Instrumental Access 2017

The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda: Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology Centre

  • Professor Pushpendra Singh and students examining protein solutions

  • The core instrument room in the Department of Microbiology

  • A project assistant works with enzyme solutions

  • Students collaborating in the lab

  • Professor Pushpendra Singh and students

Meet our Partner

The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU) is the largest university in western India’s Gujurat state. MSU traces its history to 1881 and was recently rated as an A-grade university (the highest ranking) by India’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council. The Department of Microbiology offers graduate programs in Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Areas of Research

Ongoing faculty research projects focus on infectious and autoimmune diseases such as leprosy, TB, and lupus; antimicrobial resistance; toxicity of molds; and bioremediation of pollutants by soil bacteria.

Alleviating Suffering from Lupus: Dr. Ratika Srivastava

Dr. Ratika SrivastavaLupus is a poorly-understood autoimmune disease in which an individual’s own immune system attacks healthy tissue, including joints, skin, blood cells, and major organs. Afflicting 5 million people worldwide, its variable symptoms make it difficult to diagnose, but it is often debilitating and sometimes fatal.

Women are 6 to 10 times more likely than men to be impacted, and the disease is more common and often more severe in African, Asian, and Native American populations.

Ratika Srivastava, PhD, assistant professor at MSU, has set out to investigate new drugs to help alleviate lupus’ symptoms. “Helping society through new inventions and innovations attracted me to become a scientist,” she says.

Her most recent research has discovered a compound that successfully down-regulates a key enzyme involved in the immune system’s attack against healthy cells in the body–a potential drug target she is working to validate.

At MSU, Dr. Srivastava’s academic appointment was made through a special government initiative, the Faculty Recharge Program, which aims to recruit faculty with active research interests while maintaining an emphasis on teaching.

Not only is Dr. Srivastava excited that her research has the potential to alleviate suffering, but she’s thrilled to see that her research attracts funding that helps her students, and has ripple effects with national implications.

“Seeding Labs will be providing resources to our motivated students to excel in their career, allowing them to strengthen our nation’s human resources,” she says.

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