1 - Sastra University, Thanjavur
Sastra, best of the breed
Sastra University made
it to No.1 postion in the BioSpectrum Top 20 Biotech Institutes Survey.
It’s School of Chemical and Biotechnology also tops faculty
and infrastructure ranking.
The School of Chemical and Biotechnology at Sastra University offers
undergraduate programs in bioengineering, bioinformatics, biotechnology
and chemical engineering and postgraduate programs in bioinformatics,
chemical engineering and industrial biotechnology, besides PhD
programs. The institute has also started medical and nanotechnology
programs. The department has 92 faculty members with 43 of them
possessing PhD degree and with over five years of teaching experience.
The department has published 51 scientific publications in national and
international journals between 2007-09.
The department has more than 20 laboratories. The total investments in
lab equipments and consumables are estimated at over Rs 6.78 crore for
the year 2007-09. “The excellent infrastructure coupled with
an industry-oriented curriculum and expert faculty is reflected in the
research output in the form of patents, publications and success rates
of the students,” says Dr Swaminathan, director, Center for
Nanotechnology and Advanced Biomaterials, and dean, sponsored research,
Sastra University. The placement record of the students is more than 90
percent and many students are pursuing research in premier research
institutions across the world. The department has externally funded
research projects worth Rs 20.56 crore from the government in various
areas of biotechnology and industry sponsored projects worth Rs 38 lakh.
With a focus on the traditional strengths in engineering and with
emphasis on experiential learning, the university offers innovative
academic programs and continuously upgrade their curricula.
The goal of the university is to provide the best undergraduate and
postgraduate education, with programs designed to prepare the
candidates to meet the challenges they come across throughout their
The school provides excellent infrastructure and a conducive
environment for learning and is equipped with
experienced faculty and a curriculum tailored to suit industrial needs.
The programs offered by the school prepare students for leadership in
the development and commercialization of advanced technologies and
strive to keep them abreast of the progress in the frontier areas of
science and technology. Presently, the school consists of 92
The department has continuously been responding to scientific
challenges by launching research initiatives in strategic thrust areas
such as pharmaceutical technology, medical nanotechnology, drug design
and Indian systems of medicine.
motivate students to take up research”
—Dr S Swaminathan,
director, Center for Nanotechnology & Advanced Biomaterials,
and dean, Sponsored Research, Sastra University
some of the achievements of the institute in recent years?
Sastra has been re-accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation
Council with A grade. The School of Chemical and Biotechnology was
ranked as the No.1 private biotech school in the country in 2007. The
postgraduate program in medical nanotechnology is fully-funded by the
Nano Mission Council, Department of Science and Technology (DST),
Government of India.
DST has also recognized Sastra as a scientific and industrial research
organization. We have created two autonomous centers–Center
for Advanced Research in Indian Systems of Medicine (CARISM) and the
Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Biomaterials
Further, we have been selected by CSIR as a center for open source drug
discovery. Sastra is one of the host institutions in the Research
Internship in Science and Engineering (RISE) program of the Indo-US
Science and Technology Forum.
Sastra is also a member of the BME Planet, which is a global network
for bioengineering. BME Planet has been established by the University
of Virginia through the funding from National Science Foundation (NSF)
and other foundations.
What are some of the
unique features of the biotech department?
The School of Chemical and Biotechnology at Sastra possesses
well-equipped laboratories supplemented by highly impressive
infrastructure, excellent ambience for research and scientific
activities, qualified and dedicated faculty team with a strong focus on
research in diverse areas like other departments at Sastra. The school
also has access to a GLP compliant animal facility and most of the
sophisticated instruments and equipment within the campus.
The presence of two major autonomous centers (CARISM and CeNTAB) of the
school provides a variety of opportunity to both students and
faculties. The school also offers certificate programs in
allied areas based on students’ interest to further broaden
their horizon and sharpen their skills. We also provide students, even
at the undergraduate level, opportunities to work on research
What are the new
modules you have added to align your education with industry needs?
Sastra emphasizes on the removal of obsolescence and in introducing
state–of–the–art technologies. The
freedom and flexibility to modify the curriculum has been a great
advantage to the students and faculties of the school. To
keep pace with industrial research, we have introduced courses on
medicinal chemistry, recombinant DNA technology, signaling pathway
analysis, nanostructuring, drug delivery systems, tissue engineering,
smart nanoparticles and biomedical nanotechnology to prepare the
students for a career in industrial research.
What are some of the
research projects that students or faculties have initiated?
There is active research in the areas of tissue engineering, drug
delivery, electrophysiology, chromatin remodeling, scientific
validation of Indian systems for medicinal purposes,
nanosensors, nanofluids and development of mesoporous
materials. We work on developing scaffolds for regeneration
of the skin, small diameter cardiovascular grafts, nerve, bone,
etc. We have also synthesized materials that could be used
for targeted delivery of anti-cancer and antiretroviral drugs.