Cell and molecular biology is a vast field that encompasses many different areas of research, from genetics to immunology, from biochemistry to the study of single-cell sequencing. In order to emphasise the on-going research in cell and molecular biology, The Department of Biological Sciences organised a two-day Symposium on Cell and Molecular biology (SCMB-2023) from February 16 to 17, 2023, at SRM University-AP. The symposium consisted of insightful talks by eminent speakers from different parts of India and abroad, including the Hebrew University (Israel), Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Israel), Biological Research Centre (Hungary), Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), The AMR Insights (The Netherlands), Indian Institute of Science, IIT-Jodhpur, CSIR- Institute for Microbial Technology, IIIT-Delhi and more. A pre-symposium workshop on computational handling of biological data was another highlight of the convention.
In the past decade, the use of computational tools and algorithms to analyze data or use of artificial intelligence to model biological systems and predict how they will behave under different conditions have increased extensively. With an aim to give the basic knowledge of how this computational approach works, the Department of Biological Sciences invited Dr Gaurav Ahuja and Miss Aayushi Mittal to have a hands on session on:
- Building Machine Learning models leveraging biological datasets in R-programming.
- Using AutoML techniques for building classification and regression models (Biological datasets)
- Case study with Metabo Killer Python Package (Mittal et al. 2022, Nature Chemical Biology).
Among all the eminent speakers the keynote speakers for the symposium were Prof. Orna Amster-Choder, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and Prof. Motti Choder, Technion- Israel Institute of Technology who gave an insight on gene expressions. With all the hot topics of cell and molecular biology starting right from ribosomal role in diseases, protein quality control in neurodegeneration and its therapy, the speakers also spoke about different model system and techniques, for instance bacterial nanotubes in intercellular interactions, use of Caenorhabditis elegans for host pathogen interaction, CRISPR-Cas3 systems for large-scale genome manipulation and gene discovery and Pseudouridine RNA modification. These insightful talks on data analytics and cell and its regulation not only provided the participants with brainstorming sessions, it also provided a platform to discuss and channelise new thoughts.
The conference was jointly convened by Prof. Jayaseelan Murugaiyan, Head of the Department of Biological Sciences, SRM University-AP, India and Dr Sutharsan Govindarajan, India Alliance Early Career Fellow and Assistant Professor at SRM University-AP. The symposium was held in a hybrid mode aimed to reach more budding scientists and established researchers. The target audience of the symposium included undergraduate students, postgraduate students, doctoral and post-doctoral scholars and researchers across the world. Participants from over nine institutes took part in the offline mode with a majority being undergrad students, whereas online participation witnessed registration from 327 institutes. The symposium had 120 offline participants and 572 online participants from 19 countries; 26 states and 3 union territories within India.