Boost for Indian biomedicine22nd September 2008
A jointly funded initiative by a UK-based trust and the Indian government aims to boost research in the biomedical sector in India.
The £80 million (US$141 million) partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Indian government's Department of Biotechnology will run over five years.
It is hoped the funding will help to fund a new wave of Indian research talent.
The money will pay for an estimated 75 research fellowships in the field, with appointments drawn from both newly qualified postdoctoral students to the most senior experts.
Indian biomedical science currently has around 20 fellows already active.
The Wellcome Trust said it believed there was scope for a great deal more research projects and fellowships, which would go to support India's already excellent developing science base.
Mark Walport, director of The Wellcome Trust, said the partnership would fill an important gap in India's science funding infrastructure.
The country currently lacked intermediate support schemes to train younger postdocs, people who have some postdoctoral experience but were not yet independent, he said.
According to K VijayRaghavan, a director and professor of developmental genetics at the National Centre of Biological Science in Bangalore, India, the partnership is a major breakthrough for the biomedical sector.
Until now, India had lacked multiple coordinated programmes for biomedical research.
He said the involvement of Wellcome would ensure global principles of selection and management were applied. The involvement of the Indian government was also a big bonus.
The Wellcome Trust has also recently invested a total of £15 million (US$26 million) in three public health research projects, one of which is in partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India. India was particularly in need of concentrated funding in key areas, according to Walport.
Walport added that the Wellcome Trust is funding a range of projects including one at the Christian Medical College in Valore, where scientists are developing new treatments for gastroenteritis in children, and work on the basic biology of malaria.
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Title: Boost for Indian biomedicine
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 8470
Date Added: 22nd Sep 2008