L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad
D Balasubramanian has been single-mindedly involved in the promotion and enhancement of eye research in India as Director of Research, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, since 1998, where he encouraged ophthalmologists to not only treat but also enter into research. He helped establish the Indian Eye Research Group, established collaborative research with other centers and has started the field of stem cell research and therapy for eye diseases in India. He has contributed to the growth and expansion of the field of biochemistry and molecular biology, with special reference to the area of ‘protein diseases’ such as cataract of the eye, brain disorders, by pointing out how misfolding of the protein chain leads to pathology. For his contributions to popular science, he has been awarded UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize in 1999, and the Indira Gandhi Prize for the Popularization of Science. He has been awarded Padma Shri in 2002, and also Civilian Honor of France, ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite’, 2002. He is elected Fellow of all three scientific academies of India, and was President of Indian Academy of Sciences (2009–2012).
SESSION 2C: Symposium: Community Health– A Genomic Perspective
Rajiva Raman, BHU, Varanasi
Translational research approach: Primary congenital glaucoma – Prevalence, genetics and collaboration between scientists and clinicians for successful treatment
Primary congential glaucoma (PCG) is a group of diseases in which high fluid pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve. It affects children between birth and 3 years and untreated cases are a major cause of childhood blindness. Early detection and clinical treatment can save the sight of the infant. Of the several genes associated with PCG, the speaker’s group has done some extensive work on the gene CYP1B1, and how the mutation R368H in CYP1B1 is seen across the world, which appears to suggest the possibility of the origin and spread of the disease itself. Molecular modeling of the protein, identification of the promoter in the expression of the gene, and treatment modes have also been worked out. A clinical colleague has successfully treated hundreds of children, followed up with them and shown how well many of these have succeeded in life. This is an example of what is referred to as Translational Research– ‘lab bench to patient’s bedside and on to the community’.