CSIR IGIB and IIT Alumni Council announce MoU for joint research to tackle COVID 19

New Delhi : CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and IIT Alumni Council announce a MoU for COVID-19 disease research and patient data analysis. On this occasion , IIT Alumni Council also handed over the first set of 8500 patient imaging data from Mumbai to IGIB, which will soon be made available in deidentified form, through a public open data platform co-hosted by IGIB and ICMR to enable research. The joint research by CSIR-IGIB & IIT Alumni Council will focus on catalysing the creation of an ecosystem for diagnostics and therapeutics for COVID19 as well as flexible platforms for pandemic preparedness. The ecosystem will enable an indigenous value chain with multidomain expertise spanning digital health, artificial intelligence, molecular diagnostics, next generation sequencing, antibody harvesting, and production of monoclonal antibodies.
“ IIT Alumni Council is extremely pleased with the research partnership with IGIB . Both parties are viewing this partnership as an opportunity not only to create a world leading testing and treatment ecosystem in the country but also to establish global data leadership. This would enable open data access to every scientist & innovator in the world for development of bleeding edge testing and treatment solutions. IIT Alumni Council believes that together with IGIB, we shall be able to to create a robust high security Data Architecture for health Data. This partnership will immensely help our two path breaking initiatives – World’s largest MegaLab in Mumbai for testing and India’s largest MegaTx antibody facility for treatment based on biologics. Overall this partnership will open the doors for newer
forms and formats of collaboration between the Govt and domestic non-profits like IIT Alumni Council.” said Ravi Sharma, President and Chief Volunteer of the IIT Alumni Council.
“The energy and crowd sourced wisdom of the IIT Alumni Council has been inspiring. Their global networks contain highly motivated volunteers with capacity of thinking and acting locally, bringing together a much needed set of skills in difficult times. NSCI Dome has served as a model for scalable community treatment of COVID-19, and is a rich source of learning through its practices and data. One can see it as a data and engineering social initiative driven by volunteers, which would be of much use to the biomedical community .
As part of the jury for the MegaLab competition, I look forward to seeing the world’s largest and fastest molecular diagnostic line getting built in India with 100% indigenous technology. Similar thinking would be needed to accelerate population scale testing in rare genetic disorders, a problem that IGIB has been addressing for over a decade ” added Dr Anurag Agrawal, Director of CSIR-IGIB. Members of CSIR-IGIB and IIT Alumni Council have been brainstorming regarding areas of
testing and treatment for COVID-19 since April 2020. Several new concepts with transformative potential have emerged from these interactions.

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