About Our Guest
Our esteemed guest Mr Praveen Gupta, Founder, and CEO of Prema’s Life Sciences is one of the top 10 most influential entrepreneurs of the Year 2022. As per India Today, he is the leader of the year for The Economic Times 2019-2020 and India’s greatest leaders for AsiaOne in 2018-2019. He has a lot more accolades on the list of his accomplishments. Mr Praveen Gupta established a team from scratch to create one of the fastest-growing Life Sciences companies in India, Premas Life Sciences Private Limited. It has been credited as one of the major contributors to creating genomics as an industry in India which is now more than a thousand crores in size employing in excess of 10,000 professionals involved in the creation of an ecosystem for genomics to thrive and benefit Society at large by unlocking the power of genomics.
1. What is Genomics for A Common Man?
Genomics essentially as a classical definition is basically a study of genomes which is basically a collection of the entire DNA and the genetic material of a human being or any being and the study of that genome is called genomics. Genome to me in very layman’s terms is your master print, it’s a Master Copy or a blueprint of life where a lot of information is decoded or coded. We are all born with a certain genetic blueprint and that is what governs many of our phenotypical characters and that’s been encoded in your master copy. So it’s like a Master Copy, to draw a parallel, when a kid is born in India people make a Janam Kundli that becomes like your reference for the entire life, similarly, your genome is your reference for your entire life on which by and large all your traits are encoded out there. It’s not that genomes are static they also change and that’s why we study the changes which occur during our lifetime these changes are called somatic changes. What we are born with is germline and what happens in our lifetime is basically because of our exposure because of our environment, those changes are those somatic changes that we study in disease biology. So I hope I was able to simplify that a genome is basically a Master Copy or a Blueprint on which our lives are kind of unfolded and all our traits are unfolded during our life.
2. How Can Genomics Be Utilized Effectively in Diagnosing Human Diseases?
I think if you ask me if it can be used it’s already getting used big time globally. I mean last year almost close to about 100 million people got impacted or tested using genomics Technologies even I mean I’m saying even much more, in fact just I mean this 100 million would be approximately touched upon by NGS, so there is a vast majority of clinical areas where genomics is already making a huge difference. Even in India, we have a sizable number of clinical samples being tested using these genomics Technologies routinely now. Things like Exome sequencing, you know when a baby is born and if you have some kind of phenotype in which you’re seeing that there’s something wrong in the baby and suppose it’s a rare disorder which the clinician or the pediatrician is not able to pinpoint what exactly the problem is, in older times the typical diagnostic ODC would take about seven to ten years to find out what is wrong with that child because of iterative testing to keep on doing one test after other, thanks to the Advent of genomics like you know exome sequencing or whole genome sequencing you’re able to pinpoint to find out what is the causative genetic mutation which has occurred or a variation which is occurred and then accordingly a treatment regime or therapeutic regime or a management regime happens. So it’s very commonly deployed right now in many disorders. Cancer is a disease where something first goes wrong in the genome and each tumor is different, no two cancer patients are similar so it’s been comprehensive genomic profiling in cancer that has become a routine Care Now globally. In India too it’s catching up and right now we have a lot of such parameters like HLA testing for example. It’s now becoming practically 70 to 80 percent of the HLA typing Market in India is on NGS, not just genomics but on Next Generation Sequencing Technologies. So the adoption rate of genomics to make a sizable impact in the clinical space is already happening.
3. What is Your Opinion About the Awareness of Genomic Technologies Among Healthcare Professionals?
11. What would be your message to aspiring life science and healthcare professionals in adapting genomics and precision medicine in day-to-day life?
My advice is that I think this field has so much to promise, so I think one should be passionate about this field and I think one should read about it first of all there’s so much to do in this space and they need so many people to evangelize this concept so my simple advice to all the aspirants which are trying to think to come into this space is to basically expose themselves as much as possible on the science and its application and try and see that how you can make a difference in whichever field you choose as their career, some people choose marketing as their career, some people choose something else as a career in whichever career path you choose in genomic space try and become the best in that space and be passionate about that area this is an era of genomics and this era belongs to genomics. We are at the right time at the right place with the right Technologies, let’s make sure that we make the most of it, let’s not let this opportunity get wasted. So our education is giving you the chance to be a differentiator and a meaningful impact Creator at this juncture so to me I think it’s my request that be committed to the space and be passionate about this and constantly improve your skill sets and your learnings to make an impact.