Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh
New Delhi: The Infosys Science Foundation has announced the names of the winners of 5th Infosys Prize 2013. Dr Rajesh S Gokhale, Director, CSIR-Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, was awarded the Infosys Prize 2013 in Life Sciences for his work in the field of lipid metabolism in tubercle bacilli.
Tuberculosis is the second most common cause of death from infectious disease. More than two million people are infected and die due to tuberculosis and every year the numbers seem to be increasing. Dr Gokhale’s discovery can open up avenues to potentially develop new treatment against TB.
He discovered biochemical networks and new paradigms essential for the synthesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell envelope coat that makes these bacteria escape host immune systems. His study has discovered fatty acyl AMP ligases in M. tuberculi, their role in the generation of the lipid components of its cell wall and of their existence in other organisms, where they play a role in complex organic biosynthesis.
Inder Verma, one of the jury members congratulated him by saying, ‘‘What Dr. Rajesh Gokhale has done is to discover some crucial enzymes that are necessary for the synthesis of these bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb). This is an amazing achievement to find the complex structures that this bacteria makes that have been uncovered by Dr. Gokhale now offers great opportunities for really very important therapy of this terrible disease. I would like to congratulate Dr. Rajesh Gokhale for this wonderful scientific achievement and also the award of the 2013 Infosys Life Sciences Prize.”