Indian Institute of Chemical Biology

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Last Updated: September 1, 2005
Other Name: IICB
Location: Calcutta (aka Kolkata), India
Subordinate To: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Size: N/A
Facility Status: Active

Established in 1935 as the first unofficial center in India for biomedical research and became part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in 1956.

The scientific staff at the institute has expertise in a variety of areas, including chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, neurobiology, and immunology. A neurobiology group at the institute is involved in research on the development of the vertebrate brain and also the genesis of human movement disorders. Bioactive substances from natural sources and chemically synthesized new molecules are also being explored as potential drugs. Other areas of research are gastric hyperacidity and ulcers, muscular dystrophy and related disorders, macromolecular structure function analysis, the development of targeted drug delivery systems, sperm biology and protein chemistry, and enzymology.

The institute has developed an oral vaccine for cholera, herbal products for controlling gastric ulcers, empirical treatment for vitiligo, diagnostic kits for malignancy and hormonal disorders, fungal enzymes of industrial importance, radiopharmaceuticals for evaluation of the functional status of renal and hepatobiliary systems, and a device for early detection of Parkinson's disease. It has also developed Asmon, which is a medicine that gives relief for asthma.

The institute is made up of seven different programs: Cellular Physiology, Biotechnology, Human Genetics and Genomics, Drug Design and Math Model, Infectious Diseases, Immunology, and Synthetic and Bioproduct Chemistry.

  • The Cellular Physiology program is divided into four divisions: Cell Biology, Molecular Endocrinology, Neurobiology, and Reproductive Biology. The Cell Biology division is working on the biochemical basis of gastric hyperacidity and ulceration and development of anti-ulcer compounds. The Molecular Endocrinology division is working on the mechanism of thyroid hormone action in gonads, developing highly active insulin from a new cell, immotilin (a novel protein for contraception), functional genomics of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and the isolation and characterization of differentially expressed mRNAs from the ovarian granulose cells of a hypothyroidic rat. The Neurobiology division delineates molecular and genetic basis in the aetiopathology of neurodegenerative diseases (especially Parkinson's disease) and is also looking at developing drugs for these diseases.
  • The Biotechnology program is developing xylanolytic enzymes from an edible fungus and their biotechnological applications. Is also working on molecular genetics of acidophilic mine bacteria and leaching of low grade copper ore by thermophilic microorganisms and yeast trehalase. In addition, it is working on the development of a plant model for immunomodulator screening and development of new radiopharmaceuticals. It is looking at tissues targeted for drug delivery and is evaluating the antimutagenic, mutagenic, and genotoxic activities of drugs, as well as genetic damage caused by heavy metals.
  • The Human Genetics program conducts studies to understand the genetic basis and molecular mechanism of diseases common in the Indian population, leading to diagnostic and therapeutic advances.
  • The Drug Design and Math Model program: No information is available in the open source material.
  • The Infectious Disease program is developing different drugs and techniques targeting infectious disease.
  • The Immunology program is studying the role of endogenous and exogenous immunomodulators in health and diseases, the identification of biomarkers for the diagnosis of parasitic and neoplastic diseases and immune disorders, and the development of diagnostic and therapeutic agents.
  • The Synthetic and Bioproduct Chemistry program: No information was available in the open source material.
  • The institute possesses an electron microscope, a DNA analyzer, a confocal microscope, a 300MHz NMR device, and an animal house.

Source: Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, www.iicb.res.in.

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