The Foundation for Medical Research always strives to stay abreast with relevant technology to support its research objectives. It has state of the art facilities for handling infectious pathogens and conducting advanced molecular studies.
The molecular biology facility supports qualitative and quantitative molecular studies. The facility houses the following instruments
The Foundation has various levels of containment faculty for handling non-infectious and infectious organisms and samples. All biosafety laboratories and procedures are overseen by Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBSC).
This facility was established in 2020 with generous donations from Kalpataru Foundation, Mr P. D. Lam, Zoroastrian Charity Fund of Hong Kong, CSD Adenwalla Trust and Pirojsha Godrej Foundation. It is designed to handle and propagate highly infectious Risk Group (RG)-3 organisms like Mycobacterium tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2. The facility houses
This facility is dedicated to handle Risk Group (RG)-2 organisms, Category B samples of human origin, environmental samples with moderate risk, including RG-1 and RG-2 organisms and tissue culture. The facility includes two BSL-2 plus laboratories maintained in 20-25 Pascals negative pressure for processing and performing molecular procedures (DNA/RNA isolation) of category B samples with potential infectious pathogens from TB and COVID-19 patients. The facility also includes a media preparation room, PPE donning room, oven room and autoclave room. The BSL-2 facility houses
The facility includes two laboratories for culture work and molecular studies. The lab is self-contained with.
Besides, the specific facilities and equipment, the institute also houses common facilities as listed below
A senior chest physician [Dr Yatin Dholakia] visits the institute twice a week. He is part of research activities at the Foundation and monitors health of the staff.
Clinical services are strengthened by the availability of histopathological facilities. Biopsies from human (skin and nerve) and mouse tissues can be processed. Immunocytochemistry using peroxidase conjugated antibodies can be undertaken depending on the specific needs of research projects of the Foundation. The facility houses a tissue bank of biopsy samples from leprosy patients
Project ECHO is a collaborative medical education model originally aimed at building medical workforce capacity in rural and underserved areas. ECHO is a hub and spoke model (FMR is the hub and the labs/researchers/trainers are the spokes) that allows technology to share best practices and to create case-based learning, which can be monitored (web-based) for its outcomes. The Foundation uses ECHO to enable health system strengthening in the following areas:
The Foundation has a portable, USB-powered DNA sequencer (MinION) designed and manufactured by Oxford Nanopore Technologies, UK. Nanopore sequencing is a unique technology that reads long DNA or RNA fragments in real-time. It functions by determining the changes to an electrical current as the nucleic acids pass a tiny protein nanopore present on the flow cell membrane in the sequencer. The resulting signal is decoded to provide the specific DNA or RNA sequence. The Foundation currently uses it for performing whole genome sequencing of clinical TB isolates (for determination of strain lineage and prediction of drug resistance), direct sputum sequencing (feasibility of using it as a point-of-care diagnostic tool) and for SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing (lineage identification).
The Foundation has a high-end computational facility- (Dell Precision Tower 7810 CTO) with Intel Xeon Processor (E5-2630 v3), 64 GB DDR4 RAM and two 19.5'' wide screen monitors and NAS backup system. The bioinformatics facility is mainly used for genomics, transcriptomics and surveillance research, currently for TB and SARS-CoV2. It is used for conducting high throughput data analysis using various tools/pipelines (Mykrobe Predictor, MTBSeq pipeline, Geneious, etc.) for the determination of strain lineages, strain evolution, prediction of TB drug resistance, metagenomic analysis, studying transcriptomics of the TB bacteria & its host and wastewater SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.
The FMR library collection comprises scientific journals, reprints, books, proceedings of various conferences, annual reports.
Additionally, there are over 9250 reprints and 1200 books. Alterations in journal holdings and reprint collection are based annually on the scope of scientific work undertaken at the Institute and the topics of current interest, encompassing a wide range of subjects besides immediate concerns. All FMR publications and masters/doctoral thesis of students are also available for reference.
The library also maintains an exhaustive historical collection of leprosy journals. Subject gateways, Email-alerts, Table of Contents are provided to staff and students as per their interest area. Inter-library loan service is also provided.
The services of the library are open to all external users. Photocopy service is provided to external users at nominal charges.
The library holdings are computerized.
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