Keynote Speaker

Sir Richard John Roberts

Sir Richard John Roberts, born September 6, 1943, is a distinguished British biochemist and molecular biologist. Renowned for his groundbreaking work on introns, alternative splicing, and DNA methylation, Roberts was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 alongside Phillip Allen Sharp for their pioneering discovery of introns within eukaryotic DNA and elucidating the mechanism of gene-splicing. He obtained his BSc and PhD from the University of Sheffield and conducted significant research at institutions such as Harvard University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and New England Biolabs. As a pivotal figure in molecular biology, his work revolutionized our understanding of genetics, mainly by discovering alternative gene splicing. Roberts remains an influential advocate for scientific research and has supported genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to improve health in developing nations.

Dr. Meghnath Dhimal

Dr. Meghnath Dhimal is an Environmental Health Scientist with over 20 years of experience working in Nepal, Maldives, Timor-Leste and Germany (as a guest scientist). His primary area of expertise is on environmental health with more focus on climate change and health. Currently, he works as a Senior Research Officer at the Nepal health Research Council (NHRC) Government of Nepal. He is also an Associate Academician at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and Visiting Faculty of Environmental Health at Tribhuvan University. As a Principal Investigator, he has led several research projects on environmental and climate change, non-communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases, burden of diseases and health systems research in Nepal. He has also contributed to draft several polices and plans of health, population and environment sectors in Nepal and abroad. Recognizing his contribution in the field of climate change and health, he has received number of awards including “Young Scientists Award of the Year 2015” by the NAST, Winner of New Voices in Global Health Programme at World Health Summit 2017, Outstanding Health Research Award 2018 from NHRC and National Science, Technology and Innovation Award of Health Sector 2022 from Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Government of Nepal. He is also recipient of Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) Scientific Excellence Award 2023. Recently, he has been elected as a Fellow of International Science council (ISC) which is the highest honour that can be conferred on an individual by the ISC. He has published over 300 technical reports and peer reviewed research articles in international, peer-reviewed journals including in the Lancet, BMJ and Nature with Google scholar citation exceeding 43000. He has several years of experience of working with UN and other international organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, IPCC, UNEP, UNFCCC, Welcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Future Earth, Save the Children and INGSA.


Dr. Babita Paudel

Dr. Babita Paudel is a founder/research director and Head at the Center for Natural and Applied Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal. Her research area is the Natural Product Chemistry of medicinal plants and microorganisms. She has published numerous research papers and patents. She completed her Ph.D. in 2009 from Soonchunhyang University, South Korea. She received a Georg Forster Postdoctoral fellowship from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany to conduct her research at Gottingen University, Germany, in 2010.  She worked at Korea Polar Research Institute, South Korea for two years as a post-doctoral researcher from 2011-2013. Since 2014, Dr. Paudel has been conducting research activities in Nepal. In 2019 she got an opportunity to work at Tuebingen University, Germany as a Humboldt Renewed Research Stay.

She has received various international grants from the International Foundation for Science (IFS), Sweden; the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Italy; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Germany to conduct research projects in her home country. She is actively working on various projects supported by the University Grants Commission Nepal and Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Along with her research activities, she is actively involved in the capacity building of female researchers in the STEM field in Nepal. In 2022, she received the prestigious Humboldt Alumni Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany on the project- Capacity Building of female researchers of the STEM Field through Networking to reduce the gender gap in Nepal. Similarly, she has received various national awards. In 2015 she received Nepal Bidhya Bhusan ‘KA’ Award from the Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal. In 2016 she received the Emerging Talent Award from Shree Lunkaran Das Ganga Devi Chaudhary Academy for Arts & Literature. In 2022, she received the “Women in Science and Technology” award from the Nepal Academy of Science & Technology.  She is a Humboldt Ambassador Scientist (to Nepal) of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, ermany.  She is also working as a secretary of the Nepal German Academic Association (NEGAAS). 

Dr. Basant Giri

Dr. Basant Giri received BSc and MSc in chemistry from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, and a second MS degree from the Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA. He completed his PhD degree from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, USA. He is a co-founder of Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS) and currently works as a senior scientist and director of international relations at KIAS. Dr. Giri’s research interests include development of point-of-need measurement technologies appropriate in resource-limited settings. He has several years of teaching experience in high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels in Nepal and USA as a faculty and teaching assistant, respectively. Dr. Giri has authored/co- authored more than three dozen peer-reviewed research articles and two books in addition to giving more than 50 talks in national and international platforms. International Foundation for Science, Sweden, The World Academy of Science, Italy, European Union, National Science Foundation, USA, National Academy of Sciences/USAID, and Lacuna Fund have funded his research works in Nepal. Dr. Giri has received several prestigious awards including the TWAS Atta-ur-Rahman Award in Chemistry 2020. He also serves as a co-chair of National Young Academy of Nepal (NaYAN) and a member of TWAS advisory committee on COVID-19.

Dr. Bhanu Bhakta Neupane

Dr. Bhanu Bhakta Neupane is an accomplished researcher and Assistant Professor at the Central Department of Chemistry, Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He holds a Ph.D. in (Bio)Physical Chemistry from Kansas State University, USA. He completed his MSc in Physical Chemistry and BSc in Chemistry & Biology from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. Dr. Neupane's research focuses on developing cost-effective, portable optical systems for diverse applications, including food/water quality monitoring, clinical diagnosis, and public health. His expertise spans environmental pollution's impact on health, nano-scale material properties, and the innovative use of optical nanoscopy. Dr. Neupane is actively involved in academic and advisory roles, serving on the Journal of Institute of Science and Technology editorial board at Tribhuvan University and as a Nanotechnology advisory committee member for the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology in Nepal. He is committed to advancing scientific understanding and practical applications in (Bio)Physical Chemistry.

Prof. Chandrakala Sharma

Prof. Chandrakala Sharma, Former Campus Chief and Head of Department (Psychiatric Nursing) of Maharajgunj Nursing  Campus, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. She has done Masters in Psychiatric Nursing from Christian Medical College, India and Masters in Public Administration from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She had 35 years of experience working in academia in a University setting.  She has also been n awarded as a Certified Global Nurse Consultant by the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) and ICN (International Council for Nurses). She is a facilitator Of SEARO region for GNLI  (Global Nursing Leadership Institute) program which is conducted by ICN (International Council for Nurses) and GNLI Alumni of 2017. She was involved as a Coordinator for TALENT GROUP NEPAL, group of 20 early careers nurses and midwives to develop leadership in nursing,  supported by THET in coordination with Health Education England, University of Salford, and Nursing Now Challenge.

At present, she is the member of International Steering Committee of NIHR Global Health Policy and Systems Research Award, SAFETrIP Nepal. At present she is the member of Ethical Review Board of Nepal Health Research Council for a tenure (3 years of period). She also chairs the subject committee of nursing department of Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences.

She was also the  member of Health Science Cluster Committee of University Grants Commission, Nepal which focuses on research activities She also served as a Chief Editor for the Nursing Journal of Nepal, publication of Nursing Association of Nepal since 2014. She received several awards, including the 2008 IOM Award of Appreciation for the Best Teacher, CMC Award of Merit for standing in the first position in Masters in Psychiatric Nursing, and 1988 Aishwarya Vidya Padak for standing in 1st position in Proficiency level Nursing.

Regarding the professional experience, served as a former president of Nepal Nursing Council and also was executive member of Nursing Association of Nepal. She also had publication in national and international journals on nursing and mental health related topics and also has exposure to national and international conferences, meetings and workshops. Her hobby is love traveling to different places and listen music.  

Dr. Jagadish Parajuli

Dr. Jagadish Parajuli is climate change adaptation, vulnerability, sustainability, and natural resources management professional with more than a decade experience on research and project management on climate change, natural resource management, community development, governance, and policy analysis. He is a contributing author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report working group II water chapter. He worked with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a senior program officer. During his tenure with WWF, he implemented biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation programs in Terai Arc Landscape. He has published several papers in reputed international journals like Climate and Development, WIRES Climate Change, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Journal of Environmental Management, Climatic Change, and Regional Environmental Change. He completed PhD in Sustainability from the College of Global Futures, Arizona State University, USA.   

Dr. Parbati Thapa

Dr. Parbati Thapa, a Lecturer at Pokhara University's School of Health and Allied Sciences, boasts an extensive academic background. Her journey spans from a Bachelor's in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Pokhara University to a Ph.D. in Pharmacy Practice from Monash University, Malaysia. With a dedication to continuous learning, Dr. Thapa has completed various training programs focusing on rational drug use, research methodology, and research writing. She's received honors such as financial aid for international conferences and scholarships for pharmacy practice training. Her expertise shines through numerous peer-reviewed publications covering crucial healthcare topics like pharmacist-led interventions in pain management, medication adherence among chronic disease patients, and disease proportions and drug prescribing patterns. Dr. Thapa's contributions to academia and research, particularly in pain management and chronic disease care, highlight her invaluable role in the pharmaceutical sciences.

Dr. Shiva Devkota

Dr. Shiva Devkota is a distinguished mycologist with over two decades of expertise. Dr. Devkota holds a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research (WSL) and the University of Bern, Switzerland. His academic journey includes an MSc in Botany and an MA in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

With an illustrious career spanning ecology, evolution, and the intricate dimensions of fungi, Dr. Devkota has cultivated a profound understanding of wild mushrooms, caterpillar fungi, and lichens within the Himalayas. In his upcoming presentation, Dr Devkota will unveil the visionary '3F Initiative'. This groundbreaking concept redefines the nexus of flora and fauna by integrating Funga into our understanding of the Himalayan ecosystem. Attendees can anticipate an in-depth exploration of the roles played by wild mushrooms, caterpillar fungi, and lichens, unveiling their symbiotic relationships and ecological significance within this breathtaking landscape. Moreover, Dr Devkota's talk will highlight the transformative potential of the '3F Initiative' in shaping conservation strategies and environmental policies. By advocating for the recognition and integration of Funga into ecological frameworks, his presentation will provoke a paradigm shift in scientific perspectives and bolster efforts toward preserving biodiversity in critical regions. 

Dr. Susma Giri

Dr. Susma Giri, Scientist and Director of Research at the Kathmandu Institute of AppliedSciences (KIAS), specializes in understanding insect responses to climate change, biodiversity conservation in the Himalaya, and environmental pollution. With a PhD in Ecology from the University of Wyoming (UW) and a BSc in Forestry from the Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, she has demonstrated significant expertise and leadership in research and education.
Dr. Giri's research, supported by numerous grants and prestigious awards, has notably contributed to understanding insect ecology, pollination, and environmental science. She actively engages in communication and outreach, advocating for initiatives concerning green economy and citizen science. Her engagement in various organizations and research primarily centers on critical issues including microplastic pollution, parasitism in Himalayan cliff bees, and insect diversity in Kathmandu among others.