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Sankara Nethralaya organizes a high Power international meet on genetics and genomes in Chennai

Vision Research Foundation (VRF) the research arm of Sankara Nethralaya is hosted the 41st Indian Society of Human Genetics, Annual meeting and international Conference (ISHG 2016) at the Lady Andal Auditorium (SMVRC Hall), Chetpet, Chennai, India, from 3rd March to 5th March, 2016.

The conference titled “Celebrating Genetics- the Human Way” aimed at understanding the various facets of human genetic diseases with the recent technological advancements. Eminent international and national scientists shared their research experiences in deciphering the human genetic diseases. The program included sessions on Cardiac genetics, Epigenetics, Immuno-genetics, Neuro-genetics, Nutrigenomics, Ayurgenomics, Oculogenetics, Oncogenetics, Pediatric genetics, Pharmaco & Personalized genetics, Population genetics and Systems Biology.

The function with a huge participation of between 700 to 1000 delegates from across the world got off to an auspicious start with Dr.Meenakshi Swaminthan, Senior Pediatric Ophthalmologist and Director-Academics, Sankara Nethralaya rendering the ‘Thamizh Thai Vazthu’ and the lighting of the lamp by Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath, Director, Clinical Research, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. T.Ramasami, Director-Strategic planning, Sankara Nethralaya, Professor AJS.Bhanwer, President ISHG, Dr. Myles Axton, Chief Editor, Nature Genetics and Dr A.J.Pandian,Head of the ONGC Department of genetics and molecular biology, Sankara Nethralaya and organizing  secretary of ISHG-2016.

Extending a warm welcome to the gathering Dr. A.J.Pandian expressed that the 3 day event would be an exciting forum and a truly unique platform to exchange and understand cutting edge research in genetics, he assured the participants that commercial support for their work could be sought from the sponsors present at their respective stalls at the venue and they could also exchange their research work with key people in the field during the session. Speaking on the occasion Dr T.Ramasami distinguished researcher and former Science and Technology secretary to the government of India expressed that the ISHG-2016 would be a wonderful opportunity for researchers working in the realm of genetics to come together and find solutions for diseases at a molecular level and through an integrated approach. Remarking in lighter vein that Science raised more questions than it answered, he underlined that a large percent of the world’s population cannot afford avail Medicare at its current costs and the only alternative is preventive healthcare where a study in genetics can play a crucial role, he urged the scientists gathered to find solutions through genetic research. He observed that the ISHG is a part of the week long ‘Science Day’ celebrations being observed in honour of Sir C.V. Raman. Professor AJS Bhanwer, Director ISHG expressed that society at large would be grateful to Dr. AJ Pandian and his team for the impressive show in genetics, he expressed that the study in genes and genomics has made rapid strides in the last decade, contributing significantly to the diagnosis of diseases. Delivering the keynote address on the topic ‘Human genetics and the prospects of preventive medicine’ Chief Editor of highly respected science journal ‘Nature Genetics’ took the audience through an interesting journey on the recent findings in the field of genetics, he emphasized that any research in the field of genetics is an investment which would pay rich dividends in the future. He explained that the salient feature of genetics is that it helps to understand the impact of genes in specific local groups and then compare and deduce the same at a macro level by comparing with other groups, he cited some ground breaking study made among the population of Iceland to drive home his point. Current research trends, global and in India, discussed in detail at the ISHG 2016 proved to be a great inspiration to the participating scientists/researchers/students. The event turned out to be a highly exciting and interesting in terms of knowledge acquisition and a fun experience for the participants with some great cultural events and sightseeing.

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