IIT - Kanpur to set up center for Engineering in Medicine
The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) is to set up a Center for Engineering in Medicine. The centre will be established in association with the United States-based Mehta Family Foundation.
On the eve of the institute’s diamond jubilee celebrations, IIT-K director Abhay Karandikar and Rahul Mehta of the Mehta Family Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Professor Shankar Subramaniam of the University of California, San Diego, is the first international advisor of the ‘The Mehta Family Centre for Engineering in Medicine’.
The centre will focus on three research areas: regenerative medicine; molecular medicine and digital medicine. This centre will give rise to a new field that will be at the forefront of the way healthcare will be practised in the 21st century, the institute director said.
Professor Karandikar said, “The idea behind the Mehta Family Centre for Engineering in Medicine is to find a new way to solve challenging medical problems. We are extremely thankful to the Mehta Family Foundation for all the help in achieving IIT Kanpur’s vision in amalgamating medicine and engineering.”
Rahul Mehta of the Mehta Family Foundation said, “We are happy to be associated with IIT-Kanpur, which has been a pioneer in science-based curriculum in engineering with many firsts to its credit. The Mehta Family Foundation’s vision is to provide new opportunities for students in India in frontier fields to enable economic prosperity for everyone.”
Professor Subramaniam said, “IIT Kanpur is a premier academic engineering institution in India and Center for Engineering in Medicine has the potential to be is crown jewel, impacting generation of students. The workforce trained at the centre will have the ability to revolutionise healthcare in India”.
The research focus of the proposed centre would be on regenerative medicine, molecular medicine and engineering, and digital medicine. The three areas have been chosen as they are expected to revolutionise the way medicine is a practised in the future.
The centre would leverage the existing strengths within core engineering departments of IITK and department of biological sciences and bioengineering BSBE (biomedical research) while diversifying into new/frontier areas to enable more impactful research (fundamental and applied).
The vision of the centre is to be able to make a significant impact in health care in India in terms of research/technology output while alongside producing next generation leaders that are well trained in these interdisciplinary areas.
“Digital medicine is an emerging area and there is a lot of scope to explore,” said Prof Sankararamakrishnan who is also convenor of the centre. “We will look to hire some 20 faculty members with Shankar Subramaniam, professor at University of California at San Diego as the first international adviser to the centre,” he said. The centre will run Master of Science by research and is likely to become operational from the next academic session, from August 2020.