Let's hear it for life sciences

Last Updated : 20 October 2010, 13:19 IST
Last Updated : 20 October 2010, 13:19 IST

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In the area of Life Sciences, DSI offers postgraduate courses (in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Applied Genetics) and graduate programmes.

The R&D centre for Life Sciences offers  six laboratories for Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Genetics, Microbiology, Plant Biotechnology and Systems Biology.

The specific mandates of the centre are to enhance research infrastructure, expand and develop faculty research capability, initiate multi-disciplinary research program-mes in plant, microbial and medical biotechnology, and develop an interface with the industry.

The R&D centre also has a team of 10 doctoral degree holders, who will be mentors to students pursuing research at the centre.

Plant Biotechnology

As part of the Biotechnology initiative, a commercial plant biotech laboratory has been set up. This facility has a large tissue-culture plant production unit with classrooms and an environmentally-controlled greenhouse with shading and misting for hardening and growth of tissue cultured plants before being planted. The facility also has a research unit for developing processes and technologies for the production unit. A team of trained scientists with domain knowledge and skill operate the production unit. The unit is engaged in mass production of high quality planting material for agriculture, horticulture and plantation industry.

The biotech facility will also be engaged in contract research, production and services. DSI also plans to help farmers by offering quality planting stock and supplying hardened tissue culture plants .

Boost for bamboo

Bamboo is one of the world’s important natural and renewable resources. It has a large number of uses and applications and serves as an eco-friendly alternative to fast-depleting wood.

Recognising its potential and its contribution to the economy of the country, a National Mission on Bamboo and its applications has been launched by the Planning Commission, Government of India, to enhance the area of plantation through production of quality planting material.

DSI’s biotech group will assist members of the National Mission Programme on Bamboo to develop quality planting stock for bamboo plantations.

Other areas of research will focus on nanomedicine, identification of biomarkers, targeted drug delivery using nanosystems and solubilisation of drugs through nanoparticles.

Recognition from DST

The research infrastructure, technical expertise of faculty and enabling atmosphere at DSI has helped the Department of Science & Technology (DST) to identify DSI for support under the DST-FIST (Fund for Improvement of Science & Technology Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions) programme 2007 under level - 1 category. 

DST has sanctioned some of the major facilities — high end equipment (HPLC, RTPCR, ultra cooling centrifuge, walk-in cold chamber, protein crystallisation facility), and computational and networking facility.

Published 20 October 2010, 10:52 IST

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