Dr Taslimarif Saiyed,
director & COO, C-CAMP, Bangalore
The Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), a Department
of Biotechnology, Government of India initiative, is part of the
Bangalore Bio-Cluster that functions with the mission to enhance
bioscience research and entrepreneurship by providing research,
infrastructure, training and services on state-of-the-art technology
C-CAMP, National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and the
Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) form
the Bangalore Bio-Cluster. NCBS, the parent organization, offers a
fertile ground for the two new institutes to flourish by providing
support and the necessary scientific and administrative infrastructure.
These three entities bring together unique individual capabilities and
a shared multi-disciplinary approach to create an interactive
bioscience and technology research enterprise. It is envisaged that
this integrated vision of the cluster will result in cutting-edge
scientific discoveries, and the translation of these discoveries into
tangible technological development in the broad field of life sciences.
In an interview with BioSpectrum
, Dr Taslimarif Saiyed,
director and COO, Center for Cellular and Molecular Platform, shares
the activities and future plans of C-CAMP.
the key activities of C-CAMP?
In life science research, high-end technology and
becoming key components in executing laboratory experiments. Hence,
accessibility to these high-end technologies can determine the success
of any scientific laboratory, organization, or community. Additionally,
new technologies, depending on the specificity of the technology and
other factors, take time to migrate from the place of its origin to its
place of application. This means that users in the place of origin
access the technology first, however, users in other places only get to
use the technology after a certain delay. This can sometimes be years
depending on the exclusivity of the technology. Hence, it is very
important for a country like India, which is involved in technology
creation, to ensure timely access for its scientific community.
As a key mandate, C-CAMP is involved in working with scientists,
entrepreneurs, biotech start-ups, and pharma companies to establish new
high-end technologies in the country. C-CAMP is open to interesting
ideas from the potential collaborators and is willing to support these
ideas at various levels.
The most unique mandate of C-CAMP is to create a group of biotechs in
and around the Bangalore Bio-Cluster and support their growth with
incubation facilities, services, expertise, and collaboration
opportunities. Although this is a more difficult task, it is envisaged
that this incubation facility coupled with tailored services and
consulting will provide both scientific and non-scientific expertise to
an entrepreneur or start-up and allow them to take the individual/firm
from an idea to proof of concept and further growth. The non-scientific
advice given will include consulting for research and market, due
diligence, IP analysis and evaluation, technology transfer, government/
private funding and regulatory affairs.
technology platforms available at C-CAMP?
C-CAMP has been providing high-end platform
expertise to academic and industry scientific researchers in numerous
Confocal and fluorescence microscopy: The central imaging facility
provides researchers with access to cutting-edge platform technologies
in the imaging space. This range of imaging of equipment is currently
not available anywhere in India.
Flow cytometry: The facility provides access to high-end flow analyzers
and flow sorters to allow high-speed analysis and sorting of cells and
organelles. In the near future, we also will have a high-resolution
flow sorter to allow efficient sorting of individual chromosomes, a
first in India.
Molecular characterization and proteomics: The facility provides
researchers with state-of-the-art techniques and equipment to
characterize biomolecules with an emphasis on proteins and peptides. We
will soon extend this for large-scale screening, identification and
quantitation of proteins from complex biological samples.
Transgenic fly facility: The facility offers a world-class
microinjection service for the generation of transgenic lines and also,
maintains a large number of mutant strains and transgenic lines.
High-throughput screening: For drug design studies, molecular
interaction studies or for identifying the role of a particular
biochemical process, the facility provides researchers with the ability
to quickly identify active compounds, antibodies or genes that modulate
a particular biochemical pathway. RNAi-based screens and
chemistry-based screens as well as combinations of these are in the
process of being set-up at C-CAMP.
Intellectual property management office and technology transfer office:
Allow researchers from the Bangalore Bio-cluster to realize the
commercial potential of their exciting inventions and innovative
research. The IPMO and TTO work with BBC researchers and scientists to
protect their IP and commercialize new technologies in collaboration
with and through our legal, industrial and commercial partners.
Additionally, C-CAMP is providing IP/patenting advice to other notable
institutes in India. The TTO has developed a catalog of innovations
coming out of NCBS, which can be used as a tool to attract potential
licensees, investors and research partners and thus be able to explore
exciting commercialization avenues.
In addition of providing platform technologies, C-CAMP is providing
technology training programs to generate a pool of experts who can
proficiently utilize high-end scientific technologies available in
scientific organizations and hence, helps in scientific developments.
elaborate on the future plans of C-CAMP?
C-CAMP will focus on the development of new high-end
technologies and scientific research through multi-disciplinary
collaborations. This include next-generation sequencing (genomics) and
protein core facility. Additionally, for continuous growth of
technology expertise in the country we will provide nation-wide
comprehensive training programs with eminent faculty and the latest
instruments in the market.
Gradual investment in our human resource stocks will enable us to
enhance our technical and management expertise in the area of life
sciences. With this enhancement, it is envisaged that C-CAMP will
become a life science industry leader in technology platform
development and services. We aim to become a unique platform for all
scientific researchers to come and discuss their needs, objectives and
plans in terms of their research and science.