Don’t miss anything. Follow Us.


Scientific Activities

Precision Bio Therapeutics

At DBT-ILS, biotechnology-related platform research is being carried out for obtaining pharmaceutical products that can find end applications in medical, biomedical, cosmetic, veterinary, and pharmaceutical areas. The ongoing research activities have obtained substantial leads in the area of malaria parasite biology, candida vaccine development, bone-promoting personalized biomaterials, chikungunya viral antibodies, etc. In continuation with the ongoing efforts, emphasis will be given to the mass production of the obtained leads.

Applied Biotechnology for Developing Climate Resilient Crops

Rapid climate change is a chief factor that lends to yield loss in major food as well as cash crops all over the world. The emergence of adverse environmental conditions has affected almost all aspects of agriculture and even increased the crops’ susceptibility to other elements, especially plant viruses. The adverse effect of climate and its associated factors on agriculture has been worsening through the years. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has put the problem into focus as most agriculturists have suffered huge losses, as they were unable to tend to the crops, leaving them unattended and exposed to the vagaries of their environment. Therefore, there is a need to explore both the basic and applied facets of agricultural biotechnology to come up with long- and short-term solutions for developing climate resilient plants. Hence, the current approach has been designed keeping in mind the current and future needs of agriculture.

Functional food and smart proteins

Research at DBT-ILS is geared up towards evaluating the toxicological and health promoting aspects of fermented foods. Under the national Himalayan Bioresource project of Himalayan origin, research is being undertaken to evaluate the health benefits of fermented food in preclinical models.

INSACOG SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Surveillance

Based on Phase I of the project, Phase II of INSACOG was launched in December 2022, with a consortium of already developed ~65-70 partners from all over India. This consortium is aimed to be prepared for surveillance of any disease outbreak in the country in future. At DBT-ILS 24812 samples have been processed so far for sequencing run and 14394 genomes sequenced with high quality in the Phase-I. The target for ILS was 14400 total genomes in a year (1200 genomes / month). In phase II, ILS proposed 12000 genomes in a year, if the samples will be available depending on how the pandemic situation evolves. Till now we have processed 1710 samples and sequenced 697 samples.

Genome India Project

The objective of the  project is to perform whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 10,000 individuals representing the Indian population to create a detailed catalogue of genetic variations. This catalogue will be an immense scientific resource for the country with plausible health related implications. The Indian reference haplotype panel developed from this data will be used to design genetic chips and this will also act as a reference panel for imputation with higher precision. There are 21 collaborating institutes in this consortium from all over India. ILS is responsible for collecting 1081 samples with phenotype data of six different populations (Odiya Brahmins, Juang, Gond, Bison Horn Maria, Namasudra and Madia) from Odisha state. At the same time, ILS also aims to perform secondary analysis using the variants identified in the Genome India project. A total of 787 samples have been submitted till now.

Himalayan Bioresources Project

There are two sub-projects under the Himalayan Bioresources Project.

  1. Traditional medicine from Himalayan Bioresources, and
  2. Genetic enhancement of crops from northeast Himalayan region.

The objective of the first sub-project is to document the medicinal plants, plant extracts, natural formulations that traditional healers use in regular practice in the northeast India including Shillong, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland region. The extracts/formulations will be screened for their medicinal properties using different in vitro and in vivo animal model systems. For in vitro, investigation, screening for immune-modulatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects will be done. In the genetic enhancement project, Zinger and Turmeric contrasting varieties with different Gingerol and Curcumin content will be profiled for their transcriptome to identify the biosynthesis pathways that are different in the high yielding versus low yielding varieties. ILS is also evaluating the toxicological and health promoting aspects of fermented foods of Himalayan origin in preclinical models.

Marine Biotechnology Project

The objective of the project is to utilize advanced biotechnological tools for harnessing the potential of marine bio resources for developing products / processes of significance to health and nutrition security. It aims at bioprospecting for novel therapeutic and nutraceutical compounds from diverse marine organisms such as microbes and lower plants as well as mangroves.

Minor Pulses

The project entitled “Characterization, Evaluation, Genetic Enhancement and Generation of Genomic Resources for Accelerated Utilization and Improvement of Minor Pulses” is a network program funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, and involves 13 research institutes and Universities across the country. The overall objective of the program is to generate genomic resources, pre-breeding materials, QTL identification for various agronomically important traits, and Yellow mosaic virus resistance in 6 pulses of India: Vigna radiata (Mung bean), Vigna aconotifolia (Moth bean), Vigna mungo (Black gram/Urad bean), Vigna unguiculata (Cowpea), Macrotyloma sp. (Horsegram) and Vigna umbellata (Rice bean). ILS, Bhubaneswar is the overall coordinating institute and has generated reference-grade genome assemblies for both Mung bean and Moth bean. We have the gene expression profile for various tissues and developmental stages of both Moth and Mung bean.

Pediatric Rare Genetic Disorders

The “Mission Program on Pediatric Rare Genetic Disorders (PRaGeD)” is a PAN-India initiative funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. DBT-ILS is part of this project where Genetic analysis and functional characterization of mutations using a zebrafish model are being conducted at the Institute. PRaGeD aims to create awareness, achieve a genetic diagnosis, discover & characterize new genes/mutations, provide counseling, and develop new therapies for pediatric rare genetic diseases in India.

This project aims at the establishment of a Biotech-KISAN Hub at DBT-ILS, Bhubaneswar for carrying out activities in tribal Districts of Odisha. DBT-ILS has partnered with ICAR-CIFA, ICAR-CHES, and ICAR-CTCRI to establish a Biotech – KISAN hub in Nabarangpur and Koraput, two aspirational districts of Odisha. The main objectives of the project are (1) the promotion of biofortified crops, (2) the diversification of crops with vegetables, and (3) the promotion of scientific rearing of fish/poultry/goatary.

Biotech Kisan HUB

Translational Research Consortia(TRC) for Chikungunya virus (CHIKV)

The Translational Research Consortia (TRC) for Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a collaborative effort involving six institutes: Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE, Manipal), International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB, New Delhi), Topiwala National Medical College (TNMC, Mumbai), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER, Chandigarh), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS, Bhubaneswar), and Institute of Life Sciences (ILS, Bhubaneswar). These institutes aim to establish a unified framework to facilitate the exchange of information, materials, resources, and responsibilities necessary for accomplishing the project objectives. The clinical sites (TNMC, PGIMER, and AIIMS) are involved in the screening of suspected Chikungunya patients. The ICGEB and MAHE, involve in characterising the CHIKV strains, understanding the replication kinetics, neutralization potential, immune responses, whole genome sequencing, mutational analysis, and the phylogenetic analysis of CHIKV strains obtained from patients. The primary focus of ILS is to develop and standardize an acute and chronic CHIKV infection model in the C57BL/6 mouse model, utilizing reference and consortia strains of CHIKV isolated from patients across different clinical sites in India. The developed animal model will serve as an anti-viral screening platform for various drug testing against CHIKV and vaccine efficacy testing. Additionally, ILS aims to ensure the ongoing availability of the CHIKV infection model to academic institutions and companies through a fee-for-use arrangement.