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Prof. Ganshyam Pandey Receives Indian Science Congress Gold Medal

Prof. Ganshyam Pandey Receives Indian Science Congress Gold Medal

Prof. Ganshyam Pandey Receives Indian Science Congress Gold Medal

Prof. Ganshyam Pandey Receives Indian Science Congress Gold Medal for
Excellence in Science from Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh

During the inauguration of the 98th Indian Science Congress, held at the SRM University in Chennai, India on January 3rd, Prof. Ganshyam Pandey of UIC was conferred the Science Congress President Gold Medal for excellence in Scientific Research from Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. Several other distinguished scientists, including Nobel Laureates, Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, Dr. Martin Chalfie, Columbia University, New York, Dr. Ada Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, and Dr. Subra Suresh, the recently-appointed director of the National Science Foundation were also conferred the President’s Gold Medal.

The Indian Science Congress is the oldest society of science in India. Its annual meeting is held every year starting on the 3rd of January, and traditionally it has been inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, starting from Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. The focal theme of the current session is: "Quality education and excellence in scientific research in Indian universities". Distinguished scientists from all over the world attend this important congress. This year about 6 Nobel Laureates attended the congress and gave plenary lectures.

Ghanshyam Pandey, Ph.D., also recently received the 2010 B.K. Bachhawat Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award in Neuroscience from the Indian Academy of Neurosciences (IAN). The award was presented during the 5th Congress of the Federation of Asian and Oceanian Neuroscience Societies (FAONS) and the XXVIII Annual Meeting of the Indian Academy of Neurosciences (IAN) at Lucknow, India, in November.

Dr. Pandey delivered the award lecture entitled “Probing the neurobiology of depression and suicides: An integrated biological model.” A description of the award is at:
Dr. Pandey is currently Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Director, Mood Disorders and Suicide Research Program at the College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago. He is engaged in the studies of neurobiology of depression, which is a major risk factor for suicide and suicidal behavior in suicide. His studies with depressed and suicidal patients and postmortem brain from depressed and suicidal subjects have revealed several discrete biochemical abnormalities in the brain of the depressed and suicidal subjects. These include abnormalities of serotonin and its function caused by its abnormal signaling in the brain by its receptors.

Stress and depression are important risk factors for suicide. Dr. Pandey has also been investigating the role of stress hormones and immune factors in suicide. He has shown that the mechanism by which levels of stress hormones are regulated is compromised in the brain of suicide victims. He has also shown that those chemicals which regulate the immune function are abnormally expressed in the brain of suicide victims.

Obviously, these studies are directed for a better understanding of the chemical and molecular processes which are associated with depression and suicide, and that this knowledge could be used for better diagnosis and more appropriate treatment of these illnesses.

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