NHL College to Develop Three Stem Cells Research and Testing Labs
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03 April 2010
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Trustrun NHL Medical College is going to start three research and testing laboratories in the department of Molecular Biology. The AMC standing committee has recently sanctioned a sum of Rs 10 crore for this project. NHL College aims to develop Immunohematology, embryology and stem cells laboratory analogous to the research laboratories set up by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“Private hospitals such as Apollo Hospital and others have started stem cells laboratories, their research. There are hardly any public sector hospitals or medical colleges, which have advanced laboratories other than AIIMS. We end up outsourcing most such research work outside India,” said Dr Pankaj Patel, Dean of NHL College.
He said the project is in a nascent stage, adding that: “The College intends to raise the standard of laboratories to that of AIIMS. While Rs 10 crore are sanctioned, this project might require more than Rs 40 crore, which would be required to raise infrastructure as well as getting new equipment. We might take a year or more to start this project.”
At present, for the culture of cartilage of an arthritis patient, the tissue is sent to Korea. Dr Patel said: “Arthritis is one of the common problems related to orthopaedic rheumatology. There are hardly any institutes that are developed to culture cartilages for treatment of joints. The entire work is outsourced to Korea. Similarly, we have to develop a medium, which would help us to culture the cells extracted from umbilical cord.
There is a lot of scope in case of stem cells research. He added: “The biggest hurdle is that most of the stem cells projects are in their infancy and we don't have enough manpower due to brain drain.”