I embark on this journey with enthusiasm, humility and deep sense of responsibility to contribute to the advancement of biotechnology in India.
The vision of DBT is to attain new heights in biotechnology research and innovation with resolve for future. My personal vision resonates with this goal. I am here to further strengthen the stated mission of Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) and to steer it as a research institute of global standing, representing a hallmark of advanced knowledge in life sciences and playing a pivotal role in improving human health and well-being. I envision ILS as a catalyst for economic and social development, both in the eastern region and beyond.
The last decade has evidenced outstanding advances in the field of research and application in life sciences. The advancements in the area of genetic engineering, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, biomaterials etc. hold the potential for improving human health, welfare and economic development. Some other potential areas envisaged are: reproducing organs using stem cells, merging natural and synthetic tissues, applying for personalized medicine, repairing genetic disorders, deploying nanotechnologies in medicine, enhancing crop productivity, managing the environment etc. The future holds truly imposing challenges for humankind: efficiently improving the productivity of diverse food crops, producing sustainable substitutes for fossil fuels, monitoring and restoring ecosystem services, understanding and promoting human health. The new advances in the field of biology if properly nurtured and supported has the potential to contribute to real progress in meeting these challenges. The projected impacts of life science research are significant, from both a societal and economic perspective.
To achieve these ambitious goals, it is crucial to focus on the integration of several key areas. First and foremost, an institution is as good as its people are. Nurturing human resources to facilitate and guide learning and practice will be prioritised. I encourage all researchers to actively engage in mentoring and knowledge sharing, as this will contribute to a vibrant and collaborative research environment. Nurturing the next generation of scientists is essential for the long-term growth and success of our institute which in turn will inspire the posterity and inculcate scientific temper in them.
ILS with an assemblage of dedicated, well qualified and experienced faculty, highly enthused research scholars and committed administrative and support staff, have embarked on a journey with an overall objective of using pervasive technologies in life science research for identifying areas of technically feasible future applications. The institute provides a major interdisciplinary forum for presenting new approaches from relevant areas of bio-sciences and technology, to foster integration of the latest developments in scientific research into applications and to facilitate technology transfer from well tested ideas into practical products and remedial processes.
The overall objective of ILS is to contribute towards human health and welfare. The four core strength of ILS are in the area of a) infectious diseases b) cancer biology c) genetic & autoimmune disorders and d) plant and microbial biotechnology. At ILS, the use of advanced research has been in the area of genomics, proteomics, structural biology and bioinformatics, etc. for improving human health through the prevention, monitoring, detection, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. The development of safer, more efficient antiviral agents, antibiotics and vaccines; novel therapies; and more precise and rapid laboratory diagnostics methods illustrate some of the approaches for addressing public health. The research efforts aims at understanding of genes and their functions, of infectious disease mechanisms (pathogenesis), of the immune defence system and of biochemical pathways. Scientists at ILS have adapted multi-disciplinary program, and aim to explore new avenues to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and prevention approaches for different cancers. In the field of plant science and environment, biotechnology approaches have been used for the betterment of society through the development of crop varieties with climate resilience, higher yield, improved nutritional quality, resistance to pests and diseases, and reduced cost of production, thereby contributing to reduced environmental impacts. Further strengthening of the existing expertise will be ensured through establishing effective clinical collaborations to develop innovative technologies for enhanced diagnosis and therapeutic interventions. By leveraging the expertise of healthcare professionals and scientists, we will create impactful solutions that address the pressing healthcare challenges faced by humanity. I aim to strengthen our scientific research by recruiting young talents and providing them with mentorship opportunities.
ILS owes a social responsibility towards marginalized communities, such as tribals and those dependent on marine resources. I propose the implementation of interdisciplinary societal programs that address the unique challenges and contribute to the well-being of the tribal community. By integrating our scientific expertise with their traditional knowledge, we can create sustainable solutions that improve their quality of life.
In line with the growing importance of data-driven research, I envision the integration of high-throughput multi-omics and multi-modal data analysis approaches. This will enable us to gain a deeper understanding of complex biological systems and accelerate discoveries in life sciences. Additionally, we will initiate courses on entrepreneurship and establish an ecosystem that nurtures start-ups, fostering a culture of innovation within our institute.
To ensure self-sustainability and provide cutting-edge clinical services, we will invest in high-end infrastructure and develop strategies to generate internal resources. By optimizing our operations and exploring strategic partnerships, we can position ILS as a hub within the city cluster. I again emphasize the importance of team building and mentorship. Collaboration and synergy among researchers are vital for achieving excellence. We will strive towards fostering an environment that encourages teamwork, communication, and sharing of ideas. Collaborations with esteemed institutions such as AIIMS, NISER, IIT, IMMT and KIIT will enable us to leverage complementary expertise, exchange knowledge, and undertake collaborative projects of national importance. I hereby, emphasize the significance of strengthening our industry-academia relationship in projects of national importance. By collaborating closely with the industry, our scientists will be enabled to translate their world-class science to technology for betterment of human kind.
ILS is embarking on a path for harnessing science for betterment of life. We aim to address issues and challenges of local, regional and national relevance with global implications. Our goal will be to undertake strategic, anticipatory and participatory research in partnership mode to address existing and emerging challenges and make considerable progress in science aimed at influencing and contributing to public policies with an effective science outreach strategy. With a dedicated workforce and sustained partnership, we at ILS will strive hard to excel in our scientific endeavour to larger public and societal good.