Gagandeep Kang FRS, Professor, Christian Medical College
Dr Gagandeep Kang is a Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences of the Christian Medical College in Vellore. She currently serves on the Board of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and is the first Indian woman to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom. Dr Kang is well known for her research on viral infections in children in India. Her notable research areas include the establishment of multi-site surveillance for rotavirus and typhoid and testing of rotaviral and poliovirus vaccines. She has received international, honorary appointments at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. She serves on advisory committees for the World Health Organisation, the Wellcome Trust and several other agencies. Her earlier engagements include serving as the Executive Director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), a Government of India-led institute that plays a major role in COVID-19 studies.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a first-generation entrepreneur and global business leader with over four decades of experience in biotechnology. Fueled by her passion, she started her biotech journey in 1978 from her garage in India. Today, that journey is changing lives for the better across the globe. She is regarded as an unconventional thinker with many firsts to her credit. Under her aegis, Biocon delivers on the promise of making medicines accessible and affordable to millions of patients worldwide. Kiran graduated with a degree in Zoology from Bangalore University and completed her Post-Graduate Diploma in Malting and Brewing from Ballarat Institute of Advanced Education, Melbourne, Australia.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-Founder, Infosys
Senapathy ‘Kris’ Gopalakrishnan is one of the seven founders of Infosys and served as the Vice Chairman of Infosys from 2011 to 2014, and as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director from 2007 to 2011. In 2014, Kris co-founded Axilor Ventures, a venture capital platform for young entrepreneurs. Kris is recognized as a global business and technology thought leader and was voted the top CEO (IT services category) in Institutional Investor's inaugural ranking of Asia's Top Executives. Kris was also selected to Thinkers 50, an elite list of global business thinkers, in 2009. He was elected President of India's apex industry chamber, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2013 – 14, and served as one of the co-chairs of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014. In January 2011, the Government of India awarded Kris the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian honor. He serves on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, among other institutes. Kris holds post-graduate degrees in Physics and Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Samir K. Brahmachari, Professor; Founder Director, CSIR-IGIB and Former Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
Professor Samir K. Brahmachari completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He served as the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which is the largest publicly funded organization involved in scientific and industrial research with 37 constitutional laboratories across India. He is the pioneer of genome analysis using computational tools alongside making major contributions in the area of miRNA mediated regulation of host- pathogen interactions and cellular regulation. The Open Source Drug Discovery platform, with its unprecedented scale of participation by students and professionals, under the innovative directions provided by Professor Brahmachari, not only accelerates drug discovery, but also holds a promise of tremendous and disruptive impact on the economics of drug development for neglected tropical diseases like TB. Professor Brahmachari has more than 12 patents, 23 copyrights and over 155 research publications to his credit. He is the recipient of a large number of National and International awards, including the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (1990) and is an elected member of all four academies of science and engineering in India.
Sanjay Sarma, Professor; Vice President for Open Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sanjay Sarma is the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is the Vice President Open Learning at MIT. He co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He serves on the boards of edX, GS1, EPCglobal and Hochschild Mining (HOC:LSE). Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley. He has authored over 150 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation and CAD, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award and Informationweek's Innovators and Influencers Award. He advises several national governments and global companies.
Swaminathan Sivaram,Professor; Former Director, National Chemical Laboratory
Dr. Sivaram, a distinguished alumnus of IIT-Kanpur (MSc) earned his PhD in Chemistry and DSc (h.c) from Purdue University, USA and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Polymer Science, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. Currently, he is an Honorary Professor and INSA Senior Scientist of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. He has authored over 245 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has over 100 patents to his credit. He has supervised the Ph.D thesis of forty students and mentored over fifteen postdoctoral fellows in a career in scientific research spanning fifty years. Dr. Sivaram is a recipient of several awards and honors. He received the Gold Medal of the Chemical Research Society of India (2018) for his life-time contributions to chemistry and the International Award in Polymer Science bestowed by the Japan Society of Polymer Science (2017). He is an elected fellow of all the learned academies of sciences and engineering in India and The World Academy of Sciences, Trieste, Italy. He was conferred Padma Shri by the President of India in 2006.
Thomas Barlow, Adviser
Thomas Barlow serves as a distinguished adviser on knowledge investment, research policy, and analytics to a range of technology-intensive companies, government agencies, and universities globally. He is the author of three books on science and innovation, and publisher of the Barlow Report, a biennial resource for higher education institutions in Australia and East Asia. He has also been the science policy adviser to the Minister for Education, Science and Training in the Australian Government. Educated at Oxford University (MA, DPhil) and at the University of Sydney (BSc, Hons I with University Medal) he has been the Janssen Fellow in Biomedical Science at Balliol College, Oxford, and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA.
Venkatesh ‘Venky’ Narayanamurti, Professor; Former Dean, Physical Sciences, Harvard University
Venkatesh Narayanamurti is the Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy, Emeritus at Harvard. He was formerly the John L. Armstrong Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Professor of Physics and Dean of Physical Sciences at Harvard. In his capacity as an American scientist, public policy leader and academic administrator, he has served on numerous advisory boards of the federal government, research universities, and industry. He spent much of his scientific research career at AT&T Bell Laboratories. He has authored more than 240 scientific papers in different areas of condensed matter, applied physics and technology innovation policy. Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Indian Academy of Science, Indian National Academy of Engineering, IEEE, and AAAS, he is also an elected member of the U.S National Academy of Engineering, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and of the World Academy of Sciences. He obtained his Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University and has an Honorary Doctorate from Tohoku University.
Vijay Chandru, Professor; Co-Founder Strand Life Sciences
Professor Vijay Chandru (Ph.D., MIT) is a computer scientist and a healthcare entrepreneur. Recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, he has served on the WEF’s Industry Agenda Council on the Future of the Health Sector. He is the co-founder of Strand Life Sciences, India’s leading precision medicine solutions company. Strand Life Sciences now has close to 20 diagnostic laboratories and over 400 employees spread across India. In 2001, he also co-founded PicoPeta Simputers which designed and manufactured India’s first handheld computers. More recently, he has co-founded Vizara Technologies and Yantri Labs in the technology space. He has also been involved in a number of social ventures in healthcare – particularly in the diagnosis, treatment and care coordination of patients with genetic disorders and has launched early awareness campaigns for orphan diseases in the country He is also co-founder of OPFORD Foundation, a non-profit in India with an open platform for orphan diseases.