Dr. Yogesh Chandra Tripathi
Sr. Scientist, Chemistry and Bioprospecting Division
Forest Research Institute, Dehradun
Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey?
I was born and brought up in Sasaram, Bihar; completed my schooling and college education from Sasaram and then graduated from Magadh University, Bodh Gaya, Bihar. Finally, I attained my Ph.D. degree in Chemistry-Medicinal Chemistry from Medicinal Chemistry Department of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, India. Subsequently, I pursued post-doctoral research in BHU for 3 years as Post-doctoral fellow of CSIR and UGC. I started my professional career as Scientist ‘C’ at Arid Forest Research Institute [a institute under Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE)], Jodhpur, Rajasthan (1992-2001) and thereafter served at various position in other ICFRE institutes viz., Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat, Assam (2001-2008) and Advanced Research Centre for Bamboo and Rattan, Aizawl, Mizoram (2008-2010). I joined Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun in February 2010. Since then until now, I am working as Senior Scientist at FRI and presently heading Chemistry and Bioprospecting Division of the Institute. I have over 35 years of research experience in plant science with specialization in natural product chemistry and a strong background in phytochemical study of medicinal, aromatic and food plants with special focus on therapeutically and nutritionally significant bioactive constituents. I have executed research projects on basic and applied aspects of phytochemistry, bioprospecting of botanicals and forest resource conservation and management with emphasis on high productivity, improved quality and cost-effectiveness. So far, I have published 108 research papers in scientific journals of international repute and 17 in conference proceedings. In addition, I have to my credit altogether 7 edited books and proceedings, 38 book chapters, 74 popular articles in science magazines and over 223 abstracts in abstract books of various scientific events. As yet I haves guided 9 Ph.D. and 21 PG Dissertations. Participated in various scientific events as Chairperson, Key-note speaker, and Guest of Honour and also organized conferences, seminars, and number of trainings and workshops for capacity building and entrepreneurial development. Recipient of ISHEER AWARD 1995, World Environment Day Honour 1998, ICFRE CASH AWARD 1998-1999, APSI Honours Awards 2000 and altogether 35 Best Paper Presentations Awards. My biographic sketch is included in Millennium Edition of “MARQUIS WHO’S WHO”, “Eminent Personalities of 20th Century” in 2001, “WHOS WHO in 21st Century”, “5000 Personalities of the World”, “International Directory of Distinguished Leaders”, and Asia/Pacific Who’s Who’. Currently Editorial Board Member of 10 scientific journals, Peer Reviewer of 29 journals of international repute and Life member of various Indian as well as international scientific bodies.
Q2. What did attract you towards Research in Natural Products?
My first real exposure to natural products chemistry came during my final year of post-graduation when I studied about the bioactive chemical constituents of plants and their versatile application. I was fascinated by the complex structures and biological importance of these substances. It was during my post-graduation that I decided to work in the area of chemistry of natural products, and this study has been one of the loves of my life for the last 35 years. Within the large field of natural products chemistry, my research works have been directed to phytochemicals with biological activity. My initial studies involved the isolation and structure elucidation of potential therapeutic agents from plants, but with a new focus on the combination of natural products chemistry and biodiversity conservation, other major thrust of my research has been on the exploration of plants as source of natural dye, fragrances, nutraceuticals and other healthcare products.
Q3. What kind of hurdles did you face in your journey?
Nothing comes in life easily and in order to accomplish something, one has to overcome multiple hurdles. In the process to become successful, one has to face several challenges but sincerity and dedication lead to fruitful result. The real work comes in addressing whatever challenges are right now, and ultimately how we are going to overcome them. I think, it is not important what kind of hurdles I faced, but I always maintained positivity in my life, looked at the setbacks as learning opportunities to do better and focused my energy to the goals I set for myself.
Q4. You have a great experience in Phytochemistry. Please give a brief about it?
Nature is a unique source of structures of high phytochemical diversity, many of them possessing interesting biological activities and medicinal properties. Humankind has been dependent on plants for many high value chemicals useful in the form of drugs, cosmetics, dyes, food supplements/additives, bio-polymers, bio-fuels etc. Plant chemical constituents, either alone and/or in combination, have tremendous therapeutic potential in curing various ailments. The recent upsurge in use of herbal medications has led to a sudden increase in herbal drug industry. As nutraceuticals, phytochemicals sustain or promote health and may range from isolated nutrients, dietary supplements and specific diets to genetically engineered designer foods, herbal products, processed foods and beverages. As the demand for plant-based products including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, plant protection agents, colourants, etc. rises, quality, safety and efficacy of these herbal products have become an issue of high concern. Current research on drug discovery from medicinal plants involves a multifaceted approach combining botanical, phytochemical, analytical, and molecular techniques. In the context of the worldwide spread different diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and a variety various chronic diseases, an intensive search for new lead compounds for the development of novel therapeutic agents is extremely important. Natural occurrence of a vast number of phytochemicals with complex molecular structure and physiological action offer huge opportunity for exploring novel chemical entity of diverse applications. Furthermore, given the number of phytochemicals isolated so far, nature still has many more in her store. Phytochemistry in combination with other disciplines like biotechnology, molecular biology, and others has the potential to tackle contemporary global challenges relating to affordable healthcare, food and nutrition security, and environmental sustainability.
Q5. What was your Thesis topic in Ph.D.? Please share some brief about it?
The topic of my doctoral research was “Chemistry of Selected Medicinal Plants”. Of the three targeted plant species namely Fumaria indica, Zizyphus rugosa, and Tiliacora racemosea, I isolated and characterized two novel seco-phthalide isoquinoline alkaloids, dihydrocoptisine and narceimicine from the seeds of Fumaria indica for the first time in addition to other alkaloidal constituents, norsaguinarine, (+)-adumidine and (±)-bicuculline. First ever, the central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and anti-inflammatory activities of these compounds were reported. From the bark of Zizyphus rugosa, isolation and characterization of vanillic acid, betulin, betulinic acid, kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin, apigenin and apigenin-7-O-glucoside were reported for the first time. A new cyclopeptide alkaloid named Rugosanine-A and a new triterpenoid saponin, Rugoside-A were isolated from the Zizyphus rugosa bark apart from other compounds including nummularine-P, sativanine-H and rugosanine-B. The triterpenoid saponin isolated from Zizyphus rugosa bark was pharmacologically screened and reported to possess anticonvulsant, analgesic and tranquillizing activities. Its positive effect in diarrhoea, as claimed in Indian system of medicine was scientifically validated. Further, from aerial biomass of Tiliacora racemosa, two bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids named Tiliacorinine and Nor-tiliacorinine-A were isolated and characterized by spectral analysis. Fungicidal activity of the alkaloids, Tiliacorinine and nortiliacorinine-A was investigated which demonstrated Tiliacorinine as a promising antifungal agent.
Q6. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?
I think, Change is something one just made up to make oneself feel good. I am okay with what I am; so, would prefer to do something else instead of changing myself.
Q7. How do you see Indian Forest in terms in Research?
India is one of the 12 mega biodiversity countries of the world, which represents 11% of world’s flora in about 2.4% of global land mass. Approximately 28% of the total Indian flora and 33% of angiosperms occurring in India are endemic. The country possesses abundant biodiversity owing to its larger climatic and topographic gradient. Indian forests cover 22.5% of country’s geographical area and harbor more than 17000 angiosperms. Plants are important in maintaining a healthy environment by controlling erosion and reducing air and water pollution. The accumulated effects of more than a century of industrial activity, explosive population growth, severe shifts in land use, and various human activities have overpower the buffering effects of the natural processes that regulate global climate. The health and wellbeing of the human race could well rest on our achieving a better understanding on which a more rational exploitation of forest phytoresource is based. The multitude of medicinal and aromatic plant species, their intra-specific variants and wild relatives of important food and spice crops occurring in the forests of India, produce a large number of potential molecules. By tapping this unexplored potential through research interventions as well as with the support of the rich, varied and living tradition of using plants, our forest wealth can be utilized in a sustainable manner for the well being of mankind.
Q8. Which one thing do you like most about yourself?
Patience and Organizing Skill
Q9. What kind of problems have you faced in your Research and how did you remove it?
Inadequate funding has been one of the major issue smooth implementation of research projects. I tackled such problems by proper planning, efficient cost management and avoiding any cost overruns.
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ORCiD : 0000-0003-1367-5122
ResearcherID : E-3533-2015
Scopus Author ID : 7006745212
LiveDNA ID : 91.4468
Vidwan ID : 56081
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One thought on “Plants are important in maintaining a healthy environment by controlling erosion and reducing air and water pollution. – Dr. Yogesh Chandra Tripathi”
Plants are very much necessary for environment. It saves us from many disaster.
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