Mahabaleshwar Seminars in Modern Biology

A topic based seminar series organized by the Department of Biological Sciences, TIFR, Mumbai


Welcome          Teachers & Topics          Schedule          Student Participants           Venue          History         Past Seminar


Since 1975, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and the Ahmednagar College have sponsored a series of annual seminars on selected topics in the frontier areas of modern biology. Later, the Indian Institute of Science also joined in as one of the co-sponsors for the series. Currently the series is primarily sponsored by the TIFR with additional supports form a variety of extramural agencies every year.

These seminars are designed as theme based advanced courses. The participants, are mostly selected from the working scientists and research scholars in India and abroad. Usually the faculty consists of nearly ten teachers who are selected from most well known researchers in the field who provide informal lectures on the topics of their research with extensive background. The schedules are liberally organized with maximum emphasis on discussions with an aim to stimulate active research interest on the topic amongst the participants. Historically the series was planned to motivate students trained in various disciplines of physical sciences towards some unresolved problems in biology where physico-chemical approaches could yield fresh insights.

The 25th year of Mahabaleshwar Seminar, scheduled for 1999, was organized in February 2000 to coincide with the turn of the century. It was an opportunity to judge the overall impact of the seminars. It was realized that more than 800 students have attended these seminars since its inception, and they all remembered attending this as a unique experience. A few of them have actually switched their research activities over to biology after attending the seminars. During the initial years, this was the only forum to learn about modern biology in India. Since then similar workshops and seminars were organized by several other institutions in the country. However, the Mahabaleshwar series still remains unique. Recently, Prof. Les Wilson, one of the faculty of the 33rd Mahabaleshwar Seminars commented during the course that it reminded him of the environments experienced in the Gordon Conferences in olden days.