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Visakhapatnam, August 14, 2019: GITAM Deemed to be University celebrated its 38th Foundation Day on August 12, 2018, in the presence of Rockefeller University (New York, USA) Professor renowned biologist and geneticist (2017 Nobel Prize Awardee) Michael Warren Young here on Saturday at GITAM Vishakhapatnam Campus. GITAM President Dr. MVVS Murthi presented the “GITAM Foundation Award-2018” to Professor Michael Warren Young as part of GITAM Foundation Day Celebrations.

The award carries a citation, plaque, and cheque for Rs.10 lakh. The award is given every year to distinguished persons for their exemplary service to society as per the suggestion of GITAM founder and president M.V.V.S. Murthi from interest accrued on Rs. 3 crore donated by him for the corpus fund.

While addressing gathering GITAM Chancellor Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao observed that the true greatness of an educational institution consists in its achieving excellence in quality and standards of teaching, the advancement of research innovation and application of knowledge. He said that GITAM is committed to propagate and promote Gandhian thought and values through student ambassadors.

GITAM Vice-Chancellor Prof. MS Prasada Rao mentioned that GITAM is one of the very few multi-campus, multi-faculty universities accredited with “A+” grade. He also announced that MHRD/UGC has recently graded GITAM as “Category-I University” and granted “graded autonomy” under UGC Regulations-2018 to create an enabling environment for higher educational institutions in the country to become institutions of global excellence.

The university also felicitated the teaching, non-teaching staff during the celebrations. GITAM President Dr. MVVS Murthi presented best teacher award to Dr. R Gyanaprasuna (Microbiology), Dr. PVY Jayasree (ECE), Dr. P. Trinadha Rao (ECE), Dr. Maju Jose (English), best supporting staff awards to K. Chandra Sekhar (Sr.Assistant), A. Narasinga Rao (Technical Assistant), K. Govindarajulu (Attendant), outstanding student speaker awards to A.Annapurna, Fathima Zohra and Jagruthi Jaiswal.


Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael W. Young’s speech on Psychiatric disorders

A variety of metabolic and psychiatric disorders are often said to be associated with disordered sleep and very often with delayed sleep, said by Rockefeller University (New York, USA) Professor renowned biologist and geneticist Michael Warren Young during his public lecture at GITAM Foundation Day Celebrations here on Saturday.

Dr. Michael Warren Young who isolated a gene which controls the normal daily biological rhythm received Nobel Prize in 2017 revealed his research findings. In his speech, he described that life on earth is adapted to the rotation of our planet and we have known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal, biological clock that helps them anticipate and adapt to the regular rhythm of the day. 

He briefed that using fruit flies as a model organism, his team isolated a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm. They showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night, and is then degraded during the day. Subsequently, they identified additional protein components of this machinery, exposing the mechanism governing the self-sustaining clockwork inside the cell. We now recognize that biological clocks function by the same principles in cells of other multicellular organisms, including humans, he added.

He said that large proportions of our genes are regulated by the biological clock and, consequently, a carefully calibrated circadian rhythm adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day. He mentioned that the seminal circadian biology has developed into a vast and highly dynamic research field, with implications for our health and wellbeing.

He informed that his laboratory is studying a syndrome called Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD). He mentioned that his team is focussing on a single family with several members displaying DSPD. He said that DSPD is affecting about 5 percent of the US population from clinical studies. He said that they found the presence of Cryptochrome mutation in DSPD individuals.

He said that it will be possible to test whether a particular sleep mutation also has effects that extend to other medical problems particularly when the mutation can be studied as it's traveling through unrelated families, it will be possible to measure the impact of the natural and social environment, and make clear conclusions about the relationship of mutations of this sort to other medical disorders.