The National Institute of Immunology (NII) is committed to advanced research addressing the basic mechanisms involved in body's defence to identify modalities for manipulation of the immune system to provide protection against diseases and understand mechanisms that can be used to target disease processes for intervention. The institute’s research thrust areas under immunology and related disciplines cluster in four main themes, namely, infection and immunity, molecular design, gene regulation and reproduction and development, where cutting edge research in modern biology is being carried out. As success in such explorations is heavily reliant on interdisciplinary approaches, the institute over the years has fostered research in multiple overlapping disciplines of modern biology including biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and structural biology in addition to immunology.
The areas of interest under these themes include the basic biology of T and B lymphocytes, elucidation of mechanisms used by the immune system in responding to infectious pathogens, and molecular characterization of the strategies used by a variety of pathogens in causing infection and disease so as to provide guiding principles for preventive, diagnostic and curative strategies. Another area of research involves analysis of the developmental cues that control the process of reproduction and development so as to provide clues for understanding genetic as well as epigenetic influences on the development and function of the body and its defence mechanisms.
NII’s research interests also encompass the translational space and include vaccine as well as drug target design approaches using traditional sources of knowledge, current advances in combinatorial chemistry as well as the futuristic genomics-based predictions and dissection of the fundamental rules of molecular design and recognition, especially for the purpose of designing novel immunogens and inhibitors for pathogens of public health significance as well as for cancer. The institute has plans to embark upon integrated research in human disease biology, where complex questions of susceptibility to and spread of diseases in field conditions are intended to be addressed using systems approaches. Knowledge derived from these research efforts contributes to the creation of an internationally competitive intellectual knowledge base as a sustainable source of innovative futuristic modalities of potential use in health care.
NII is conscious that any success in these complex and competitive areas requires trans-institutional efforts, and has developed collaborative programmes with both national and international universities and scientific institutions to synergise research activities. NII cooperates with the biotech industry on a broad interface as well, ranging from technology transfer to joint R&D programmes as well as policy development initiatives. NII is a founder partner in the development of a coordinated thrust in this direction through a supra-institutional Biotech Science Cluster coming up in the National Capital Region.
The institute also has provisions for state-of-the-art teaching and training facilities in advanced biological sciences using an interdisciplinary approach so as to inculcate the highest level of aptitude and ability in the country’s skilled manpower pool. In addition to the standard modalities of dissemination of scientific information through professional journals and symposia, NII organises regular public lectures on topical scientific matters for the community at large.
The activities of the institute can be viewed at http://www1.nii.res.in/
Last Updated: 31st December, 2013