Bhubaneswar: The International Conference for celebration of 60th Anniversary of UNESCO Kalinga Prize for Popularization of Science started today at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT).

The Conference was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and was organised by Kalinga Foundation Trust, Odisha, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), France, Department of Science and Technology Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and Department of Science and Technology, Government of Odisha.

Vietnamese Scientist Professor Trinh Xuan Thuan was presented the Kalinga Chair Award-2009 by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

On this Ocassion it was declared that Mexican scientist Dr. Rene Raul Drucker Colin, who specialises in Physiology and Neuroscience and is a columnist, will receive the prestigious UNESCO Kalinga Prize-2011 that carries a cash prize of US$ 20,000, a medal and a citation.

Dr. Drucker has received other prestigious awards earlier including the National Prize of Sciences and Arts, the National University Prize in the research area in Natural Science, the Award Mexican Health Foundation; Miguel Otero Award of Merit in Scientific Research and Medical Excellence Award, both from the Ministry of Health, the Andres Bello award Order “Class Honor Band”, awarded by the Government of the Republic of Venezuela, the award of the National Academy of Medicine Dr. Ruiz Castaneda.

Born in Mexico City in 1937, Dr. Drucker studied psychology at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico as his Bachelor course, received Master degree at the University of Illinois and a doctorate in the School of Medicine, Saskatchewan, Canada. His work in neuroscience helped discover possible causes of Parkinson among others diseases.

Dr. Drucker pioneered the study of neuroactive peptides in the regulation of sleep, and thus put Mexico on the world map of the neuroscience of sleep. He developed the technique of simultaneous recording of unit activity in intracerebral perfusion in animals free movement, which led him to develop and propose his theory excitostática to explain both the initiation and termination mechanism of rapid eye movement sleep (REM) as its function.

Among others, Chairman, Kalinga Foundation Trust Bhabani Charan Pattanayak and MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra were present on the occasion.

The Conference will continue till January 5, 2012.