Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world -- on alternate years for "the research work carried out over a sustainable period of time should contribute towards the knowledge related to cure and/or prevention of the viral diseases."
The Dr J. B. Srivastav Oration Award was instituted in 1978 by Mrs. J. Srivastav in 1978, in memory of her husband Dr J. B. Srivastav, former Director-General of Health Services. It is an award for the work carried out by a scientist in the field of virology.
The award for the year 2013 is being presented to Dr Naga Suresh Veerapu, Department of Life Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, Gautam Buddha Nagar for the research work on “Sporadically reappeared trace amounts of HCV RNA after successful therapy can cause infection”.
Dr. Veerapu’s work demonstrated that after treating the chronic hepatitis C patients and achieving 60 per cent of sustained virological response (SVR), about 12 per cent of patients had circulating hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA, suggesting absence of ‘virologic cure’ in few patients.
His work showed that one chimpanzee developed chronic infection from the trace amount of HCV RNA recovered from one SVR patient exhibiting the potential danger posed by low level of circulating HCV RNAs in treated HCV patients.
Dr Veerapu obtained PhD in Microbiology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
He has postdoctoral training from Dr. Rehermann’s laboratory, National Institutes of Health, USA. Dr Veerapu’s research interest includes development of cell culture systems for Hepatiti C and Hepatitis E viruses which is supported by DBT and DST grants.