Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India

Updated October 2013

Organisation:  India

Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India

Background information on the organisation:

a)    Mission Statement:

To create tools and technologies that address the problems of the largest section of the society, provide products and services at affordable prices and make India globally competitive in the emerging bio-economy.  Policies that foster a balance between sustaining innovation and facilitating technology diffusion need to be put in place.

b)    Organisational status:

The Department of Biotechnology is one of the Departments under Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

c)    Remit:

The membership fee will be borne by the Department of Biotechnology as per the rules of Government of India.

d)    Web link to organisation’s home page:

http://www.dbtindia.nic.in, http://www.dbtindia.gov.in 

Annual research budget:

Approx. 250 Million US$

Stem cell budget:

The budget of stem cell research and regenerative medicine is the part of Medical Biotechnology budget of the Department.

Stem cell strategy 

Strategy for stem cell research has been classified under two categories.

Short-term strategy includes: thorough basic research; explore full potential of adult stem cells; generation of hESC lines; reprogramming of adult stem cells; hESCs for screening & toxicity study; to generate & characterize iPSCs; Creation of animal models for safety and efficacy study and generation of well trained HR.

Medium & long-term strategy includes differentiation of ESCs and iPSCs into different lineages and their potential  future applications; to generate disease specific cell lines; pilot studies & randomized clinical trials; building partnership with industries; capacity building in institutions and medical schools; repositories for SCs and cell lines and establish global partnership.

Key stem cell centres/investments:

  • Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore, Karnataka, India: www.instem.res.in

The institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine has been established as an autonomous institute of the Department in 2008 at Bangalore. The primary objective of this institute is to create an organizational structure that promotes growth of expertise in stem cell research by fostering interactions among basic scientists and clinicians in ways that support innovative research to overcome impediments to progress in the therapeutic use of human stem cells.

  • Centre for Stem Cell Research, Christian Medical College, Vellore, TamilNadu, India: www.cscr.in

The Centre for Stem Cell Research, CMC, Vellore has been established as translational unit of institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine. The major programme of the Centres are on vascular biology and tissue engineering, gene therapy, induced-pluripotent stem cells, hematopoietic stem cell niche, etc. This Centre has also developed several national and international collaborative programmes with the clinicians and research scientists on various aspects of stem cells and regenerative medicine.   

Recent research achievements and outputs

  • Maternal imprinting at H19Igf2 locus maintains adult hematopoietic stem cell quiescence. Venkatraman A, Xi C. He, ThorvaldsenJL, Sugimura R, Perry JM et al. Nature. 2013;500:345-349.
  • Watch water flow.  Abramson J, Vartanian AS. Science 2013
  • Recent advances in cardanol chemistry in a nutshell: from nut to nanomaterials. Balachandran VS, Jadhav SR, Vemula PK, John G. Chemical Society Reviews 2013.
  • Conserved Regulation of the JAK/STAT Pathway by the Endosomal Protein Asrij Maintains Stem Cell Potency. Abhishek Sinha, Rohan J. Khadilkar, Vinay K. S., Arghyashree RoyChowdhury Sinha, Maneesha S. Inamdar (2013). Cell Reports, Volume 4, Issue 4, 649-658, 22 August 2013. www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(13)00391-4#Summary.
  • Non-canonical Wnt signaling maintains hematopoietic stem cells in the niche. Sugimura R, He XC, Venkatraman A, Arai F, Box A, Semerad C, Haug JS, Peng L, Zhong X, Suda Tand Li L. Cell, Volume 150, Issue 2, 351-365, 20 July 2012.
  • Advancing stem cell biology toward stem cell therapeutics. Scadden D, Srivastava A. Cell Stem Cell 2012 Feb 3;10(2):149-50.

New funding initiatives:

The Department has initiated various research programmes on various aspects of embryonic, induced pluripotent stem cells, adult stem cells, developing animal models, pre-clinical and clinical studies.

Changes to stem cell related policies:

Revision of the Guidelines for Stem Cell Research:

Revision of the guidelines for stem cell research formulated jointly by the Department of Biotechnology and Indian Council for Medical Research based on the comments received from various stakeholders including scientists, clinicians, industry, patient group, media, etc. during public consultation in different parts of the country. The document is being considered by the National Apex Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy. Draft of the revised guidelines is available at http://www.icmr.nic.in  

National (or regional) stem cell network or contact point:

National Apex Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy

The Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has constituted a National Apex Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy (NAC-SCRT) Committee to examine the scientific, technical, ethical, legal and social issues in the area of stem cell based research and therapy. All institutions in India involved in any type of stem cell research and therapy shall be registered with the NAC-SCRT through its Institutional Committee for Stem Cell Research.

Other major funders of stem cell research in your country

  1. Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi – www.icmr.nic.in
  2. Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India – www.dst.gov.in
  3. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi – www.csir.res.in

Helpful web-links:

Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Centre for Stem Cell Research, Christian Medical College, Vellore, TamilNadu, India

Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, Karnataka

 

Previous Member Updates

January 2012

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