Biological Sciences

Events and seminars

Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (RIBB) at a glance & our Engage Nepal with Science outreach programs

Prajwal Rajbhandari and Suvechhya Bastola - Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (RIBB, Nepal) & Engage Nepal with Science

5th September 2022 at 12:00pm [Download iCalendar / .ics file]


In 2011 with a mission to advance bioscience, engineering, innovation and education by collaborating with academic and other research organisations to conduct high quality research in a world-class academic and professional environment. The goal of RIBB is to form a consortium of committed, highly trained and competitive young investigators in Nepal seeking to obtain collaborative and multidisciplinary research careers in the fields of life sciences, technology and engineering. In recent years RIBB has also been focusing on the field of sustainable chemistry to mitigate UN sustainable development goals. Synopsis of these projects are as follows:

1. Nepalese medicinal plants and waste fruits and vegetables as nutraceuticals/functional foods: this UNESCO funded project investigates therapeutically useful bioactive compounds from citrus fruit waste – abundantly available in Nepal – using green extraction and solid-state fermentation methods. Several bioactive compounds have been produced from waste fruit peels by developing green and low-cost extraction techniques. These bioactive extracts have shown promising antioxidant and anti-microbial properties, and high levels of phytochemicals/nutrients, that can be utilized as key functional ingredients in natural preservatives and functional foods (food or components of food that provide medical or health benefits).

2. Utilising cationic peptides for the development of novel antibacterial hydrogels to address bacterial infections in an environment of increasing bacterial resistance to existing antibiotics: this project utilises low molecular weight amino acid-based hydrogelators to apply as functional antibacterial biomaterials. Cationic motifs of diaminopropane linkers attached to Fmoc-Phe amino are used to show that these can inherently inhibit bacterial cell growth while sustaining mammalian cells.

3. Guava leaves as natural preservatives for Nepalese farmers: Food losses have become a major issue worldwide. Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food are lost or wasted every year due to microorganisms, physical damage and oxidation. As such, farmers of least developed countries like Nepal suffer food loss up to 45 % during post-harvest face substantial economic burden. To overcome this problem, guava leaves, which have been known to possess antioxidants and antibacterial properties, could be suitable for local communities of Nepal to use as natural preservatives. This study suggests the possibility of using water as a sustainable solvent to extract natural antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds from guava leaves which can further be used as natural preservatives to extend the shelf life of foods.

Besides research, in 2019 we started our public engagement with science programs through Engage Nepal with Science (ENwS). ENwS runs as a collaboration between the Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology and the Wellcome Centre for Cell biology. The overall vision of Engage Nepal with Science is to spread the culture of engaging Nepalese communities with science and the scientific research carried out at Nepalese research centres to empower, inspire and build confidence in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics). Our ENwS programs will also be discussed during the session.

For more information:



Host Alba Abad (Arulanandam lab, ICB, SBS)

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