The institute is pleased to announce that Ms Neha Manav, a PhD student in Chemistry discipline, has been awarded the prestigious Shastri Research Student Fellowship (SRSF) for Doctoral Students for the year 2018-19. During her research fellowship tenure of about 26 weeks, Neha will be hosted by Prof Gang Zheng in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, Canada. Neha will undertake a research project on Porphyrin-Lipid Conjugates: An Approach towards Developing Cancer Theranostics. She will be involved in the synthesis of functionalised thiaporphyrins linked to phospholipid moieties and their nanoparticles. The overall goal of this collaborative project is to develop efficient photosensitisers having better therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of cancer.
It will be a great privilege for me to explore this rare and prestigious opportunity and enrich my knowledge, skills, intellectual aspects and outlook. Most importantly, I shall be able to learn various new techniques of biological studies and advanced aspects of research which will be extremely helpful in my PhD research.

On her research project, Neha said, “Cancer is one of the most challenging problems of the recent times as cancer-related deaths are projected to rise by about 70 per cent over the next two decades. Photodynamic therapy is a well-known therapy to treat cancer cells that uses photosensitiser. However, there is still scope for an effective, biocompatible and selective photosensitiser with faster renal clearance. In our collaborative study, we will be exploring biological application of thia-porphyrins-substituted liposome (porphysomes) nanoparticles in photodynamic therapy to enhance bioavailability, circulation half-life and control the premature release. An overall improved therapeutic efficacy may be expected from the proposed research for the designed drugs in cancer theranostic.” Neha is presently working under the supervision of Prof Iti Gupta for research on the synthesis and study of metal dipyrrinato complexes and porphyrin derivatives for potential applications as photosensitiser in Photo-Dynamic Therapy (PDT: a well-known anti-cancer therapy) and biological imaging. Expressing her joy on Neha’s achievement, her PhD guide Professor Gupta said, “I am elated that she is going to one of best labs working on molecular imaging, nanomedicine and PDT. Receiving the Indo-Canadian SRSF is an undeniable opportunity which will support her scientific career.”