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Cipla Distinguished Fellowship for Dr Sanjib Bhakta

Dr Sanjib Bhakta recognised for key research tackling antibiotic resistance in tuberculosis.

Dr Sanjib Bhakta, Reader in Molecular Microbiology and Director of Mycobacteria Research Laboratory (MRL) in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, has been awarded a prestigious Cipla Distinguished Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Sciences for his outstanding research on tackling antibiotic resistance in tuberculosis.

On his recent trip to India in July, Dr Bhakta gave the Cipla endowment lecture entitled Tackling antibiotic resistance in TB at the University Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai (India). In his lecture, Dr Bhakta spoke about inter-disciplinary approaches in novel therapeutic intervention to tackle drug resistance in M. tuberculosis and discussed techniques developed exclusively in his laboratory to evaluate potential anti-infective molecules. Highlighting some of the current work being carried out in his laboratory Dr Bhakta spoke about understanding ligand-protein interaction to unveil the mechanisms of action of anti-mycobacterial compounds. Dr Bhakta’s lecture will be published in the annual journal of ICT, the Bombay Technologist.

International collaboration

During his visit to ICT, Mumbai, Dr Bhakta also met the departmental heads, academic course coordinators and deans and offered a career acceleration mentoring session for graduate researchers and post-doctoral students. Collaboration between ICT and Birkbeck's Mycobacteria Research Laboratory is not new and existing relations will be consolidated and developed in the future, once a draft material transfer agreement and memorandum of understanding is implemented. In addition, a group of distinguished professors from ICT will visit Birkbeck later this year. Collective work between these two universities will benefit from the availability of potential anti-tubercular agents of natural, semi-synthetic and/or synthetic origin and the technical expertise of Dr Bhakta in evaluating the effectiveness of these novel agents towards new anti-infective drug development.

While in India, Dr Bhakta also visited a number of other universities, colleges, research institutes and non-governmental organizations to shed light on the world-class research being carried out by MRL researchers in the field of tuberculosis drug design and to discuss new health and diseases research and educational initiatives between UK and India. Dr Bhakta has been working with the Indian Development Foundation (IDF) since 2009 and this year he was elected as IDF’s honorary international consultant for TB research. Established in 2005, the IDF is a non-government organisation with goals to improve education, development and health in rural parts of India. Its activities have been key in the elimination of leprosy in India, and it is now focused on combatting tuberculosis and other diseases.

Further information

You can read more about Dr Bhakta’s recent seminars at educational institutions across India, describing his team's groundbreaking research on antibiotic resistance in TB.

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