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National Conference on Drug Discovery from Natural products held at USTM

9th Mile, Ri Bhoi, 24 March 2018: A two-day National Conference on “Drug Discovery from Natural Products & Their Traditional Uses” ended here today where 22 papers were presented by academicians, scientists, research scholars and students from different Colleges and Universities from Assam and Meghalaya. Organised by the Department of Applied Biology, University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM), the Conference was supported by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Govt. of India, New Delhi.

Addressing the plenary session of the Conference, Prof. N. C. Talukdar, Director, Institute of Advanced Studies in Science & Technology (IASST), Guwahati spoke on “Herbal Medicine Perspectives: Documentation, Preservation and Uses”. He stressed on different types of natural products isolated from plants and advocated for proper documentation of medicinal plants and their conservation. He stated that intellectual property rights must also be shared equally among the rightful owners of traditional knowledge from whom the drug discovery process starts.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. A.K. Mukherjee, Department of MBBT, Tezpur University dwelt at length about one of the category “A” neglected disease recognized by WHO—Snakebite. He deliberated on different types of snakes and the type of venom they inject and also the different types of medicinal plants available for the treatment of snakebite. His paper was titled “Green Medicine for Snakebite: From Therapeutic Applications to Conservation Strategies”.

Dr. Manas Pratim Sarmah from Assam Down Town University documented the different types of Hepatitis virus present in the north-eastern region and how herbal intervention can be utilized for the treatment of hepatitis infection. Addressing the participants in the technical session, Prof. Chandana C. Boruah from Central Veterinary Science College, Assam Agriculture University talked on different types of brain related memory disorders and about various medicinal plants that can serve as stress busters and memory boosters. Dr Santanu Roychoudhury, from USTM, spoke on the types of hepatitis virus and how quercitin and important plant derived molecule is helpful in relieving the viral load in patients. Both oral and poster presentation by different research scholars from various institutes were also made in the Conference.

Earlier, the inaugural address was delivered by Dr. Ranjan Dutta Kalita, Organizing Secretary and Head of the Department of Applied Biology, USTM. The Conference ended with the valedictory session and Dr SC Das, Dean, School of Biological Sciences, USTM gave the final vote of thanks. The main objective of the Conference was to provide a platform to young researchers and students to demonstrate their work to a wider audience so that proper documentation, conservation and preservation of medicinal plants and other natural products can be properly carried out.

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