Ministry of Science & Tech Grants Rs. 13.69 Crores to GITAM for Drug Discovery Centre

Ministry of Science & Tech Grants Rs. 13.69 Crores to GITAM for Drug Discovery Centre

GITAM’s Research on Marine Biology Aims to Revolutionize Healthcare

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, October 12, 2023, 08:06 PM IST
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GITAM University |

Mumbai: GITAM (Deemed to be University) has achieved a milestone in academic funding by securing an INR 13.69 Crore grant from the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology to establish a centre for drug discovery and marine biology research. The grant, conferred through the Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) program, will support the procurement of new equipment, research costs, manpower, conduct of workshops/summer schools etc.

The university's ambitious five-year plan involves the establishment of a cutting-edge center for drug discovery research, with a focus on addressing pressing global health challenges. 

"Studies have suggested the presence of bioactive compounds in marine organisms, such as astaxanthin found in zooplankton and fucoxanthin in brown algae and certain zooplankton, which may possess anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. However, further research is needed to validate these findings for human health,” added Dr Hari Sharan Misra, Distinguished Professor from GITAM (Deemed to be University).

GITAM's marine biologists are at the forefront of exploring coastal marine ecosystems, hunting for bioactive compounds in aquatic zooplankton and bacteria. Once discovered, these valuable findings are handed over to biochemists and molecular biologists for isolation and characterization.

These compounds could potentially combat cancer, reduce inflammation, and fight antibiotic-resistant diseases. Simultaneously, GITAM's chemists are busy developing various derivatives of these molecules with unique properties, while physicists are venturing into nanotechnology to create biocompatible nanoparticles that could transform drug delivery. As the project progresses, pharmacists will formulate these innovative drugs for animal testing, aiming to evaluate their effectiveness and safety. 

Prof. Ravi Kumar Gurazada, a Distinguished Professor at GITAM (Deemed to be University), said, "This ambitious research project, valued at Rs 13.69 Crores, underscores the government's commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and tackling critical healthcare issues. This grant brings national recognition to GITAM and provides an opportunity to engage in pioneering research in the field of drug discovery. DST's recognition of our merit and trust in our institutional strengths and scientific capabilities is a moment of pride."

GITAM's pioneering research, backed by DST's substantial funding, promises groundbreaking contributions to drug discovery, healthcare, and global sustainability.

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