Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), Chennai has launched an academic programme of doctorate level research leading to a PhD degree in stem cell research to be awarded by the Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, AP and also a MoU was signed among the institutes for a collaboration on research and academic activities.
This is likely to be the first of its kind in the country wherein clinical doctors and basic scientists are enrolling in PhD programme and they will jointly accomplish research in liver stem cells and hematopoietic stem cells to find solutions for several diseases which are beyond the realm of a definitive treatment as of now.
Regenerative medicine (RM) is an evolving specialty in medicine in which stem cells, progenitor cells and mature cells with regenerative capability are used to treat diseases. This is a unique specialty in which scientists of stem cell biology have to work in coordination with the clinical doctors and the clinical doctors of RM should have a thorough understanding of all medical specialties where RM has a role and also should know about the basics of the stem cells.
Unlike the developed nations where clinical doctors themselves as part of their work involve in research projects with basic scientists, in India such synergy has been very rare. The clinical doctors who see problems in terms of a disease without a definitive treatment should interact with the basic scientists to make them understand and work towards a cell based therapy in RM, jointly.
NCRM having a track record of accomplishments in fields such as Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Neurology and Hepatology involving laboratory work, animal research and clinical studies, with a good network of collaborating institutes both in India and Japan, attracted the attention of Acharya Nagarjuna University and after an interaction with their Biotechnology department headed by Prof. K.R Sambasiva Rao, over two years, the senate of the university has approved a PhD of such unique nature be started.
Prof. V. Balamohandas, Vice Chancellor, ANU handed over the enrollment certificates to the two scientists (MSc Microbiology) and one clinical doctor (MD-Internal medicine) who are enrolled for this PhD programme in stem cell research through NCRM. NCRM will consider applications for this PhD programme from post-graduates in life sciences and medical, dental and veterinary graduates.