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State to take lead in virology research
  • Published on 2018-06-30

Chief Minister to lay foundation stone for virology institute on Wednesday

When Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan laid the foundation stone for the Institute of Advanced Virology at the Life Sciences Park at Thonnakkal  on 30.05.2018 (Wednesday), marking Kerala’s first step towards becoming a key player in advanced virology research.

The institute to become functional by December is aimed at shaking off the dependence on laboratories elsewhere for timely identification of deadly viruses and treatment of viral infections. To be set up by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), the institute will be equipped with eight laboratories for advanced research in clinical virology, viral diagnostics, viral vaccines, anti-viral drug research, viral applications, viral epidemiology, vector dynamics, virus genomics, bioinformatics and general virology.

The first phase involves the construction of a 25,000 sq ft prefabricated building in six months time. The main building of 80,000 sq ft is to be completed next year. The campus would accommodate a bio safety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratory to be upgraded to BSL-4 subsequently.

An official pressnote said the institute would accept samples from across the country for analysis. Development of viral vaccines would also be a thrust area. Besides, the institiute would house a unit of the Global Viral Network.

The pressnote said the project had been put on the fast track following the Nipah virus outbreak in northern Kerala. The institute, it added, would offer academic programmes, including PG diploma in virology and Ph.D (virology) in the first phase.