Eleventh Annual Scientific Sessions of the IBMBB
The Eleventh Annual Scientific Sessions of the Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Colombo was held on July 12, 2019 at the IBMBB Conference Hall. Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Senior Professor Chandrika Wijeyaratne was the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony. The inaugural ceremony commenced with the lightning of the oil lamp by Professor Chandrika Wijeyaratne, Professor Kamani Tennekoon (Former director of IBMBB), Vidyajyothi Professor Rezvi Sheriff & Professor Tara de Silva (former acting directors of IBMBB), Professor Sagarika Ekanayake, Dr. Rohan Wijesundera and Mr. Shalitha Wijesundera, representing the Wijesundera Family, Professor Shiroma Handunnetti (Director IBMBB), Dr. Sisira Pathirana and Dr. Nadeesha Lewke Bandara (Chairperson and the Secretary of the organizing committee of the eleventh annual scientific sessions).
The Professor Stanley Wijesundera Memorial Lecture is one of the key events of the inauguration ceremony. This year the Memorial Lecture was delivered by Professor Sagarika Ekanayake, a Senior Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The title of the lecture was ‘Eat Rice to be healthy: Variety, processing and preparation’. The Memorial Lecture was a very informative and timely one, which described research findings on Glycaemic Index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) of various rice varieties, preparations and processing using rice. According to Professor Sagarika Ekanayake par boiled rice and/or non-polished rice elicit lower glycaemic index and thereby lower glycemic load than raw rice and/or polished rice of the same variety. ‘Nadu’ has the lowest GI followed by ‘keeri samba’. ‘Basmati rice’ also has a medium GI and the Indian ‘basmati’ yielded a lower GI than Pakistan Basmati rice. Bigger grain size of the rice flour and lower water content in preparation (eg. rotti) also yielded a lower glycaemic value after a meal. More importantly, she explained that when rice is consumed with many different accompaniments (curries) in the typical Sri Lankan way induces further lower glycaemic response. Par-boiled rice which elicits lower glycaemic response would be a healthier choice. Thus, selection of rice variety, processing rice for preparations and the way of preparation needs to be properly considered for nutritious and healthier meal.
The scientific Sessions of the IBMBB comprised of three sessions for oral presentations and one session for posters including a total of 21 abstracts. The best presenters of each oral session and the best poster presenter were awarded certificates and cash awards.