J.V.Bhat Oration2018

Prof. M.K. Lalitha receives the prestigious J.V. Bhat Memorial Oration Award 2018 at Manipal, MAHE

March 03, 2018

Manipal, Karnataka, March 3, 2018: The 12th Annual Prof. JV Bhat Memorial Oration at Manipal was delivered by Prof. M. K. Lalitha (Advisor Lab Services at Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, Former HOD of Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore) on March 3, 2018 in the presence of Dr. H Vinod Bhat (Vice Chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal), Dr. K Satyamoorthy (Director, School of Life Sciences, MAHE, Manipal) and Dr. PM Gopinath (former Senior Scientist, School of Life Sciences, MAHE, Manipal).

The JV Bhat Memorial Oration is an annual event organized by the School of Life Sciences (SLS), MAHE to honor and perpetuate the memory of Prof. JV Bhat; a renowned microbiologist of international repute. The recipients of the award are eminent scientists in the field of life sciences with exemplary achievements in the field of microbiology. Previous awardees include renowned scientists such as Dr K. Dharmalingam (Professor and Director Research, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai) in the year 2017 and Dr. Umesh Varshney (Professor and Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore) in the year 2016.

Delivering her oration, Prof. M. K. Lalitha eloquently described her leading role in spearheading several surveillance studies to tackle antimicrobial resistance among fastidious, anaerobic bacteria such as S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae. Prof M.K Lalitha emphasized on how “Respiratory infections are the major cause of mortality among children aged less than 5 and these are vaccine preventable”. Her team at CMC, Vellore have successfully conducted several studies such as IBIS (Invasive Bacterial Infection Surveillance) and SAPNA (South Asian Pneumococcal Network Alliance) which were responsible for the nationwide data on these anaerobic pathogens. These have enormously helped clinicians across the country with an estimate of disease burden and on the antibiotic regimens to be followed. The teams work has also shaped the nation’s antibiotic policies regarding Pneumonia, influenza and several other respiratory infections. As a technical assessor for National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, she ended with a note on the importance of producing research work that is reliable and technically valid.  

In his presidential address, Dr. H. Vinod Bhat spoke of the inception of the event and the need for organizing such memorial orations to inspire and motivate students and other researchers in the respective areas to contribute more towards the betterment of the society in general. He spoke about the emerging important role of microbiologists in a clinical setting and the need of antimicrobial stewardship to contribute directly to society’s good. Dr. K Satyamoorthy welcomed the audience that also included the immediate family of the late Prof. JV Bhat, his friends, associates and many students and faculty members of the constituent institutions of MAHE, Manipal. Dr. Padmalatha Rai S (Associate Director Academics, SLS, MAHE) proposed the vote of thanks.