Winner of
The Inspiring Science Award 2022

The Inspiring Science Award for the best published scientific paper in the Life Sciences from India.

This page celebrates the finalists and the winner of the Inspiring Science Award – 2022. 640 entries were received. An eminent jury picked 8 finalists, and eventually, the winner. The winner, Swati Sharma, was announced at the virtual ceremony held on 16th March, 2022.



Swati Sharma

Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, Pune

Submitted Entry: ​
Spatiotemporal recruitment of RhoGTPase protein GRAF inhibits actomyosin ring constriction in Drosophila cellularization

“It was beyond my expectation when I got the news that I was selected one of the finalists of the 2022 Inspiring Science Award. I would like to express my deep gratitude for my mentor Richa Rikhy, and lab members. The open lab system at IISER helped me build scientific ideas, which further helped me in dissecting the GRAF project. I remembered some milestones of this project that are premature and hyper-constriction observation in GRAF mutant, CRISPR mutant generation, and finally dissecting GRAF mechanism in contractility.”


Md Iqbal Azmi

Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi

“I am honoured to be selected as one of the finalists of the prestigious Inspiring Science Award 2022. I dedicate this award to all the people we lost in the past two years to COVID-19. As desperate times called for desperate measures, it became my desperation to develop a user-friendly diagnostic tool for COVID-19. For recognising my contribution to society and the research community, I thank the ISA team. This work would not be possible without guidance from my mentors Dr Tanveer Ahmad, Dr Mohan Joshi, Dr Jawed Iqbal, and my coauthor Imam Faizan.”


Submitted Entry:
A Saliva-Based RNA Extraction-Free Workflow Integrated With Cas13a for SARS-CoV-2 Detection

Mayank Garg

Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi

“I am greatly honoured and delighted to join the list of finalists of the Inspiring Science Award 2022. Platforms like these are great motivators that help us realise the fabulous power of science, a passion for many. I sincerely thank the jury and TNQ for appreciating this study, which aims to shed light on the complex pathology of pneumonia induced ARDS, the need of the hour. Being a physician, it brings me immense joy to see that this recognition would provide an impetus for the study to be translated into clinical practice. I am eternally grateful to my mentors, Dr Anurag Agrawal and Dr Krishnendu Chakraborty, for their relentless support, my colleagues who made this study possible and all well-wishers who remain a pillar of strength at every step.”


Submitted Entry:
Cardiolipin-mediated PPARγ S112 phosphorylation impairs IL-10 production and inflammation resolution during bacterial pneumonia

Parej Nath

Institute Of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar

“I feel extremely proud and happy for having been selected as one of the finalists of the prestigious Inspiring Science Award 2022. I would like to thank all the jury members for recognising our study, “Inhibition of IRGM establishes a robust antiviral immune state to restrict pathogenic viruses”. I am forever grateful to my PhD mentor Dr Santosh Chauhan for his constant guidance. I would like to share this honour with all my colleagues for their unending support. Also, I want to acknowledge our collaborators, funding agency DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, and of course, the Institute Of Life Sciences for allowing me to accomplish my passion and love for science.”


Submitted Entry:
 Inhibition of IRGM establishes a robust antiviral immune state to restrict pathogenic viruses

Dr. Suranjana Pal

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

“It is a great honour and privilege to be shortlisted as one of the finalists of the Inspiring Science Award 2022. Our study has unravelled novel genetic and physiological mechanisms regulating the development of circuits controlling sensation in the brain – thanks to the phenomenal collaborative efforts of colleagues at DBS-TIFR Mumbai, NCBS-TIFR Bengaluru, University of Geneva, and NIG-Japan. On behalf of all the authors, I am grateful to the jury members for recognising our work. I humbly acknowledge DBS-TIFR Mumbai for providing the research infrastructure & generous funding, and my friends, colleagues, and mentors for being the wind beneath my wings.”


Submitted Entry:
An early cortical progenitor-specific mechanism regulates thalamocortical innervation

Deep Prakash

Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

“I am really glad and honoured to be one of the finalists of the prestigious Inspiring Science Award 2022. My sincere thanks to all the collaborators and especially to my PI, Prof. Varsha Singh, for providing me all the guidance, support, and freedom throughout this journey. I also thank the Inspiring Science Award Team’s jury panel for acknowledging my work.”


Submitted Entry:
1-Undecene from Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an olfactory signal for flight-or-fight response in Caenorhabditis elegans

Monalisha Rath

Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

“I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to those who have supported my nomination as a finalist of the Inspiring Science Award 2022. I am happy and excited that our recent work, which demonstrates the conversion of a simple determinate leaf into an ever-growing compound form and uncovers the molecular mechanism of simple organ form, has been appreciated and recognised by the jury members. Being selected as one of the eight finalists for such a prestigious award is a great honour. This accomplishment is not something that I did alone. I would like to thank my co-authors, other lab mates, and my research supervisor Utpal Nath for their continuous support. I am grateful to TNQ and the Inspiring Science Award team for choosing me as a finalist.”


Submitted Entry:
Active suppression of leaflet emergence as a mechanism of simple leaf development

Rinku Krushnachandra Sahu

Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar

“It is a dream come true to be chosen as one of the finalists of the prestigious TNQ Inspiring Science Award. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the jury for recognising our work on DZIP3, a novel driver of cell cycle and cancer progression via its two-pronged control on Cyclin D1 mRNA and protein stability. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my mentor, Dr Santosh Chauhan, for his constant motivation and exceptional guidance. The laurel of this work ought to be shared with Dr Srinivasa Kolapalli for his perseverance in accomplishing this challenging work. I am extending my heartfelt thanks to Dr Swati Chauhan and all the collaborators for their invaluable inputs. I would like to thank DBT for funding and ILS, Bhubaneswar for providing the necessary infrastructure. Lastly, none of this would have been possible without the constant support of my family, lab members and the Almighty.”

Submitted Entry:
RNA-Binding RING E3-Ligase DZIP3/hRUL138 Stabilizes CyclinD1 to Drive Cell-Cycle and Cancer Progression

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The Inspiring Science Award is sponsored by TNQ Technologies