On 12th January 2021, after almost a year, the 27th Aradhana of Sri Maha Periyava was held at 5:00 pm in Sankara Nethralaya’s Sri. V. D. Swami Auditorium. Ms. Alamelu compered the evening’s events, which was a refreshing beginning to the New Year, as the pandemic restrictions prevented social gatherings in 2020.
The event was opened with the auspicious Veda Gosham, followed by the Welcome Address and a short introduction to Sankara Nethralaya and Sri Maha Periyava by Ms. Anuradha, Principal, Elite School of Optometry. Following this, Archanai and Aarti to Sri Maha Periyava were performed. Mr. Raghunathan, a retired government employee gifted a painting he had rendered of Sri Maha Periyava to Sankara Nethralaya, which was received by Dr. T. S. Surendaran. The lifelike painting will be hung in Vision Enhancement Clinic, Shenoy Nagar.
Ms, Alamelu then called on Dr. A. R. Anand, Vidyasagar Institute of Biomedical Technology and Science (VIBS) In- Charge to present the Ph. D awardees for the year 2020. VIBS was established in October 2006 with a generous donation by Late Padmashri Iravatham Mahadevan, in memory of his elder son, the late Vidyasagar.
The Ph. D program, one of the most important in the VIBS portfolio, is affiliated to four national universities i.e. SASTRA University, Thanjavur; the Tamilnadu Dr. M. G. R. Medical University, Chennai; Anna University, Chennai; and Alagappa University, Karaikudi. The degrees were presented by Mr. G. Ramachandran, Honorary Secretary, Medical Research Foundation.
Over the past 20 years, 67 Ph.Ds. from SN are established all around India and the world too! Since July 2019 and June 2020, SN produced 6 Ph. D awardees, under SASTRA University, Thanjavur. Currently, 18 students are studying in the Ph. D. Programme; 2 have submitted their final Ph. D. thesis; one is in the process of submission, and 15 students are undergoing Ph. Ds.
Mr. Ravikanth Danda, received the “Doctor of Philosophy” for his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Identification of Novel therapeutic target molecules in Retinoblastoma.” He completed his Ph. D on 12th December 2019. He is presently a CSIR Research Associate at CCMB, Hyderabad. His supervisor, Dr. S. Krishnakumar, Professor and Head of L & T Ocular Pathology department, accompanied him to the stage.
Mr. Anand Babu completed his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Role of paraoxonase in oxidized LDL – Mediated Pathogenesis of age related molecular degeneration (AMD): in vivo studies in AMD patients and in vitro studies in human retinal pigment epithelial cells” on 17th February 2020. He is currently a research scientist at the Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, Chennai. His supervisor was Dr. N. Angayarkanni, Professor and Head of R. S. Mehta Jain Department of Biochemistry & cell biology, Supervisor.
Mr. Ravikanth Danda and Mr. Anand Babu gave their valedictorian speeches and thanked everyone who inspired them including their Ph. D. supervisors, and Sankara Nethralaya.
Mr. Amit Chatterjee’s Ph. D was received on his behalf by his guide, Dr. J. Narayanan, Associate Professor of Nanobiotechnology department. Mr. Amit’s thesis “Understanding the mechanism of cell penetrating peptide using kerataconus epithelium as clinical model” was completed on 28th September 2020.
Three awardees were awarded their Ph. Ds in absentia- Dr. S.Muthukumaran completed his Ph. D. on 20th July 2020 under SASTRA deemed-to-be University, Thanjavur. He is presently at the clinical bioinformatics division, Anderson Diagnostics, Chennai. His guide is Dr. V. Umashankar, Faculty of Centre for Bioinformatics.
Dr. Bhavna S. Rao completed her Ph. D on 3rd August 2020 Under SASTRA deemed-to-be University, Thanjavur. She is a freelance scientific language editor at TNQ, Chennai. Her guide is Dr. N. Soumittra, Faculty of SN ONGC Department of Genetics & Molecular Biology.
Dr. P. Karthikka completed her Ph. D on 5rd August 2020 under SASTRA deemed-to-be University, Thanjavur. Her guide is Dr. C. Subbulakshmi, Faculty of R.S.Mehta Jain Department of Biochemistry & cell biology.
Those who were unable to be present at the ceremony joined virtual and shared their memorable experiences and joy of working and studying at an exceptional institution like Sankara Nethralaya.
The next part of the ceremony was the institutional awards including the certificates or medals, and cash prizes. Dr. Smita Praveen, Director – Academics, MRF gave a short introduction of the significance of the institutional awards and called on Mr. G. Ramachandran, Hon. Secy., and Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice Chairman, MRF to present the awards.
Mr. G. Ramachandran presented Dr. Sudharshan S. with the Smt Sreerangamma N Narayana and Endowment Award for best scientist working on infectious diseases, along with a cash prize.
The Smt.Radhamani N. Anantha Endowment Award for best scientist working on infectious diseases, accompanied by a cash prize went to Dr. Mamta Agarwal.
Dr. T. S. S presented the following awards:
Swarnalata Punshi Award for Best Research Fellow went to Dr. Sneha Giridhar, along with a cash prize.
The Swarnalata Punshi prize Award for Best Research Worker (medal, certificate, and cash prize) to Ms. Ramya. R.
The Ruby Banik Memorial Award for Best Research in Clinical Sciences in Ophthalmology Award and cash prize was received by Ms. Najiya. S. K.
The Prof. S. Krishnamoorthy Rao Memorial Award for Best Outgoing PhD went to Dr. Ravikanth Danda, along with a gold medal + certificate.
The Dr. S. Ramakrishnan Endowment for Best Outgoing Post-Graduate of Diploma in Ophthalmology was received by Dr. Ramya G.
Dr. Merin Jacob received the Sri. K. Vasanth Madhavan Memorial Award instituted by Mrs K Saraswathi for Best Outgoing Post Graduate student of Diplomate of National board of Examinations.
Dr. Mythri K Rao received the Dr. Kantimathynathan Endowment Medal instituted by Dr. Jagan Nathan for Best Post Graduate DNB candidate in Neuro Ophthalmology.
Dr. Pallavi Goel and Dr. Mehta Parth Kirit were presented with the Ms. DivyaChaturvedi Endowment Award for Best Outgoing Diploma in Ophthalmology student in Uvea.
A Certificate of Merit – Chief Resident was presented to Dr. Mythri K Rao by Dr. T. S. S. The second recipient was Dr. Damisetti Anjali Gopalakrishna.
The Jayaben Chamanlal Shah Endowment award for Best Outgoing Sub Specialty Fellow was presented to Dr. Aanchal Agarwal virtually. She thanked everyone and said the guidance of her instructors and teachers were vital to showing her and fellow students the way, helping them reach their goals.
Dr. Smriti Jain too received her awards virtually. She received both the Dr. V T Doshi Memorial award for Best outgoing Vitreo Retinal Fellow – Award and the Indian Society for Prevention of Blindness Endowment Award for Best Lady Fellow in Vitreo Retinal Sub-specialty. She thanked Dr. AVS ma’am and the teaching staff at JCOC and the sub-speciality teachers who guided her throughout her time at SN.
At the close of the ceremony, everyone present paid their respects and offered flowers to Sri Maha Periyava.