Bio Saga Headlines

Bio Saga

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

East meets West, yet another story of an successful Indian entrepreneur

HCL founder and chairman and chief strategy officer of HCL Technologies Shiv Nadar was named for the Padma Bhushan honour. Here is yet an interesting and inspiring story of another Shiva, to those aspiring a career in informatics as well as all aspiring entrepreneurs.

In the 26 years since he first arrived at MIT as a freshman, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai has earned four MIT degrees and started two multimillion dollar companies. This fall, he will use his most recent degree, a Ph.D. in computational systems biology, and a Fulbright Scholarship to explore one of his lifelong interests: the intersection of Eastern and Western medicine.

Ayyadurai started dreaming as a child in India, where his grandfather was a farmer and his grandmother a shaman, or traditional healer. He became interested in medicine watching his grandmother diagnose and treat patients based on a system of "elements"--earth, water, fire, metal and wood. That approach may seem strange to Westerners, but "you'd see people actually getting healed," he says.

In 2004, Ayyadurai returned to MIT, this time to work on a Ph.D. in systems biology, a relatively new field that integrates biology, engineering and computer science. The goal of systems biology is to figure out how the layers of a biological system, from genes to cells to organs to the whole body, are linked.

Systems biologists start by figuring out how individual cellular pathways work, but deciphering just one pathway can take years. To speed up that process, Ayyadurai developed a computer model that can integrate the activities of all the different pathways in a cell--work that formed the basis of his doctoral thesis. Shiva not only provided the basic system called Cytosolve, but he used it to create a new composite model of the upregulation of interferon following viral infection.

Now, he wants to explore what Eastern and Western medical traditions can learn from each other. Ayyadurai sees the exchange as a two-way street: He plans to apply Western scientific rigor to testing the long-established traditions of the East, and to study how the Eastern "elements" can inform Western medicine.

He points out that the market for alternative therapies based on Eastern medicine is growing every year, even without scientific evidence to support their usefulness.

"Let's look at glucosamine and see if it really works. Let's look at ginkgo and see if it really works," he says.

Ayyadurai departs for India this month to begin his studies, and he also plans to start raising funds to launch an MIT-affiliated center to study Eastern medicine.

No comments:

Life Science and Informatics

What is this?
is this a new industry?
or a old wine in a new bottle?

Well Life Sciences and Informatics can be anything form computational biology, all omes and omics, core bioinformatics to curation and literature mining, database creation, in the area of biology, chemistry , bio-chem space.

There are number of companies in India and bangalore is the forefront as a major bio-cluster with 20 to 30 companies in this sphere.

now how good are these companies doing?
how good are they in terms of the international markets and how profitable is their business?
what do they do?
their clients?

These are some interesting things that could be discussed in this blog page...

Tag It