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  • Sci. & Tech.
    Another research body to come up in Hyderabad

    Hyderabad (PTI): Yet another world-class research institution will come up in Andhra Pradesh in the next three years.

    The Institute of Translational Research (ITR), an autonomous body being "facilitated" by city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), will be set up on a 184 -acre site at Rangapur village in Bibinagar mandal near here.

    The state government has allotted the site to CCMB for establishing the Rs 1,000-crore institute that will focus on various areas of biological research like cell biology, developmental biology, stem-cell biology and cancer biology.

    The ITR's objective will be to carry the research results directly to the (patient's) bed, CCMB sources said.

    The proposed body, for which the Planning Commission has given in principle nod, will collaborate with city-based Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) to carry the research results from "the bench to the bed," they said.

    The NIMS is shortly opening its second campus at Bibinagar and it will be tied-up with the ITR, the sources said. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has also approved the ITR project. CCMB is one of the laboratories of the CSIR, a premier government agency.

    The Central Government has sanctioned Rs 360 crore towards, what CCMB Director Lalji Singh described a `mega project'. "The institute will give a boost to India's image as an emerging hub of biotech and pharma research," he told PTI.

    "India has over 4,694 anthropologically well-defined populations. We need to leverage this as it can provide access to vital research for studying gene-environment interactions in relation to a disease and developing personalised medicine."

    ITR is a totally "new concept," according to Singh. "The modern institution and the associated medical school will anchor the application of knowledge of modern biology into clinical care."

    It will also take up collection and analysis of large amounts of clinical data, development of personalised medicine, cultivation of stem cell populations, molecular diagnostics and design and development of targeted delivery systems.

    On the laboratory front, the institute will match its counterparts in the US, CCMB sources said. It will have the latest tools of Rs 300 crore plus, and hospital equipment worth another Rs 300 crore.

    The ITR will offer challenging opportunities for about 1,000 scientists and staff besides about 500 students, the sources added.

    As many internationally-reputed pharmaceutical and biotech companies are located in Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh Government pushed for the ITR project and succeeded in bagging it, beating Bihar in the race.

    "The presence of ITR will attract multi-national companies engaged in clinical and genomic research to the state," a top official in the Chief Minister's Office said.

    With the required land in place, the "first hurdle" for the prestigious project has been cleared. Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is now using his good offices in New Delhi to get other clearances for the project and speed up its establishment, the official added.

    Sci. & Tech.

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