CMFRI scientist bags prestigious Norman Borlaug award for research to combat lifestyle diseases

By Express News Service
KOCHI: The research to develop nutraceutical products from seaweeds for the treatment of lifestyle diseases including diabetes has brought national recognition to Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) principal scientist Kajal Chakraborthy.

He bagged the prestigious Norman Borlaug National Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research instituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) functioning under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.

The award, which is announced every five years, carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. Besides, the scientist will be given a research grant of Rs 1.5 crore for carrying out a challenging research project for five years.

The award is in recognition of Chakraborthy’s outstanding achievement in developing and commercialising nutraceutical products from selected seaweeds to combat rheumatic arthritic pains, type-2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and hypothyroidism.

The latest efforts in this line of research include antiosteoporotic and immune-boost nutraceuticals, with the latter receiving wider attention in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. His research group developed an antimicrobial therapeutic product for use against multi-resistant Gram-negative pathogens.

The award was announced and presented during the 93rd Foundation Day of ICAR. CMFRI bagged four ICAR awards on the occasion. Fasina Makkar, a PhD scholar, received the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Agricultural and Allied Sciences.

CMFRI also won the Rajarshi Tandon Rajbhasha Award for the implementation of the official language policy. CMFRI is bagging this award for the 11th time. The institute also received the ICAR Best Hindi Magazine Award for the in-house Hindi magazine ‘Matsyagandha’. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar presented the awards on a virtual platform.