Cambridge University and India joined hands India to work on Major Medical Research Project

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Ashok VenkitaramanCambridge UniversityDBTIndia’s Department of BiotechnologyK Vijay Raghavanmedical research projectNational Centre for Biological SciencesNCBSTata Institute of Fundamental ResearchTIFR

India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has decided to fund £11-million for a joint medical research project to be collaborated between scientists from leading Indian institutions and Cambridge University.

According to Professor Ashok Venkitaraman at Cambridge University, researchers from reputed institutes like Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) will work on it. They will combine methods from genetics, chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry and imaging to understand the alterations in cellular systems that underliehuman diseases, and identify ways to correct them using drugs. The initiative is expected to develop powerful new scientific approaches for the treatment of diseases like cancer, integrating expertise from the basic and clinical sciences in India.

As per Professor Venkitaraman, who is the Ursula Zoellner Professor of Cancer Research at Cambridge, said “Having originally trained and practiced as a physician in India, I am delighted that the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India will be supporting this exciting new initiative. The excellence of my colleagues in Bangalore, and the terrific research environment they have created, inspires confidence that we can work together not only to improve our fundamental understanding of the cellular abnormalities that cause human diseases like cancer but also to translate this information for the benefit of patients.”

Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, Acting Director of inStem and Director of NCBS described the initiative as “a new and adventurous path of collaborative, team-driven efforts to address the most challenging of biomedical problems”. Along with this, Cambridge University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Leszek Borysiewicz recalled that Cambridge and TIFR had “a long history of connections”.