Indo Swiss JointResearch Program

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                       Indo Swiss
       Joint Research Programme
                ANNUAL REPORT

B. Baumann, C. Cherpillod, P. Rastogi, M. Vetterli
  Vice-Presidency for Institutional Affairs (VPAI)
    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
                 1015 Lausanne

              in collaboration with

          Antoinette Charon Wauters
       Direction - International Relations
            Université de Lausanne
                1015 Lausanne

    Reporting Period: 1.1.2009 - 31.12.2009
Table of Contents
2009 in Review                                                                         3
   • New funding scheme for public-private partnership projects                        3
   • Applications for exchange grants on the rise                                      4
   • Renewable energies in focus                                                       5
   • Paving the pathway for Indo Swiss collaboration in social sciences & humanities   6
Outlook                                                                                6
Budget Adjustments (Swiss Program Budget)                                              7
Organizational Structure in Switzerland                                                7
Facts & Figures                                                                         8
   • Outcome of the Calls for proposals launched under the ISJRP                        8
   • Outcome of the Calls launched unilaterally by UNIL                                 8
   • Swiss funds committed to Joint Research Projects (JRP)                             9
   • Swiss funds committed to Institutional Partnership Projects (IPP)                 10
   • Swiss funds committed to exchange grants                                          10
   • Number of ISJRP grants by Swiss university/research institute                     12
   • Indian universities/research institutes most represented in ISJRP grants          12
Finances                                                                               13
Addendum 1: INDO SwISS PUbLIC-PRIVAtE PARtNERShIP PILOt PROgRAmmE - CALL tExt          15
Addendum 2: ISJRP JOINt RESEARCh PROJECtS - AbStRACtS                                  19
Addendum 3: ISJRP INStItUtIONAL PARtNERShIP PROJECtS - AbStRACtS                       37

2009 in Review
Last year was another exciting and eventful year for
the Indo Swiss Joint Research Programme (ISJRP).
the successful activities initiated earlier continued as
planned and the ISJRP made remarkable progress to-
wards the main goal: the facilitation and progression
of cooperation in science, technology and innovation
between Switzerland and India.

An important date was February 1st which initiated 22
Joint Research Projects (JRP) and 4 Institutional Part-
nership Projects (IPP). based on recommendations                  ISJRP Project RF08. Dr. tripti Agarwal (Jawaharlal Ne-
from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)                 hru University, Delhi) and Dr. thomas bucheli (Agros-
and the Indian Department of Science and techno-                  cope Reckenholz-tänikon Research Station ARt, Zürich)
                                                                  develop new methods for the analysis of soil quality.
logy (DSt), the 26 projects had been selected out of
68 grant applications (of which 61 were for JRPs and
7 for IPPs) by the ISJRP Joint Committee in December             DSt), mr. R.K. Sharma (Senior Scientific Officer, DSt),
2008 (for more detailed information on the projects,             Prof. S. Prasad (Director of the Indian Institute of
see addenda 2 and 3).                                            technology Delhi) and Prof. m.D. tiwari (Director of
                                                                 the Indian Institute of Information technology Alla-
whereas the four IPPs that mainly finance work-                  habad).
shops and research exchanges with partner institutes
in India began immediately, most of the JRPs were                the visit culminated in a ISJRP Steering meeting with
delayed. this delay was due to the fact that the JRP             representatives from the Swiss State Secretariat for
project leaders received funds to employ personnel               Education & Research (SER), the Innovation Promo-
and needed a certain time to find qualified and skilled          tion Agency (CtI), the Federal Office for Professional
PhD or postdoctoral students. Out of the 23 positions            Education and technology (OPEt), SNSF and EPFL.
offered, only 15 could be filled within the first six            the main objective of this meeting was to discuss
months after the formal project start.                           and review ongoing joint activities and future direc-
                                                                 tions/priorities of the Indo Swiss program.
to date, however, all positions have been occupied
and projects seem to be performing well. Informa-                All the participants from Switzerland and India ex-
tion on preliminary achievements (February-Decem-                pressed satisfaction with the overall performance
ber 2009) of the JRPs and IPPs will be provided in the           and achievements of ISJRP and confirmed their com-
project reports that will be submitted to the program            mitment to further enhance cooperation between
management office by march 31st, 2010.                           the two countries. It was however pointed out that
                                                                 more participation from industry in collaborative
A highlight of last year was the Indian delegation vi-           activities would be greatly desirable, and therefore
sit that took place in April with Dr. Y.P. Kumar (former         specific incentives for public-private projects should
head of the S&t International Cooperation Division,              be created.

                                                                 New Funding Scheme for Public-Private
                                                                 Partnership Projects
                                                                 the idea of developing a pilot program for R&D pro-
                                                                 jects with academic and industrial partners from
                                                                 Switzerland and India was introduced and instanta-
                                                                 neously endorsed by all participants.

                                                                 It was agreed to include this new initiative under the
                                                                 contractual framework of the ISJRP program phase
                                                                 2008-2011, which will be extended to 2012, and to fi-
                                                                 nance projects of a duration of two years. this meant
  ISJRP Projects JUAF05 and RF10. the team of Dr.                that projects had to be initiated in 2010 and comple-
  michele bianda (Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno) and          ted in 2012.
  Prof. K.N. Nagendra & ms. L.S.b. Anusha (Indian Insti-
  tute of Astrophysics, bangalore) develop high speed            Due to the market-oriented character of this new
  methods to model the «second solar spectrum».                  initiative, it was suggested that it should be put into

effect under the joint direction of CtI and the global Innovation and
technology Alliance (gItA). however, at a later stage, it was decided
that DSt should be CtI’s partner organization in India as gItA is a young
agency (launched in 2007) with yet an uncertain future.

An intensive period of planning and preparation was devoted to the
implementation of the new “Indo Swiss Public Private Partnership Pro-
gramme”. Due to the concerted efforts and enthusiasm of the various
actors in Switzerland and India, the preparatory work necessary for the
launch of a Joint Call for market-oriented R&D projects was handled in
a very efficient manner and was completed within the planned time-

In August, CtI and DSt settled on a common program concept and the
documents needed for the Call (see addendum 1). EPFL, the Swiss Lea-
ding house for India, contributed considerably to this process as the                 ISJRP’S MaIn
interlocutor between the two key players in Switzerland and India. On               ReSeaRch aReaS
September 10th, the first Indo Swiss Joint Call for market-oriented R&D        • Information & Communication
projects was simulatenously launched in both Switzerland and India.                     Technologies
In line with the mission and purpose of the “Indo Swiss Public Private               • Materials Science &
Partnership Programme”, projects to be financed under this Call should
have a clear innovative character with a considerable market poten-                • Human Health Sciences
tial and involve academic and industrial partners from both countries.                • Sustainable Urban
In Switzerland, industrial partners contribute 50% towards the project                   Development
costs. Due to the fact that meeting these criteria is not an easy task and       • Renewable Energy Sources
that applicants may need time to identify matching project partners
in the counterpart country, it was decided that a period of 6 months
should be given between the release of the call and the submission of
proposals (deadline: February 28th, 2010).
                                                                                ISJRP’S FundIng TyPeS
                                                                              Joint Research Projects (JRP)
As per the ISRP guidelines, all grant requests must be prepared jointly
                                                                             JRP grants provide support for colla-
by the Swiss and Indian applicants and submitted in both countries.
                                                                             borative projects with clearly defined
this time, the Swiss applicants will have to submit their proposal to        goals involving at least one Swiss and
CtI instead of to SNSF or EPFL. For the Indian applicants, the situation              one Indian partner.
remains unchanged, they will have to submit their proposal to DSt. Fol-
lowing submission, all grant applications will be evaluated individually
by both CtI and DSt. based on the results of their peer reviews, both           Institutional Partnership
agencies will create a funding recommendation list in which each ap-                  Projects (IPP)
plication will be placed in one of the following categories: (A) strongly    IPP grants provide funding to support
recommended for funding, (b) recommended for funding, and (C) not            collaborative activities intended to
recommended for funding. these lists will be exchanged and the pro-          create links between Swiss and Indian
jects that are in category A and/or b in both countries will be highly                      institutes.
considered for funding.

As previously, project costs will be split between the Indian and Swiss         Research Fellowships (RF)
funds. with regards to the funding in Switzerland, it has been decided       Grants for RF offer an opportunity to
to use the ISJRP funds not yet committed to research activities (ChF 1.5     PhD students from Switzerland and
mio., see table 1). If more funds will be needed, CtI have committed to      India to conduct research and/or to
                                                                             obtain training in the counterpart
the difference.

Applications for Exchange Grants on the Rise                                  Joint Utilization of Advanced
Simultaneously with the Call for market-oriented R&D projects, EPFL                  Facilities (JUAF)
and DSt launched a third funding round for exchange grants under the         JUAF grants provide support for Swiss
ISJRP. Swiss and Indian faculty members and students interested in visi-     and Indian faculty and junior staff who
ting a laboratory or institute in the counterpart country were invited to    wish to visit a laboratory or institute
submit proposals by November 30th, 2009.                                     in the counterpart country in order to
                                                                             utilize specialized equipment, facili-
the Call, which was open to all disciplines in science & technology, met         ties, libraries and/or databases.
unexpected great interest from the scientific communities in Switzer-

                                                                 Renewable Energies in Focus
                                                                 Another noteworthy event of the past year was the
                                                                 conference on ‘Renewable Energies’ organized in
                                                                 June jointly by EPFL and the geneva-based Swiss In-
                                                                 dia business Forum (SIbF).

                                                                 the conference brought together leaders in renewa-
                                                                 ble energy research and representatives from the
                                                                 Swiss and Indian industry and government to ex-
                                                                 change information and to explore ways on working
                                                                 together. the one-day event featured a broad range
                                                                 of sessions addressing solar energy, hydropower,
                                                                 geothermal power, biofuels, and waste manage-
                                                                 ment. the various speakers presented innovative and
                                                                 promising initatives taken in Switzerland and India to
 ISJRP Project RF14. Dr. Andreas borgschulte (EmPA Dü-           replace fossil fuels by renewable energies.
 bendorf) and Dr. Ankur Jain (Centre for Non-Conven-
 tional Energy Resources, University of Rajasthan) in-           Of particular interest to the audience was the pre-
 vestigate the hydrogen storage properties of mg based           sentation of mr. Deepak gadhia, founder of the In-
 metal hybrids and complex hybrides.                             dian company ‘gadhia Solar Energy Systems (www.
                                                       ’. mr. gadhia spoke about several
land and India. Over all, it prompted 70 applications            projects implemented in India in which Concentrated
which was a significant increase compared to the 1st             Solar Power (CSP) systems were successfully used to
(9 applications) and the 2nd Call (42 applications) (Fi-         substitute firewood by solar energy (i.e. food pre-
gure 1). given the large number of submissions, the              paration (‘solar cookers’), food drying (fruits, grains,
budget allotted to this Call was exceeded significantly          and fish) or even cremation.
and therefore a very strict selection will be needed.
                                                                 Equally successful was Dr. thomas hinderling’s
As in the preceding two Calls, requests from Indian              speech on the Solar Islands project developed by the
scientists, especially students, wishing to visit Swiss          Swiss Center for Electronics and microtechnology
laboratories out numbered the requests from Swiss                (CSEm). these giant platforms which convert solar
scientists wishing to go to India by far. this can be            energy into hydrogen on a very large scale and at low
explained by the fact that most of the laboratories at           cost seem in particularly well suited to the mostly
Swiss Universities possess highly specialized, state-            sunny conditions in many regions of India.
of-the-art equipment offering its users the chance to
work on cutting-edge research.                                   During the various discussions, it became obvious
                                                                 that many of the approaches and technologies that
                                                                 were presented during this conference matched the
       50                                   42                   interest of the counterpart country. It can be expec-
              Faculty exchange
       40     Student exchange
       30                        25
       10     4    5
              1st Call    2nd Call     3rd Call
             (3.12.07)    (1.9.08)    (10.9.09)
     Figure 1: Number of applications received
     in response to the ISJRP Calls for exchange

this one-way student flow may well change in the
future. growing awareness for the need of first-rate
laboratory infrastructure in India has lead to a subs-
tantial increase in investments for devices and faci-
                                                                  ISJRP Project RF09. Dr. Suriya murthy (Indira gandhi
lities during the last few years. As the quality of the           Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam) and the team
laboratories develop, it can be expected that Swiss               of Prof. giovanni Dietler (EPFL) study the luminescen-
students will become more interested in going to In-              ce properties of colour centres generated in nano-dia-
dia for part of their research projects.                          mond crystals.

ted that this meeting will initiate future projects               Acknowledgments
between Switzerland and India and facilitate the
                                                                  ISJRP is the result of an extraordinary collaboration
transfer of technologies between the two countries.
                                                                  marked by enthusiasm, committment and mutual
Following the success of this event, a similar confer-
                                                                  trust. It gives us great pleasure to be a part of this un-
ence will be organized in 2010, with focus on ‘medi-
                                                                  dertaking and to coordinate this unique programme
cal Devices’.
                                                                  hand-in-hand with DSt. A very special thank you goes
                                                                  out to the CtI team for the excellent and efficient
Paving the pathway for Indo Swiss collabora-                      cooperation we have had throughout the develop-
tion in social sciences & humanities                              ment of the “Indo Swiss Public Private Partnership
In line with the mandate of DSt to focus bilateral re-            Programme”.
search activities on Science & technology disciplines,            we further wish to thank the members of the Swiss
ISJRP promotes mainly research activities in natural              Steering Committee and Dr. mattia Celio, Science &
sciences, engineering, information technology and                 technology Counselor at the Embassy in Delhi, for
life sciences.                                                    their precious advice and availability. Finally, we
with the aim to offer also opportunities for resear-              would like to acknowledge the entire SER team for
chers in the field of socio-economic sciences and hu-             their trust, continued support and endorsement of
manities, SER and the University of Lausanne (UNIL                this programme.
– the Associated Leading house for India), have re-
cently established contacts with the Indian Council
of Social Science Research (ICSSR), which responded
very favorably to the Swiss initiative.

Discussions aimed at identifying future opportunities
for collaborative activities in fields of mutual interest
have been initiated, and we hope that they will lead
to the development of a new funding scheme similar
to the ISJRP.

Until such a bilaterally financed programme will be
implemented in Switzerland and India, the Swiss
National Steering Committee decided to use a small
part of the SER funds (ChF 50’000 for 2009 throu-
gh 2011) to finance unilateral Calls for seed money
grants in the field of socio-economic sciences and                 ISJRP Project JUAF06. Dr. Pankaj Das (Dibrugarh Uni-
humanities.                                                        versity, Dibrugarh) and Prof. martin Albrecht (Univer-
                                                                   sity of Fribourg) study the synthesis of bio-inspired
these grants, which are administered by UNIL, offer                Fe(II)/Fe(III) complexes with P,N donor hemilabile
faculty and research staff in Switzerland the oppor-               ligands.
tunity to visit a potential partner in India or to invite
a colleague from India for an academic visit to Swit-
zerland. As yet, two Calls with submission deadlines
on February 15th and Novemberth 30, 2009 have been
launched. both prompted only a moderate number
of project proposals (4 proposals per Call), which
may be explained with the missing funding agency                  An important issue for next year is planning the next
in India as well as that the Calls were only open for             phase of the Indo Swiss programme (2013-2016). A
faculty and research staff, but not students.                     sound assessment of the current situation and of the
                                                                  results achieved so far will help us define the future
Nevertheless, the proposals demonstrated a wide                   directions of ISJRP and make recommendations re-
range of topics indicating that there is a great poten-           garding the programme’s management structure in
tial for Indo Swiss collaborative activities in the field         Switzerland. A first discussion paper addressing the-
of socio-economic sciences and humanities which                   se issues will be prepared by EPFL and UNIL by the
merits adequate funding.                                          end of April 2010.

Budget Adjustments
At the outset of the second programme phase, it                             mains). Since no further Call for JRP and IPP grants
was planned to use 70% of the Swiss budget for JRP                          is planned for the period 2008-2011, and due to the
grants, 12.5% for IPP grants and 7.5% for Exchange                          high demand for exchange grants, it was decided to
grants (see table 1, 1st column).                                           reassign part of the left-over funds (ChF 150’000) to
                                                                            these funding instruments.
however, funding decisions made in 2008 showed
that the budget allocated to JRP and IPP grants will                        the remaining ChF 1.5 mio will be used for the new
not be completely used by the projects approved un-                         initiative for market-oriented R&D projects (see ta-
der this funding period (approx. ChF 1’700’000 re-                          ble 1, last column).

                                      Table 1: Planned and revised Swiss program budget
                                                   (Award period: 2008-2011)
                                                Planned Spending    Actual Spending 1)    Difference at    Adjusted budget
                                                      (ChF)               (ChF)          the end of this        (ChF)
                                                                                         program phase
            Overheads                             880‘000.00           880’000.00             0.00           880‘000.00
            Joint Research Projects              6’160’000.00         5’010’816.75       1’149’183.25       5’010’816.75
            (JRP)                                    (= 70%)
            Institutional Partnership            1’100’000.00          539’780.00         560’220.00         539’780.00
            Projects (IPP)                          (= 12.5%)
            Exchange grants                       660’000.00          371’860.00 2)          N/A 2)          810’000.00
            (RF, JUAF, Social Sciences &            (= 7.5%)
            Indo Swiss Public Private                   --                   --                --           1’500’000.00
            Partnership Program
            Various                                     --                   --                --             59’403.25
            TOTAL                                8’800’000.00        6’802’456.75 2          N/A 2)         8’800’000.00
            1)                          2)
                 as of 31.12.2009            all funds not yet committed

Organizational Structure in Switzerland
                                                                            SWiSS NATiONAl STeeRiNg COMMiTTee
 (Supreme Authority of ISJRP)
                                                                            mr. mauro moruzzi (Chair), State Secretariat for Education
 • Dr. mauro Dell’Ambrogio (Chair), State Secretariat for                   and Research • Dr. Silvia hostettler, swissnex bangalore •
 Education and Research                                                     ms. Danièle Rod wiesner, Swiss National Science Founda-
 • Dr. manuel Sager, Federal Department of Foreign                          tion • ms. Verena weber, Federal Office for Professional
 Affairs                                                                    Education and technology • Prof. Pramod Rastogi, Ecole
 • ms. Danièle Rod wiesner, Swiss National Science                          Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne • Prof. Suren Erk-
 Foundation                                                                 man, University of Lausanne • Prof. marc-André gonin,
                                                                            berne University of Applied Sciences
 • Dr. Franziska Schwarz, Federal Office for Professional
 Education and technology
                                                                            PROgRAMMe MANAgeMeNT
 • Prof. martin Vetterli, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de
 Lausanne                                                                   Dr. barbara baumann - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de
 • Prof. Dominique Arlettaz, University of Lausanne

Facts & Figures
As of the date of this report, three rounds of com-                 committed to the projects approved for funding,
petition for grants have been launched under ISJRP’s                please see tables 2 to 6. Additional information on
second program phase. In addition, UNIL organized                   the distribution of ISJRP grants by Swiss university/
unilaterally two Calls for seed money grants for Indo               research institute as well as on the Indian universi-
Swiss collaboration in the field of ‘socio-economic                 ties most represented in Indo Swiss projects, can be
sciences and humanities’. For more detailed infor-                  found in Figure 2 and table 7.
mation on the outcomes of these Calls and the funds

             Table 2: Outcome of the Calls for proposals launced under the ISJRP (as of 31.12.2009)

       Funding types                         Eligible Research Areas           1st Call        2nd Call        3rd Call
                                                                            (3.12.2007)      (1.9.2008)      (10.9.2009)
                                                ISJRP’s five main
         • Applications received                                                61               --               --
                                                 research areas
         • Applications approved                                                22               --               --
                                                ISJRP’s five main
         • Applications received                                                7                --               --
                                                 research areas
         • Applications approved                                                4                --               --
       RF (student exchanges)
                                           All disciplines in science &
        • Applications received                                                 5               25                42
        • Applications approved                                                 5               12                a)
       JUAF (faculty exchanges)
                                           All disciplines in science &
         • Applications received                                                4               17                28
         • Applications approved                                                3               9                 a)
       Public Private Partnership
                                           Life sciences, It, micro- &
                                          nanotechnologies, enginee-
        • Applications received                                                 --               --               b)
                                                  ring sciences
        • Applications approved                                                 --               --               a)

       a) Evaluation & selection process not yet concluded
       b) Number not yet known (submission deadline: February 28th, 2010)

                  Table 3: Outcome of the Calls launched unilaterally by UNIL (as of 31.12.2009)

       Funding types                         Eligible Research Areas              1st Call                  2nd Call
                                                                               (3.12.2008)                (10.9.2009)
       Faculty exchanges
                                           Socio-economic sciences &
        • Applications received                                                      4                        4
        • Applications approved                                                      4                        4

                               Table 4: Swiss funds committed to Joint Research Projects (JRP)
         grant No.               Project Title & Duration                                    indian Partner institute           Swiss Budget
    Swiss Project Leader                                                                                                          (in ChF)
           122 944               Advanced restoration and super-resolution techniques        IIt (Indian Institute of techno-     165’525.00
        m. Unser, EPFL           for 3D fluorescence microscopy (36 months)                  logy) bombay, mumbai
           122 995               Understanding motion: surface 3D deformation from           IIt bombay, mumbai                   176’125.00
         P. Fua, EPFL            video data (36 months)
           122 936               Cross cultural personality perception (36 months)           International Inst. of Informa-      174’876.00
A. Vinciarelli, IDIAP martigny                                                               tion technology, hyderabad
           123 010               Compound plasmonic nanostructures (36 months)               Indian Inst. of Science, Educa-      182’595.00
        O. martin, EPFL                                                                      tion & Research, Chandigarh
          122 902                Ab initio density functional investigations of complex      University of Pune, Pune             181’375.00
  S. goedecker, Univ. basel      clusters (36 months)
          122 960                transport and magnetic properties of strongly corre-        bharathidasan University,            277’175.00
    K. Conder, PSI Villigen      lated systems at extreme conditions of pressure, low        tiruchirappalli
                                 temperature and high magnetic field (36 months)
          122 935                growth and investigation of a new non-cuprate high          IIt Roorkee, Roorkee                 211’348.00
 C. bernhard, Univ. Fribourg     temperature superconductor (36 months)
           123 127               Novel magnetic nanomaterials for spintronics (36            IIt Delhi, New Delhi                 180’495.00
     J.P. Ansermet, EPFL         months)
           122 948               Optical mEmS scanner for optical coherence tomogra-         IIt madras, Chennai                  254’475.00
        h. Shea, EPFL            phy: development and reliability (36 months)
            122 989              Dynamics of RNA binding by the polypyrimidine tract         National Chemical Laboratory,        257’075.00
        F. Allain, EthZ          binding protein and its implications in alternative RNA     Pune
                                 splicing (36 months)
          123 007                the olfactory system: from neural progenitors to brain      National Centre for biological       284’694.75
   h. Reichert, Univ. basel      circuitry (36 months)                                       Sciences, bangalore
          123 032                Neuronal encoding of fear generalization: implications      National Centre for biological       257’800.00
     A. Lüthi, FmI basel         for stress disorders (36 months)                            Sciences, bangalore
           123 037               Role of the ELAV protein huR in micro RNA-mediated          Indian Institute of Chemical         248’260.00
   w. Filipowicz, FmI basel      gene regulation in normal and transformed human             biology, Kolkata
                                 cells (30 months)
            122 981              Regulation of the glideosome assembly and function in       Institute of Immunology, New         207’720.00
D. Soldati-Favre, Univ. geneva   apicomplexa (36 months)                                     Delhi
           123 065               Yeast-based screening system for antimalarial drug          IISc, bangalore                      215’590.00
   D. Picard, Univ. geneva       development (36 months)
           122 941               membrane properties affect a transmembrane recep-           National Centre for Cell             228’825.00
        S. Kasas, EPFL           tor’s signaling (36 months)                                 Science, Pune
           123 003               Scaffold-based control of chondrocyte phenotype:            IIt Delhi, New Delhi                 399’858.00
I. martin & g. Spagnoli, Univ.   towards engineering of intervertebral disk tissue (36
        hospital basel           months)
            123 038              Studying the effect of mtOR inhibitor and sunitinib on      Anna University, Chennai             176’859.00
   J.-F. Dufour, Univ. berne     hepatic stellate cells (36 months)
           122 917               Strategies to combat multidrug resistance (mDR) in          Jawaharlal Nehru University,         252’274.00
 D. Sanglard, Univ. Lausanne     human pathogenic Candida species (24 months)                New Delhi
            123 143              therapeutic approaches using controlled transdermal         University of mumbai,                217’810.00
    Y. Kalia, Univ. geneva       delivery to treatneurodegenarative conditions in aging      mumbai
                                 populations (36 months)
         123 140                 Synthesis of novel ionic liquids and their application to   National Chemical Laboratory,        240’375.00
      m. grätzel, EPFL           dye sensitized solar cells (36 months)                      Pune
           123 061               biodegradable plastics: gaining insight through molecu-     Institute of microbial techno-       219’687.00
   R. Qun, EmPA St. gallen       lar approaches (36 months)                                  logy, Chandigarh
TOTAL                                                                                                                           5’010’816.75

                           Table 5: Swiss funds committed to Institutional Partnership Projects (IPP)
         grant No.                Project Title & Duration                                     indian Partner institute          Swiss Budget
    Swiss Project Leader                                                                                                           (in ChF)
           IPP01                  micro- and nanoelectronic devices and technologies           Indian Institute of Information     150’000.00
  m.A. Ionescu & m. Kayal,        for environmental monitoring (36 months)                     technology, Allahabad
            IPP02                 EPFL-IItD collaboration in microengineering                  IIt Delhi, New Delhi                150’000.00
         m. gijs, EPFL            (36 months)
           IPP03                  mechanical characterization of advanced materials            IIt Delhi, New Delhi                150’000.00
 E.Cadoni, SUPSI Canobbio         under dynamic loads (36 months)
          IPP04                   Partnership for interdisciplinary approaches to disease      National Institute of Epidemio-      89’780.00
     m. weiss, StI basel          control, interventions & public health training              logy, Chennai
                                  (36 months)
TOTAL                                                                                                                            539’780.00

                            Table 6: Swiss funds committed to exchange grants (as of 31.12.2009)
         grant No.                Project Title & Type of Visit                                indian Partner institute          Swiss Budget
    Swiss Project Leader                                                                                                            (CHF)
             RF01                 Live cell imaging in filamentous fungi (4 months, visit      Indian Institute of technology       13’000.00
  P. Philippsen, Univ. basel      India g Ch)                                                  (IIt) madras, Chennai
             RF02                 Development and validation of quantitative protocols         tata memorial hospital,              27’500.00
   h. Zaidi, geneva Univ.         for correlative PEt/mR brain imaging (9 months, visit        mumbai
          hospital                India g Ch)
            RF03                  heterometallic anticancer drugs (2 months, visit India       Indian Institute of Science           6’900.00
b. therrien, Univ. Neuchâtel      g Ch)                                                        (IISc), bangalore
             RF04                 microstructural characterization of concrete with mi-        IIt madras, Chennai                   9’500.00
      K. Scrivener, EPFL          neral admixtures, subjected to short term heat curing
                                  (3 months, visit India g Ch)
            RF05                  tribological behaviour of ti based biomaterials in phy-      R.C. Patel Institute of techno-       9’000.00
      S. mischler, EPFL           siological solution (3 months, visit India g Ch)             logy, Shirpur
           RF06                   Effect of stochastic perturbation on allelopathic phyto-     IIt Kanpur, Kanpur                    7’500.00
   N. hungerbühler, Univ.         plankton model (3 months, visit India g Ch)
             RF07                 the linear rational collocation method for parabolic         IIt Kanpur, Kanpur                   10’000.00
  J.P. berrut, Univ. Fribourg     problems with equidistant points (4 months, visit India
                                  g Ch)
             RF08                 bLack carbon analysis of Indian and Swiss Soils to           Jawaharlal Nehru University          35’000.00
t. bucheli, Agroscope Recken-     facilitate the interpretation of their PAh content (bLISS)   (JNU), New Delhi
holz-tänikon Research Station     (12 months, visit India g Ch)
             RF09                 Sub wavelength spatial resolution for fluorescent cen-       Indira gandhi Centre for Ato-        24’300.00
        g. Dietler, EPFL          tres in solids (9 months, visit India g Ch)                  mic Research (IgCAR)
           RF10                   Observations and theoretical modelling of the wing           Indian Institute of Astrophy-         5’000.00
  m. bianda, IRSOL Locarno        polarization in strong resonance lines formed in the         sics (IIA), bangalore
                                  solar atmosphere (2 months, visit India g Ch)
            RF11                  Numerical propagator for general geometry tokamaks:          Institute for Plasma Research        10’000.00
      S. brunner, EPFL            gyrokinetic stability of tokamaks to global, three di-       bhat, gandhinagar
                                  mensional perturbations (4 months, visit India g Ch)
            RF12                  Inflationary cosmology, reheating and the cosmic mi-         harish-Chandra Research              15’000.00
   R. Durrer, Univ. geneva        crowave background (6 months, visit India g Ch)              Institute, Allahabad
             RF13                 targets of adenosine and caffeine in the ameoba              IIt madras, Chennai                  21’000.00
   t. Soldati, Univ. geneva       Dictyostelium and their role in endocytosis and pattern
                                  formation (6 months, visit India g Ch)

                                                                     - 10 -
         grant No.             Project Title & Type of Visit                              indian Partner institute         Swiss Budget
    Swiss Project Leader                                                                                                      (CHF)
           RF14                hydrogen storage properties of mg based metal              Centre for Non-Conventional         24’000.00
 A. borgschulte, Empa Dü-      hybrids & complex hybrides (8 months, visits in both       Energy Resources, University
         bendorf               directions)                                                of Rajasthan
            RF15               Detecting positive selection pressure and evolutionary     banasthali University, banas-       15’000.00
      N. Salamin, UNIL         rate among chloroplast genome sequences of grasses         thali
                               (6 months, visit India g Ch)
            RF16               Rearranging chromatin domains within the bithorax          Centre for Cellular and mole-        7’500.00
   F. Karch, Univ. geneva      complex of hox genes in Drosophila melanogaster (3         cular biology, hyderabad
                               months, visit India g Ch)
            RF17               Seismic risk assessment in Indian megacities: a feasibi-   CSIR Centre for mathematical         7’500.00
P. Rosset, wAPmERR, geneva     lity experiment (3 months, visit India g Ch)               modelling and Computer
                                                                                          Simulation, bangalore
SUB-TOTAl                                                                                                                    247’700.00

           JUAF01              Advanced training on application of proteomics in          University of Kalyani, Kalyani       4’200.00
 P. Jenö, biozentrum, basel    cancer biology (3 weeks, visit India g Ch)
          JUAF02               Smart polymeric nanomaterials via controlled / living      IIt Kharagpur, Kharagpur            19’000.00
       h.A. Klok, EPFL         radical polymerization (2 years, visits in both direc-
           JUAF03              Study of sediment deposition and removal from              IIt Kharagpur, Kharagpur             6’400.00
      A. Schleiss, EPFL        shallow reservoirs behind run-of-the-river diversion
                               barrages (2 months, visit India g Ch)
           JUAF04              Interdiffusion and the magnetism in nano scale magne-      UgC-DAE Consortium for               4’200.00
    J. Stahn, PSI Villigen     tic multilayers (1 month, visits in both directions)       Scientific Research, Indore
         JUAF05                Observations and theoretical modelling of the wing         Indian Institute of Astrophy-        3’200.00
 m. bianda, IRSOL Locarno      polarization in strong resonance lines formed in the       sics (IIA), bangalore
                               solar atmosphere (1 month, visit India g Ch)
          JUAF06               Synthesis of bio-inspired Fe(II)/Fe(III) complexes with    Dibrugarh University, Dibru-         3’200.00
 m. Albrecht, Univ. Fribourg   P,N donor hemilabile ligands (1 month, visit India g       garh
           JUAF07              Experimental studies on power saving in wireless ad        Central Inst. of mining & Fuel       3’700.00
    t. braun, Univ. berne      hoc networks on wireless sensor network testbeds (1        Research, Dhanbad
                               month, visit India g Ch)
          JUAF08               Estimate of h0 through monitoring gravitationally          Indian Institute of Astrophy-        3’200.00
      g. meylan, EPFL          lensed quasars (1 month, visit India g Ch)                 sics (IIA), bangalore
          JUAF09               Evaluation of drug resistance in Leishmania donovani       Jawaharlal Nehru University          9’700.00
       N. Fasel, UNIL          by implementing a novel cell death assay                   (JNU), New Delhi
        JUAF10                 Synthesis, growth, characterisation and low tempera-       Periyar University, Salem            3’700.00
h. hagemann, Univ. geneva      ture Raman studies of nonlinear optical crystals for UV
                               generation (1 month, visit India g Ch)
           JUAF11              macrocyclic and supramolecular chemistry of                North-Eastern hill University,       3’600.00
   A. Linden, Univ. Zurich     organotin(IV) compounds (1 month, visit India g Ch)        Shillong
         JUAF12                hydraulic model study of dike breaching (2 months,         IIt Kanpur, Kanpur                   8’400.00
      w. hager, EthZ           visit India g Ch)
SUB-TOTAl                                                                                                                     72’500.00

Faculty exchanges in Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (unilateral Call launched by UNil)
        SC01 (part 1)          the semantic turn in precolonial Indian philosophy (3      IIt bombay, mumbai                   9’600.00
    J. bronkhorst, UNIL        months, visit India g Ch)
           SC02                Retention, return and recovery : effective policies to     Calcutta University, Calcutta        4’200.00
      g. tejada, EPFL          promote brain gain in India (2 weeks, visit Ch g India)
           SC03                Disaster mitigation in rural himalya of garhwal (2         IIt Roorkee, Roorkee                 6’400.00
    m. Jaboyedoff, UNIL        months, visit India g Ch)
            SC04               Learning patterns of classical music from North-India:     Sangeet Prava music College,         8’600.00
 x. bouvier, haute Ecole de    Case study in a laboratory of rythmic systems and tabla    Kolkata
     musique, geneva           practice (several visits in both directions)

                                                                 - 11 -
         grant No.                   Project Title & Type of Visit                               indian Partner institute       Swiss Budget
    Swiss Project Leader                                                                                                           (CHF)
         SC01 (part 2)               the semantic turn in precolonial Indian philosophy (3       IIt bombay, mumbai                     9’600.00
     J. bronkhorst, UNIL             months, visit India g Ch)
           SC05                      Responsible tourism: an interdisciplinary study of Kera-    National Univ. of Advanced             4’600.00
K. Nadakavukaren, Univ. basel        la’s (2 weeks, 2 collaborators, visit Ch g India            Legal Studies, Kochi
            SC06                     Prison camps and labour camps: world war one and            Jawaharlal Nehru University            3’760.00
    h. Fischer-tiné, EthZ            new trans-territorial co-ordinates from India (1 month,     (JNU), New Delhi
                                     visit India g Ch)
           SC07                      governance of family and gender relations: interplay        Jawaharlal Nehru University            4’900.00
  S. Randeria, Univ. Zurich          of state and non-state law (1 month, visits in both         (JNU), New Delhi
SUB-TOTAl                                                                                                                           51’660.00

TOTAL                                                                                                                            371’860.00

                           Figure 2: Number of ISJRP grants by Swiss university/research institute
                                                    (62 grants approved as of 31.12.2009)

                            StI; 1
                   SUPSI; 1                                                                    Eth Domain - EPFL, EthZ & Swiss
                                           others; 5                                              Federal Research Institutes;
                     IDIAP; 1
        UniNE; 1                                                                                    UnigE - Univ. of geneva
                UniZh; 2                                                                           (incl. university hospital);
                                                                                             UnibA - Univ. of basel (incl. university
               FmI; 2                                                                               hospital & biozentrum);
                                                                                                    UniL - Univ. of Lausanne;
                                                                 Eth Domain; 24                    UniFR - Univ. of Fribourg;
                        UnibE; 2
                                                                                                    FmI - Friedrich miescher
                        UniFR; 4                                                                         Institute, basel;
                                                                                                     UniZh - Univ. of Zurich;
                                                                                                  UniNE - Univ. of Neuchâtel;
                            UniL; 5                                                             IDIAP - IDIAP Research Insitute,
                                                                                             SUPSI - University of Applied Sciences
                                        UnibA; 6         UnigE; 8                                   of Southern Switzerland;
                                                                                              StI - Swiss tropical Institute, basel

                               Table 7: Indian universities/research institutes most represented
                                                in ISJRP grants (as of 31.12.2009)

                           University/research institute                                  Number of projects
                           Indian Institutes of technology (IIts)                                    18
                           Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi                               5
                           Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA),
                           Indian Institute of Science (IISc), bangalore                              2
                           National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune                                   2
                           National Centre for biological Sciences
                           (NCbS), bangalore

                                                                       - 12 -
Financial statement (in ChF)               2008                   2009                TOTAL

Administrative overhead                 90’000.00         190’000.00            280’000.00

Research projects                       60’100.00        2’178’348.00          2’238’448.00

Expenditures                         150’100.00         2‘368‘348.00         2’518’448.00

Administrative overhead                 90’000.00         190’000.00            280’000.00

Research projects                      810’000.00        1’710’000.00          2’520’000.00

Income                               900’000.00         1’900’000.00         2’800’000.00

BALANCE                              749’900.00          -468’348.00           281’552.00

ACCOUNT STATEmENT (1.1.2009 - 31.12.2009)
 Date       In (in ChF)                         Out (in ChF)                           Detailed information
                               JRP            IPP       Exchanges        Overhead
05.02.09                                    50’000.00                                  IPP03 - Cadoni SUPSI (1st instalment)
23.02.09                   31’200.00                                                   JRP 123007 - Reichert UnibA (1st instal-
26.02.09                                    28’700.00                                  IPP04 - weiss StI (1st instalment)
01.03.09                                                       -950.00                 RF01 - Philippsen UnibA (reimbursement
                                                                                       of unspend funds)
03.03.09                  128’755.00                                                   JRP 122917 - Sanglard UniL (1st instal-
17.03.09                                                   9’000.00                    RF05 - mischler EPFL
30.03.09                                                   7’625.00                    JUAF02 - Klok EPFL (1st instalment)
01.04.09                  101’330.00                                                   JRP 122989 - Allain EthZ (1st instalment)
01.04.09                  159’411.00                                                   JRP 123003 - I. martin & Spagnoli UnibA
                                                                                       (1st instalment)
02.03.09                   56’988.00                                                   JRP 123038 - Dufour UnibE (1st instal-
21.04.09   1’900’000.00                                                                SER, 2nd instalment (10% overhead, 90%
                                                                                       research projects)
21.04.09                                                                 190’000.00    Administrative overhead
22.04.09                                                   6’400.00                    JUAF03 - Schleiss EPFL
23.04.09                                                   1’575.00                    JUAF02 - Klok EPFL (2nd instalment)
23.04.09                                    50’000.00                                  IPP02 - gijs (1st instalment)
01.05.09                                    50’000.00                                  IPP01 - Ionescu & Kayal EPFL (1st instal-
06.05.09                                                   3’200.00                    JUAF06 - Albrecht UniFR
07.05.09                   67’890.00                                                   JRP 123065 - Picard UnigE (1st instalment)
11.05.09                                                   5’000.00                    RF08 - bucheli Agroscope (1st instalment)
11.05.09                                                   8’400.00                    JUAF12 - hager EthZ
11.05.09                                                   7’500.00                    RF06 - hungerbühler UniFR
11.05.09                                                  10’000.00                    RF07 - berrut UniFR
11.05.09                                                  24’300.00                    RF09 - Dietler EPFL

                                                           - 13 -
 Date       In (in ChF)                       Out (in ChF)                         Detailed information
                              JRP          IPP         Exchanges     Overhead
15.05.09                    56’782.00                                              JRP 122936 - Vinciarelli IDIAP (1st instal-
26.05.09                    64’890.00                                              JRP 122981 - Soldati-Favre UnigE (1st
29.05.09                                                 10’000.00                 RF11 - brunner EPFL
30.05.09                   118’025.00                                              JRP 122948 - Shea EPFL (1st instalment)
05.06.09                   121’390.00                                              JRP 123037 - Filipowicz UnibA (1st instal-
05.06.09                    66’010.00                                              JRP 123143 - Kalia UnigE (1st instalment)
15.06.09                                                  8’200.00                 JUAF05 & RF10 bianda IRSOL
15.06.09                    50’290.00                                              JRP 123127 - Ansermet EPFL (1st instal-
15.06.09                    76’750.00                                              JRP 123140 - grätzel EPFL (1st instalment)
19.06.09                   105’225.00                                              JRP 122941 - Kasas EPFL (1st instalment)
23.06.09                   124’975.00                                              JRP 122960 - Conder PSI (1st instalment)
25.06.09                    51’800.00                                              JRP 122944 - Unser EPFL (1st instalment)
07.07.09                    63’750.00                                              JRP 122902 - goedecker UnibA (1st
08.07.09                                                  5’000.00                 RF08 - bucheli Agroscope (2nd instalment)
16.07.09                                                  3’700.00                 JUAF07 - braun UnibE
22.07.09                                                  2’400.00                 JUAF04 - Stahn PSI (1st instalment)
11.08.09                                                  5’000.00                 RF13 - Soldati UnigE (1st instalment)
11.08.09                                                 15’000.00                 RF12 - Durrer UnigE
25.08.09                                                  1’720.00                 SC01 - bronkhorst UniL (1st instalment)
26.08.09                                                  7’880.00                 SC01 - bronkhorst UniL (2nd instalment)
26.08.09                   125’600.00                                              JRP 123032 - Lüthi FmI (1st instalment)
26.08.09                    57’000.00                                              JRP 122995 - Fua EPFL (1st instalment)
30.08.09                                                  3’200.00                 JUAF08 - meylan EPFL
09.09.09                                                 16’000.00                 RF13 - Soldati UnigE (2nd instalment)
15.09.09                                                  5’000.00                 RF08 - bucheli Agroscope (3rd instalment)
01.10.09                                                 24’000.00                 RF14 - borgschuelte EmPA
01.10.09                                                  2’000.00                 JUAF09 - Fasel UniL (1st instalment)
01.11.09                    67’636.00                                              JRP 122935 - bernhard UniFR (1st instal-
01.11.09                                                 20’000.00                 RF08 - bucheli Agroscope (4th instalment)
01.11.09                    66’324.00                                              JRP 123061 - Qun EmPA (1st instalment)
06.11.09                                                  3’700.00                 JUAF10 - hagemann UnigE
30.11.09                                                  3’600.00                 JUAF 11 - Linden UniZh
30.11.09                                                  1’877.00                 SC02 - tejada EPFL (1st instalment)
01.12.09                                                  7’500.00                 RF16 - Karch UnigE
04.12.09                                                  9’800.00                 JUAF02 - Klok EPFL (3rd instalment)

           1’900’000.00   1’762’021.00   178’700.00     237’627.00    190’000.00

TOTAL 1’900’000.00                                    2’178’348.00   190’000.00

                                                           - 14 -
                                                                               Addendum 1

       Indo Swiss Public-Private Partnership Pilot Programme - Call Text
                  Call for Joint Proposals for market Oriented R&D Projects

                                   Release date: September 10th, 2009
                             Proposal submission deadline: February 28th, 2010

Under the bilateral agreements, signed in 2003 and 2006, the Swiss and Indian governments have commit-
ted to develop and promote their cooperation in science and technology (S&t) and create incentives for
industry participation in collaborative research and development (R&D) projects.
within this context, and as a follow-up of the Indo Swiss Joint Research Programme (ISJRP), a new funding
mechanism - the Indo Swiss Public-Private Partnership Pilot Programme (Indo Swiss PPP Pilot Programme)
- has been created through which academic research organizations or institutions and industry may seek
support for joint bilateral market oriented R&D projects.
In Switzerland, the Indo Swiss PPP Pilot Programme is implemented under the leadership of the Swiss
Innovation Promotion Agency (CtI) in close collaboration with the Swiss State Secretariat for Education
and Research (SER) who acts on behalf of the Swiss National Steering Committee of ISJRP, and the Ecole
Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) as the Swiss Leading house for India.
In India, the Department of Science and technology (DSt) is the coordinating department for the imple-
mentation of this programme. DSt will identify and nominate the leading house(s) on the Indian side.
Specific contact details for the Swiss and Indian coordinating agencies are provided at the end of this docu-

the Indo Swiss PPP Pilot Programme provides funding to market oriented R&D projects involving academic
and industrial partners from Switzerland and India.
Swiss project partners receive funding from Swiss sources and Indian partners from Indian sources. Fun-
ding provided to the project partners must be in accordance with the policy, regulations and procedures in
effect of the corresponding funding source.
Swiss applicants: For more details on eligible project costs, please refer to CtI guidelines for Salaries
( and ISJRP guidelines for the
Organisation of Visits and Exchanges ( ).
Indian applicants: Indian academic partners get funding from DSt as per the existing norms and regula-
tions. DSt (govt. of India) does not provide grants to private industry for R&D projects. hence, the Indian
industry partner has to bring in its own resources for any project related activity under the project.

the proposal should be innovative and lead to a new solution, service, product or technology with clear
commercial potential.
the proposal must include participants from Switzerland and India. Participation from universities, research
institutions and companies of countries other than India and Switzerland is not allowed.
All project partners need to sign and submit a “Cooperation Agreement“ to their funding agencies on the
sharing of revenue generated out of the research results.

                                                    - 15 -
An applicant cannot submit more than one project proposal or be a member of more than one project
the proposal must include a team composed of either:
  A. Swiss academic partner, Swiss industry registered in Switzerland, Indian academic partner, Indian
      industry registered in India
  b. Swiss academic partner, Swiss industry registered in Switzerland, Indian academic partner, Swiss
      industry registered in India
  C. Swiss academic partner, Indian industry registered in Switzerland, Indian academic partner, Indian
      industry registered in India
  D. Swiss academic partner, Indian industry registered in Switzerland, Indian academic partner, Swiss
      industry registered in India

Proposals are solicited in the following areas:
   • Life Sciences
   • Information and Communication technologies (ICt)
   • micro and Nanotechnologies
   • Engineering Sciences

market oriented joint R&D projects with clearly defined goals involving participants from Switzerland and

12 – 24 months

7. eligiBiliTY
Swiss academic partner: Researchers employed full-time at one of the following research institutes: Swiss
federal institutes of technology, cantonal universities of higher education, federal and cantonal research
institutions, Swiss universities of applied sciences.
Swiss industrial partner: managers representing Swiss or Indian companies operating and headquartered
in Switzerland. the solution, service, product or technology developed by the Swiss company in the fra-
mework of this project must be produced in Switzerland. Letter-box companies existing only as an address
and carrying out business elsewhere than in Switzerland is not eligible.
Indian academic partner: Researchers employed full-time at any of the public funded research laboratory/
institutes, universities and other academic institutions involved in research etc.
Indian industrial partner: managers representing Indian or Swiss companies operating and headquartered
in India.

Proposals must be prepared jointly by the Swiss and Indian applicants and must be submitted in Switzer-
land by the Swiss applicants and in India by the Indian applicants. Deadline for submission is February 28th,
2010. Late and incomplete applications will not be accepted. the academic partners from both sides shall
be treated as the main project investigators.
Joint application forms can be downloaded either from the ISJRP website: or
from the DSt website: under the “what’s New” column.

                                                    - 16 -
Submission in Switzerland:
Swiss applicants must submit their proposal through the new CtI mERLIN website
Please note that registration is required for full access to this site. If you do not have a user account, please
register here ( Once registered, you will receive your user ID and password by
e-mail within approximately one working day.
the Swiss expert panel must be able to examine the Swiss project component separately. therefore, Swiss
applicants must submit two versions of their proposal: a full version, prepared by all project partners and
an abbreviated version, which should only describe the activities proposed by the Swiss academic and
industrial partners (similarly to regular CtI project proposals).
the abbreviated version, should be completed through the mERLIN web form. Please use the respective
text boxes to enter your proposal data and upload additional documents if necessary.
For the full project proposal, please use the joint application form that can be downloaded from the ISJRP
website ( Fill in the proposal form and upload the completed document via your
mERLIN website (brief summary -> 1.7 Project Plan -> File upload).

Submission in india:
Indian applicants send ONE hard copy of the completed joint application form together with an electronic
version (either in pdf or word format) as email attachment to:
    Shri R K Sharma, Scientist-C
    International Cooperation Division
    Department of Science & technology
    technology bhavan, New mehrauli, Road
    New Delhi – 110 016

Applications will be evaluated independently by CtI in Switzerland and by DSt in India.
the successful projects will be jointly selected by CtI and DSt based on the criteria specified below:
  • Scientific and technological merit
  • Significance for and potential impact on the competitiveness of the Swiss and Indian economy
  • Specific qualifications of applicants
  • Complementarities of expertise between the applicants and potential for synergy
  • Feasibility of proposed approach
  • Level of commitment from alternate funding source(s) to the proposed activity
  • Degree of addressing the identified priority areas of the program
based on the comments of their reviewer’s, the two funding agencies will place the applications in either
category A (“funding highly recommended”), b (“may be considered for funding”) or C (“funding not re-
commended”). Only applications that receive an A or b on both sides will be financed.
Swiss applicants will be notified of the outcome of the evaluation by CtI and Indian applicants by DSt.
the number of projects that will be selected for funding is limited to ten (10).

10. RePORTiNg
Swiss and Indian project partners will write, in accordance with the guidelines of their funding agencies,
separate intermediate progress reports.
Upon completion of the project, the project partners are required to jointly submit a final report compri-
sing the work of all participants.

                                                      - 17 -
For further information please contact:
in Switzerland: or
   Dr. barbara baumann
   1015 Lausanne
in india:
   Shri R K Sharma, Scientist-C
   International Cooperation Division
   Department of Science & technology
   technology bhavan, New mehrauli, Road
   New Delhi – 110 016

Call release:                    August 31st, 2009
Deadline for submission:         February 28th, 2010
Evaluation results:              April 30th, 2010
Joint funding decision:          may 31st, 2010
Project start date:              July 1st, 2010
Project duration:                12 to 24 months

                                                  - 18 -
                                                                                   Addendum 2


                                               grant no. 122 944
 Advanced restoration and super-resolution techniques for 3D fluorescence microscopy
                                              Prof. michaël Unser
                             biomedical Imaging Laboratory (LIb), EPFL, Lausanne
                                     Prof. S. Chaudhuri & R. Velmurugan
                             Dept. of Electrical Engineering, IIt bombay, mumbai

with the recent development of fluorescent pro-           • the development of fast algorithms for wavelet-
bes and of new high-resolution microscopes, bio-          regularized and edge-preserving deconvolution; we
logical imaging has grown quite sophisticated and         are aiming at one order of magnitude speed impro-
is presently having a profound impact on the way          vement to make the approach practical in 3D;
research is being conducted in molecular biology.         • the accurate modeling of the point-spread
biomedical scientists can now visualize sub-cellular      function function (PSF) of the microscope and the
components and processes in full 3D, and perform          optimization of the deconvolution parameters for
time-lapse imaging to investigate cellular dyna-          best performance;
mics. Despite the progress that has been accom-
                                                          • A semi-blind approach for 3D deconvolution that
plished in recent years, the processing techniques
                                                          optimizes the PSF within a given parametric family;
that are currently used are still relatively crude if
one compares them with the state-of-the art in 2D         • A practical method for 3D space-varying convo-
imaging and computer vision.                              lution and deconvolution using a depth-dependent
the primary goal of this project is to develop ad-        • A novel approach for super-resolved extended
vanced restoration and signal processing techni-          depth of focus (EDF) using an inverse problem
ques for improving the quality and resolution of          formulation;
fluorescence micrographs. In particular, we want to
                                                          • A full 3D model-based approach for photoactiva-
investigate variational techniques that incorporate
                                                          ted localization microscopy that achieves super-re-
edge-preserving and/or wavelet-domain regula-
                                                          solution localization along the three coordinates.
rization constraints. the major difficulty here is
due to the 3D nature of the data which limits the         the combined expertise and complementarity of
transposition of advanced techniques available in         the researchers involved is ideally suited to the
2D, unless one comes up with much faster versions         project. the IIt team has years of experience wor-
of the algorithms.                                        king on restoration and super-resolution problems,
                                                          albeit in the context of computer vision which
Specifically, we have set up the following research
                                                          deals with 2D images exclusively. the EPFL team,
                                                          on the other hand, is specialized in 3D medical
• the statistical formulation of the deconvolution        and biological imaging with a direct involvement
problem using non-quadratic regularization func-          in fluorescence microscopy. It also has expertise in
tionals that are adapted to 3D biological specimens       the design of multidimensional wavelet bases and
and to the underlying noise conditions;                   the development of fast multilevel algorithms.

                                                        - 19 -
                                           grant no. ISJRP 122 995
               Understanding motion: surface 3D deformation from video data
                                               Prof. Pascal Fua
                         Computer Vision Laboratory (CVLAb), EPFL, 1015 Lausanne
                                            Prof. Sharat Chandran
                        Vision, graphics and Imaging Laboratory, IIt bombay, mumbai

3D shape recovery of deformable surfaces from                   In this project, we will therefore develop mono-
single images is plagued by ambiguities. most                   cular surface reconstruction techniques able to
recent approacheshave relied on combining tex-                  either build the required motion model from the
ture clues with appropriate deformation models                  video sequence itself or to use additional image
to overcome them. In our own work, we have                      clues, such as those provided by specularities and
shown this paradigm to be extremely effective                   highlights. the resulting algorithms will be able
either when the surfaces are sufficiently textured              to handle deforming surfaces without any prior
or when the models can be learned from training                 training. to this end, we will pursue the following
data. however, these approaches cannot handle                   lines of research:
poorly textured surfaces without a priori knowled-              • develop an approach to learning the motion mo-
ge about their physical nature.                                 dels online by using the parts of the surface that
                                                                are easy to track as the training data;
Such an ability would be required to model arbi-
trary objects in random videos, which is what it                • take advantage of highlights to complement the
would take to make our algorithms applicable in                 information provided by texture clues without ma-
a broad context. Furthermore, this is something                 king overly restrictive assumptions on the nature of
humans can do very effectively even in very com-                the lighting;
plicated cases that involve large deformations and              • develop optimization techniques that are tailored
substantial amounts of occlusions. this is therefore            to the requirements of the shape reconstruction
an issue worth investigating, first because it could            algorithms.
shed light on how the human brain processes
visual information and second because giving an                 bringing together these three strands of research
automated system the ability to do this has many                will produce powerful and widely applicable
potential applications. they range from capturing               methods for 3D reconstruction of deformable
organ deformation during endoscopic surgery to                  surfaces from single cameras. Since EPFL already
modeling the behavior of textiles when actually                 has extensive expertise in the first two and IIt in
worn, and from measuring the deformation of                     the third, this will also lead to close collaboration
metal sheets during crash tests to measuring those              between our two institutions.
of airplane wings in flight.

                                              grant no. 122 936
                                Cross cultural personality perception
                                          Dr. Alessandro Vinciarelli
                                   IDIAP Research Institute, 1920 martigny
                                         Prof. Bayya Yegnanarayana
                              International Institute of Information, hyderabad

Psychologists have shown that there is a correla-               individuals that speak fast are perceived as more
tion between nonverbal characteristics of speaking              brilliant than individuals that speak slow. the
on one side, and personality traits as perceived                problem is that the mapping between nonverbal
by the listeners on the other side. For example,                characteristics of speaking and perceived perso-
individuals that speak loud are perceived as more               nality traits is, in many cases, culture dependent.
extroverted than individuals that speak soft, and               In other words, the above examples are known to

                                                       - 20 -
apply in southern Europe, but they can be wrong                 and brilliant person (see the above example) in the
when applied in other cultural areas.                           culture of a listener coming from an area different
                                                                from southern Europe.
the goal of this project is to develop systems that
address the above problem by “translating” auto-                the project can be described as an application of
matically the personality of a speaker. this means              personality psychology findings to speech analy-
that the nonverbal characteristics of a speaker,                sis and synthesis. In fact, the project starts from
giving rise to certain personality perceptions in a             the correlation between physical characteristics
given culture, should be modified automatically                 of the voice and personality traits and leads to
to give rise to the same personality perceptions in             engineering applications where 1) natural voices
another culture. For example, the recording of a                are analyzed to infer personality perceptions from
southern mediterranean person speaking loud and                 physical characteristics, and 2) synthetic voices are
fast should be modified so that the resulting voice             modified to elicit desired personality perceptions.
has the nonverbal characteristics of an extrovert

                                              grant no. 123 010
                                Compound plasmonic nanostructures
                                              Prof. Olivier Martin
                   Nanophotonics and metrology Laboratory (NAm), EPFL, 1015 Lausanne
                                            Prof. S.A. Ramakrishna
                   Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Chandigarh

Over the last decade, there has been a surge of                 take a broad approach that will include modelling,
research in plasmonics, the optics of metallic                  nanofabrication, and optical measurement of
nanostructures. the term plasmonics comes from                  compound plasmonic structures. Each partner has
the resonant excitation of the free electrons, which            complementary tools and know-how to address
behave like a plasma. this excitation can occur at              these three facets of the study. Partnership will
optical frequencies in metals such as gold, silver,             therefore occur in a very natural way, as each
copper, and a few other ones; it leads to extremely             group studies with his toolkit specific aspects of
strong optical fields at the vicinity of the metal.             a common compound structure, and data are
                                                                consolidated throughout the consortium. transfer
two types of plasmon resonances exist: localized                of knowhow will also be facilitated by the cross-
plasmons, which are confined around particles,                  training of Indian and Swiss collaborators at the
and propagating plasmons, which are generated on                counterpart Institution.
films or arrays of particles. the former can be used
to enhance molecular interactions such as Raman                 Note that the timing of the project is very good,
scattering or fluorescence; the latter can serve to             since the Indian Department of Science and tech-
transmit optical information at the nanoscale.                  nology, taking note of the rapid developments in
                                                                nanoscience and technology all over the world in
thus far, structures that support localized and                 the last few years, has already launched a large and
propagating surface plasmons have not been                      comprehensive Research Initiative on Nanoscience
combined. the objective of this project is to study             and Nanotechnology which has funded several
compound plasmonic nanostructures, where                        research groups working on various aspects such
localized and propagating plasmons interact. we                 as nano-materials science, graphene, condensed
believe that this interaction can lead to stronger              matter physics and chemistry, and biology inspired
field enhancement and tailored spectral properties              nanoscience. however, there has not been much
for these compound structures.                                  activity on nanophotonics of structured nanomate-
                                                                rials, which represents the focus of this proposal.
the primary objective of the project is to investi-
gate a variety of compound metallic systems (films,             the dissemination of the results from the project
particles, perforated layers, etc.) that can support            will not be limited to publications in well reputed
simultaneously both localized and propagating                   scientific journals and presentations at interna-
plasmon resonances. the study will focus on the                 tional conferences. It will also benefit from the
spectral response and the near-field enhancement                inclusion in teaching courses at both Institutions.
generated by such structures. the project will                  this will establish a strong link for the students

                                                       - 21 -
between basic knowledge and advanced research                      technology. It should be emphasized that both
and illustrate the importance of international                     partners intend to use this project as the first step
collaboration for the advancement of science and                   to establish a longlasting collaboration.

                                                grant no. 122 902
                  Ab initio density functional investigations of complex clusters
                                             Prof. Stefan goedecker
                                    Dept. of Physics, University of basel, basel
                                               Prof. Dilip Kanhere
                                    Dept. of Physics, University of Pune, Pune

Clusters are novel (man made) materials which can                  is mainly because of the increased computational
be viewed as aggregate of atoms. During the last                   complexity of such tiny alloys, which is due to the
ten years or so some progress has been made in                     additional combinatorial configurations that can be
producing and understanding physics and chemis-                    obtained by exchanging atoms of different types.
try of such clusters, especially for very small sizes              On the other hand, these systems are very attrac-
(N (number of atoms) < 30). the most interesting                   tive because they offer “tunability” of properties
and attractive properties of clusters stem from                    by varying composition and size.
their finite size, i.e. due to the confinement effects.
It turns out that properties like reactivity, magne-               the main objective of this project is to explore the
tism, energy gaps (crucial for optical properties),                potential energy surface (PES) of such complex
stability, and thermal properties are size sensitive.              clusters, and thereby obtain the lowest energy (the
this makes cluster materials tunable. thus, the                    ground state) as well as other equilibrium struc-
physics and chemistry of these finite size entities                tures in the relevant energy range. the governing
poses a challenging problem: the properties being                  principle is of course the minimization of the total
neither atomic like nor bulk like.                                 energy. however, the PES is function of 3N (N is
                                                                   the number of atoms in the cluster) coordinates
Due to recent advances and tremendous techno-                      and finding the lowest energy structure is a global
logical potential of nano structures, clusters either              optimization problem. Several methods have been
homogeneous, impurity doped or binary type,                        proposed for searching the global minimum of the
have emerged as important paradigm for unders-                     PES, such as genetic algorithms (gA), basin hoping
tanding the basic physics and chemistry of nano                    (bh), simulated annealing (SA) etc. One of the
structured materials. It may also be noted that the                recent methods proposed by basel group is Dual
fundamental understanding of the phenomenon                        minima hopping method (Dmhm). the method
requires a detailed quantum mechanical treatment                   has already yielded some impressive results on Si
of the underlying interacting electron system.                     clusters.
In other words in this nano range the electronic
structure dictates all most all the properties. It is              this work proposes to exploit Dmhm as well as
now well recognized that the electronic structure                  other established strategies in conjunction with the
is influenced by a single important property i.e. the              powerful density functional theory to explore the
shape of the cluster or in other words the geo-                    PES and thereby obtain several equilibrium geome-
metry of the cluster and therefore all the cluster                 tries for the clusters of our interest. the method
work begins with its structural determination.                     will be used extensively to obtain the equilibrium
So far progress has been made in understanding                     structures of homogeneous clusters such as AlN
some generic features of mostly homogeneous                        and gaN with N ranging from 30 to 70, magnetic
clusters, mainly by employing classical interatomic                as well as non magnetic impurities in cages of Au,
potentials like Lennard - Jones, Effective medium                  b and Si and binary intermetallics like Ni-Al, Co-Al
etc. there has also been progress in determining                   and Fe-Al.
structures of homogeneous clusters which include
                                                                   the fundamental question being addressed are:
simple metal atoms, semi conducting clusters
                                                                   how the clusters grow atom by atom and to exa-
like silicon and some 3D transition metal atoms.
                                                                   mine the evolutionary properties, to examine the
Considerably less work has been reported on
                                                                   dopant induced stability of a new class of clusters
mixed clusters and clusters with impurities. this
                                                                   (e.g. gold, boron and silicon cages), and to explore

                                                          - 22 -
the finite temperature properties for some of abo-             the heat capacity curve. It may be emphasized that
ve clusters. the emphasis in the finite temperature            the underlying theme here is towards designing
properties is to correlate the nature of the ground            novel clusters of desired properties.
state and isomer distribution with the shapes of

                                             grant no. 122 960
Transport and magnetic properties of strongly correlated systems at extreme conditions of
                  pressure, low temperature and high magnetic field
                                          Prof. Kazimierz Conder
                 Lab. for Developments and methods, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen
                                        Dr. Arumugam Sonachalam
                Centre for high Pressure Research, bharathidasan University, tiruchirappalli

Self-organization of charge and orbital in doped          pressure transport, susceptibility, neutron scat-
transition metal oxides is a key for many remar-          tering and Stm techniques into a coherent effort
kable properties of these materials. this project         to study phenomena in two prominent material
aims to study the driving mechanisms of these             classes: (a) spin-charge order and fluctuations in
phenomena by investigating structural effects on          the ladder and chain compounds (Sr,Ca)14Cu24O4,
the magnetic and transport properties of cuprates         and (b) charge and orbital degrees of freedom in
and manganites.                                           the layered manganites La1-xSr1+xmnO4 and La2-
                                                            Sr mn2O7. high-quality single crystals will be
                                                          2x 2+x
the interplay of spin and charge affects a variety of     synthesized in the Solid State Chemistry group at
fascinating phenomena in transition metal oxides.         the Paul Scherrer Institute. high pressure transport
Important examples, which are relevant for basic          and susceptibility measurements will be performed
research as well as for possible applications, are        in the Centre for high Pressure Research, bharathi-
the high temperature (high-tC) superconductivity          dasan University. Sprectroscopic studies (Neutron,
in the layered cuprates or the ‘Colossal magneto-         ARPES and thz) will be undertaken by Laboratory
resistance’ (CmR) in the doped manganites. both           for Quantum magnetism, Ecole Polytechnique
phenomena depend on the interplay between local           Federale de Lausanne, and Stm investigations
magnetic moments and charge carriers, and in              will take place in the Scanning Probe microscopy
both cases intrinsic charge inhomogeneities are a         group, University of geneva.
consequence of this interplay1,2. For the cuprates,
there is an increasing theoretical and experimental       In addition to the direct scientific goals, the pro-
evidence that the pairing mechanism of the high-          posed Indo-Swiss research project is intended to
tC superconductivity is intimately connected with         exchange expertise between the participants, to
the presence of a nanoscale charge segregation            harness a broader collaboration between collea-
where highly doped 1D ‘charge stripes’ and antifer-       gues in the two countries, and to offer the oppor-
romagnetic spin correlations ‘spin stripes’ occur. In     tunity for junior group members to gain experience
the doped manganites, the double exchange links           with the two countries’ research environments.
the mobility of charge carriers to the ferromagnetic      this goal will be achieved by longer exchange pe-
spin order and provides at least a qualitative expla-     riods of students from each side, and shorter visits
nation of the very large magnetic field dependence        by the applicants. Efforts will be made to widen the
of the electrical resistivity.                            symbiosis by sharing produced samples, develo-
                                                          ped techniques and personal contacts with other
the Indo-Swiss research project presented here
                                                          research groups both in India and in Switzerland.
will combine expertise in material synthesis, high-

                                                      - 23 -
                                               grant no. 122 935
    growth and investigation of a new non-cuprate high temperature superconductor
                                           Prof. Christian Bernhard
                               Dept. of Physics, University of Fribourg, Fribourg
                                           Prof. ghanshyam Varma
                                    Dept. of Physics, IIt Roorkee, Roorkee

this proposal is motivated by the recent discovery                • Is it possible to further raise the tc value in this
of a surprisingly high superconducting critical tem-              class of materials? If so, may this material even be
perature, tc, of up to 43 K in the quaternary oxyp-               more suitable for applications than the cuprate
nictide (Sm,La)O1-xFxFeAs. this is by far the highest             high tc superconductors?
tc value that has been observed in a copper-free                  • Is the superconducting state in this material
oxide superconductor which has a layered structu-                 based on a conventional electron-phonon coupling
re and likely has strongly correlated charge carriers.            mechanism or is it of an unconventional type due
                                                                  to strong correlations of the charge carriers?
we want to jointly grow samples of these so-called
pnictide high temperature superconductors and                     • Can we identify the essential ingredients (inte-
perform dedicated experiment to investigate their                 ractions) of high tc superconductivity by comparing
electronic and magnetic properties. In particular,                the properties of this new non-cuprate super-
we want to address to the following following                     conductor with the ones of the cuprate high tc
important questions:                                              superconductors?

                                               grant no. 123 127
                            Novel magnetic nanomaterials for spintronics
                                         Prof. Jean-Philippe Ansermet
                   Lab. of the Physics of Nanostructured materials (LPmN), EPFL, Lausanne
                                              Prof. Dinesh Pandya
                                              IIt Delhi, New Delhi

this collaboration stems from earlier contacts                    lic ferromagnets. however, there is worldwide a
between the parties, who have worked together                     major effort to explore novel materials, in parti-
thanks to interns bringing to EPFL samples made                   cular doped wide band gap semiconductors, the
at IIt-Delhi, so that a battery of spin-dependent                 production of which IIt Delhi has developed to a
transport measurements could be carried out.                      high level of expertise.

while spintronics received full recognition thanks                It is intended that the young investigators involved
to the Physics Nobel prize of 2007, there are still a             in this project will host each other and that the
lot of basic principles to be uncovered and applied.              senior scientists will visit each other’s labs, so as
the interplay of charge current, spin current and                 to foster collaborations and personal exchanges
thermal effects are yet to be clarified. most of                  between members of both institutions.
this research is carried out using standard metal-

                                                         - 24 -
                                               grant no. 122 948
 Optical MeMS scanner for optical coherence tomography: development and reliability
                                             Prof. Herbert Shea
                  microsystems for Space technologies Laboratory (LmtS), EPFL, Neuchâtel
                                         Prof. Shanti Bhattacharya
                            Dept. of Electrical Engineering, IIt madras, Chennai

the main objective of this project is to develop a               in the fields of testing and qualification. the dra-
compact Optical Coherence tomography (OCt) sys-                  matically lower mass, lower power consumption,
tem including the mEmS scanning mirror. OCt is a                 smaller volume, and possibility of tight integration
powerful imaging technique that can provide cross-               with electronics make mEmS particularly appealing
sectional views of samples such as biological tissue.            for medical applications.
the advantage of this imaging method isthat tissue
can be studied in situ. In other words, samples do               mEmS (micro-Electro-mechanical Systems), or
no need to be removed from theindividual to be                   microsystems as they are often referred to in
studied. tissue is imaged as a means of diagno-                  Europe, combine micron scale mechanical com-
sing various illnesses. For example, the study of                ponents with electronics. they are made using
tissue can help with the detection of cancer, retinal            micromachining techniques similar to those used
diseases or to trace the flow of blood through a                 in the semiconductor industry to make integrated
damaged section of tissue. As OCt is non-invasive,               circuits. mEmS can be sensors (e.g. accelerome-
there is no risk to the patient during the imaging               ters, gyroscopes, pressure transducers), actua-
process. OCt systems typically allow imaging to a                tors (optical and RF switches, micro-grippers),
depth of a few mm, with a resolution of 20 μm.                   electronic devices (e.g. RF oscillators and filters),
                                                                 integrated microfluidic systems, even propulsion
to make an OCt system particularly useful for                    units (ion and chemical). most commercial mEmS
studying living tissue and diagnosing disease, it                are fabricated from Silicon as a structural material,
must be integrated in an endoscope, which is a                   but mEmS can also be manufactured from metals,
device that is introduced into the body. In order to             Silicon Carbide, or even polymers.
develop a compact OCt system suitable for in vivo
use, a micromachined (mEmS) scanning mirror                      In this project, we will develop two mEmS techno-
will need to be developed. Such compact scanning                 logies for the scanning mirror for the OCt system,
optics within the endoscope will allow a 3600 view               taking into account the requirements of the system
without having to rotate the scope. Scanning ope-                (scan range, speed, mirror flatness, etc.). One
ration is a vital part of OCt as it allows capturing             mirror will be based on a well-established single-
information over a volume of tissue. In this project,            crystal silicon technology, developed in partnership
we intend to develop a modified scanning techni-                 with Sercalo microtechnology (an SmE based in
que as well as a completely automated OCt system                 Neuchatel, Switzerland) and the Imt of the EPFL.
with digital data acquisition capabilities. we will              the other mirror uses a more novel polymer
develop the OCt system (at the IIt-madras), and                  technology (miniaturized artificial muscle) whose
mEmS scanning mirrors (at the EPFL).                             performance must still be demonstrated. we will
                                                                 study the reliability of both scanning mirrors, in
mEmS is a broad emerging field of microtechnolo-                 particular under the impact of x-ray radiation,
gy, which offers enhanced functionality and perfor-              opening the path for OCt imaging during radiation
mance, but also brings new challenges, particularly              therapy or use in space missions.

                                                        - 25 -
                                               grant no. 122 989
Dynamics of RNA binding by the polypyrimidine tract binding protein and its implications
                             in alternative RNA splicing
                                               Prof. Frédéric Allain
                          Institute of molecular biology and biophysics, EthZ, Zürich
                                          Dr. Sapna Ravindranathan
                        Central NmR Facility, National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune


Interactions between proteins and ribonucleic                    domains of Ptb and their complexes with RNA
acids (RNA) play a fundamental role in several                   sequences, for carrying out NmR experiments to
cellular processes. One of the most significant is               study molecular motions. Various techniques of
the process of alternative splicing, in which multi-             NmR spectroscopy will be employed to examine
ple protein isoforms which are tissue specific and               fast (pico to nano second time scale) and slow
performs distinct functions, are generated from a                (micro to milli second time scales) molecular
single gene. more than 90% of human genes are                    motions of the protein backbone and side-chains,
expected to undergo alternative splicing.                        with particular emphasis at the RNA interaction
Alternative splicing pathways are affected in a                  sites and interdomain interfaces of the Ptb. Similar
number of human genetic diseases such that,                      experiments will be carried out to monitor mole-
disease related protein isoforms are overproduced                cular motions in the RNA bound to Ptb. Experi-
and the desirable forms are decreased. the impli-                mental data will be analyzed by comparison with
cations of disruption in alternative splicing events             simulations based on different models of molecular
to human health, has led to a significant interest in            motion to extract parameters quantifying various
understanding its mechanism and regulation.                      motional modes. Dynamics changes occurring as a
                                                                 result of interactions between protein and RNA will
this project aims to understand the mechanism of                 be examined to understand the role of dynamically
protein-RNA interactions at the molecular level by               induced structural flexibility in RNA recognition by
a detailed examination of the role of structure and              various domains of Ptb.
flexibility of the protein and RNA in this process.
we have chosen to study RNA interactions with the                Since structural studies of protein-RNA interactions
polypyrimidine tract binding (Ptb) protein, which                have only begun to emerge recently, dynamics
is known to be a potent regulator of tissue specific             studies in these intermolecular complexes is very
alternative RNA splicing.                                        rare and is an emerging area of research. From this
                                                                 project we hope to have a complete mapping of
Ptb has four RNA binding domains which are                       parameters quantifying molecular dynamics, onto
separated by linkers. As a first step towards un-                the static structures of the RNA binding domains of
derstanding the interaction of Ptb with RNA, the                 Ptb. this could be the first example of a large pro-
Swiss research team recently carried out a detailed              tein with multiple RNA binding sites for which the
investigation of the three dimensional structures                mechanism of protein-RNA recognition is exami-
of the four RNA binding domains interacting with a               ned by considering both, structural and dynamical
short RNA sequence, by applying the techniques of                aspects of the interaction at the molecular level.
Nuclear magnetic Resonance (NmR) spectroscopy.                   the type of comprehensive knowledge of protein-
                                                                 RNA interactions we hope to obtain in this project
During these structural studies, indication of flexi-            is particularly relevant to emerging therapeutic
bility was observed at the RNA binding interfaces                technologies. An example is the development of
and the interdomain interface of the protein. Since              splice switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) which are
dynamically induced structural flexibility is an                 macromolecular drugs designed to block disease
important theme in the protein-RNA recognition                   related splicing pathways and simultaneously
process, we propose to complement the structural                 promote the desired pathway, thereby preventing
studies by a detailed investigation of molecular                 the production of disease related proteins while
motions at different sites in the protein and RNA by             favouring the production of therapeutic proteins.
applying NmR methods.

the research plan involves preparation of 15N and
13C isotope labelled samples of the RNA binding

                                                        - 26 -
                                               grant no. 123 007
                The olfactory system: from neural progenitors to brain circuitry
                                            Prof. Heinrich Reichert
                                    biozentrum, University of basel, basel
                                          Prof. Veronica Rodrigues
                           National Centre for biological Sciences (NCbS), bangalore

the Drosophila olfactory system is perhaps one of                already been shown to be involved in specification
the most thoroughly investigated neural circuits                 of the olfactory mucosa. the interneurons (LNs and
in terms of its structure and function. however                  PNs) arise from neuroblasts within the developing
the mechanisms underlying the specification of                   brain; we will establish the origin, lineage and
different cell types and the construction of the                 relationship between these two populations of
circuit still need to be deciphered. we believe that             cells. both cell types are heterogeneous in terms of
a complete understanding of how a simple circuit                 their structural patterns, connectivity and neuro-
is constructed and modified to give rise to behavior             transmitter identities. what are the mechanisms
is a necessary first step in understanding how small             underlying these differences? we have evidence
circuits are wired up to give rise to a brain.                   that ems is one of the determinants of cell identity
                                                                 in central brain neuroblasts. Does this gene play a
the antennal lobes are olfactory centers that                    role in development of the antennal lobe interneu-
consist of dense collections of synaptic endings                 rons in addition? An attractive model is that cells
termed glomeruli which are known to be neural                    which share common transcription factor combina-
substrates for odor coding. Each glomerulus is                   tions maybe search and lock together during circuit
composed of synapses between olfactory receptor                  formation. testing this idea will require us to study
neurons (ORNs) projection interneurons (PNs) and                 the role of ems in development and re-modeling of
local interneurons (LNs). Each glomerulus recei-                 dendritic arbors of the interneurons and their ORN
ves input from ORNs which bear a single odorant                  counterparts.
receptor, while the LNs integrate information
between different glomeruli. the PNs are belie-                  the studies proposed above will increase our ex-
ved to carry processed information to the higher                 tant knowledge about the specification of the first
centres in the mushroom bodies and lateral horn.                 level of olfactory circuitry. Significantly, we believe
there is evidence for ‘top-down’ information from                that it will be possible to use this information and
wide-field serotonergic neurons that terminate                   the variety of reagents available in Drosophila in
within the antennal lobe from the higher centres.                a novel approach to study the olfactory system of
this basic organization is conserved across insect               the medically important insect species Anopheles.
species separated by several million years of evol-              this insect is a vector to several parasitic diseases
utionary history and interestingly similar principles            and viral infections –malaria, dengue, yellow fever,
are also exploited in mammals.                                   encephalitis- that result in colossal morbidities
                                                                 in human populations particularly in developing
In this project, we will study the development of                countries. the major mode of transmission is by
each of the cellular components of the antennal                  the mosquitoes feeding on blood from infected
lobe. the adult ORNs develop during pupal life                   individuals and transferring the disease agent to
from cells within the antennal imaginal disc and                 naïve hosts. the major strategy for these insects
we have some understanding of how cells are                      seeking hosts is through olfaction and while our
specified and are guided to the antennal lobe. we                studies will not directly address insect control, it is
will further this study and ask which transcription              clear that basic knowledge of olfactory system de-
factors specify the different types of ORN cells.                velopment could have a potential impact on design
As an entry, we will focus on the empty spiracles                of control agents in later studies.
(ems) gene the mouse ortholog of which has

                                                        - 27 -
                                               grant No. 123 032
         Neuronal encoding of fear generalization: implications for stress disorders
                                              Prof. Andreas Lüthi
                                   Friedrich miescher Institute (FmI), basel
                                           Prof. Sumantra Chattarji
                          National Institute for biological Sciences (NIbS), bangalore

what we learn from past experiences – our me-                     later exposure to the tone alone elicits “freezing”, a
mories – hold a prominent place in human exis-                    measure of the learned association.
tence. Although we tend to think of memories as                   what makes learning a challenging problem is that
being inextricably rooted in the past, they have a                it requires that animals generalize appropriately
profound influence on how we respond to uncer-                    from experience. Animals generalize from one
tainties of the future. One of the central challenges             situation to another not necessarily because they
facing the health sciences is to understand the                   cannot tell the difference between two situa-
neural basis of psychiatric disorders that have                   tions but because they judge that they are likely
debilitating effects on learning and memory. Over                 to belong to a set of situations having the same
the last decades much progress has been made                      consequence. there are costs associated with both
toward characterizing the cellular and synaptic                   too little and too much generalization: If an animal
mechanisms of learning. memories come in many                     undergeneralizes it may overlook future signs of
different flavors. Unconscious emotional memories                 danger, whereas if it overgeneralizes it may fail to
of fearful experiences, formed in a brain area cal-               explore and thereby miss opportunities for feeding,
led the amygdala, are formed rapidly and remain                   mating, etc. Appropriate generalization is, thus, ne-
persistent. A dramatic manifestation of the potency               cessary for survival. Understanding these processes
of emotional memories is seen in stress disorders                 is critical not only for the identification of neuronal
- victims of traumatic violence or abuse continue                 processes that specifically relate to associative fear
to have vivid flashbacks of traumatic events long                 learning, but more importantly for gaining insi-
afterwards. One of the most useful model sys-                     ghts into the transition of emotional states from
tems for elucidating the neural basis of emotional                normal fear to pathological anxiety exhibited in
learning and memory has been a particular form of                 affective disorders such as post-traumatic stress
classical Pavlovian conditioning known as “auditory               disorder (PTSD), which may be viewed as an ins-
fear conditioning.” In this paradigm an animal                    tance of overgeneralization. hence, the goal of our
rapidly learns to associate a previously neutral                  proposal is to investigate the neural mechanisms
sensory stimulus, such as an auditory tone, with an               in the amygdala and in cortical areas mediating the
aversive stimulus, e.g. an electrical shock, such that            appropriate generalization during fear learning.

                                               grant No. 123 037
Role of the elAV protein HuR in micro RNA-mediated gene regulation in normal and trans-
                                  formed human cells
                                           Prof. Witold Filipowicz
                                  Friedrich miescher Institute (FmI), basel
                                     Dr. Suvendra Nath Bhattacharyya
            Dept. of molecular and human genetics, Indian Institute of Chemical biology, Kolkata

microRNAs (miRNAs) are 20 - to 22-nt-long regula-                 mRNAs. In metazoan animals, most investigated
tory RNAs expressed in plants and animals. Current                miRNAs form imperfect hybrids with sequences
estimates indicate that hundreds of different                     in the 3’-untranslated region (3’UtR). the miRNA
miRNAs are encoded in individual genomes, with                    association results in translational repression,
the number of human miRNAs possibly reaching                      frequently accompanied by a considerable degra-
one thousand. miRNAs regulate gene expression                     dation of the mRNA.
post-transcriptionally, by base-pairing to target

                                                         - 28 -
Until very recently, miRNAs have been primarily                     mRNAs encoding many oncogenes, growth factors,
identified as negative regulators of expression of                  and cell cycle regulatory proteins.
cellular mRNAs, and it remained unknown whether
the inhibition of a specific mRNA can be effectively                the main objective of the proposed research will
reversed. Recently, we demonstrated that CAt-1                      be to understand the molecular mechanism of
mRNA, which encodes the high-affinity cationic                      huR action leading to the derepression of mRNAs
amino acid transporter and which is translationally                 inhibited by miRNAs. we will use biochemical,
repressed by miR-122 in huh7 human hepatoma                         biophysical and cell biological approaches to un-
cells, can be relieved from the miR-122 repression                  derstand the mechanism of how huR regulates the
by subjecting huh7 cells to different stress condi-                 miRNA function and mRNA translation in control
tions. we also demonstrated that the stress-indu-                   and transformed human cells. we will investigate,
ced up-regulation is mediated by binding of huR,                    both in vitro and in vivo whether binding of huR
an AU-rich element (ARE) RNA binding protein, to                    to mRNA prevents repressive function of miRNPs
the 3’UtR of CAt-1 mRNA.                                            or simply displaces miRNAs from the mRNA. we
                                                                    will investigate whether huR and Ago and gw182
huR is a ubiquitously expressed member of the                       proteins, key factors involved in miRNA repression
ELAV (embryonic lethal and altered vision) family                   interact with each other. we will also perform
of proteins, which also comprises three neuron-                     global analysis of cellular transcriptome to identify
specific proteins, hub, huC, and huD. In response                   mRNAs other than CAt-1, which are regulated in
to different types of cellular stresses, huR is                     a similar fashion by huR. Does the type of the re-
mobilized from the nucleus to the cytosol, where it                 gulation described by us represent a more general
modulates translation and/or stability of different                 mechanism of rapid mobilization of mRNAs from
mRNAs. Notably, huR is upregulated or constitu-                     the P-body storage granules for active translation
tively present in the cytoplasm in several forms                    in response to different types of cellular stress?
of human cancer. ELAV/hu proteins were initially                    Since huR upregulation and constitutive cytoplas-
identified as specific tumor antigens in cancers of                 mic localization are associated with several forms
individuals with paraneoplastic neurological disor-                 of cancer, we will also investigate the relationship
der. Since then, many studies have demonstrated                     between huR and miRNAs in human cancer cell
an active role of huR in different types of cancer,                 lines in order to find out whether huR in these
likely associated with its function in enhancing                    cells upregulates expression of selected oncogenes
stability or translation of mRNA bearing AU-rich or                 and other growth regulatory proteins, known or
U-rich elements in the 3’UtR, representing labile                   predicted to be targets of miRNAs.

                                                 grant No. 122 981
             Regulation of the glideosome assembly and function in apicomplexa
                                        Prof. Dominique Soldati-Favre
                 Dept. of microbiology and molecular medicine, University of geneva, geneva
                                              Dr. Pushkar Sharma
                                 National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi

Protozoan parasites belonging to the phylum of                      the Apicomplexa utilize a substrate-dependent
Apicomplexa are of enormous medical and vete-                       mode of motility to propel into host cells and to
rinary significance, being responsible for a wide                   spread throughout the host organism. the mole-
variety of diseases in human and animals, including                 cular machinery that powers parasite locomotion
malaria, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis and cryptospo-                  involves multiple classes of proteins that are to
ridiosis. these obligate intracellular parasites share              great extent, conserved across the members of
a unique form of gliding motility, which is essential               the phylum and constitute the “glideosome”.
for their survival and infectivity. because of its sim-             how these structural proteins of the cytoskeleton
plicity and versatility for in vitro and in vivo studies            support cellular movement and how cytoskeletal
and its accessibility to genetic manipulation, Toxo-                dynamics and motor proteins are harnessed in a
plasma gondii ranks among the best experimental                     concerted action to generate movement is at the
models to study obligate intracellular parasitism.                  heart of this projet. Calcium is a second messenger
                                                                    that critically controls secretion of parasite adhe-

                                                           - 29 -
sins and motility. Calcium- and calmodulin-binding               of Soldati’s lab on the actomyosin system in toxo-
motifs in several key kinases allow the signal to be             plasma to scrutinize how phosphorylation controls
propagated through different pathways. we propo-                 the assembly and function of the glideosome and
se to combine the expertise of Sharma’s lab on cell              to assess the parasite kinases involved.
signaling and kinases in malaria to the experience

                                               grant No. 123 065
               Yeast-based screening system for antimalarial drug development
                                              Prof. Didier Picard
                             Dept. of Cell biology, University of geneva, geneva
                                                Prof. Utpal Tatu
                      Dept. of biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), bangalore

Protozoan parasites such as Plasmodium falci-                    drug target argues that it should be possible to
parum (Pf) cause very serious diseases that are                  exploit the differences between human and para-
major public health problems in the developing                   site hsp90 to develop novel drugs that are highly
world. Currently existing drugs are not satisfying               specific for the parasite hsp90.
and are losing their effectiveness because of the
appearance of parasite resistance. more basic and                It is difficult to use some of these parasites them-
applied research is sorely needed to cope with                   selves for drug screens. therefore, to facilitate the
these diseases that seem to be neglected by the                  analysis and screening, we propose to transfer
pharmaceutical industry.                                         their hsp90 into the budding yeast, which is a
                                                                 highly manipulable organism. we will generate a
Our project aims to provide new basic knowledge                  set of yeast strains that live with parasite or human
on an essential protein machine of the protozoan                 hsp90 instead of their own hsp90. Using this set as
parasite Pf, which is the cause of malaria, and to               a cheap and simple tool, we will search for novel
develop novel drugs targeted at this protein from                compounds that only inhibit the growth of those
Pf as well as from other protozoan parasites. Our                yeast strains with parasite hsp90 and not human
target protein, hsp90, is an essential component of              hsp90. Our drug discovery program will include
a «molecular matchmaker» machine. this machine                   both a rational drug design component and an
helps other proteins to function, and importantly,               unbiased screen. Candidate compounds will then
it does so as the parasite becomes exposed to                    be further characterized by biochemical analyses
vastly different temperatures during its life cycle              and in animal cell culture models.
through different hosts. Previous work has shown
that inhibiting hsp90 blocks the life cycle of Pf and            we expect to learn more about the regulation and
other protozoan parasites. Since both humans                     function of hsp90 for the Pf life cycle and malaria,
and the parasites have hsp90, we want to develop                 and to discover novel drugs that could be used
drugs that are specific for the parasite hsp90. the              against Pf and other protozoan parasites.
fact that human hsp90 is already a well studied

                                                        - 30 -
                                                  grant No. 122 941

              Membrane properties affect a transmembrane receptor’s signaling
                                              Dr. Sandor Kasas
                      Laboratory of the Physics of Living matter (LPmV), EPFL, Lausanne
                                              Dr. Bhaskar Saha
                                    National Centre for Cell Science, Pune

Cellular responsiveness to a variety of stimuli is                observations imply two key elements or processes
often a function of the receptors located on cell                 that regulate the cellular responsiveness: receptor
membrane. the stimulus is provided by a ligand                    conformation that is essential for binding ligands,
that binds to its receptor located on cell membrane               and the physical properties of cell membrane that
and triggers a cascade of signaling events through                regulate the signaling from the receptor.
sequential activation of signaling intermediates
which can be kinases, phosphatases or adaptor                     In this proposal, we will use CD40, a transmembra-
molecules.                                                        ne receptor constitutively expressed on macro-
                                                                  phages, b cells, dendritic cells and endothelial
Such signaling leads to the observed effector                     cells, to examine how these two factors determine
functions of the cell in response to that stimu-                  the CD40 (the receptor for CD40-ligand, which is
lus and thereby maintains homeostasis. these                      expressed on t cells and platelets) signaling.

                                                  grant No. 123 003
Scaffold-based control of chondrocyte phenotype: towards engineering of intervertebral
                                      disk tissue
                                      Prof. ivan Martin 1) & Prof. giulio Spagnoli 2)
                              Lab. for tissue Engineering, University hospital basel, basel
                                     Dept. of Surgery, University hospital basel, basel
                                          Dr. Sourabh ghosh 3) & Prof. Alok Ray 4)
                                              Dept. of textile technology, IIt Delhi
                                         Centre of biomedical Engineering, IIt Delhi

there is no optimal treatment available for symp-                 tissue morphology. As first step, human mesen-
tomatic degenerative disc disease which affects                   chymal stem cells (mSCs) and de-differentiated
millions of elderly people worldwide. One novel                   articular chondrocytes will be seeded into these
approach would be to fabricate a bio-engineered                   two novel scaffolds. this will help to understand
tissue construct to repair the Annulus Fibrosus (AF)              how precise changes of fibre diameter in nano/mi-
which herniates through the gradually dehydrating                 cro level and orientation can affect their AF tissue
Nucleus Pulposus (NP). So far, the optimal scaffold               formation commitment.
for this challenging purpose has not been defined.
hence the aim of this study will be to determine if               then mSCs and de-differentiated chondrocytes will
‘tailor-made’ fibrous silk scaffolds and ‘smart’ hy-              be suspended in Silk-hyaluronic acid-Chondroitin
drogel-based systems can support attachment and                   sulphate hydrogel, which will be seeded in the
extracellular matrix accumulation, and preferential               middle part of construct to simulate NF architec-
chondrogenic differentiation to AF/NP cell-like                   ture. this Fibrous-hydrogel composite scaffold with
phenotypes, to further improve integrated inter-                  the layered architecture may simulate architecture
vertebral disk tissue formation.                                  of intervertebral disk. the cell-seeded scaffolds
                                                                  will be cultured for up to 6 weeks in static cultu-
we will produce silk fibroin-based scaffolds, having              res and perfusion bioreactors. the percent of cell
either nano-diameter electrospun scaffolds of pre-                attachment will be quantified and the cell mor-
cise fibre alignment, or precisely oriented macro-                phology and distribution within the scaffold will be
diameter silk fibres simulating Annulus Fibrosus                  evaluated using Scanning Electron microscopy and

                                                         - 31 -
transmission Electron microscopy. histological and                 the implementation of these studies, stemming
biochemical evaluation of matrix accumulation will                 from collaborative efforts of four groups with spe-
be performed. Characterization of gene expression                  cific know how, might set the stage for the identi-
profiles differentially detectable in statically or dy-            fication of key parameters of the novel composite
namically cultured disks will be done both at mRNA                 scaffold (like fibre diameters, alignment, mecha-
level and protein level.                                           nical parameters) which may play critical roles for
                                                                   induction of targeted and localized expression of
we will then culture AF and NF constructs together                 fibro-cartilage or hyaline cartilage phenotype in the
in presence of chondrogenic media, under static                    same construct.
condition, to verify whether architecture, fibre
morphology, and porosity of Fibrous-hydrogel                       As a future perspective, this bioengineered inter-
composite bilayer scaffold can induce differential                 vertebral disc graft can be used for establishing
chondrogenic commitment. the functionality of                      “in vitro” disease model systems for degenerative
the bio-engineered intervertebral disk construct                   disc disease. this may allow to measure effects of
will then be verified by culturing it under mechani-               growth factors, cytokines and protease inhibitors
cal loading.                                                       introduced directly into the Intervertebral disk by
                                                                   injection, on the metabolic activity (synthesis and
In order to exploer the possibility of clinical appli-             degradation) of disc cells in a controlled envi-
cations, biocompatibility and immunogenic proper-                  ronment resembling in vivo conditions. Original
ties of “in vitro” tissue engineered intervertebral                controlled investigations on mechanisms of active
discs will be investigated by studying their inte-                 immune responses in degenerating intervertebral
raction with human cells of the monocyte/macro-                    disc might provide sound scientific bases for the
phage lineage and allospecific t cell responsiveness               application of specific treatments for acute bone
to cells engineered into tissue constructs.                        degenerative diseases like spinal arthritis, myelopa-
                                                                   thy, and radioculopathy.

                                                grant No. 123 038
         Studying the effect of mTOR inhibitor and sunitinib on hepatic stellate cells
                                          Prof. Jean-François Dufour
            Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie und Viszerale Forschung, University of berne, bern
                                             Dr. Suvro Chatterjee
                                           Anna University, Chennai


the goal of this project is to build on the comple-                suggesting an effect in patients with hepatocellular
mentary expertise of the 2 principal investigators                 carcinoma. Sunitinib is a multikinase inhibitor bloc-
to investigate in details in vitro and in vivo the po-             king signalling though PDgF and VEgF receptors, 2
tential of sirolimus and sunitinib in combination as               crucial growth factors in hepatocellular carcinoma
anti-angiogenic and anti-tumoral therapy. Sirolimus                biology. It has to be studied how sunitinib inhibits
inhibits mtOR a key kinase in cellular proliferation               hepatocellular carcinoma growth and whether it
linking energy and nutrient availability to protein                can be used in combination with sirolimus.
synthesis. mtOR pathway is overactive in about
40% of hepatocellular carcinoma.                                   we designed a series of experiments to dissect the
                                                                   effects of these drugs on the functions of endo-
Dufour's laboratory used a syngeneic, orthotopic                   thelial cells and hepatic stellate cells. how these
rat model of hepatocellular carcinoma to show that                 drugs will interfere with the cross-talk between
sirolimus slows the growth of the tumor, prolongs                  these two cell types will be examined and special
survival and blocks formation of new blood vessels                 attention will be given to the messenger nitric
by sprouting. No clinical data regarding mtOR inhi-                oxide. the potential of these drugs on the fibrosis
bition and hepatocellular carcinoma are presently                  will also be examined. this is not a minor issue
available. Regarding sunitinib, only very prelimi-                 since most of the hepatocellular carcinomas arise
nary data have been presented in abstract form                     in cirrhotic milieu.

                                                          - 32 -
                                               grant No. 122 917
 Strategies to combat multidrug resistance (MDR) in human pathogenic Candida species
                                          Prof. Dominique Sanglard
                      Institute of microbiology, University hospital Lausanne, Lausanne
                                            Prof. Rajendra Prasad
                                    Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

with the increasing threat of human pathogenic                   and also abrogated the constitutive over-expres-
Candida infections and clinically encountered                    sion of these efflux pumps in a drugresistant strain.
resistance to commonly used antifungals, it is                   however, TAC1 does not alter basal expression of
imperative to search for novel strategies to combat              CDR1 and therefore the complete transcriptional
Candida infections. Candida albicans is causing                  regulation circuit of this gene remains to be solved.
approximately 50% of all fungal infections of
hospitalized patients. One of the most clinically                Among AbC transporters, high level of expression
significant mechanism of antifungal resistance in                of CDR1 is invariably associated with an increased
Candida albicans includes the over-expression of                 efflux of fluconazole that results in resistance to
genes encoding drug efflux pumps such as CDR1                    this compound. hence, Cdr1p has not only ac-
and CDR2 belonging to the AbC (AtP-binding                       quired significant clinical importance but is also
Cassette) transporter family and MDR1 belonging                  considered as an important target in any design of
to mFS (major Facilitator) transporter family. the               strategies to combat antifungal resistance. typi-
over-expression of these transporters is associated              cally like other AbC proteins, the functional form
with acquisition of resistance to multiple growth                of Cdr1p consists of two hydrophilic nucleotide
inhibitors including antifungal agents and therefore             binding domains (NbDs) located at the cytoplasmic
contributes to multidrug resistance (mDR).                       surface of the membrane that harness energy from
                                                                 AtP hydrolysis and two hydrophobic transmembra-
the molecular mechanisms leading to the basal                    ne domains (tmDs) which precede each NbD that
or constitutive over-expression of efflux pump                   form the translocation pathway for drug efflux.
genes in drug-resistant C. albicans isolates are only            these NbDs of the AbC proteins contain three
beginning to be understood. Although a recent                    conserved motifs required for nucleotide binding
report identified the transcription factor MRR1 as               and hydrolysis: the walker A and walker b motifs
a key regulator of MDR1, the regulation of CDR1                  and the AbC signature sequence. AtP hydrolysis
has been a focus of research in different groups.                and substrate transport is dependent on the coo-
Various unrelated stresses, including elevated                   perativity between NbDs.
temperature or the presence of drugs and steroids,
induce a transient transcriptional activation of                 Interestingly, the C-terminal NbD of Cdr1p and
CDR1 in drugsusceptible C. albicans strains.                     other AbC fungal transporters possess conserved
                                                                 motifs which are essentially identical to non-fungal
Several cis-elements in the CDR1 upstream region                 transporters. the Indian applicant has established
that affect basal as well as induced CDR1 expres-                that unique substitution of residues in N-terminal
sion have been identified. the Indian applicant                  NbD of Cdr1p is very critical for AtP catalysis and
group has identified several regulatory elements                 drug efflux. the importance of these residues in
responsible for the basal expression of CDR1. Ano-               AtP hydrolysis are unique among known AbCtrans-
ther basal Expression Element (bEE) in the CDR1                  porters and represents opportunities for unders-
upstream region and a Drug-Response Element                      tanding novel AtP hydrolysis mechanisms. On the
(DRE), which is present in the upstream region of                contrary to Cdr1p, the mode of function of the
CDR1 and CDR2, have been identified by the Swiss                 major facilitator mdr1p has not been investigated
applicant. the DRE was found to mediate both the                 in details and therefore this transporter still deser-
transient upregulation of CDR1 and CDR2 by ste-                  ves in-depth functional dissection.
roid hormones and drugs as well as their constitu-
tive over-expression in a resistant strain.                      Candida glabrata is another important fungal pa-
                                                                 thogen among clinically relevant Candida species.
the Swiss applicant has identified a transcription               this species accounts for a major population of
factor, TAC1 (transcriptional Activator of CDR ge-               azole-resistant clinical isolates found in European
nes), that binds to the DRE in the CDR1 and CDR2                 countries. the Swiss applicant has contributed to
promoters. Inactivation of TAC1 resulted in the loss             a large extent to the comprehension of resistance
of drug-induced upregulation of CDR1 and CDR2                    mechanisms in this yeast species. these mecha-

                                                        - 33 -
nisms involve AbC-transporters, CgCDR1, CgCDR2                   and of gene regulation, our main objectives are:
and CgSNQ2, which are similar to CDR1 and CDR2                   • to understand the molecular mechanism regu-
in C. albicans. these genes are also upregulated in              lating multidrug resistance (mDR) in C. albicans (a
azole-resistant isolates. the same genes can also                diploid species) and C. glabrata (a haploid species)
be upregulated by mitochondrial deficiencies. the                by identifying novel factors that could interfere
upregulation of these genes is mediated by at least              with the regulation mDR genes.
one transcription factor, CgPDR1, which carries
                                                                 • to understand the structure and function of AbC
gain-of-function mutations. these mutations play a
                                                                 transporters to facilitate the design of novel inhibi-
role in AbC-transporter regulation similar to those
                                                                 tors/modulators inhibiting pump efflux activity.
found in TAC1. Since C. glabrata is haploid, only a
single mutagenic step is necessary in CgPDR1 to                  the novel and innovative experimental approaches
confer a gain of function phenotype and this could               of this project are likely to identify cellular targets
explain the high proportion of azole-resistant iso-              which can serve future identification of compounds
late in the C. glabrata population.                              that simultaneously inhibit growth and abolish
                                                                 drug resistance of Candida either by interfering
Considering the importance of drug transporters
                                                                 with transcriptional regulation or by blocking efflux
in antifungal resistance and that they use several
                                                                 pump activity.
mechanisms of AtP hydrolysis, of drug transport

                                               grant No. 123 143
Therapeutic approaches using controlled transdermal delivery to treatneurodegenarative
                           conditions in aging populations
                                            Dr. Yogeshvar Kalia
                     Laboratory of medicinal Chemistry, University of geneva, geneva
                                           Dr. Vandana Patravale
                  Dept. of Pharm. Sciences and technology, University of mumbai, mumbai

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Parkinson’s Disease                 factory therapeutic response is obtained (while
(PD) pose a significant burden on the healthcare                 minimising undesirable side effects) – this can be
system. AD is the primary cause of dementia in                   easily achieved in transdermal delivery by simply
people over the age of 65; in 2007, the Alzhei-                  increasing the size of the patch. For maintenance
mer’s Association (USA) reported that more than 5                therapy, a continuous drug input is preferred since
million people were living with the disease in the               variation of drug concentrations in the blood (e.g.,
country and estimated the direct and indirect cost               the “peaks” and “troughs” observed following
at more than US $148 billion. PD is less prevalent,              oral administration) can lead to “on/off” episodes:
affecting up to 1.6% of the population over 65                   transdermal delivery is perfectly capable of provi-
years of age but is equally debilitating. In addition            ding such a constant input profile.
to the direct impact on patient health and quality
of life, both conditions exact a considerable toll on            however, the skin’s excellent barrier function
caregivers who must cope with patients as their                  restricts the number of molecules that can be
disease progresses and renders them increasingly                 delivered by this route. As a result, there has been
dependent. Oral administration of therapeutics                   considerable effort to develop new techniques to
may become problematic; thus, methods for the                    reversibly compromise the skin barrier and hence
administration of medications that are “inde-                    improve both the rate and extent of drug deli-
pendent” of the patient’s state and which can be                 very. In this project, we will investigate the use of
readily controlled by the caregiver are desirable.               two transdermal delivery technologies. the first,
                                                                 involves the use of a novel laser device to create
transdermal delivery either from a patch or a                    micropores within the epidermis – the outermost
semi-solid dosage form (i.e., gel or cream) would                100-150 microns of the skin (for comparison, hu-
address this need. It is certainly convenient –                  man hair has a thickness of ~50 microns) – hence
application of the patch (or semi-solid dosage                   facilitating drug diffusion and increasing transport
form) is straightforward and there is a high level               rates into the body. however, passive diffusion,
of patient compliance. Furthermore, in the case                  even across laser-porated skin, may not permit fast
of PD, the dose is gradually increased until satis-              onset kinetics and rapid symptom relief. It is also

                                                        - 34 -
unable to provide complex delivery profiles, e.g.,                  transdermal delivery of L-DOPA, newer dopamine
an “on-demand” bolus dose superimposed on a                         agonists and mAO-b inhibitors for the treatment
maintenance rate or chronotherapy where diffe-                      of Parkinson’s Disease and acetylcholinesterase
rent doses (and hence delivery rates) are required                  inhibitors for Alzheimer’s Disease therapy. the
during the course of the day. these can be easily                   experiments will quantify (i) passive drug delivery
achieved by iontophoresis, which employs an                         rates across intact and laser-porated skin and (ii)
electric current to govern the rate of drug delivery;               electrically-assisted transport using iontophoresis.
delivery is proportional to the current intensity, its              In so doing we shall develop new drug formulations
duration and the profile.                                           optimised for the different delivery techniques and
                                                                    we shall also test their skin irritation potential.
In this project, we intend to investigate the

                                                 grant No. 123 140
      Synthesis of novel ionic liquids and their application to dye sensitized solar cells
                         Prof. Michael grätzel & Dr. Shaik Mohammed zakeeruddin
                         Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces (LPI), EPFL, Lausanne
                                              Dr. Thomas Daniel
                        Organic Chemistry Division, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune

Our objective of this project is to design and               as electrolytes for DSCs will be studied. the goal
prepare new ionic liquids, which have low visco-             of this project is to use high molar absorption dyes
sity and check their feasibility as electrolytes for         with red or near IR dyes to obtain 8 to 9% effi-
Dye–sensitised solar cells. A detail study of their          ciency stable devices with a solvent free electrolyte
properties such as viscosity, density, tgA, polarity,        system.
conductivity will be studied and their relationship

                                                 grant No. 123 061
             Biodegradable plastics: gaining insight through molecular approaches
                                                    Dr. Qun Ren
                                   Laboratory for biomaterials, EmPA, St. gallen
                                              Dr. Rakesh Kumar Jain
                             Institute of microbial technology (ImtECh), Chandigarh

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PhAs) are produced by a                      added to the medium for copolymer production.
number of bacteria under nutrient depletion condi-                  Composition of the carbon substrate used for
tions as intracellular storage material of carbon                   fermentation and deployment of appropriate
and energy. their potential use as biodegradable                    bacterial strain control the copolymer production
and biocompatible thermoplastics has attracted                      where substrate cost represents nearly 40% of the
worldwide attention. Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)                        total cost. thus, it is essential to explore an alter-
(P(3hb)), which occurs most commonly in bacterial                   nate substrate for bacterial growth and copolymer
cells, does not possess material properties for prac-               production. Cheaper raw materials, such as whey,
tical application because it is crystalline and brittle.            wastewater from olive mills, molasses, corn steep
the copolymer of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hy-                    liquor, starchy wastewater, palm oil mill effluent,
droxyvalerate) [P(3hb-co-3hV)] is more elastic and                  have been used as nutrient supplements for bac-
flexible compared with P(3hb).                                      terial PhA production. however, despite the fact
                                                                    that these are abundant and relatively inexpensive
Sugars such as sucrose and glucose are the most                     commodities, development of a truly cost effective
common main carbon sources used for P(3hb) pro-                     PhA fermentation requires an even less expensive
duction and propionate or pentanoate is usually                     feedstock. Although beet molasses and cheese

                                                           - 35 -
whey have been tried as PhA feedstocks, but in                 would be isolated and the PhA gene variants
both cases, PhA yields were insufficient for an                would be cloned and expressed in heterologous
economical production.                                         hosts. Further, mutational studies of PhA polyme-
                                                               rase would be carried out to identify the residues
therefore, the aim of present work is to produce               playing a critical role in the PhA synthesis. the
PhA copolymer using the pentose degrading                      results obtained from the above studies would be
microorganisms or heterologous host(s) capable                 used to increase the yield of PhAs. Optimization
of utilizing cheap carbon sources such as xylose, a            of such conditions would ultimately lead to the
major waste product of the paper industry. Also,               development of a biotechnological approach which
we would try to gain insight into the PhAs meta-               would help us to produce biodegradable plastics
bolic pathways and carry out genetic engineering               with low cost and therefore reduce our dependen-
to get maximal yield for PhAs production. For this             ce on non-biodegradable plastics.
new bacterial strains capable of producing PhAs

                                                      - 36 -
                                                                                 Addendum 3

      iSJRP institutional Partnership Projects - ABSTRACTS

                                                grant no. IPP 01
    micro- and nanoelectronic devices and technologies for environmental monitoring
                                Prof. maher Kayal, Prof. mihai Adrian Ionescu
                                                 EPFL, Lausanne
                      Prof. M.D. Tiwari, Prof. Radhakrishna Maringanti, Prof. U.S. Tiwari
                          Indian Institute of Information technology (IIIt), Allahabad

the project broadly falls under the Information and         of sensors, processors, motes, RF transceivers,
Communication technologies and Nanotechnolo-                and are challenging with their novelty. most of the
gies (specifically under the micro and Nanoelectro-         devices are power optimized devices.
                                                            All these applications could be classified in the
the focus of the joint research is identified from          following three categories:
the applications that are of mutual interest, which         • Applied R&D problems that would benefit the
are broadly lumped under environmental appli-               Industry and the country in the immediate near
cations. the areas of interest, namely tracking             future
wildlife (tiger protection), making coal mines safer,
                                                            • Scientific problems that would have impact on
monitoring the environment (quality of water and
                                                            the technology in the long term
air) are of importance to India and Switzerland in
particular and to the world in general.                     • Infrastructure and capability development that
                                                            would build Institutions and collaborations which
All these applications need building appropriate            would be beneficial to the Institutions in short and
sensors, creating self organizing and location              medium terms and to the nations in the long term
aware sensor networks, building applications and
collection data. the devices include micro or pos-          the collaboration would build both the partners
sibly nano sensors for conventional, chemical and           academically, foster closer understanding between
biological domains, tags that could work for longer         the countries, and open up opportunities for
distances and in power-save modes, intelligent and          each partner to work on the projects of the other
flexible motes, processors that would take care of          country. the most important gain would be the
complex processing needs of the applications, mo-           contribution of the partner to the Science and
tes and sensors that would work in rugged environ-          technology through the synergy of the partners.
ments etc. the identification, design and imple-            the learning would be very fast and not wasteful
mentation of devices and technologies suggested             for each partner due to the experience and help
above are important generic problems besides                from the other partner. thus it is a win-win situa-
being useful in the applications. the devices to be         tion for all.
designed and fabricated fall under the categories

                                                   - 37 -
                                                grant No. IPP 02
                             ePFl-iiTD collaboration in microengineering
Prof. Martinus gijs, Prof. Herbert Shea, Prof. Philippe Flückiger, Prof. Hannes Bleuler, Prof. Jürgen Brugger
                                               EPFL, Lausanne
Prof. Sudipto Mukherjee, Prof. P.V.M. Rao, Prof. Manish Sharma, Prof. Ashok ganguli, Prof. Rajesh Khanna,
                                           Prof. Bodh Raj mehta
                                            IIt Delhi, New Delhi


IIIt Delhi and EPFL will collaborate in the area of               the proposal aims at the promotion of faculty and
microengineering, through the creation of mat-                    student exchange to facilitate cross-fertilization of
ching capabilities in this area at both institutions,             ideas. A new centre of excellence in microfabrica-
to facilitate research on common grounds and for                  tion and microengineering at IIt Delhi will evolve
ease of subsequent deployment and valorisation in                 and benefit from the exchange programs for both
both India and Switzerland.                                       faculty members and students.

                                                grant No. IPP 03
          Mechanical characterization of advanced materials under dynamic loads
                                   Prof. Ezio Cadoni, mr. Daniele Forni
Dept. of Environment, Construction & Design, University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI),
                               Prof. Maloy K. Singha, Prof. Narinder gupta
                                            IIt Delhi, New Delhi

Investigation on dynamic properties of structural                 test the specimens under quasi-static (with Utm),
materials is a crucial issue for several fields of                low strain rate (drop hammer test) and high strain
engineering (structural, aerospace, automotive,                   rate (hopkinsons bar), whereas, the four modified
mechanical, etc.). the high strain-rate characte-                 hopkinson bars and two hydo-Pneumatic machi-
ristics play a capital role in the crashworthiness                nes available at Dynamat laboratory distinguish it
studies of automobile, train, helicopter or airplane.             as the centre of excellence at the European level
the study of the mechanical properties at high                    and the unique in Switzerland. In these years the
strain-rate needs special devices able to record the              collaboration with Swiss and European industries in
stress wave propagation in the materials.                         different fields (automotive, aerospace, construc-
                                                                  tion, etc.) highlighted the necessity to study the
the main objective of the present activities is the               new materials that have been developed recently
collaboration between two universities (SUPSI and                 as Advanced high Strength Steel, Fiber Polymer
IIt Delhi) that are specialized in this field. the ex-            Composite, Ultra high Performance Cementitious
pertise and facilities available at the Impact mecha-             Composites, Nano-reinforced etc.
nics laboratory of IIt Delhi on the large deforma-
tion behavior of structures at different strain rates             the other strong request is the development of
and the experience and the experimental facilities                new constitutive law that describes the mentioned
present in the Dynamat Laboratory of SUPSI are                    materials in order to implement these in the nu-
the strong basis to construct a bilateral collabora-              merical codes for the design and assessment of the
tion and integration of respective competences.                   various structures. the expertise of IIt Delhi on the
                                                                  computational nonlinear mechanics together with
the present testing facilities at both the Institutes             the experimental facilities available at IIt Delhi and
dedicate to the medium to high strain-rate studies                SUPSI to test specimens at different strain rates
of materials. Applied mechanics Department of                     may facilitate the investigation of the constitutive
IIt Delhi has different experimental facilities to                laws of these materials.

                                                         - 38 -
this institutional partnership project is addressed               research and education (seminars, lectures) during
to exchange experience and to develop new pro-                    the three years this program is scheduled. From
tocols for dynamic testing of materials. the newer                this collaboration will be evaluated the possible
numerical models require a number of information                  development of joint education programs conside-
quite specialized that can be obtained only through               ring the presence of Swiss industries in India and
sophisticated tests. Especially in the dynamic field              vice versa the human capital interchange that will
this need is rather urgent but the different testing              be fulfilled.
set-up used world-wide are often not comparable.
the hopkinson bar is scientifically recognized as                 the program will develop studies and exchange of
the more adequate experimental technique in                       best practice on the effect of high dynamic loading
order to characterize the materials at high strain-               conditions on current and on advanced materials
rate. Considering that both the university partner                used in engineering both at the experimental and
of this project have this type of testing set-up, the             numerical point of view.
collaboration will contribute to clarify eventual
                                                                  the experiments will be performed, through high
differences, potentialities and limits for the study
                                                                  strain-rate failure tests in a wide range of strain-
of advanced materials and the application to Indian
                                                                  rate, from 10-5 s-1 to 1000 s-1. the results will be
and Swiss industries. the collaboration will permit
                                                                  processed to obtain stress-strain relationships at
to Indian Ph.D. student to develop their thesis par-
                                                                  different strain-rate levels in order to implement
tially in Switzerland with joint supervision (Indian
                                                                  new constitutive laws. moreover, the comparison
IIt-D, Swiss SUPSI).
                                                                  between different experimental set-ups will be rea-
the exchange of faculty members (in particular                    lized in order to evaluate the respective limitation.
of the main and co-applicants) for the purpose of

                                                grant No. IPP 04
  Partnership for interdisciplinary approaches to disease control, interventions & public
                                      health training
           Prof. Mitchell g. Weiss, Prof. Donald de Savigny, Dr. Christian Burri, Dr. Axel Hoffmann
                 Dept. of Public health and Epidemiology, Swiss tropical Institute (StI), basel
Prof. V. Kumaraswami, Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur, mr. Ponniah manickam, Dr. Ramakrishnan Ramachandran, mr.
                                 manoj murhekar, Dr. Vidya Ramachandran
                                  National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai

global health priorities and shared public health                 will develop and integrate a cultural epidemiologi-
interests in chronic disease control, clinical trials             cal component to explain the role of sociocultural
of interventions derived from Indian systems of                   determinants of risk-related behaviour, self-treat-
medicine, and public health training motivate this                ment and acceptance of clinical interventions. the
partnership of the National Institute of Epidemio-                partnership will also support analysis of relevant
logy (NIE) and the Swiss tropical Institute (StI). the            health system operations for achieving current
partnership aims to support study of sociocultural                aims of the government of India's non-communi-
and health system factors relevant for control of                 cable disease control strategy.
hypertension and leprosy, to develop innovative
                                                                  Cultural epidemiological study of the impact of
approaches for testing interventions derived
                                                                  stigma and the relevance of other sociocultural
from Indian systems of medicine, and to enhance
                                                                  features of leprosy will explain their relevance
training in the mPh and other programmes of both
                                                                  for patient-centred services, and prevention and
                                                                  management of disabilities. Study of epidemiolo-
through a series of strategically planned bidirec-                gical trends will consider spatial patterns and the
tional visits and interactions, each of the designa-              perceptions of various stakeholders pertinent for
ted collaborative interests is based on ongoing                   improved leprosy control. A standardized approach
activities at NIE and the experience and relevant                 to assess leprosy burden, developed in the context
expertise of the StI. building on ongoing epidemio-               of the partnership, will consider clinical, epidemio-
logical studies of hypertension, this partnership                 logical and sociocultural aspects of the disease.

                                                         - 39 -
A new clinical trials department at the NIE has                    Findings from hypertension studies guided by the
been established to fulfil the role of the Indian                  partnership will clarify sociocultural and health
Council of medical Research (ICmR) as a partner in                 system factors that influence risk and treatment.
the golden triangle Partnership (gtP), which also                  Identification of the influence on behaviour of
includes the Council for Scientific and Industrial Re-             stigma and other relevant sociocultural featu-
search (CSIR) and the Department of AYUSh (Indian                  res of leprosy will contribute to patient-centred
systems of medicine). Planned interactions of the                  services, and disability prevention and care. this
NIE and StI will enhance capacities for clinical trials            experience will also clarify concepts of stigma and
from shared experience and training opportunities,                 sociocultural dimensions of leprosy and how they
document the experience from previous clinical                     relate to other stigmatized chronic illness. tools
trials of AYUSh-relevant interventions, and facili-                for assessing leprosy burden, developed through
tate innovation of new approaches to address the                   the partnership, will enable better monitoring of
special challenges for these clinical trials. Socio-               clinical, epidemiological, and sociocultural aspects
cultural factors affecting efficacy and effectiveness              of the disease.
will be considered in a cultural epidemiological
                                                                   the partnership will enhance expertise for evalua-
component of these trials.
                                                                   tion of traditional medicines. this experience is
the NIE is the lead institution of the ICmR School                 also relevant for other clinical trials of neglected
of Public health, and it will collaborate with the                 tropical diseases in other settings.
StI to adapt international public health curricula
                                                                   the training interests of the partnership will contri-
for the training needs of public health in India.
                                                                   bute to a public health curriculum that is responsi-
bidirectional faculty and student exchange visits
                                                                   ve to the particular needs of the Indian setting, and
will enhance capacity for comparative analysis of
                                                                   it will also enhance the StI's training programmes.
curricula, develop case studies for public health
                                                                   mutual participation in courses and supervision,
training curricula, develop a teaching module for
                                                                   and mutual access to training networks of both
cultural epidemiology, and refine tools to assess
                                                                   institutions will contribute to faculty development
and improve the quality of training.
                                                                   and training opportunities for students.

                                                          - 40 -

Dr. Barbara Baumann                  Ms. Antoinette Charon Wauters
EPFL VPAI DAIA                       Relations internationales
Cm 2 203, Station 10                 Quartier UNIL-Dorigny
1015 Lausanne                        1015 Lausanne
Email:       Email:

ms. Caroline Cherpillod              mr. marc Pilloud
EPFL VPAI                            Relations internationales
Cm 2 247, Station 10                 Quartier UNIL-Dorigny
1015 Lausanne                        1015 Lausanne
Email:   Email:

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