Country's first PhD programe in stem cell launched

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Chennai, Apr 21 (UNI) Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) in collobration with Acharya Nagarjuna University today launched India's first PhD programme in stem cell research here.

The enrolled clinical doctors and scientists would jointly accomplish research in liver stem cells and haematopoietic stem cells to find a cure for several diseases, which were beyond the realm of a definitive treatment as of now.

Talking to newspersons during the launch, NCRM Director Dr Samuel J K Abraham said after an intensive interaction with Acharya Nagarjuna University for over two years, the senate of the university has approved the three-year PhD which is of unique nature.

''NCRM would pay a good stipend to all those enrolled in the PhD programme'', he said, adding the qualification for the programme would be PG in life science and veterinery medicine with cell culture experience and graduation in medicine.

He said when the course is completed by the candidates, a PhD Degree in stem cell research would be awarded by the Acharya Nagarjuna University.

Explaining the structure, Dr Samuel said ''Regenerative Medicine (RM) is an evolving speciality in medicine in which stem cells, progenitor cells and mature cells with regenerative capability are used to treat diseases''.

''This is a unique speciality in which scientists of stem cell biology have to work in coordination with the clinical doctors.

The clinical doctors of RM should have a thorough understanding of all medical specialities'', he said, Dr Samuel pointed out that unlike the developed nations where clinical doctors themselves as part of their work are involved in research projects with basic scientists, in India such a synergy has been very rare.

''The clinical doctors, who see problems in terms of a disease without a definitive treatment should interact with the basic scientists to make them understand and work towards a cell-based therapy in RM'', he explained.

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