New Frontiers for Std 11

Foundation for Neglected Disease Research Centre

We piled into the bus on a bright, pleasant day to visit the Foundation for Neglected Diseases Research(FNDR) Centre, a non-profit organization that works towards developing drugs for diseases prevalent in the developing world. We were a big group of the biology students of Std 11 and the trip had been arranged for us to gain exposure to the field of pharmaceutical research and to broaden our mental horizons.

The atmosphere was filled with a buzz that prevailed throughout the entire journey. Upon arriving, we were extended a warm welcome from the foundation’s directors, Dr Shridhar Narayan and Dr R. Shandil, who proceeded to brief us with the team’s mission and efforts as well as the drug development process. This was followed by an introduction to each of the scientists, who were extremely qualified and accomplished in their fields of specialization.

We were then promptly split into three groups and were led into the different laboratories. My group began the tour in the chemistry department which is responsible for the synthesis and purification of drugs. The brightly lit room had been filled with daunting equipment and monitors. Not only were we updated on the various methods that they used, but were also given a demonstration of certain equipment.

We were informed that drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics was researched here and the next step of the process was explained to us, all while we rushed to note down everything that was told to us.

Lastly, we were shown into the biology laboratory where we received an in-depth insight into the tests performed on living species, another important step in the clinical trial phase. In addition to this, the ethical questions that rose regarding animal rights were highlighted. This was followed by a quick question-answer session after which our trip came to a close.

As high school students exploring the career paths in biology, this was quite an eye opener for us as it got many of us thinking about the different options available in the field of research. It was truly inspiring to see a group of such dedicated individuals who work tirelessly towards making an impact in others’ lives. We look forward to our next visit.
Aditi Ashwin
Std 11

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