Thrust Areas

THRUST AREAS OF RESEARCH

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

Diarrhoeal diseases

  • Hospital field based surveillance system for Diarrhoeal Diseases to monitor changing spectrum of enteric pathogens and to identify newer pathogens.

  • Development of tools for disease surveillance

  • Development of DNA probe or PCR based diagnostic system for diagnosis of E. histolytica and cryptosporodium parvum by molecular biological tools

  • Studies on Molecular Epidemiology of Enteric Pathogens - Genetic characterization of V. cholerae strains

  • Molecular characterization of multi-drug resistant shigella flexneri

  • Studies on rotavirus surveillance on disease burden

  • Studies on Rotavirus strain diversity

  • Molecular characterization of viruses viz. rotaviruses, human calcivirus, arbovirus, hepatitis virus

  • Development of effective superior oral rehydration solution

  • Impact of micronutrients in management of diarrhoea

  • Vaccine trial studies - typhoid, cholera

Filaria

  • Estimation of burden of disease due to lymphatic filariasis

  • Development of diagnostic/monitoring tools for filaria vectors

  • Development of intervention strategy for filariasis with emphasis on drug delivery mechanism, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, cost effectiveness

  • Genome mapping of filaria vector species and benefit

  • Development of newer tools for diagnosis and control of filaria vectors (tools for vector control, parasite control, surveillance and morbidity management, molecular/ immunological/ genetic markers and diagnostics)

  • Epidemiological studies including mapping, stratification and establishing cause and effect relationship using Geographic Information System (GIS) site specific dynamics of infection, transmission and disease and estimation of disease and economic burden

  • Studies to understand the immunological and molecular basis of host parasite interaction.Studies on drug susceptibility/develop appropriate drug regimen

  • Studies on dynamics of disease progression for disease management

  • Effectiveness of immuno-prophylactic at individual and community level

  • Studies on development of macrofilaricidal drugs

  • Application of decision making tools, particularly mathematical models for forecasting the trend of infection/disease and predicting the long term impact of intervention and selection of appropriate site specific strategy and duration of intervention(s) (Statistical /Mathematical models, economic evaluations, rapid assessment procedures and mapping, sampling protocols, algorithms for morbidity management, molecular epidemiology, DNA fingerprinting for exposure studies)

HIV/AIDS

  • Natural history studies in HIV infected individuals

  • Identify immunological parameters for pathogenesis, progress and therapy in infection

  • Assessment of impact of intervention in mother to child transmission

  • Development of new products (vaginal microbicides) and evaluation of efficacy of new as well as old products.

  • Drug resistance pattern of the virus in different parts of the country

  • Initiate basic, operational and preventive studies on HIV-TB

  • Initiate studies on chemoprophylaxis of TB in HIV-TB patients

  • Development of HIV-AIDS vaccine and clinical trials

  • Development of combined HIV-TB vaccine HIV/AIDS

  • Disease Burden and Socioeconomic impact

  • Antiretroviral therapy and various aspects related to the ART

  • Social behavioural studies.

Leishmaniasis

  • Initiate molecular epidemiology studies to understand transmission dynamics

  • Use GIS and satellite images to develop an epidemic prediction tool

  • Diagnostic tools for early detection of visceral leishmaniasis and post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL)

  • Evaluation of various diagnostic tools

  • Cloning and characterisation of stage specific genes from clinical isolates of Leishmania donovani

  • Identification of specific genes of L. donovani using genomic micro-assays

  • Study the biochemical and molecular characteristics of SAG responsive and unresponsive isolates

  • Research and development of leishmania vaccine Behavioural surveillance

Leprosy

  • To understand the differential gene expression of M.leprae using genomic approaches

  • Ultrastructural study of leprosy granuloma and blood vessels using immunoelectron-microscopy and molecular methods

  • Investigations on the relationship between hormone levels and progression of disease in women

  • Structural studies of cell transition in pathogenesis of mycobacterial diseases

  • Three dimensional study of mycobacterial granuloma to understand disease process

  •  Auto-antibodies in children leprosy cases

  • Nitric oxide metabolites in leprosy patients with type 2 reactions

  • Study of anti-cytokine antibodies in leprosy

  • Molecular epidemiological studies using RAPD, IS 6110, AFLP and other methods

  • Quantitative assessment of mutations by real time PCR of genes encoding for resistance

  • Molecular methods for drug resistance in leprosy and Study drug resistance in animal model

  • Drug permeability and pharmacokinetics

  • Proteomic approaches to understand mechanisms of intracellular parasitization and drug resistance etc

  • Immunotherapy in borderline leprosy

  • Electrophysiological study of peripheral nerves in leprosy and diabetes mellitus to understand prognostic markers

  • Early prevention of deformities and different surgical intervention studies

  • Study on social aspects Develop serological techniques and DNA probes for diagnosis of leprosy at a very early stage

  • Design new drug regimen to shorten treatment and for preventing relapse

  • Follow up patients released from treatment to assess relapse rate Molecular biology and genomics of mycobacteria

Malaria

  • Estimation of malaria disease burden

  • Development of sustainable vector control strategies

  • Cost effectiveness studies on various intervention measures

  • Bionomics of malaria vectors

  • Molecular characterisation and parasite biology by development of molecular markers to characterize P. vivax and P. falciparum isolates

  • Development of molecular and immunodiagnostic methods

  • Identification of members of An. dirus and an. minimus complexes using molecular diagnostic techniques. Studies on identification of sibling species

  • Genetic structure studies of An. culicifacies and fluviatilis using molecular markers.

  • Monitoring of therapeutic efficacy of commonly used antimalarials and alternative treatment regimens for resistant parasite

  • Evaluation of rapid diagnostic kits for malaria diagnostics

  • . Management of insecticide resistance

  • Application of Remote Sensing and GIS in Epidemiology of malaria

  • Development of epidemic forecasting tools for malaria using environmental parameters.

  • Social marketing, distribution, community acceptance and evaluation of insecticides impregnated bednets / curtains etc. for personal protection

  • Health Impact Assessment and Management Information Systems (MIS) and its efficiency

  • Development of field site for vaccine trial

Statistics and Health Systems Research

  • Bayesian statistics and its application Small sample estimation in rare diseases

  • Optimum utilization of secondary data

  • Aging Life style diseases

  • User satisfaction of health services

  • Develop criteria for rating of hospitals

  • Evidence on effectiveness of PPP

  • Good Governance in health care

  • Evidence on effectiveness of decentralization

  • Evidence that population norms(SC-3000-5000, PHC-20000/30000 etc) for primary health care institutions are rational/appropriate

  • Effectiveness of Emergency Medical Services

  • IT related health hazards GIS in health care

  • Proxy measures of physical health

  • Cost effective surveillance systems

  • Community participation in research

  • Demography of unstable population

  • Health Insurance

  • Assessing health needs of the country

  • Availability, acceptability and accessibility of health interventions

  • Health technology assessments such as cost effectiveness of interventions

  • Tracking of resources for health (including for health research)

  • Availability and means of financing of health interventions

  • Access to and equity in health services for vulnerable populations

  • Biological, social, economic, cultural, and structural/environmental factors that influence vulnerability and disparities

  • Identification, description and analyses of health disparities at the population level

  • Intervention research that informs the development of responsive programmes, policies, and practices Interaction/mediation of social disadvantage with other determinants of inequality, including poverty, social cohesion, gender and ethnicity, and how they influence health

  • Intervention research for seeking evidence useful for policy making

  • Evidence base on impact of public-private partnerships on the public health services, and their role in equity in health access

  • Urban health Violence and health care in conflict situations Health care in disaster situation

  • Gender and health Studies on the use and misuse of medical technologies

Tribal Health

  • Estimation of disease burden in tribals

  • Study of risk factors for life style disease among tribals

  • Studies on Haemoglobinopathies in the Tribal population

  • Impact of health education and counselling on knowledge, attitude and practices of sickle cell

  • Health and morbidity profile studies in primitive tribes

  • Study on the causes of childhood mortality and morbidity and prevalence of anaemia and iodine deficiency disorders among the primitive tribes

  • Health and nutritional status of tribes with special focus on micronutrients

  • Studies on utilization of traditional system of malaria in dwindling tribes

  • Studies on transmission dynamics of malaria

  • Epidemiology and etiology study of acute diarrhoea disease

  • Stratification of high malarious areas based on vector species prevalence in different eco-epidemiological systems for planning effective situation specific malaria control strategy - a multi centric study

  • Studies on Characterization of P. falciparum prevalent in tribal areas

Tuberculosis

  • New generation of TB vaccines: inactivation or removal of selected genes from slow growing mycobacteria, targeted manipulation of immune responses by novel vaccine delivery system

  • Drug development: using proteomic studies to identify several targets crucial for bacterial survival in-vivo Identify newer HLA and non-polymorphisms: using genomic and immunological techniques

  • Transmission dynamics: through molecular epidemiological studies using computational graphics and micro-array studies Identify promoters and regulators of metabolism of mycobacteria for expansion of antigens and molecules that can be retilized as candidates vaccines and drug targets

  • Validate newer diagnostic methods

  • Develop rapid and reliable diagnostics for early diagnosis and reliable diagnostics for early diagnosis and monitoring of treatment

  • Develop and tests more effective and shorter duration regimens for pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis

  • Demographic distribution of types of drug resistance using modern biological techniques

  • Clinical trials with new drugs and evolving better regimens with existing chemotherapy tools

  • Development of safe and effective regimens for the management of MDRTB. Studies to estimate the burden of tuberculosis and the annual risk of infection in endemic communities 

  • Studies to reassess the role of conventional risk factors and identify newer ones especially in the light of the HIV epidemic

  • Studies to define behavioural patterns of patients and providers in the DOTs programme.

  • Exploratory studies for promoting public-private partnerships for tuberculosis control

  • Search for new antigens of M.tuberculosis capable of inducing strong T helper type 1 (Th1) response in healthy contacts of tuberculosis patients

Viral Diseases

  • Development of early warning system for JE and dengue

  • Molecular based tools Host parasite interaction in dengue

  • Evaluation of an insecticide impregnated paddle ovitrap for controlling dengue vector Ades aegypti

  • Development of information technology related forecasting models for JE and dengue Role of non-structural proteins in development of vaccines Immunoprotective and immunopathogenic mechanism in JE, and dengue virus infection in mice

  • Immunopathogenic mechanisms and pathophysilogy of dengue hemorrhagic fever in humans

  • Role of rats in the transmission of HEV

  • Study of immune response and cytokine patterns in patients with HCV infection

  • Study on the efficacy and safety of available antiviral drugs against influenza

  • Evaluation of Membrane Filters for sewage treatment and water purification plants

  • Effect of ecological changes on Aedes aegypti in urban and semiurban eradication program

  • Assessment of role of HCV HVR1 and host HLA status in progressionof hepatitis C

  • Assessment of host/virus factors leading to fulminant hepatitis E & A Genomic characterization of hepatitis E and A viruses circulating in India

  • Monitoring of sewage and Water treatment plan for the presence of HAV and HEV

  • Detection of dengue virus in field caught larvae in endemic regions

  • Development of ELISA for the diagnosis of Adeno virus infection

  • Generation of HIV-1 subtype C based DNA vaccine candidates and assessment of prime-boost immunization strategy in mouse model

  • Development of vaccine for hepatitis E + A Virus Infection

  • Development of a combined ELISA for the detection of anti HCV, anti-HIV antibodies and HbsAg

  • Preparation of egg yolk antibodies against rotavirus

  • To detect transmission of OPV strains

  • Full genome sequence analysis of vaccine virus isolated from AFP cases and environment

  • Role of enteroviruses in CNS diseases

  • Development of new rapid diagnosis and strain characterization tools

  • New Enterovirus types (detection and characterization) Isolation and genotype characterization of measles virus Epidemiology of measles

  • Developing PCR for measles virus detection

  • Genotyping of HBV infection in different parts of India to point out the genomic diversity in HBV infection and prediction of disease transmission to the genotype of the individual.

TRIBAL HEALTH

  • Study of risk factors for life-style diseases among primitive tribal and non-tribal populations.

  • Health and nutritional status of tribes with special focus on micronutrients.

  • Prevalence and clinical profile of haemoglobinopathies.

  • Studies related to communicable diseases using tools of molecular biology.

  • Socio-demographic and socio-economic studies.

REPRODUCTIVE & CHILD HEALTH

Basic Reproductive Biology

  • Gamete Cell Biology and Gonadal function
    • Germ stem cell differentiation
    • Gene expression and cell - interaction during oogenesis and spermatogenesis
    • Apoptosis in reproductive tissues
    • Ovarian dys function

  • Molecular mechanism of fertilization, embryo development and implantation
    • Stagespecific expression of gamete antigens
    • Fertilization and Embryogenesis
    • Endometrial receptivity of implantation following the use of Gene array technology
    • Molecular basis of implantation and functional characterization of implantation associated gene expression

  • Sexual differentiation and genomic imprinting mechanism

  • Mechanism of action of protein, steroid hormones and growth factors
    • Structure and function relationship and regulation of hormones and growth factors
    • Receptorology and signal transduction and designing of new agonist and antagonist to ligands and receptors
    • Production of hormones by recombinant DNA technology
    • Endocrine, paracrine and intracrine regulation of gonadal function, using genomics and proteomics approaches
    • Rationale drug design

  • Fertility regulation
    • Development of innovative system for contraception and interception for pregnancy (inhibition of fertilization, leuteolysis and anti-implantation)
    • Emergency contraceptives and its mechanism of action
    • Neuromodulation of pulse generators Relative importance of LH, FSH and testosterone in spermatogenesis
    • Factors associated with infertility and newer strategies to overcome it
    • Alternative system of medicine in fertility control

  • Implantation, placentation, lactation and the immunobiology or reproduction
    • Molecular basis of implantation failure
    • Endometrial angiogenesis
    • Hormonal control of uterine bleeding
    • Endocrine and paracrine regulation of implantation
    • Genetic and molecular basis of spontaneous abortion
    • Molecular basis of endometriosis
    • Feto-maternal interaction and maternal recognition of pregnancy
    • Immuno-competence and mucosal immunity of male and female reproductive tract

  • Impact of nutrition and environmental pollution on reproduction

  • Product development in reproduction health
    • Such projects will be encouraged, provided they are accompanied by an industrial collaboration
      • Cu IUD - Newer technology
      • Condom - Inspiral
      • Tubal rings
      • Diagnostics for Reproductive Health

  • Reproductive Health and management
    • Ovarian and Breast cancer
      • Prostatic cancer - Androgen independent prostate cancer
      • Premature ovarian failure and PCO
      • Endometriosis

  • Molecular basis of STD and RTI
    • Etiology of infections
    • Vaccines for prevention and control of infection
    • New therapeutics including herbal products for control of infections
    • Diagnostic markers

Contraception & Family Planning

  • Evaluation of recently available post partum IUDs for their efficacy.

  • Evaluation of improved contraceptive implants, single rod and reformulated Norplant II, and newer generation of IUDs such as frameless IUDs in clinical settings as potential candidates for inclusion as contraceptive choices

  • Pre-programme introduction studies with contraceptives evaluated in clinical trials, particularly injectables and implants, to study their acceptance in programme conditions and logistic requirement for their introduction

  • Evaluation of comparative efficacy of different regimens available for emergency contraception (levonorgestrel, CuT200, RU 486)

  • Evaluation of hormonal contraceptive methods for males

  • Evaluation of female condom so as to provide a user-controlled method to women which will also protect them from STIs.

Maternal Health

  • Basic Research
    • Study of genetic and immunological aspects of PIH
    • Study of endothelium derived relaxing factor in PIH
    • Biology of PIH
    • Placental transfer of nutrients
    • Cell mediated immunity and anaemia

  • Clinical Research
    • Fibronectin in the prediction of pre-eclampsia
    • Electroencephalography and C T study of the brain in eclampsia
    • Chorioamnionitis as an etiological factor in abruptio placentae
    • Urogenital infections in the etiology of preterm labour/premature rupture of membranes
    • Investigation of recurrent pregnancy loss with reference to the role of antiphospholipid antibodies
    • Prevention, detection and management of genetic and genetico-environmental disorders
    • Effect of food supplementation on energy balance of pregnant women
    • Effect of varying doses of calcium supplementation on the incidence and severity of pre-eclampsia and other related problems
    • Universal screening for diabetes mellitus in antenatal women using glucose challenge tests
    • Prediction and management of IUGR using doppler studies
    • Role of doppler in the management of post dated pregnancy
    • Comparison of aggressive and expectant management of severe PIH at 28-32 weeks of gestation
    • Prophylactic administration of newer generation antibiotics in the management of preterm labour
    • Epidemiological study of recurrent abortions

  • Health Services & Operational Research Research in training needs and processes for health manpower development
    • Improvement of communication and manipulative skills
    • Formation of self help groups for financing and transport in obstetric emergencies
    • Non utilization of delivery services at PHCs/CHCs
    • Developing models and processes for decentralised participatory planning for RCH services through the District Health System
    • Strategies to strengthen emergency services and referral for life threatening obstetrical morbidity
    • Testing quality assurance mechanism for obstetric care at the community, PHC and referral levels
    • Study on prophylactic use of Carboprost for prevention of PPH at PHC level

  • Community based Research
    • Chronic parastic infections and low birth weight
    • Perception of women on obstetric morbidities
    • Gender role and maternal health
    • Strategies to improve post natal care in the community
    • Assessment of risk of maternal morbidity and mortality associated with anaemia and adverse pregnancy outcome
    • Assessment of traditional medicines for control of anaemia and other complications during pregnancy and childbirth

Child Health

  • Community based & Operational Research
    • Development and validation of a simple criteria for diagnosing neonates with sepsis
    • Home-based management of neonates with sepsis
    • Organisms causing neonatal sepsis in the community and their antimicrobial sensitivity
    • Surveillance of pathogens causing diarrhoeal diseases in children
    • Epidemiology of childhood asthma
    • Testing of efficacy of available interventions for asphyxia
    • Home-based management of LBW neonates
    • Care-seeking behaviour of families for their sick neonates and impediments to early care-seeking
    • Studies on traditional beliefs and practices in newborn care in different communities
    • Development of low-cost primary newborn care technologies : mouth-to-mask resuscitation and kangaroo mother care
    • Impact of bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections on the incidence of prematurity/LBW
    • Association of LBW with maternal energy expenditure, tobacco abuse, nutritional deficiencies, malaria and household smoke; and interventions(single or in combinations) aimed at reduction of LBW
    • Prevalence of genetic disorders and birth defects in different communities
    • Status of newborn care services at the secondary level
    • Involvement of Panchayat raj institutions (PRIs) in implementation of the RCH programme
    • Develop database for state and district profile of RCH indicators and services

  • Hospital based Research
    • Development of a foetal growth chart for classifying neonates as appropriate-for-date, small-for-date and large-for-date
    • Room air resuscitation of neonates and long-term neurodevelopmental outcome of babies thus resuscitated
    • Risk factors and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance among organisms causing hospital-acquired neonatal sepsis
    • Effect of early interventions (such as phenobarbitone therapy and brain cooling) among neonates with birth asphyxia on mortality and neurodevelopmental outcome
    • Interventions for bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections to reduce the incidence of prematurity
    • Development and validation of a simple tool for evaluating neurodevelopment status of at risk neonates
    • Epidemiology of transmission of HIV through breast milk
    • Kangaroo mother care in the management of very low birth weight babies
    • Burden of disease of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and interventions for its primary and secondary prevention
    • Application of oil on skin as a method of energy supplementation and thermal protection
    • Post-natal growth norms of LBW/preterm babies
    • Norms for bilirubin levels among breast-fed neonates and predictors of hyperbilirubinaemia

  • Basic Research
    • Genetic/molecular epidemiology of pathogens of newborn sepsis
    • Development of low cost, simple diagnostic tests for genetic disorders
    • Development of a low cost indigenous surfactant for RDS
    • Basic research on determinants of kernicterus
    • Developmental biology of the newborn

  • Capacity building
    • Strengthening of the National Neonatal Perinatal Database
    • Training in epidemiology, research methodology and networking
    • Infectious disease diagnosis at the field facility and institutional levels and molecular epidemiology of major pathogens of perinatal-neonatal disease
    • Setting up genetics units aimed at prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders

Safe Abortions Services

  • Clinical trials on newer non-surgical methods of MTP and comparative study of medical vs surgical methods (manual vacuum aspiration) for early termination of pregnancy

  • Epidemiological studies on unwanted pregnancies and abortions

  • Database for morbidity of unsafe abortions

  • Operationalisation of safe abortion services at PHC level

  • KAP studies on awareness of doctors and paramedical workers for safe abortions

  • Develop indicators for quality and coverage of safe abortions for effective monitoring

  • Study of unwanted pregnancy and abortion: perceptions, problems, utilisation of services

  • Evaluation of functioning of existing laws for safe abortion and selective, gender based abortions

  • Enhancing awareness of the traditional birth attendants, ANMs/LHVs and RMPs and private medical practioners with regard to safe abortion services and prevention of complications of abortions

  • Study of factors responsible for underutilisation of safe abortion services

  • Enhancing utilisation of safe abortion services by the community

  • Need based operational research to improve efficiency of safe abortion services

  • Evaluation of MTP training programmes to improve the quality

  • Innovations in training programmes

  • Community needs assessment for unmet need for abortions

  • Pre- and post-abortion counselling

  • Barriers in accepting MTP services: social attitudes, confidentiality, lack of information and affordability

  • Ways and means of improving contraceptive acceptance, particularly spacing methods so that the chance of unwanted pregnancy can be minimised

  • Community based studies on post abortion morbidity of both legally and illegally induced abortions

Reproductive Tract Infections, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infertility

  • Molecular basis of STDs and RTIs. Etiology of infections

  • Vaccines for prevention and control of infection

  • New therapeutics including herbal products for control of infections

  • Diagnostic markers for RTIs/STDs. Studies on polycystic ovaries/syndrome

  • Simplified approach to diagnosis and management of infertility at the PHC level

  • Community based studies on magnitude, causes and psychosocial consequences of infertility.

Adolescent Health

  • Magnitide, complications and prevention of teenage pregnancies

  • Susceptibility of infections in adolescents

  • Studies on the onset of puberty, wet dream and the adolescents attempts at self education in sex

  • Adolescent sex behaviour patterns and factors responsible for high risk sex behaviour in urban and rural areas , out of school, working group, street children etc

  • Develop culture-appropriate instruments to study the sex behaviour patterns in different age groups. Prevalence of STIs/HIV infection among adolescents. Intervention strategies for effective IEC programme to address the sexuality issues and study its impact on behavioural/ attitudinal changes

NUTRITION

Low Birth Weight

  • To determine the prevalence of LBW and pre-term deliveries across the entire population and to determine regional disparities where evident.

  • Identification of nutritional risk factors for adverse birth outcomes.

  • Identification of specific breast feeding and dietary needs of LBW infants.

Food Safety

  • Assess the impact of nutritional status on susceptibility to food-borne infectious diseases

  • Develop new and more rapid methods to detect food-borne pathogens

  • Studies on the effects of food contaminants and adulterants on human health.

Nutrition, Infection, and Reproductive Health

  • Studies to assess the potential long-term consequences of foetal malnutrition/LBW

  • Systematic evaluations of the concept of "programming" of metabolism and accelerated development of chronic diseases (diabetes, insulin resistance syndrome, obesity and cardiovascular diseases) in Indian population

  • Evaluations of the potential role of specific macro- and micro-nutrients [lipids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), antioxidants, folic acid, iron, zinc and calcium] in the ontogeny of adult disease, and the impact of nutrition on gene expression.

Environment and Nutrition

  • Investigate the interactions between environmental pollutants like lead and nutritional status and the impact of these interactions on outcomes such as cognitive and behavioural development of children and adolescents.

Foetal Antecedents of Adult Disease

  • Studies to assess the potential long-term consequences of foetal malnutrition/LBW

  • Systematic evaluations of the concept of "programming" of metabolism and accelerated development of chronic diseases (diabetes, insulin resistance syndrome, obesity and cardiovascular diseases) in Indian population

  • Evaluations of the potential role of specific macro- and micro-nutrients [lipids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), antioxidants, folic acid, iron, zinc and calcium] in the ontogeny of adult disease, and the impact of nutrition on gene expression

Nutrition and Non-communicable Diseases

  • Determine factors that would increase the effectiveness of life-style and motivational approaches to sustain (or increase, as appropriate) physical activity to decrease the risk of non-communicable diseases associated with increased caloric intakes consequent to urbanization and rapid technological change.

Micronutrients

  • To assess the prevalence of multiple micronutrient deficiencies (iron, folic acid, vitamin A, zinc, riboflavin, calcium and others) during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and lactation in Indian women, adolescents and children

  • Studies on the causes and functional consequences of micronutrient deficiencies throughout India

  • Identification of factors in indigenous foods of India which influence absorption and bioavailability of iron and other micronutrients

  • Identification of micronutrient interactions associated with indigenous diets of Indian population that might influence bioavailability

  • Methods for micronutrient delivery (food-based from regional diets, non-traditional foods, food fortification and evidence based micronutrient supplementation)

  • Development of improved methods for assessment of iron deficiency anaemia and other micronutrient deficiencies appropriate for field use under conditions found in India

  • Identify factors influencing bioavailability of micronutrients in infants fed human milk (throughout lactation) and indigenous complementary foods in India.

Food analysis

  • Nutrient composition of indigenous foods including analysis of phytochemicals and other bioactive components


Malnutrition

  • Development, evaluation, and implementation of home-based management strategies for children with severe grade malnutrition

  • Studies to validate reliable nutrition interventions to improve growth, particularly in young girls and to determine optimal ages for maximum effectiveness of interventions

  • To identify additional risk factors such as parasitic infections and their mediating effects on gastrointestinal function and subsequent growth and development.

Nutritional Problems of Ageing

  • Studies on the prevalence of osteoporosis and possible interventions

Genetically Modified Foods

  • Studies on the health effects of GM foods


NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

Oncology

  • Ongoing
    • Transformation of pre-cancerous lesions to invasive disease

  • Proposed
    • Expansion of the National Cancer Registry Project
    • To understand the carcinogenecity of areca nut/gutka
    • Pathogenesis of common cancers
    • Chemoprevention of common cancers using inexpensive indigenous Indian products
    • Role of virus in cancers such as cervix, liver, oral cavity and oesophagus
    • Epidemiological studies on cancers of gall bladder, stomach, lung and oral cavity
    • Etiology of breast cancer
    • Transformation of pre-cancerous lesions to invasive disease
    • Tumour Biology
      • Breast Cancer
      • Genitourinary Malignancies
      • Lymphoma

Ophthalmology

  • Proposed
    • Diabetic Retinopathy
    • Childhood blindness-prevalence and etiology
    • Corneal diseases-prevalence and risk factors for corneal blindness
    • Development of better corneal preservation media
    • Risk factors for prevention of onset of cataract
    • Age related macular degeneration
    • Ocular infections
    • Cataract
    • AIDS and Ocular Manifestations

Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Ongoing
    • Control of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart diseases
    • Vaccine development for Group a beta haemolytic streptococci
    • Operational research for control of hypertension

  • Proposed
    • Hypertension among school children
    • Epidemiology of coronary heart diseases
    • Immunogenetic studies related to cardiovascular diseases
    • Congenital heart disease
    • Childhood and adolescent cardiovascular heart disease-Magnitude, risk factors
    • Develop norms for hypertension
    • Preventive cardiology
    • Developing Indian norms for lipid parameters
    • Hyperhomocysteinemia-Efficacy of folic acid supplementation in control of CAD
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Molecular cardiology

Diabetes Mellitus

  • Proposed
    • Natural history of Type II Diabetes
    • Prevalence and Incidence of Diabetes and its complications
    • Pathogenesis of type II Diabetes
    • Role of Indigenous System of Medicine in Diabetes
    • Thrifty phenotype and Diabetes
    • Pharmacogenomics and Diabetes
    • Genomics of Type 1 Diabetes
    • Registry of People with Diabetes at Young Age on Onset.

Mental Health

  • Ongoing
    • Suicide Behaviour
    • Urban mental health-Development of approrpriate models for mental health care
    • Mental health service needs in disaster management

  • Proposed
    • Phenomenology and outcome of schizophrenia and schizophrenia like acute psychotic disorders
    • Child and adolescent mental health
    • Mental health of special groups such as women and the elderly
    • Depression
    • Prevention of mental illness
    • Treatment and outcome of psychiatric disorders
    • Alcohol and drug abuse
    • HIV and drug abuse
    • Health behaviour research
    • Biological Psychiatry

Environment


  • Proposed
    • Childrens environmental health

Neurological Disorders

  • Ongoing
    • Neuroepidemiology
    • Epilepsy in pregnant women
    • Molecular genetic analysis of Parkin gene
    • Risk factors of stroke in the young
    • Clinical studies on neurocysticerosis

  • Proposed
    • Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
    • Neuromuscular Disorders

Asthma

  • Ongoing
    • Prevalence of Asthma

  • Proposed
    • Aetiology & pathogenic asthma under Indian conditions

Geriatrics

  • Proposed
    • Evaluation of burden and management of chronic diseases in elderly
    • Molecular biology studies
    • Drug studies
    • Studies on health systems research
    • Health profile of the elderly in India

Disability and Rehabilitation

  • Ongoing
    • Prevention of disability among children

  • Proposed
    • Disability Prevention
    • Integrated Approach to Rehabilitation
    • Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Occupational Injuries and Diseases

  • Proposed
    • Development of Analytical Techniques for detection of Minute Quantity of Toxicants
    • Epidemiological studies in occupational and environmental health
    • Use of Information Technology (IT) and Computers
    • Epidemiology of intentional and non-intentional injuries in India

Other Areas

  • Ongoing
    • Sentinel health monitoring centers-Surveillance for NCD Risk factors
    • Causes of death by verbal autopsy
    • Burden of Non-communicable diseases

  • Proposed
    • Study of pancreatic disorders
    • Integrated control of non-communicable diseases.

BASIC MEDICAL SCIENCES

Anatomy

  • Variation in the structure of organs, their nerve; blood supply and musculature

  • Developmental Anatomy and Teratological studies for studying effects of chemicals/drugs on developing fetus at gross and microscopic level

  • Research on special stains for immunohistochemical localisation and confirmation of morphological changes using electron microscopy

  • Neuroanatomy/Neurobiology : Application of molecular methods , confocal microscopy, imaging etc.

  • Anthropometric measurements at various stages of fetal development

  • Placental changes in normal and abnormal conditions

  • Microscopies - Electron microscopy (TEM & SEM), confocal microscopy and imaging; data base for prevalence of congenital malformations in various states and their categorization; developing computer programmes/multimedia in Anatomy and Plastination of human body parts

Genetics

  • Genetic epidemiology to document the prevalence and distribution of genetic disorders in different geo-ethnic groups in the country

  • Identify genes predisposing to complex multifactorial disorders in the Indian population including adverse drug reactions and susceptibility/ resistance to toxic substances, food substances and infections

  • Control of thalassaemia and other haemoglobinopathies.

  • Primary prevention of Downs syndrome

  • Study the genetic heterogeneity of disease patterns

  • Investigate the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of various diseases by identification of genetic variants

  • Identification of mutations in the Indian population

  • Identification and characterization of new disease genes, particularly of those diseases which are unique to India e.g. Handigodu disease, calcific pancreatitis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy etc

  • Carry out in-depth analysis of genotype phenotype correlation and study gene-gene, gene-environment interactions to understand heterogeneity of genetic disorders

  • Study of patho-physiology of genetic diseases which may identify new targets for drug discovery

  • Study of genetic polymorphisms and their disease susceptibility/drug response association in various genetically identifiable groups in India

Biochemistry/Immunology

  • General Biochemistry
    • Role of proteases in regulating different biochemical processes
    • Biochemical and structural biological aspects of substrate-inhibitor interactions
    • Lipid biochemistry pertaining to biomembranes in the areas related to phospholipid and sphingolipid metabolism, lipid rafts and second messenger generation in health and disease
    • Signal transduction pathways related to G proteins, phsopholipases, protein kinases, phosphatases and phosphorylases in health and disease
    • Protein modification and structural changes by acetylation, palmitoylation, phosphorylation etc. in health and disease
    • Role of transcription factors in health and disease
    • Identification of enzymes of clinical significance for diagnosis and monitoring of disease
    • Regulation of expression of gene expression at mRNA and protein levels in health and disease
    • Research in basic biochemistry as well as molecular biology of following pathogenic organisms with special reference to cloning the genes having potential for vaccine development

  • Plasmodium falciparum
    • Developing epitope based immunogen against different stages of P. falciparum using inbuilt immumoadjuvants and novel delivery system

  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
    • Identification of mycobacterial proteins (secretory/cell wall/ M.tuberculosis complex specific) on the basis of their reactivity to T cells of healthy and tuberculous human population
    • Evaluation of a subunit vaccine (single/multicomponent) consisting of mycobacterial proteins best recognized by human population, in mouse in a suitable adjuvant system
    • To establish best animal model as well as route of infection for protection studies
    • Development of DNA vaccine i.e. DNA encoding gene(s) for immunodominant mycobacterial protein(s)
    • Pre-clinical and clinical studies with optimized subunit/ DNA vaccine

  • Mycobacterium leprae
    • Development of systems to express M. leprae genes in M.smegmatis and other mycobacterial hosts
    • To investigate special features of M.leprae biology deduced from gene sequencing
    • To produce improved antibiotics using rDNA techniques

  • Parasites and Vectors
    • Studies on protective immunity in parasitic diseases
    • Immunosuppression and immune deviation in parasitic diseases
    • Studies on immunobiology of parasites
    • Studies on the kinetics of immune response in parasitic diseases
    • Development on DNA vaccines against parasites
    • Immunoepidemiology and mathematical modeling of parasitic infections (including concomitant parasitism) in human communities
    • Studies on immunity in vectors
    • Studies on targeting parasite enzymes for immunological intervention
    • Identification of molecules of filarial parasites that play key role in the survival and development in the vector and as well as in the human host
    • Development of holistic animal models.

Molecular Biology

  • Development of nucleic acids ( DNA /RNA/Oligo) probes for early diagnosis and molecular epidemiology (by eliciting gene polymorphism) of both hereditary and acquired diseases including a wide variety of infectious diseases

  • Molecular cloning, sequencing and characterization of genes/genomes of pathogens and vectors that are associated with diseases most prevalent in India

  • Early detection and molecular epidemiology of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and other diseases

  • Development of highly specific monoclonal/polyclonal antibodies for immunodiagnosis of infectious diseases and cancers

  • Understanding gene expression and mechanisms of different diseases particularly of cancers and genetic diseases

  • Molecular mechanisms of host-parasite interaction, immune response and development of vaccines as well as immuno-therapeutics

  • Drug designing, drug delivery, chrono-pharmacology and pharmacogenetics

  • Molecular basis of drug resistance

  • Development of Molecular Therapeutics
    • Control of gene expression
    • Development and standardization of in vivo somatic gene therapy and development of DNA vaccines for treatment of various diseases
    • Development of appropriate antisense nucleotides (RNA/Oligo) for treatment of diseases with defects in DNA sequences
    • Research and development of recombinant immuno-therapeutic vaccines and molecular therapeutics
    • Studies on transgenic animals, vectors and gene knock-out animals for understanding the mechanism of host resistance etc

  • Molecular Haematology
    • Gene transfer and expression of b globin gene in haemopoietic stem cells as well as in umbilical cord stem cells so as to pave the way for successful somatic gene therapy of b thalassaemia and sickle cell disease
    • Non-invasive method of prenatal diagnosis of b -thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia by DNA technology utilising foetal cells obtained from maternal circulation
    • Introduction of antisense form of gene C-myc to proliferating smooth muscle cells to allow the regeneration of the endothelial layer
    • Prenatal diagnosis by DNA technology of von Willebrand's disease, platelet disorders like Glanzmann's thrombasthaenia, Bernard-Soulier disease etc
    • Establishment of genotype of platelets in cases of neonatal alloimmune thromobocytopaenia and their prevention by prenatal diagnosis using DNA analysis of chorionic villi
    • Detection of genome diversity by haplotype and VNTR analysis in different tribal and caste population groups

  • Production of Recombinant Proteins
    • Production of recombinant proteins such as insulin, human growth hormones, erythropoetin, interferons, interleukins, colony stimulating factors, tissue plasminogen activator, hepatitis B vaccine

Drug Development/Pharmacology

  • Establishment of a network of pre-clinical toxicology centers for carrying out animal toxicology studies using good laboratory practices (GLP) protocols

  • Identifying special centers for conducting mutagenicity, teratogenicity and reproductive toxicity studies on new molecules using good laboratory practices (GLP) protocols

  • Identification of clinical pharmacology units to undertake pharmacokinetics and bioavailability studies using good laboratory practices (GLP) protocol

  • Good clinical trial centers following national and international good clinical practice (GCP) protocols for effective and well-monitored controlled trials

  • An appropriate national mechanism for monitoring adverse drug reactions and post marketing surveillance

  • Establishing clinical trial methodology for traditional medicine research

  • Issuing ethical guidelines for biomedical research with special emphasis on clinical trials on drugs/diagnostics/vaccines and herbal remedies

  • Development of in vitro techniques
    • replacement of in vivo models
    • Targets for screening and basic studies on cell cultures, cell lines, isolated receptors, enzymes etc.

  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
    • Re-perfusion injury heart, brain, kidney
    • Thrombosis and sequelae
    • Microvascular disorders, decubitus ulcer, retinal disturbances CNS

  • Clinical Pharmacology
    • Clinical trials of traditional remedies with GCP Norms
    • Pharmacovigilance
    • Pharmacoeconomics Drug prescribing and compliance

  • Role of Natural Products and Traditional Remedies in:
    • Degnerative and geriatric disorders like osteoporosis, arthritis, memory and learning
    • Metabolic diseases like diabetes, hyperlipidemia
    • Bioenhancers
    • Hepatoprotective
    • Immunostimulant and adaptogen
    • Oppurtunistic and resistant infections
    • Interaction with modern drugs, concomitant use

  • Cancer Chemotherapy
    • Antimutagenic agents
    • Apoptosis and drugs modifying it

  • Drug Delivery System
    • New delivery systems for targeting alternate routes of administration, altered duration of action

  • Pharmacogenetics of drug metabolizing enzymes

  • Toxicogenetics including gene environment interaction

Physiology

  • Exercise Physiology
    • Training of sports people
    • Aerobic exercises in swimming pools and on land
    • Under water problem in stimulated diving in chambers

  • Pain : Biopsychosocial and cultural dimensions of pain problems and perception; chronic pain � autonomic and visceral parameters, neurophysiological basis of management strategies including CAM

  • Ageing : Neuropsycho-electrobiological indices of brain cognitive inflexibility / impairment, memory, attention defects etc., - the Indian setting

  • Stress, life style and its impact on mind body interactions; linkage to conditions like hypertension IHD, Diabetes, Asthma, other stress conditions and immunological profiles; effect of yoga, meditation, pranic healing, Yoga & Mind-body relationship

  • Nutrition Physiology : Sensory metabolic interactions in control of food intake, hedonic matrix, ontogeny of food habits and food preferences socio economic and cultural influences, Nutrition based problems in tribal areas of India

  • Environmental Physiology : High altitutde, Pollution (noise, electro-magnetic and others) cardio-respiratory parameters, brain indices, systemic effects. Adaptation to high temperature, Lung functions in children and Indian standards along with effects of environmental pollution and incidence of wheezing/Bronchial asthma

  • Neurobiology of addictive diseases. Alcoholism and childhood conduct disorders-use of recent technologies

  • Sleep disorders, QEEG and Yoga

  • Chrono-biology and circadian rhythms

TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

  • Validation of traditional knowledge in the areas of diabetes, filariasis, benign hypertrophy of prostate, coronory artery disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS etc.
  • Finger printing of selected herbal preparations.

  • Agrotechnology of selected plants for various clinical trials e.g. Picrorhiza kurroa and Pterocarpus marsupiam.

  • Development of new molecules from plant sources.