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 ANA Forum on “Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology in Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities”
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Posted on 06-28-10 10:16 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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“Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology in Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities”

Friday, July 2, 2010

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Rapti (Gems) Room – 4th Floor

Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers



1) Introduction of INBS (5 minutes)

2) Panelists Introduction and Talk (10 minutes each. Total: 40 minutes)

a) Dr. Uttam L. Rajbhandary

b) Dr. Shiva Gautam

c) Dr. Ruma Rajbhnadari

d) Dr. Batsal Devkota

3) Open to floor for Q & A (20 minutes)

          Moderators: Ashim Subedee

                               Bisundev Mahato

4) Presentation by Nyaya Health (10 minutes)




1) Dr. Uttam L. Rajbhandary:

Could you please provide a historical perspective of development of biomedical sciences in developing nations such as our neighbors China and India and what Nepal can/should learn from them? What is the ideal scenario for inter-country research collaborations?


2) Dr. Shiva Gautam:

Is the quality of collaborative research up to par with international research standards? What are the current collaborations you are involved in, and what are the positive aspects and challenges of such collaborations?


3) Dr. Ruma Rajbhandari:

What pressing diseases have no/few/expensive/complicated treatment options that might benefit from research collaborations? What disease areas require attention in Nepal, and how can the biomedical community help?


4) Dr. Batsal Devkota:

What are the options for biotechnology entrepreneurship in Nepal, in spite of the adversities and the status quo? What are the areas of biotechnology that can attract investment or foreign partners?


Panelist bio:


Uttam L. RajBhandary, PhD has made pioneering contributions in defining the role of transfer RNAs during protein synthesis, a crucial step in gene expression. Born in Nepal, he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in India. As a Colombo Plan Scholar, he then studied at the University of Durham in England under the supervision of Prof. Sir James Baddiley, and received his Ph.D. in 1962. He was also awarded a prestigious Fellowship from the Medical Research Council (UK) at that time. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin at Madison as a senior project associate with Nobel laureate Professor Dr. Har Gobind Khorana, and was subsequently appointed an Assistant Professor in 1964. In 1969, he moved to MIT as an Associate Professor and became a full Professor in 1975.  At MIT, he was selected to hold the Lester Wolfe Professorship in 1996 and was appointed as Associate Head of the Department of Biology in 2004. He has been very prolific, publishing over 150 original articles, and is a co-author of a definitive book on tRNAs and protein translation.  He has won many honors, and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991.  Dr. RajBhandary actively continues his research interests in his lab at MIT, which is currently focused on the structure and function of tRNAs, and their use in the insertion of unnatural amino-acids into proteins.

Shiva Gautam, PhD is an associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and also the Associate Director of the Harvard CTSC Biostatistics Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) which focuses on enhancing biostatical support at BIDMC in coordination with the Harvard wide CTSC biostatistics program. Dr. Gautam is also engaged in teaching/training of medical students, residents, fellows, and new investigators in the area of research design and other critical biostatistical aspects of research. At BIDMC, he also serves as the statistical consultant to the IRB. He is also involved in educational as well as health-related issues of Nepal. He conceptualized and coordinated logistics for a pilot heart study in Nepal. He has spearheaded an e-library/e-infrastructure project in Nepali schools. He is also a consultant to the Kathmandu University Medical School (KUMS), designing, developing materials, and teaching a biostatistics course. Dr. Gautam coordinated volunteer faculty from Vanderbilt University to provide assistance to KUMS, shipping microscopes, slides, and books for the medical school.

Ruma Rajbhandari, MD, MPH is a 4th year resident in the Global Health Equity Residency Program at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA.  She was first exposed to health disparities in highschool when she volunteered with a grassroots health project called Social Action Volunteers (SAV) based at Kanti Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu. Throughout her undergraduate and medical school years, Dr. Rajbhandari sought out opportunities to continue health related work in her native country of Nepal. She has worked with the National Tuberculosis Program in Sano Thimi and with the Department of Medicine at Patan Hospital.  Dr. Rajbhandari is currently involved in two projects in Nepal.  The first is an organization called Nyaya Health, an INGO that is operating a 15-bed hospital in rural Achham in partnership with the Nepalese Ministry of Health.  The second is a project aimed at improving very remote, rural district hospitals in Nepal and retaining staff in these locations through the Nick Simons Institute of Rural Health Care Training.  Dr. Rajbhandari earned her BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental, Biology in 2002 from Yale University, her MPH with a concentration in International Health from Harvard School of Public Health in 2007 and her MD from Harvard Medical School in 2007.

Batsal Devkota, PhD is a Research Associate at the RCSB/Protein Data Bank.  He completed his degree in Computational Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, working on structural basis of viral assembly with Steve Harvey.  He has previously worked for Everest Biotech, a biotechnology company based in Nepal and the UK.


Posted on 06-29-10 8:18 AM     [Snapshot: 167]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Come to the event and increase your breadth of knowledge by knowing about advancements in biomedical sciences, hot research areas in biotechnology, investment opportunities in Nepal, and you also get to meet fellow Nepali scientists and learn about their research collaborations in Nepal. 
Posted on 06-29-10 4:03 PM     [Snapshot: 227]     Reply [Subscribe]
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damn, i'll miss it.
Posted on 06-30-10 8:24 AM     [Snapshot: 298]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I will come. I am interested in these intellectual forums. I love to learn what small or big things people are doing from their sides to help Nepal.

English ma ho ki Nepali ma program ho yo? Nepali ma bhaye jhan ramro. The people who are not from science field would know better what they are talking. After all this is for Nepali people.


Posted on 06-30-10 9:15 AM     [Snapshot: 305]     Reply [Subscribe]
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forget-me-not and funkybuddha917,

Looks like the forum is targeted toward the general audience. Sure - they might share their ongoing reasearch and the likes and most probably glide through a couple of slides on breaking product development around biomedical devices in the US, etc.

What I am curious about - and which I don't have visibility towards - is that are of any of these impeccable panelists involved in a real funded project in Nepal? Where can I get more info? Can you please share.

Also, a bit of off-topic (and I apologize for it), but are any of the following topics being discussed on any one of the live forums:

- Dual citizenship, economic modernization plan and overhaul for the country, the new constitution by-laws, business case for partial or full privatization of government-owned assets, and domestic business growth strategy for next 5 years.  

Can you also please share a list of FIVE burning hot topics that is on the agenda to be debated/discussed during the whole ANA procession.



Last edited: 30-Jun-10 09:16 AM

Posted on 06-30-10 10:05 PM     [Snapshot: 382]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@ Jane Doe: English or Nepali? We are leaving it to individual panelist's discretion.  Since we want an interactive environment with the audience asking relevant questions, most of the proceedings will most likely be in Nepali. 

@ JB: We'll have to wait for the forum to find out who's involved in what in Nepal. We will certainly update everyone on the outcome of the forum either through Sajha or our International Nepali Biomedical Society (INBS) page on Facebook. And as for the other topics you have mentioned, I'm pretty certain that there are quite a few forums addressing the very topics (you may check the ANA forum link: http://ana-convention.org/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=78) for that. 


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