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K-State Today

May 13, 2020

Roman Ganta tours India to build international partnerships

Submitted by Piper Brandt

Ganta visits Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, India to discuss collaborations and to help plan a "Golden Jubilee" celebration.

Roman Ganta, K-State veterinary professor and director of the Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases, visited his home country of India in late February to early March to build partnerships and present research at three conferences and his alma mater.

Ganta's first stop was BioSangam, a conference aimed at promoting innovation in biotechnology to motivate young researchers, held in Prayagraj. While there, he gave a keynote seminar on the recent research carried out at K-State by his team, "Sequence determinants spanning -10 and -35 motifs and spacer regions implicated in unique Ehrlichia chaffeensis RNA polymerase activity with its only two sigma factors; σ32 and σ70." 

As BioSangam's guest of honor, Ganta shared his view on how established scientists from India and abroad can promote interactions with new generation scientists. 

"BioSangam is a true integration of biological scientists for societal development," Ganta said. "I was delighted to interact with many scientists from India and other countries who attended the conference."

The next stop for Ganta was the Current Trends in Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences conference, held in Kashipur, where he was invited to lecture about his recent E. chaffeensis research. 

Ganta then visited his alma mater, Andhra University, in Visakhapatnam, to present "Mutagenesis in Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species aids in studying pathogenesis and vaccine development" to students and faculty.

As an alumnus of the biochemistry department, Ganta was excited to discuss extending collaborations with the university's administration to promote graduate research and education by exploring the available resources and technology in India. He also assisted in the planning of a golden jubilee celebration for next year.

"It was a very rewarding experience to interact with many young and energetic graduate students aspiring to be scientists," Ganta said. "It was great to see the pool of graduate students was nearly 80% women. This is a welcome change from my time at the university, nearly four decades ago, where the male-to-female ratio was the opposite!"

In previous collaborations, Ganta had established a memo of understanding between Kansas State University and Andhra University through which several students have visited K-State for graduate education. The memo of understanding also included a faculty exchange program that supported a College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member visiting Andhra University several years ago.

"It was pleasure for us to have Ganta in our midst after such a long time," said Subhashini Devi, head of the Andhra University department of biochemistry.

The last stop on Ganta's tour was the Recent Advances in Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences conference in Guntur, where he served as a keynote speaker and chief guest for the valedictory function of the conference.

Ganta safely returned to the U.S. before the COVID-19 travel ban was instated. He has since self-quarantined for the recommended two weeks.