A centre for research in biosciences and bioengineering with a special focus on cancer-related research was officially inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on Friday.
The Wadhwani Research Centre in Biosciences and Bioengineering was created through a 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between IIT-B and Wadhwani Foundation.
Romesh Wadhwani, an Information Technology entrepreneur is an IIT-B alumnus and had in 2008 announced a five million dollar donation for setting up the centre.
“If we could understand the mysteries of cells and proteins, it would mean solving the most important problems of mankind,” said Wadhwani at the inauguration. “There is no reason why India can’t be as good as other countries in such research.”
One of the focus areas of the institute would be in efforts to understand cell motility and migration or how cancerous cells move from one localised area to other parts of the body. “We want to understand what gives them the ability to move when they become cancerous,” said Narayan Punekar, professor and head of the biosciences and bioengineering department, which the centre will come under. Other focus areas are still being discussed.
IIT-B is in the process of completing construction on a new building for the centre, which will be ready within the next few months, said IIT-B director Devang Khakhar.
“We really want to be in the league recognised among the best and to make contributions to issues facing this country and the world,” said Khakhar. “The new centre is a major step forward and will be targeted at producing world class research.”