A memorable reunion

Learner and learned: S. Sridhar with his guru Venkata Subbaiah at Silver Jubilee College in Kurnool on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: -Photo: U. Subramanyam

Special Correspondent

Dr. Sridhar, Senior Scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in the USA visits his alma mater in Kurnool and finds his old teacher attending his lecture

KURNOOL: It was a kind of emotional reunion for teachers and students of Silver Jubilee College here when one of the college’s old student Sangadala Sridhar joined them on Tuesday.

Dr. Sridhar, Senior Scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Centre of Emory University, Georgia, US, had planned a casual visit to the college to have a glimpse of his alma mater and the hostel where he had lived between 1978 and 1981.

During an informal meet with the college principal, Dr. Sridhar was invited for a guest lecture.

On learning that one of the old students was addressing the students, a retired Telugu teacher, A. Venkata Subbaiah, also turned up. The top U.S. scientist touched the feet of his guru and paid tributes.

Turns emotional

Dr. Sridhar told the gathering that the institution had taught him more than just educational matters. He was is heading a team of 40 scientists engaged in different kinds of research, including bone formation in adults, toxin control in gene-modified food and development of vaccine against Avian flu virus.

Dr. Sridhar said computational screening was doing wonders in medical research.

It is humanly impossible to shortlist the compounds needed to address a disease condition out of 30 million compounds available now.

Through computer-aided computation, the relevant compounds could be shortlisted to 1,000 easily. What a researcher could do in six years in the `80s could be accomplished in six minutes now, he said.

Also, the computational method was helpful in predicting the mutation of the gene. Through computational process, the next change in the gene of the virus could be determined because the changes are limited to different combinations of the amino acids available in its gene.

On the vaccine against HIV, Dr. Sridhar said all tests on rats and rabbits were carried out successfully and the phase I test on human volunteers had begun just now. It might take a decade to commercially develop the vaccine.

Principal TCV Subba Rao, M. Sarat, Ranganath and Panduranga, all teachers, were present.