NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor Deepak Gaur, who was recently conferred the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, said the varsity encourages research and that the award would motivate him to work harder.
Gaur's research is focussed on understanding the biology of parasites that cause malaria and developing vaccines that can prevent the disease.
His group has discovered a molecular complex on the surface of the malaria parasite (pathogen) that plays an essential role in invasion of red blood cells.
"Being the recipient of this award is a big honour not only for me but for my research group, my university JNU and my family.
I am happy that our research contributions have been recognised and this is very motivating for us to work even harder," he told PTI.
The varsity administration has recently been criticised by a section of teachers and students for killing research through certain policies, but Gaur differed on this.
"JNU supports research in a big way and encourages all its faculty to bring extramural funding for which it has now a very streamlined process and has constituted a research and development cell headed by a director," he added.
Gaur is currently studying the molecular mechanisms of red cell invasion by the malaria parasites in greater detail, especially the functional characterisation of this molecular complex and is working towards developing a malaria vaccine that targets this essential molecular complex.
He has previously won the DBT National Bioscience Award in 2014 and the Visitors Award for Research (JNU Molecular Parasitology Group) in 2016.
He has been recently elected as Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy.