Director’s Message

Spectacular and outstanding advances have been made in the past few decades, in the area of research and application in life sciences. Knowledge obtained in the field of life sciences and the techniques developed using advanced tools and technologies of genetic engineering, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and biomaterials etc., hold the potential for improving human health, welfare and economic development. Modern research in Life Sciences offers many exciting opportunities for the future. Some of the potential applications of sustained efforts envisaged are: reproducing organs using stem cells, merging natural and synthetic tissues, applying personalized medicine, repairing genetic disorders, curing neurodegenerative diseases, deploying nanotechnologies in medicine, enhancing crop productivity, managing environment, etc. The research and development efforts undertaken over the years have therefore created many opportunities and applications for public health, medicine, agriculture, environment and the industry.

As a discipline, life science research has come an extraordinarily long way over the last century. The revolutionary work of life science researchers has changed how we view and understand biological systems and this new knowledge has led the way to innovative opportunities, allowing the sector to grow and evolve at a phenomenal rate. Understanding the Life Science sector as it is today and more importantly, anticipating the changes and developments set to meet us in the future, is crucial for life sciences research community committed to achieving the goal of sustained human welfare.

The future holds truly imposing challenges for humankind: efficiently improving the sustainable productivity of diverse food crops, producing sustainable substitutes for fossil fuels, monitoring and restoring ecosystem services, and understanding and promoting human health. The New 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.

Institute of Life Sciences, with an assemblage 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. It 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.

With an overall objective of contributing towards human health and welfare, ILS has core strength in four areas (a) Infectious Diseases, (b) Cancer Biology, (c) Genetic & Autoimmune Disorders and (d) Plant and Microbial Biotechnology. We use advanced research in the area of biotechnology, 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 diagnostic methods illustrate some of our approaches for addressing public health. Our research effort aims at the understanding of genes and their functions, of infectious disease mechanisms (pathogenesis), of the immune defense system and of biochemical pathways. Scientists at ILS have adapted multi-disciplinary approaches to understand and identify novel strategies to combat various types of cancers such as leukaemia, oral, pancreatic, prostate and breast cancer. Through an interdisciplinary program, the group aims to explore new avenues to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and prevention approaches for different cancers. This knowledge can lead to modification and manipulation of the genetic material of a potential organism and its products. In the field of plant science and environment, we use biotechnology approaches 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.

Institute of Life Sciences is embarking on a path for harnessing SCIENCE for better LIFE. We aim to address issues and challenges of local, regional and national relevance with global implications. Our goal is 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 partnerships, we at ILS will strive hard to excel in our scientific endeavour for contributing to larger public and societal good.