Dr.Vijay Soni, the researcher from National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, has been awarded the prestigious Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award 2017 by The National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) for his excellent work. Right panel in showing the protein structure of GlmU on which he has worked for almost six years and identified it as most promising drug target to cure Tuberculosis. He was also honoured by Inspiring Science Award 2017 by TNQ-Cell Press, BioAsia Innovation award 2016 from Global Bio Business Forum, and Global Health Award from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his discovery on GlmU and Oxa33.
Dr Vijay Soni has done his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Mohanlal Sukhadia University. Currently, he is working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, USA. Vijay’s PhD work at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi was in association with BITS-Pilani Hyderabad. He talks about his love for the metabolism of living organisms and his other passion – science entrepreneurship – through which he wants to bridge the lab to market gap.
Vijay says he is committed to continuing efforts towards his dream of Tuberculosis free India. He said “The more I read about Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the more excited I am to solve some other unanswered questions around it. Currently, I study the role of metabolism in TB pathogenesis, sturdy molecular mechanisms of Mtb (both in active and latent infection) during various immunological insults and challenges from host, host metabolic pathways for bacterial survival inside the host and the role of cell wall metabolic pathways to maintain the infection”.
Vijay Soni says “I started getting interested in one of the most challenging diseases of the world – tuberculosis – at the PhD level after a research stint at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, where I worked in a microbiology and molecular biology laboratory. This work translated into a PhD in association with BITS-Pilani Hyderabad. Under my supervisor’s mentorship, I worked on an important gene and metabolic pathway of the cell wall synthesis of the TB bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We elucidated the detailed crystal structure and biochemistry of the protein GlmU and also determined the need of the gene for bacterial survival at different stages of growth and during TB infection”.
Vijay mentioned, “The recognition of my research work by NASI gives me a sense of absolute delight. It is a popular belief that it is never easy for the youngest to be heard. In a world full of eminent scientists, whose unremitting efforts are leading to spectacular scientific discoveries, it gives me a feeling of contentment that our efforts have been counted and we have been able to deliver and contribute our bit to the society. I am highly grateful to my mentors Dr Vinay K Nandicoori, NII, New Delhi and Prof. D. Sriram, BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad for showing me the path which has eventually brought me to this appreciation. Also, worth mention is the remarkable contribution of my group members. This appreciation of our work has multiplied the courage and persuades me to keep up the work for scientific development.”
Apart from research, Vijay’s interest in entrepreneurship motivated him to start his new venture named “Scipreneur (Pvt Ltd)”, for Entrepreneurship In Science. ‘Scipreneur’ provides resource and knowledge to bridge Science and Entrepreneurship, mainly targeting scientific innovators. He is making new efforts to globalize the platform to make scientific development easier and faster.
Source & Credits: BioPundit