Dr. Ajay Gupta
Dr. A.K. Gupta is a Professor of Biotechnology Research & Development in Maharishi Markandeshwar Deemed to be University, India, having 25 years of experience in botanicals and biotechnology. He has rare combination of skills in Plant Tissue Culture, greenhouse cultivation using hydroponics, Phytochemicals extraction and quality control of finished drugs. These skills are perfectly fit to emerging cannabis industries worldwide as these all four skills are needed for – elite cannabis germplasm culture in laboratory, hardening & growing of tissue cultured disease free cannabis varieties in greenhouse through hydroponics, extraction of cannabinoids and terpenes from Cannabis species and finally standardization and quality control for purity and contaminants of microbes, toxins, pesticides and residual solvents in ready to use extracts. In addition to these, he has expertise in Genome analyses of crop cultivars.
As a plant tissue culture expert, Dr. Gupta has developed protocols for tissue culture of cannabis cultivars in the laboratory and crops of horticultural importance. Under his supervision, his laboratory has produced over a million of tissue cultured and hardened plants of Gerbera, Carnation, Strawberry, Papaya, and Banana for local nurseries, farmers and organizations. He has in depth knowledge of various tissue culture media preparation and sterilization, aseptic preparation of explants and inoculation, uses of PGRs, meristem culture, embryo culture, callus culture, protoplast fusion, monitoring growth conditions, sub culturing of micro propagated plants, disease indexing for producing disease free micro plants for nurseries and markets, hardening of in vitro plants for ready to transplant in the field and greenhouses.
Prof. Gupta is well acquainted with modern greenhouse practices for crop production under optimum climatic conditions and automated fertilization systems. He has been performing commercial scale cultivation of herbs in climate controlled greenhouses in soilless media for more than a decade in India. He is currently overseeing commercial scale hydroponics of horticultural crops in his present organization.
He is expert in natural products active principles isolation and optimization through solvents extraction in Soxhlet, Rotary Evaporator and column chromatography. He has done residual solvent analyses of herbal extracts through HPLC and GC. He has handled up to one metric ton raw herbs in large vessels for solvent extraction of various herbal dugs. For chemical solvent free cannabis extraction, he has developed SOPs for supercritical fluid extraction for PhytoSciences Consultants, USA. Dr. Gupta is well versed with GMP, CGMP and GLP for quality control of herbal drugs. He supervises high-tech instrument handling in the lab for best results and performance. He did quality control of bulk drugs prior to shipment while serving in an herbal pharmaceutical company. Dr Gupta has supervised microbiological analyses of raw herbs and finished drugs for confirmatory testing of microbes Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella sp, E.coli & coliforms and Yeast & Molds using specific microbial culture media before release of finished drugs under stringent quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) as per guidelines of various pharmacopeias.
Apart from above skills, he is also skilled in various types of assays through mammalian cell culture, MTT assay, Cell viability assay, Genome analysis, PCR, ELISA, cryo-preservation, Protein profiling through SDS-PAGE, Gel documentation and Western blotting.
Prof Gupta is currently also involved in development of several herbal formulations for controlling aging and age related neuronal disorders, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Formulated drugs are tested on human cell lines and mice models for effectiveness. His three formulations for aging and age related disorders, controlling inflammation and as hepatoprotective drugs are pending for patenting. Prof Gupta is also investigating role of traditional foods in controlling diseases and healthy aging.
Previously, Dr. Gupta has served as Director (Operations) at the Dolphin PG College of Science and Agriculture in Punjab and has also been on Director’s chair at Institute of Applied Sciences in Mangalayatan University, India. Dr. Gupta has further work experience in Indian herbal and food processing industries like Alchem International Ltd., New Delhi; Himalya International Ltd., Indo-Britain Agro Farms Ltd. and is also experienced working as postdoctoral research fellow in James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, KY, USA. He is also a Plant Tissue Culture consultant to select pharmaceutical companies in India and overseas. Dr Gupta is active consultant to PhytoSciences Consultants, USA.
Dr. Gupta’s operational expertise (20+ years) in commercial scale tissue culture, cultivation, extraction and quality control are critical to cannabis operations and training.
Dr. Gupta is the recipient of many awards for his achievements. He has received Environmentalist of the Year Award, 2010; Eminent Scientist of the Year Award, 2012 and Leading Scientist Award, 2012. He has been actively creating awareness on industrial wastes, recycling and environmental health issues.
He has published 8 books including book on Genomics & Proteomics, 18 Research papers and has presented his research works in over 25 national and international conferences. Several invited talks in leading colleges and Universities are to his credits. He has trained large number of undergraduate, graduate and research students of biotechnology and Life Sciences under his supervision. He is a member of editorial boards of three research journals and reviewer for many national and international research journals. He has been one of the Principal Investigators in World Bank funded project on conservation of medicinal plants biodiversity in India.
Professor Gupta is alumnus of two most prestigious universities of India. He obtained his Doctoral degree (tissue culture) and M.Phil degree (Ethnobotany) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and bachelor and master’s degree (Biological sciences) from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.