BITS Pilani

  • Page last updated on Thursday, July 06, 2023

Department of Biological Sciences

Innovate. Achieve. Lead.
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About Us

The Biological Sciences department became operational in the year 2008 and offers Life Science education in all three tiers through the M. Sc Biological Sciences, M.E Biotechnology and Ph.D. programmes. Coursework for these degrees span the areas of modern biology such as cell biology, genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, environmental biology, plant and animal biology, molecular biology, structural biology etc. along with interdisciplinary areas such as bioinformatics, computational biology and biophysics.
The department comprises of 18 well qualified faculty members and state of art infrastructure to focus on the following major thrust areas of research, namely
•    Molecular characterization of human diseases
•    Structural/Computational biology/Bioinformatics    
•    Environmental, plant and microbial biotechnology
High quality research with numerous funded projects  and a repertoire of highly talented and motivated research scholars  (Ph.D students/project staff) provide the department with a vibrant research environment. The faculty have high quality publications and patents to their credit. The department of Biological Sciences is a recipient of the FIST (Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure) grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, for an amount of more than Rs. 1 crore for the development of research and teaching infrastructure.
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“SYNAPSIS” is the Department of Biological Sciences Association encompassing Faculty and Students as members. Every year, in the first semester, Synapsis welcomes the newly admitted students and provides information and orientation. In addition to conducting laboratory and industrial tours, it also hosts weekly seminars. Seminars are presented by students, faculty and external guest speakers. It is headed by a nominated Faculty member and elected students council. 

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The Department of Biological Sciences offers education in three tiers:

  • M.Sc. (Hons.) Biological Sciences
  • M.E. Biotechnology
  • Ph.D. BioSciences
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The Department currently has 18 faculty with varied research interests in the modern areas of Biological Sciences/Biotechnology such as Genomics and Human Diseases, Biotechnology (Environmental/Industrial) Structural Bioinformatics etc. Please click here for faculty pages.

Reg. Prof. Suman Kapur

With a heavy and sinking heart, we inform you of the unexpected demise of Prof. Suman Kapur, who rested in peace on November 8th, 2022. She would be dearly missed by us all.


Ph.D. Admissions
Click here for more details
Current JRF/SRF & Other Openings
International Symposium on Human Diseases (ISHD 2022)

Student Awards / Achievements

* Vaishali K from Maity Lab has been shortlisted for High-End Workshop (Karyashala) on Preclinical and Molecular Neuropharmacology Training, scheduled on September 12-19, 2022.

* Neha Priyadarshini (Dr. Gireesha laboratory) was awarded the fifth prize with cash of Rs. 1000/- for oral presentation in life sciences category during "3rd National Biomedical Research Competition 2021" held virtually (December 2021).

* Aveepsha Bera (Dr. Gireesha laboratory) received Young Scientist Award with a citation, cash prize of Rs. 5000 and 250 Euro Gift Vouchers under the category- Genome Editing, Translational Genomics and Plant Breeding, for oral presentation as part of CURRENT TRENDS AND CHALLENGES IN PLANT BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY (CTCPBB) online conference (2020).

* Bakhya Shree (Dr. Vivek Sharma laboratory). GB secured best poster presentation award in 34th Annual conference of Society for Neurochemistry, India, December 2020.

* Bakhya Shree.(Dr. Vivek Sharma laboratory) GB secured ICMR-Senior Research Fellowship (SRF), 2021.

* Bakhya Shree.(Dr. Vivek Sharma laboratory) GB participated and presented poster in Keystone Symposia eSymposia meeting Non-Coding RNAs: Biology and Applications, and Received global scholarship for attending the conference, May 2021.

* Bakhya Shree. GB and Shraddha Tripathi (Dr. Vivek Sharma laboratory) presented poster in 90th Annual meeting of Society of Biological Chemists organized by Amity Institute of Biotechnology & Amity Institute of Integrative Sciences and Health, Gurugram, India, December 2021.

* Bakhya Shree. GB and Shraddha Tripathi (Dr. Vivek Sharma laboratory) secured Second prize for oral presentation in 3rd National Biomedical Research Competition NBRCOM 2021, Society of Young Biomedical Scientists, India, December 2021.

* Shraddha Tripathi (Dr. Vivek Sharma laboratory) received 1st prize in poster presentation in 35th Annual Meeting of Society of Neurochemistry, India (SNCI) 2021 and the International Conference on “Neurodegeneration and Cognition: Recent Advances in Neurological Diseases”.

* Shraddha Tripathi (Dr. Vivek Sharma laboratory) received the best oral presentation award (Consolation) in the 3rd National Biomedical Research Competition NBRCOM 2021, Society of Young Biomedical Scientists, India, December 2021.

* Rohit Nautiyal, 1st Year M.E student, shortlisted for short term- training program at CDRI-Lucknow and will be working under the principal scientist, Dr. Kalyan Mitra.

* Akanksha Rai, 1st year M.E. student won a cash prize of INR 18,875 and selected among the top 5 best international finalists for her graphical abstract tilted: "From Garbage To Gold: Recycling E-Waste To Obtain Gold Using Plants", under Plant, Animal & Environmental Sciences category.

* Rhythm Negi won 1000/- in National Housing Bank Elocution competition

* S K Venkata Manjari and P G Sathwik poster was selected as best poster in XXXVII Annual Meeting of Indian Academy of Neurosciences (IAN), with a cash prize of Rs. 2500 in AIIMS, New Delhi, 2019.

* Gargi Prasad S Oral presentation in a two day National conference on "Current status and future prospects of Biotechnology" organized by Department of Biotechnology at Nizam college,Osmania university, Hyderabad secured Second prize of Rs 2000/- cash, 2019.

* Naresh Patnaik secured ICMR-Senior Research Fellowship (SRF), 2019.

* Syeda Lubna received Travel Bursary to deliver oral presentation in MM2019, Bintan, Indonesia, 5th to 8th December, 2019.

* Kotwal Shifa Bushra received best Poster presentation award (third place) at National Conference on Present and Future Prospects of Biotechnology, Nizam College (Osmania Univerisity), Hyderabad, 2019.

* The student team of RightBiotic, under the guidance of Prof. Suman Kapur, has bagged the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award (GYTI 2015) under the category BIRAC-SHRISHTI (http://gyti.techpedia.in/project-detail/RIGHTBIOTIC-The-Fastest-Antibiotic-Finder/3048).The award ceremony was held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakhs for the team to take their idea further for reaching the goal of a successful market product."

* BITS Hyderabad RightBiotic team bagged the First Prize of Rs 5lacs at the ABLE (Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises) an initiative of DBT, GOI. The contest is called BEST INDIA 2014, BEST standing for Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Student Teams under the mentorship of Prof. Suman Kapur.

Faculty Achievements

*. Dr. Pragya Komal received a young paternity/parenthood grant award by International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)-2021.

*. Dr. Pragya Komal received “Women Researcher Award” in “International Scientist Awards on Engineering, Science and Medicine” by VDGOOD professional association India-2021.

*. Prof. Suman Kapur produced a new product Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral herbal mouthwash, coverage in Pioneer and New Indian Express news paper, on 25th May, 2021 and 30th May, 2021.

*. Prof. Suman Kapur received DMA-All India Women Entrepreneurs Award 2021 in the category of Super achiever for the year 2021, awarded by Delhi Management Association, on 22nd April 2021.

*. Prof, Suman Kapur received Aegis Graham Bell Award in the Health Tech Category bestowed on 27th Feb’20.

*. Prof, Suman Kapur received Amity Excellence Award as the Best Women Innovator bestowed on 19th Feb’20 https://public.app/video/sp_32fdg77jn5d4a

*. Dr. Gireesha T.M. received Extra Mural Research Grant (CRG) from SERB, Govt. of India with a budget of ~Rs 43 lakhs for a period of 3 years (2021-2024).

*. DBT has approved a multi-institutional project proposal led by Dr. Gireesha T.M. with a budget of ~Rs 90 lakhs for a period of 3 years.

*. A research paper co-authored by Dr. Gireesha T.M., published in FEBS journal (Impact Factor: 5.542) (Bruns et al., 2019) has been highlighted as the Editor’s Choice and was also highlighted in a commentary article by other authors (Miller and Dinesh Kumar, 2019, FEBS journal) as “A new mechanism of translational control in plants”.

*. A collaborative team comprising authors from multiple national and international institutes led by Dr. Gireesha T.M., published a comprehensive review paper in Biology journal (Impact Factor: 5.01) (Gargi Prasad et al., 2021) on improving salt tolerance in plants. This was selected by the journal as one of the excellent publications published during December 2021.

*. Prof. Nishith Gupta received an Extramural Core Research Grant (CRG) from DST-SERB, Government of India with a budget of ~Rs 60 Lakhs for a period of 3 years (2022-2025).

*. Prof. Nishith Gupta has initiated and facilitated an MoU signed between BITS-Pilani and University of Tromso (UiT, Norway) broadly enabling on the following. 1. Development of collaborative research project 2. Organizing joint scientific and academic events 3. Contribution to the development of University Curricula 4. Exchange of students at first degree, higher degree, Ph.D. and postdoctoral level 5. Exchange of publication and other materials of common interests.

*. Prof. Nishith Gupta is appointed to the Editorial Board of the journal Communications Biology (Nature Publishing Group) in April 2021.

*. Prof. Jayati Ray Dutta’s research work on gold nanoparticle based kit has been covered by The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/new-gold-nanoparticle-based-kit-can-detect-dominant-hepatitis-genotypes/article35565675.ece. (Featured in Hindu Newspaper on 27.07.2021).

*. Prof. Jayati Ray Dutta’s laboratory has developed a kit to detect Hepatitis C virus and it has been covered by The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/bits-pilani-hyderabad-develops-cheap-kit-to-detect-hepatitis-c-virus/article34055910.ece (Featured in Hindu Newspaper on 13.03.2021).

*. Prof. Jayati Ray Dutta's kit to detect Hepatitis C virus has been covered by The Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/city-scientists-develop-kit-to-diagnose-hep-ccovid/articleshow/81657724.cms (Featured in Times of India Newspaper on 24.03.2021).

*. Prof. Jayati Ray Dutta's work on detection of Hepatitis C virus has been covered by Eenadu Telugu newspaper.

*. Dr. Suman Kapur received the Trophy Aegis Graham Bell Award on 27th February 2020 from the Honourable Minister for MSME Sh. Sarangi ji.

*. Dr. Suman Kapur was honoured by Amity University with the “Amity Excellence Award for Best Women Innovator” on 19th February 2020 during the 20th International Business Horizon Summit INBUSH ERA 2020 being held from February 18th to 20th, 2020, with the Theme, “The Challenge of Change: Strategies for Managing Business in Technology Driven Societies”. Amity Academic Excellence Awards are given to selected academicians and administrators of extraordinary eminence, who are driving the notable academic Institutions of the world to greater heights through their expert guidance, keen involvement and strategic approach.

*. Dr. Debashree Bandyopadhyay on 6/11/2019 attended Albany Conversation, 2019, Albany, New York and achieved DST International Travel Grant, 2019.

*. Dr. Suman Kapur was facilitated with “Lifetime achievement award in Biochemistry “by Viva International Women and Prof. Indira Parikh 50 women in Education Leaders award, 2019.

*. Dr. Kumar Pranav Narayan received the title of “Best Professor in Biological Sciences” by Dewang Mehta National Education Award (Regional Round), 2019.

*. Dr. Trinath Jamma received Extra Mural Research Grant from CSIR of Rs 19,50,000 and also achieved INSA-Young Scientist Award-2019.

*. Dr. Pragya Komal received World Congress Travel grant award, (International Brain Research Organization) in IBRO meeting South Korea, 2019.

*. Dr. Debashree Bandyopadhyay received DST International Travel grant, by department of science and technology, India, 2019.

*. Dr.Vivek Sharma received Extra Mural Research Grant from DBT of Rs 68,76,800 for 3 years in 2019.

*. Dr. Piyush Khandelia received Extra Mural Research Grant from DST of Rs 55,58,360 for period of 3 years in 2019.

*. Dr. Jayati Ray Dutta serves as editorial board member for "Journal for Advanced Research in Applied Sciences" since November 2014. She is also a life member of European Federation of Biotechnology.

*. Prof. Suman Kapur is appointed as Shri B K Birla & Smt. Sarala Birla Chair Professor.

*. From October 2013, Dr. P. Sankar Ganesh become an Associate Member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Florida, USA.

*. From March 2012, Dr. P. Sankar Ganesh has become Lifetime Member of the Society of Toxicology (STOX), India.

*. Departmental DST-FIST Grant award received in 2012.

*. Dr. Debashree Bandyopadhyay serves as a life-member of Indian Biophysical Society. She is also member of American Chemical Society, USA, since 2012.

*. On December 2011, Dr. P. Sankar Ganesh has been appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of the Editorial Board of the GSTF Journal on Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (JBio).

*. On May 2011, Dr. P. Sankar Ganesh received the Individual Developing Country Membership of International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Vienna, Austria.

*. From July 2010, Dr. P. Sankar Ganesh, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, has become the Technical Committee Member of the Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Management in Low- and Middle-income Countries, St. Gallen, Switzerland.

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