8th NGBT calls for greater awareness on genomics amongst cliniciansDecember 13, 2018
The 8th annual NGBT Conference held at Jaipur emphasised the urgent need for bringing greater awareness on genomics among Indian medical and healthcare fraternity. Genetic science, which holds a critical role in the emerging healthcare scenario, is still nascent in the country, and the key reason is a lack of awareness among the healthcare providers and seekers.
“Genomics is clearly the future in the healthcare space, especially when we need precision care to manage life-threatening disorders,” said Dr Sekar Seshagiri, chair of NGBT Conference, at the inaugural meet of the three-day science event held from September 30 to October 2, 2018. “The science directly impacts the cost of healthcare positively by providing insights to deliver personalized care to patients.”
NextGen Genomics, Biology, Bioinformatics and Technologies (NGBT), organised by SciGenom Research Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting science in India through research and education, was attended by over 800 delegates.
One of the marquee life sciences conferences organised in India, NGBT this time had 12 keynote lectures and 80 talks by speakers representing various scientific organisations from across the world. It showcased applications of NextGen sequencing and genomic technologies for basic and translational science in various areas of biology — including human genetics, drug discovery, clinical medicine, biomarkers, diagnostics and animal, plant and agricultural sciences. It also covered basic biology, cellular signalling, cancer and plant biology.
“The genomics industry is still at a nascent stage in India. While genomic profiling is the way forward for healthcare, we need to create ample awareness in the medical community to leverage its potential,” said Sam Santhosh, Trustee, SGRF and Founder & Chairman, MedGenome, a leading US-India genomic research and diagnostics organisation.
According to Sam Santhosh, NGBT conference provides a platform that brings together accomplished national and international speakers, thinkers and thought leaders who shape the course of scientific discovery, research and innovation. India, with its huge biodiversity and genetic pool, can contribute much more to the world’s genomic database and to the growth of future medicine.
“The Conference also provides an environment of exchange of ideas and provides opportunities for people to form collaborations, and is an ideal platform to share knowledge and find out about the new and emerging technologies in biology and biology-enabling technology areas like genomics. Such forums help in understanding the real-life challenges and the ways to address them by engaging renowned experts from across the globe,” he added.
NGBT Jaipur was hosted in collaboration with Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC), Canada; Birla Institute of Scientific Research (BISR), Jaipur; Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS), Jaipur; Eternal Heart Care Centre & Research Institute (EHCC), Jaipur; SMS Medical College Hospital (SMSMC), Jaipur; and Institute of Bioinformatics (IOB), Bengaluru.
It also featured technology leaders from institutions like National University of Singapore, University of Toronto, University of Montreal, Pacific Biosciences, MedGenome, Genentech, Indian Institute of Science, BGI, Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Johns Hopkins University, 10X Genomics, Nature Genetics, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, REVOLUTION Medicines and others from across the world.
Dr. Kuldeep Singh, Director ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, has been awarded the 2018 SGRF Excellence in Science Award.
SGRF had also announced over 100 “meeting scholarships” for students pursuing scientific research. The recipients of the scholarship were selected based on abstracts submitted for the conference.