ICMR-NITM is one of the younger institutions of the ICMR family, which is working on Documentation and Validation of Traditional Medicines. Currently, in addition to its mandate, the Institute is working very closely with State Health Department and District administration in this COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The State administration supported to the fullest extent in establishing the COVID-19 RT-PCR testing lab at the ICMR-NITM and to date the lab tested over 2 lakh samples so far since April 2020.
The whole genome of two SARS-CoV2 isolates was also sequenced to identify potential pathogenic mutations (D614G), which is published in the World Class Prestigious Journal as a cover page article in Microbial Resource Announcements– A journal published by the American Society of Microbiology.
Further, the Institute is working on Developing Herbal Solutions for COVID-19, based on TM leads. In the process, phytochemicals (1952 compounds) from eight potential traditional medicinal plants have been evaluated in silico that are published in a prestigious journal, Frontiers in Medicine.
The leads thus obtained are being subjected to subsequent experimental validation. As ICMR-NITM is looking for extending its research areas, the present MoU is being signed with the Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS), Belagavi and Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Hubballi.
This MoU is signed to undertake collaborative research activities such as:
• Joint training programs for Scientists and Clinicians for skill development and competence building to benefit the public health at large.
• Allowing ICMR researchers to work in BIMS-Belagavi and KIMS-Hubballi for clinical research; and researchers of BIMS and KIMS at ICMR-NITM for laboratory research.
• Conducting joint research activities in the areas of common interest with projects that are mutually agreed upon.
• Hosting students for Dissertations / Postgraduate courses at their respective places in collaboration.
• Conducting Conference, Symposia, and Seminars.
• Developing Joint Research Proposals, Patents, and Publications in collaboration and soliciting joint proposals for funding.
• Exchange of scientific information, data and documentation, both written and electronic.
• Treatment facilities to ICMR-NITM Staff and their family members in time of need.
The MoU was signed on 6th July 2021 at ICMR- National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Belagavi. Dr. Debprasad Chattopadhyay, Director, ICMR-NITM presided over the function. Shri. Amlan Aditya Biswas, Regional Commissioner, Belagavi was the Guest of Honour, while Dr. Umesh Kulkarni, In-charge Director, BIMS, Belagavi and Dr. RC Antartani, Director, KIMS, Hubballi were present on the Dias.
The signing of MoU initiated new era of research collaboration between the State Health Institutions and ICMR- National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Belagavi.