Scientists from India and Australia are working jointly
on a research project to eradicate the roots of cancer cells, with the
support of the Indo-Australian Science and Technology Fund. This is
($2.7 bn) project funded by the Australia India Strategic
Research Fund (AISRF). Victoria’s Deakin University in Australia, and
the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (India), have come together
to develop a new generation of effective cancer medications, that would
kill cancer initiating cells, with less side-effects in patients, than
Wei Duan, associate professor, project leader and researcher with
Deakin’s Medical School, said, “Our aim is to develop a safe and novel
drug delivery system that hits cancer at its core, and kills the cells
responsible for the resistance to current therapies, and the recurrence
of the disease. The research aims to develop a ‘smart bomb’ that can
penetrate the cells, and release the drugs within the cells, rather
than from outside, and kill the whole tumor, root and all”.
This project also has the potential to treat neurodegenerative
diseases, heart disease and diabetes, besides killing cancer cells.
ICMR, UK MRC allot fund for joint
With changing demography, there is a risk of growing epidemic in Indian
population. Therefore, with an aim to promote research and strengthen
the existing partnerships, the Indian Council for Medical Research
(ICMR) and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) have jointly initiated
a research funding, for non-communicable diseases. This measure aims to
promote collaborations between Indian and UK investigators in the area
of chronic non-communicable diseases research, exploiting the strengths
of the two communities.
A workshop focusing on this topic was organized jointly by the ICMR and
the UK MRC, in November 2009 in New Delhi.
The partnership between ICMR and MRC aims to combine the strengths of
the Indian and UK Chronic Disease Research communities. The proposed
research program should be related to prevailing chronic diseases in
India and the UK. In addition, the outcomes should ideally be
meaningful to a wider international audience. The research should
involve collaboration and co-leadership between Indian and UK
researchers/groups, and encompass work in India and the UK.
TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, based in
Trieste, Italy, is offering the post-graduate training and
post-doctoral research scholarships in the field of biotechnology in
The other research areas include the physical and natural sciences. In
India, the partners in TWAS’s Exchange Programs include the Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology
(DBT), New Delhi, S N Bose National Center for Basic Sciences and
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science located at Kolkata.
approval for Advaxis’ cancer trial
Biotech company, Advaxis, has received permission from the Drugs
Controller General India (DCGI) to conduct a phase II clinical trial of
The compound is the company’s flagship drug construct, and the trial is
to be conducted among 110 women with advanced, metastatic cervical
cancer that has progressed subsequent to treatment with cytotoxic
therapy. Fiftyfive women will receive ADXS11-001 alone, and the same
number of them will receive a combined regimen of both ADXS11-001 and
Advaxis’ phase II clinical trial will provide a real-time survival
assessment; making it possible to evaluate the effect of ADXS11-001 on
survival compared to historical norms during the trial.
invites application for Tata fellowship
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science &
Technology, Government of India, has invited applications for the Tata
Innovation Fellowship, a highly-competitive scheme aimed at rewarding
interdisciplinary work where major emphasis is on innovation and
translational research with a potential towards commercialization.
The fellowship is open to Indian nationals residing in India, below the
age of 60 years. The applicant should possess a PhD degree in life
sciences, agriculture, veterinary science or a master’s degree in
medical sciences, engineering.