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CSIR gets its new Director General in Dr Shekhar C. Mande

  • Photo: Swastik.phulera/ CC-BY-SA3.0 WikiCommons
    Photo: Swastik.phulera/ CC-BY-SA3.0 WikiCommons

In a recent announcement, Dr Shekhar C. Mande, the current Director of the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune has been appointed as the new Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), India. He succeeds Dr Girish Sahni, who retired on 31st August 2018. CSIR is one of the world’s largest publicly-funded research and development organisations and is known for its contributions in diverse areas of science.

Dr Mande is a leading structural and computational biologist and has more than 100 publications to his credit. His laboratory at NCCS has been involved in research on the structural characterisation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins and the computational analysis of genome-wide protein: protein interactions.

After completing his M.Sc. in Physics from Nagpur University in 1984, Dr Mande obtained his PhD in Molecular Biophysics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, in 1991 under the supervision of Prof. M. Vijayan. He started his postdoctoral research at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, in the Netherlands in 1991 and joined as a senior fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA in 1992.

After returning to India, he joined the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, as a scientist and continued till 2001 when he was selected as a Staff Scientist at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad. In 2011, Dr Mande was appointed as the Director of NCCS, Pune, an autonomous Institute of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. He also served in various advisory committees for the Government of India.

Dr Mande has several honours and awards to his credit. He is the fellow of all the three major science academies of India—the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI), and the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS). He received the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Biological Sciences in 2005.

Expressing his commitment to this new role, Dr Mande responded, “I am personally excited with this opportunity to work with great institutions...” and that “...CSIR will strive to contribute to the growth on Indian society, as it has gloriously done in the last 75 years.”