xiu Ning, China from 11-14 April 2019 with the theme 'Membrane shaping and remodelling of proteins.' Anuj Tiwari, one of the PhD scholars from the Department of Life Science participated in the prestigious conference. Anuj has been immensely contributing in the fields of Biochemistry, disease biology, membrane modelling and shaping of proteins.

Born and brought up in Nagpur, Anuj Tiwari had completed his Bachelors and Masters in Biochemistry from the same city. He interned at Biocon, a pharmaceutical company based in Bangalore for a year. Later, his inclinations towards Biological Sciences made him pursue the Doctoral course in the Life Science Department at NIT Rourkela.

Monday Morning(MM): You attended the conference in China conducted by EMBO, tell us about the conference.

Anuj Tiwari(AT): It was a very important conference in our field which is based on membranes. Membranes are the barriers which protect the organelles from outside and compartmentalize the entire cell. The conference was about the different types of proteins which deform or model the membrane in different ways. Membranes are often ignored and considered static but in reality, they play a significant role in the Cell structure and overall dynamics.

Firstly, I received a travel grant from EMBO based on the abstract I sent. After screening the submitted abstracts, they awarded travel awards to different participants from different countries. So my travel and accommodation were taken care of by the conference. Along with this, the institute will be reimbursing me half of the registration fees. The conference was attended by scholars from most of the developed countries like UK, US, Australia, Japan, China itself, Israel, Germany and many others.

MM: Share your overall experience at the conference.

AT: In the conference, I presented a poster and a small flash talk.  The poster revolved around the intricacies of Alzheimer’s disease. The topic for my presentation was based on Amyloid beta-40 mediated aggregation neuronal cell membrane. In the posters, we showed some of the bio-meiotic model membrane systems that we used for the screening. So we are at a phase where we synthetically make the biological cell membranes and it doesn’t consist any of the organelles and observe how our protein of interest (which in my case was Amyloid beta-40) affects the structure of the membranes. There are many other proteins which affect the structure of proteins and in some cases are responsible for some diseases like Hepatitis-B.

The overall experience was great where I got an opportunity to meet like-minded scholars working in the research areas of my interest. I faced many problems because of the language and being a vegetarian, my issues were amplified. I relied on Google translate for most of the interactions but again because of most of the Google facilities like Google maps, Gmail and others are banned in China, I had a difficult time as well. The conference was in Xiang Ming Hotel in Huangshan city and was organized by the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

MM: What are you currently researching on?

AT: I am currently working on Alzheimer’s disease. It is a late-onset disease: something which happens at a very old age. There are basically two pathophysiological factors through which this disease happens. One is Amyloid Plaques and other is neurofibrillary entanglements. I am working on the Amyloid part. With the passage of time, a particular peptide aggregate gets collected in the brain. This aggregation leads to neural cell death and eventually results in Alzheimer's disease.

MM: Are there any other conferences you are looking forward to?

AT: Since my PhD. is about to be completed, I may not get a chance to attend any more conferences. If I get time I would attend a conference in Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore.

MM: What would be your message to our readers?

AT: If you want to do something good in life, just keep on putting efforts silently. You might get deviated from the path you initially chose, but you must ensure that you figure out your destination wisely. Punctuality plays a major role in success. If you are doing your job in time, you will eventually get better at it and the end results will definitely be amazing!

Team Monday Morning wishes Anuj Tiwari good luck for his future endeavours.

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