Indian scientist hits Rs 6 crore jackpot


CNN-IBN, 18-01-2011 12:21:44


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New Delhi: An Indian scientist has hit the jackpot. The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Dr Ramesh Pillai a grant worth Rs 6 crore for a research project.A student of Mahatma Gandhi College in Thiruvananthapuram and IIT Roorkee, Pillai will work in a French lab, researching the mysteries of human DNA for the next five years.DNA is a storehouse of info we receive from our parents. The cell has a value in controlling the flow of info from that DNA. There are certain molecules in the cell, kind of a PIN CODE on a letter, which will guide a certain silencing mechanism, to these target regions, to turn it off.

 

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Dr Pillai said that he will be trying to understand how the cell controls the flow of genetic information within it. According to him, this can allow us to perhaps create artificial molecules which can then target regions of interests.


Only four other Indians have ever got grants from the European Research Council, though it funds 1,600 researchers around the globe.


Pillai’s family is very happy. It took him 12 years of work after his PhD to qualify for the grant. The ERC also asked for published research papers and citations from fellow scientists before supporting him.


“We know that the US is a major hub of scientists and research students. Europe is making an attempt to get a portion of that crowd to its own shores, to make the place a multinational, multi-cultural environment for research,” said Dr Pillai.

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