Winner of
The Inspiring Science Award 2024

The Inspiring Science Award for the best published paper in the life sciences from India

This page celebrates the finalists and the winner of the Inspiring Science Award 2024. 465 entries were received, from which an eminent jury picked 8 finalists and eventually, the winner. The winner, Abhinav Banerjee, received his award from Nobel laureate David Julius during the TNQ Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences in Bengaluru on 22 January 2024.

2024 Winner


Abhinav Banerjee

Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru

Research Paper Title: ​
Single-molecule analysis of DNA base-stacking energetics using patterned DNA nanostructures


Shruti Sharad Apte

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

“I am incredibly delighted to be among the Inspiring Science Award 2024 finalists. I extend my gratitude to the jury members and TNQ Technologies for this recognition. The journey of finding eukaryotic degron motifs in prokaryotes was a team effort, and therefore, as an honour to their devotion, I dedicate this award to all the scientists who were involved in this work and, importantly, to my mentor, Professor Anirban Banerjee, who has been an absolute believer in me.”


Research Paper Title:
An innate pathogen sensing strategy involving ubiquitination of bacterial surface proteins

Pradeep Kumar

CSIR – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

“I am thrilled and humbled to be a finalist of the Inspiring Science Award 2024. This award is prestigious and highly competitive, and I am grateful to the judges for recognizing the significance and novelty of our research. I am indebted to my supervisor, Dr Rajan Sankaranarayanan, a great source of inspiration, and to my lab mates, collaborators, mentors, family, and friends for their guidance and support throughout my scientific journey. Being a finalist for this award is a huge motivation and encouragement for me to continue pursuing my passion for science and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in this field.”


Research Paper Title:
Distinct localization of chiral proofreaders resolves organellar translation conflict in plants

Dilip Menon P

CSIR – Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi

“I sincerely thank the ISA jury and TNQ for selecting me as one of the finalists of this prestigious award. It has given me a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This manuscript has been an outcome of hard work from a group of dedicated individuals and I would like to thank my PhD supervisor Dr Sheetal Gandotra, and collaborators Dr Abdou Rachid Thiam and Dr Lipi Thukral for all their guidance and support. I also acknowledge the priceless commitment and dedication shown by all contributing members from the three labs towards publication of this research article.”


Research Paper Title:
ARL8B mediates lipid droplet contact and delivery to lysosomes for lipid remobilization

Sitanshu Kumar Sarangi

CSIR – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

“It is an honour to be chosen as a finalist of the Inspiring Science Award. I am deeply grateful to the jury members and TNQ for recognising our work. I sincerely thank my mentor Dr Santosh Kumar for his guidance and support. Heartfelt gratitude to my co-author Kashmiri and members of our lab for all the help. I am also thankful to CSIR-CCMB for all the support and facilities.”


Research Paper Title:
KIR signaling is regulated by electrostatic interaction of its cytosolic tail with the plasma membrane despite being neutral polyampholyte

Gaurav Singh

Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine, Bengaluru

“I am truly humbled and grateful to the jury and organisers for choosing me as one of the finalists of the 2024 Inspiring Science Award. It feels great to have our work recognised on such a big platform. I am also extremely grateful to Dr Akash Gulyani (now at UoH) and Dr Sunil Laxman (inStem) who gave me the opportunity to learn and do some fascinating biology in their labs. A big thanks to all the co-authors and colleagues at the NCBS and inStem for their support. I would also like to acknowledge the financial support from the DBT-RA Programme in Biotechnology and Life Sciences.”


Research Paper Title:
A molecular rotor FLIM probe reveals dynamic coupling between mitochondrial inner membrane fluidity and cellular respiration

Pranjul Singh

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

“I am truly honored to be selected as a finalist of the Inspiring Science Award 2024. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to TNQ Technologies for recognizing the significance of my doctoral research and for inspiring young scientific minds in India to strive for research excellence. A special acknowledgement goes to my PhD mentor, Dr Nitin Gupta, whose unwavering encouragement pushed me to pursue excellence even when I had no background in neuroscience prior to joining the lab. I also extend a huge thanks to all the contributing authors for their dedicated efforts invested in this project. Lastly, I am deeply grateful to my family members, friends, and my life partner, Shubham, for being my pillars of strength throughout this journey.”


Research Paper Title:
Combinatorial encoding of odors in the mosquito antennal lobe

Vishal Varshney

National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi

“I am truly humbled and elated to be named a finalist of the Inspiring Science Award 2024. The recognition for our research on ‘The Arabidopsis F-box protein SKP1-INTERACTING PARTNER 31’ is a testament to the collective efforts of our dedicated team. This acknowledgment fuels my passion for advancing scientific knowledge and motivates me to contribute meaningfully to the field. The prospect of contributing to scientific discourse on a global platform, coupled with the possibility of further exploration through the travel fellowship, fills me with profound excitement and gratitude. I am deeply appreciative of this acknowledgment and eager to continue pushing boundaries in the pursuit of scientific excellence.”


Research Paper Title:
The Arabidopsis F-box protein SKP1-INTERACTING PARTNER 31 modulates seed maturation and seed vigor by targeting JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN proteins independently of jasmonic acid-isoleucine

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The Inspiring Science Award is sponsored by TNQ Technologies