DST grants Rs 13.69 crore to GITAM for drug discovery, marine biology

Gandhian Institute of Technology and Management aims at establishing a centre for drug discovery research in the next five years.

GITAM University's marine biologists are exploring coastal ecosystems. (Image: Press Release)GITAM University's marine biologists are exploring coastal ecosystems. (Image: Press Release)

Divyansh | October 12, 2023 | 03:25 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Gandhian Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM, deemed to be university) has secured a funding of Rs 13.69 crore grant from the department of science and technology (DST), ministry of science and technology, to establish a centre for drug discovery and marine biology research.

The grant has been extended through the Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) programme of the department. It will be used for procuring new equipment, research costs, manpower and conduct of workshops and summer schools.

As per the university’s five-year plan, the institute aims at establishing a cutting-edge centre for drug discovery research. The centre will focus on addressing pressing global health challenges.

Hari Sharan Misra, professor at the GITAM, said, “Studies have suggested the presence of bioactive compounds in marine organisms. Astaxanthin is found in zooplankton and fucoxanthin in brown algae and certain zooplankton, which may possess anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. However, further research is needed to validate these findings for human health.”

GITAM said its marine biologists are exploring coastal marine ecosystems, hunting for bioactive compounds in aquatic zooplankton and bacteria. Once discovered, these valuable findings are handed over to biochemists and molecular biologists for isolation and characterization. These compounds could potentially combat cancer, reduce inflammation, and fight antibiotic-resistant diseases, it added.

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Commenting on the significant achievement, Ravi Kumar Gurazada, professor at GITAM, said, "This ambitious research project, valued at Rs 13.69 Crores, underscores the government's commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and tackling critical healthcare issues. This grant brings national recognition to GITAM and provides an opportunity to engage in pioneering research in the field of drug discovery."

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