Down syndrome research: Indian Initiatives in Global Perspective

Date: 11th and 12th February, 2020
Venue: Kennedy Hall. University of Calcutta. 35 Ballygunge Circular Road. Kolkata. West Bengal. India. Pin code 100019

Supported by:

  • Trisomy 21 Research Society (T21RS),
  • Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta,
  • Zoological Society of Kolkata.


Down syndrome research: Indian Initiatives in Global Perspective

Summary of the Program

The programme was inaugurated by the Honourable Vice Chancellor, University of Calcutta, Professor Sonali Chakravarti Bandhyopadhyay on the morning, February 11, 2020. The inaugural ceremony was graced by presence of the honourable Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Calcutta, Professor Asish Kumar Chattopadhyay, Dean of faculty of Science, Professor Tanuka Chattopadhyay, the Head, Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, Organizing Secretary and Indian ambassador of T21RS Dr. Sujay Ghosh. All the faculty members of department of Zoology, scholars, students, Down syndrome children and their parents, advocacy leaders from nongovernment organization working for the Down Syndrome participated in the conference.

Technical session of the first day, i.e., 11th February was started with Key Note Speech by Professor Eleanor Feingold from the University of Pittsburgh, USA who delivered as talk on risk factors associated with Down syndrome birth. The second lecture was delivered by Dr. Subhum Bhattacharya, who is a haematologist from NRS Medical College, Kolkata and his talk was on haematological parameters of Down syndrome children and their risk of developing blood cancer. The third talk was given by Mr. Aditya Tiwari, who is the single father of an adopted Down syndrome child named ‘Avinesh’ and he shared his experience on caring of Down syndrome children and their future career options. These lectures were followed by cultural performance by the Down syndrome children at the evening.

The second day program was started on morning 12th February 2020 and the first speaker of that session was Professor Subrata Kumar Dey, the former Vice Chancellor of the West Bengal University of Technology and the pioneer of Down syndrome Research in India. He gave an overall impression on progress in Down Syndrome research in India. The second lecture was by Dr. Pranami Bhaumik, the senior researcher from the West Bengal University of Technology, who delivered the speech on Down syndrome and Alzheimer Disease. This lecture was followed by the key note speech by Professor Stephanie Sherman from Emory University Atlanta, who discussed on clinical aspect of research on health related issues of Down syndrome children. The fourth lecture of that day was on the cardiac problems in Down syndrome children and its clinical intervention by Dr. Sumantra Sarker, who is a paediatrician from Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research and research collaborator of Dr. Sujay Ghosh. Then there was an episode of sharing and exchanging opinion by Mrs. Chaitali Gami, who is a mother of a Down syndrome daughter, self-advocacy leader and owner of NGO working for rehabilitation of Drown syndrome children in Kolkata. Two children with Down syndrome expressed their pain, limitation and expectation from the society. They were encouraged by the audience with a big applause and overwhelming response. A competitive poster session was also organised in this conference where scholars and faculty members from different institutions participated with posters on different issues pertinent to Down syndrome. Nearly forty posters were displayed and there was a great response from the delegates to attend the poster session. A panel of judges evaluated the quality and content of the posters.

At the evening of the 12th February 2020, the valedictory session was initiated with the deliberation of address by Professor Tanuka Chattopadhyay, the Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Calcutta. Three best posters were awarded with medals and certificates. The conference was ended with ‘Vote of thanks’ by Dr. Sujay Ghosh, the Secretary of the Organizing Committee and T21RS, Indian Ambassador.