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States » East


Century-old family trust of Assam in revolutionary cancer, TB research

By Sushmita Goswami
Guwahati, Jul 5 (UNI) A nearly century old, once-secret organization to promote creative designs in silk weaving in southern Assam has now emerged as a leading name in health and science studies, making path-breaking research in cancer and tuberculosis, and enabling local students to be a part of these projects.
The KaviKrishna Lab, registered in Tatipara in Sualkuchi of Kamrup (rural) district of Assam, has travelled a long way since its formation as an informal family trust, Krishna Samaz, in 1920.
It was initially formed to support creative people having revolutionary ideas on silk design/production while keeping its existence a secret, in line to an ancient Kamarupi tradition of secrecy strictly followed by the weavers until the early decades of 20th century.
The name of the Lab entered the world map with a bang with the publication of its study on dormant Mycobacterium in TB in June 2013 and its latest findings on altruistic behavior of cancer stem cells, published earlier this week, has further added to its standing at the world stage.
“The research team is fully capable of laboratory management, and grant and manuscript writing. This success in research capacity development is now helping in initiating next strategic plan of seeking FCRA recognition, so that it can become eligible to apply grant to international agencies, and also to seek foreign investment,” director of the Lab, Dr Bikul Das, said.
It has now emerged as a leading hub in stem cell research and for educational programs in this field in North East India.
Three PhD students and numerous physicians have trained in the Lab in order to develop research capacity building on stem cell-based global health research.
The Lab has collaborated with Dr. Rakesh Bhatnagar at Biotechnology Department of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and a DBT grant was approved under the North-East twinning program.
The Lab also has long term collaboration with Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati, Amity University and IIT-Guwahati.
The Lab has successfully achieved recognition as a Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) from the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR).
“In the year 2018, the laboratory completed six years of research capacity building. This is the most remarkable achievement for the organization in our long 8 years journey,” Dr Das, who registered the Lab as a non-profit, non-governmental organization in 2010 to give it a more formal mould rather than remaining his family’s organization, added.
UNI SG AKM
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