Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research’s (PGIMER) biggest-ever research showcase, the 8th Annual Research Day, held Saturday at the institute, witnessed 47 doctors winning awards for their exemplary and credible research work conducted at the institute in the last two years.
Prof Jagat Ram, Director of PGIMER, said, “This year we have had a record of over 600 poster submissions from the faculty and residents of PGIMER. The enthusiasm shown truly brings out the enormous research output of our institute. The past couple of years has seen a lot of us dive into Covid duties and battle the pandemic of our lives. But that hasn’t deterred meaningful research into this dreaded disease. This is exemplified by the high impact research put up by the faculty in the special Covid section this year.”
Prof A K Gupta, Dean (Research) & Medical Superintendent, PGIMER, said the awards given in the medical, surgical, pre/para clinical, innovation, and Covid-19 categories were based on the H Index which measures both the productivity and citation impact of the publication.”
The Annual Research Day was attended by two eminent medical scientists of the country, Prof Y K Chawla, former Director, PGI, and Prof Digambar Behera, former Dean (Research), PGIMER, as the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour, respectively.
“Research and innovation is the only way forward to ensure affordable healthcare for all in our country where only 8% have medical insurance and 39 million people fall in the BPL category. The need of the hour is to focus on low-cost healthcare innovations designed for economic reasons and enabling an environment for innovation and research by stimulating the young professionals,” said Prof Chawla.
Highlighting “collaborative efforts” as the precursor for research, Prof Behera emphasised the need for “extra mural funding, seamless procedures, think tank and mentorship, sharing of equipment and central facilities and inter-departmental coordination to give an impetus to research in the country.
In the Covid-19 category, Prof Bikash Medhi was awarded for his work titled ‘Drug targets for Corona Virus’. Dr Rimesh Pal, Assistant Professor, was awarded for his research, ‘COVID-19, diabetes mellitus and ACE2’, Prof Sanjay Kumar Bhadada for his work ‘Should anti-diabetic medications be reconsidered amid Covid-19 pandemic?’, Dr Shipra Gupta for her research, ‘SARS-Cov-2 Detection in Gingival Crevicular Fluid’.
Dr Bhadada in the research observes that robust human studies in the field of Covid-19 and the use of anti-diabetic medications are lacking, in the absence of strong evidence, it would be extremely unwise to consider one drug over the other, good glycemic control should be the goal, no matter what drugs are being used and also how people with diabetes mellitus tend to have more severe diseases, acute respiratory distress syndrome and increased fatality.
From the Department of Psychiatry, Prof Sandeep Grover’s research focused on ‘Psychological Impact of COVID-19 lockdown: An online survey from India’, while Dr Ashu Rastogi researched on ‘Short-term high dose Vitamin D supplementation for Covid-19 disease’ and Dr Vishal Sharma focused on, ‘Coronavirus disease and the liver’ were awarded.
Dr Ashish Kakkar’s research on ‘Deciphering the COVID-19 Cytokine Storm’ was rewarded too along with Dr Arnab Pal’s research ‘Cripto 1, a potential biomarker for oral squamous cell carcinoma’, which will, in the future, pave the way for a screening test for pre and early diagnosis of oral cancers, the incidence of which is very high in India.
“It will be a strip-based test, as we have identified protein-based biomarkers, in blood and saliva and this can be used as a pre-diagnostic tool as well,” explained Dr Pal, whose key area of research is cancer.
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