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MUN delegation engages with PAU leadership on Agricultural and Nutritional Innovations

Ludhiana, May 20, 2024 (Yes Punjab News)

An informal interaction was recently held between a student delegation from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), led by Dr. Sukhinder K. Cheema, Professor of Biochemistry, and the leadership of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana. The MUN delegation included Dr. Shyamchand Mayengbam, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, and ten students.

Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, welcomed the delegation and briefed them on the university’s significant contributions to agricultural research.

He highlighted PAU’s pivotal role in India’s Green Revolution, emphasizing its development of advanced protection and processing technologies integrated with effective technology transfer strategies.

Dr. Gosal outlined PAU’s future focus on enhancing productivity while mitigating ecological risks, and its current emphasis on both food and nutritional security through the development of trait-specific specialty varieties and speed breeding.

He also detailed the core research areas within the departments related to food, including Food and Nutrition, Food Science and Technology, and Processing and Food Engineering.

Dr. Manav Indra Singh Gill, Dean of Post Graduate Studies at PAU, noted that PAU has achieved the top rank among state agricultural universities in India according to the NIRF 2023 rankings. Dr. Kiran Bains, Dean of the College of Community Science, stressed the importance of promoting home-cooked meals over fast food.

Dr. Sukhinder K. Cheema introduced herself and her research, which focuses on how dietary fats and fatty acids regulate metabolic pathways to prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and maintain brain health.

She described her collaborative efforts with clinician scientists for translational research and industry partnerships to explore health benefits of marine species and develop functional foods.

Dr. Cheema holds a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the University of Alberta, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from PGIMER, Chandigarh, and an M.Sc. in Biochemistry from PAU.

The MUN students shared their enriching experiences in India, highlighting visits to the Golden Temple and Wagah Border as memorable. They appreciated India’s diverse culture, delicious cuisine, warm hospitality, and interesting Ayurveda classes.

The students were particularly intrigued by the common consumption of probiotics like lassi (buttermilk) in India, contrasting it with the emerging awareness of probiotics in the West.

Dr. Cheema proposed several ideas for student exchanges and mentioned ongoing discussions with the Dean of the College of Community Science for a Memorandum of Understanding. The session was coordinated by Dr. Vishal Bector, Associate Director (Institution Relations).

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