Bipan Kumar Deb wins award in AICBC 2013

Sunday, January 5th, 2014
Bipan Kumar Deb

NCBS research scholar Bipan Kumar Deb's talk won the Dr. V.C. Shah Prize for the Best Platform Presentation in the recently concluded XXXVII All India Cell Biology Conference (AICBC). Deb talked about his work on store-operated calcium entry (SOCE), a mechanism by which nerve cells take up calcium from extracellular space. Mentored by NCBS Senior Professor Gaiti Hasan, Deb's work, initiated in collaboration with other researchers in the Hasan lab, shows that a group of proteins called septins (the 'Pnut' septin specifically), plays a hitherto-unknown role in regulating SOCE in neurons of the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This in turn modulates flight behaviour in fruit flies.

First discovered in yeast, researchers found that septins play a crucial role in cell division. Further studies revealed many vital functions of septins, including its role in providing structural support in cells by building dynamic scaffolds. Recent research suggests that human septins form cages around bacterial pathogens, preventing them from invading other cells.

In some human cell lines used in research (like HeLa and Jurkat-T for example), scientists noticed that septins regulate SOCE. This inspired Hasan and her team to examine Drosophila septins. They genetically manipulated D. melanogaster and examined the role of the septin Pnut at multiple levels - at that of a single cell and at the level of an entire organism. They found that Pnut regulates SOCE in neurons, thus influencing flight behaviour in the species. This is the first time that a septin has been shown to play such a vital role in neuronal SOCE and fruit fly flight behaviour.

The AICBC serves as a perfect platform to communicate such novel and important research. Held every year, this year's AICBC was co-organized by InStem, NCBS, C-CAMP, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Society of Cell Biology. Conducted between the 22nd and 24th of December at the J. N. Tata Auditorium in the IIsc Bangalore, the conference focused on Cell Dynamics and Cell Fate. The schedule included several talks by world-renowned scientists in the field of cell biology. Young scientists like Deb also had the opportunity to present their work: a chance that was one of the first of its kind for Deb. He found presenting his work to a diverse audience "extremely useful". "It was great to meet and discuss my work and ideas with eminent cell biologists from India and abroad," says Deb who is currently pursuing his doctoral degree with Hasan at NCBS. And the Best Platform Presentation Prize award for his talk Drosophila septin, Pnut is a modulator of neuronal store operated calcium entry and regulates flight in adults topped it all.

"It was really exciting to get the award. This is a great way to encourage young scientists," says Deb. "The excitement I found in the audience after my talk and their eagerness to know more about my work as well as give useful inputs, was as equally rewarding," he adds.

(Visit this link for the list of talks and speakers hosted by the Conference)


Way to go Bipan!! Wish you

Way to go Bipan!! Wish you good luck for many more achievements.

Way to go Bro.. you make us

Way to go Bro.. you make us proud you young scientist.

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