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DEPARTMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
 
 Head of the Department : Dr. K. K. Elyas
 

The Department of Biotechnology was conceptualized and founded under the Chairmanship of Prof. (Dr.) V.J.Philip in the year 1994 with an intention to develop basic infrastructure, manpower and promote research in frontier areas of Biotechnology. The only department funded and sponsored by DBT, New-Delhi (Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India) started the All India National Stream M.Sc. Program in 1995. The student selection and allotment is through a National Level Common Entrance Test conducted by Jawaharlal Nehru University, N. Delhi. All students receive monthly studentship of Rs. 3000/- from DBT – Govt. of India. The Biotechnology Consortium of India, New Delhi Ltd. (BCIL) also provides placement services to the students in various industries.

The department has gained a reputation as a major centre for studies and research. The technology developed in the Department for the clonal propagation of Vanilla has already reached the farmer’s fields under the aegis of the Spices Board of India and the DBT. The Department has actively engaged in the Biotechnology based programmes for society under projects funded by the DBT, Govt. of India.

Major areas under focus:

There are three academic programmes in the department; M.Sc, M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Biotechnology. Candidate intake for the M.Phil. and Ph.D. program is based on entrance test conducted by the Department of Biotechnology, University of Calicut.

There are at present four faculty members with One Professors, two Associate Professors and one Assistant Professor. Research areas include Immunotechnology, Cell and Molecular Biology / Recombinant DNA Technology, Bioprocess Technology, Enzymology/Medical Biotechnology and Plant Biotechnology. The department has successfully completed extramurally funded research projects and also has ongoing projects funded by state and central governments.

 
Faculty Members
 

Dr. K. K. Elyas (Head and Co-ordinator)

Dr. P. R. Manish Kumar


Mr. C. Gopinathan


Dr. V. B. Smitha


Dr. V.J.Philip (Retired)


Dr. M. V Joseph (Retired)

Immunotechnology Laboratory
The major focus of the laboratory is on identification, isolation and characterization of bioactive molecules especially phytochemicals having immunomodulatory and in vitro cytotoxic activity against cancers (mouse and human). In vivo antitumour studies are carried out employing mouse models. In silico screening of compounds and docking studies are also being pursued actively. Other lab interests include immunological aspects related to Helicobacter pylori as well as monoclonal antibody production for therapeutic applications.
Cell & Molecular Biology / Recombinant DNA technology Laboratory
The major research interests of the laboratory include (i) molecular biology of cell cycle regulation - G2/M arrest, G2 abrogation and apoptotic pathways employing aseptic cultures of the lower eukaryote, Physarum polycephalum, human peripheral blood lymphocytes and human cancer cell lines (ii) phytochemical analysis, screening for antiproliferative, anticancerous and cell cycle blocking agents (iii) studies on multidrug resistant strains of clinical bacterial isolates – genome and plasmid based gene characterization and molecular typing and (iv) cloning and characterization of cell cycle related genes, expression profiling studies in human cancers. Studies are also being planned on molecular systematics of insect pests and parasitoids.
Bioprocess Laboratory
The laboratory is interested in cost effective biopestide production to control mosquitoes; cost effective process development for biogas production from agro-wastes; biogas production from chicken /poultry wastes by two phase anaerobic digestion process; cost effective production of oyster mushrooms using solid state fermentation technology.
Enzymology and Medical Biotechnology Laboratory

The laboratory is working in the area of bio-molecular interaction for the application of food preservation and disease diagnosis. The serine protease inhibitors are screened from plants which can block the digestive enzyme Trypsin. The molecular characterization of these inhibitors is done using physicochemical and biochemical techniques. These plant derived high affinity inhibitors are used where the control of protease activity is of prime importance such as for preservation of food items like meat and therapeutic applications for wound infections.

The group is also working in the area bio-molecular interaction of lectins with specific glycoproteins for diagnostic application and MHC molecule for its involvement in transplantation rejection.

Molecular Oncology Laboratory
Pioneering research into new avenues for cancer treatment and management is undertaken in this lab exploring molecular level dynamics of the disease and its response to chemotherapeutics. Cancer remains one of the most dreaded diseases afflicting mankind across space and time. Despite tremendous advances in medical science, it still remains a major clinical challenge. as opposed to the use of general cytotoxics, the new trend in cancer drug development is to target the exact molecular cause of individual cancer and its progression. This is based on the
understanding of the underlying processes involved in the development of cancer. A general outline of the research work undertaken in this Lab is to understand these processes and to identify key proteins that can be intervened therapeutically. Another aspect is to analyse the signaling pathways activated in response to conventional as well as new targeted therapeutic agents in the cancer cells so as to identify and find solution for the factors that limits the success of both the first and second generation of therapeutic agents. One another aspect of the research undertaken in this lab is to explore the vast natural resources that has yet not been fully tapped, to find out bioactive compounds with anticancer activity that could represent novel lead structures, for drug development either directly or indirectly, in that they serve as lead compounds for the synthesis of new drugs.
Plant tissue culture facility
Research laboratory facility required for the in-vitro propagation of plants which provide controlled environment for temperature, humidity and light. The final hardening and acclimatization of tissue culture plants are done in green –house facility of the department.
Animal House Facility
The department is having animal house facility recognized by CPCSEA (committee for the purpose of control and supervision of experiments on animals, Govt. of India to do experiments on small laboratory animals
Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility
The department is also funded by DBT Govt. of India for promoting research and developments in the area of Bioinformatics.
Collaboration with other Institute
Academic collaboration exists with Kannur University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Mahatma Gandhi University and Indian Institute Of Spices Research, Calicut. New collaboration between the Department and other institute like, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences Ltd. and Research centre (MIMS) Calicut, Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neuro Sciences (ICCONS) Shornur and . Jubilee Centre for Medical Research, Thrissur are being initiated for both academic and research purpose.
 
 University Of Calicut,
Malappuram (District), PIN 673 635
Calicut University PO, Kerala, India,
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Office Number: 0494 2401144-404
FAX :0494 2400269