Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
Established in 2013, the Division of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics under the umbrella of Faculty of Life Sciences, offers three programs, a 3-Year-UG program in B.Sc Biotechnology, a 2-year-PG program in MSc Bioinformatics, followed by PhD program in the field of life sciences. The division maintains competitive student admission criteria for all these offered programs.
Division is supported by a team of faculty members who commit themselves to the highest standards both in academics and research. It represents one of the most vibrant and visible division offering students an interdisciplinary cum entrepreneurial learning ecosystem. To strengthen the research atmosphere, the division is equipped with nationally and internationally-trained faculty members with vast research experience in various research disciplines. Further, faculty members generate funds from extra-mural research grants, supported by various national and international funding agencies, which stands as a testimony to its success story as a division.
Thrust Area of Research
The Division faculty has a unique diversity of research interests and actively encourages cross-disciplinary research problems. We have expertise and experience in investigating current and emerging environmental issues including the health impacts of cancer epidemiology, exposure assessment methods and models, chemical and biological hazard monitoring studies and various allergic diseases. To address these problems, faculties make use of both animal and plant models to address key biological questions.
The division of biotechnology & bioinformatics thrives to establish research in the thrust area on epidemiology of environmental diseases and biotechnological approaches to identify, understand and combat diseases both invitro & insilico.
High risk populations (metabolic disorders) are susceptible to various water and air borne infectious diseases largely due to weak immunity that cause ravages in a community. Following the identification and characterization of diseases, novel concepts for combating infectious diseases are the prime area that is inquisitive currently. Leptospirosis is a deadly bacterial disease that can easily spread through contaminated water. There is a need for rapid characterization of the agents through modern molecular tools. The proteomic approach will identify leptospiral proteins which have potential roles in infection processes.
More than 60% of Indian population is dependent on ground water for drinking purposes. The major natural ground water pollutants are fluorides and arsenic (As). Rice is the major crop grown which accumulates more arsenic. Therefore, people who use rice as their staple food are under the threat of Arsenic poisoning. To overcome the detrimental effect of as there are mainly two strategies: 1) Removal of Arsenic from the polluted environment or 2) Development of safe crops which can be grown in Arsenic contaminated soil but minimizing the uptake and translocation of Arsenic to edible part. By using conventional methods the first option is not economically viable for the large areas of land that are affected. Phytoremediation, which is a technique that uses plants to clean up the contaminated environment, is a future promising approach.
Another area of serious concern is the continuous use of pesticides which contaminate the ground water, reduce soil fertility and have deleterious effects on human life. Usage of pesticides cause deleterious effects such as vision problems, which are often associated with pesticides among its sprayers. Among several pesticides, especially organophosphates (eg., Monocrotophos, Chlorpyrifos, Parathion, Malathion, Diazinon etc.) lead to disorders of neonatal reflexes, psychomotor and mental development. Most of these neurological diseases appear as a result of irreversible binding of organophosphates to the cholinergic enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Since understanding the development and disorders of the central nervous system is complex, retina which is also a part of the CNS proves to be an alternative model to understand the complexity involved during development and diseases. This study is aimed at understanding the deleterious effects of pesticides on retina using chick embryos as a model system and possible therapeutics through growth factors.
Allergic diseases are Immunoglobulin E-mediated immune response. For instance, food, airborne & insect allergens are known to cause type-1 hypersensitivity reactions affecting nearly 10 to 20% of population globally. The National Health Policy of India 2017 recommends that premature mortality from non-communicable diseases, including asthma, should be reduced by 25% by 2025. There is a need for developing kits for diagnosis of these allergens and hence, rapid, simple and cost-effective detection tests can be easily adapted and rapidly scaled-up at the field or community levels.
The division has been funded by Department of Science Technology, GOI, and Philips India Pvt. Ltd., for carrying out above listed research activities. The division continuously encourages students and research scholars to explore new research ideas and innovative thinking to create an entreprenual ecosystem.
- Biotechnology Laboratory equipped with animal cell culture facility, inverted and fluorescence microscope, cryostat, 2D-gel electrophoresis, PCR, and incubators.
- Bioinformatics Laboratory equipped with bioinformatics computational resources like Software to provide an assimilated environment for drug design (CADD) and docking, modelling and simulation solutions for biomolecules, comparative modelling using protein and genomic analysis
- Centralized Animal House