Last updated 10 pm 28 March 2020.

The BLiSC campus is actively particpating in national and international efforts to counter, track, study, and strategize about COVID-19 pandemic. We and other national institutions have been mandated by the Government to support and initiate activities in coordination with hospitals, industry, other research institutions and governmental bodies. We are setting aside our usual research and focussing on these immediate needs.

The institutions of the Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster have built up substantive abilities in terms of technical capacity and human resources that could be effectively deployed in the effort to find solutions for the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19 infection. Some of these solutions are indicated below, and details will be added as the efforts take shape.

Immediate Solutions:

In the very near term, the campus is planning to initiate efforts on:

  • Solutions for COVID-19 monitoring based on campus capabilities in molecular biology.

  • Genetics and molecular epidemiology for mapping disease spread and disease susceptibility

  • Technology solutions for multiple aspects of COVID-19 management including better diagnostic method and clinical management

  • Techniques for better protection against infection

  • Technical capabilities to facilitate the COVID-19 response. These sequencing facility, molecular biology and ancillary infrastructure, animal facilities and mass spectrometry capability.

Medium Term Solutions:

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a number of challenges in terms of disease monitoring and health planning while also highlighting the urgent need for better diagnostics and clinical solutions for therapy and disease management. Campus researchers and affiliated technology developers are gearing up for:

  • A multi-institutional effort on disease surveillance and modelling of disease spread.

  • The use of modern genomics and bioinformatics approaches to understand the evolution of the pathogen, its ability to cause disease and also map the disease susceptibility of human populations

  • Cellular and molecular analyses of the biology of COVID infectivity

  • Bioinformatics and structural biology analysis of key infection steps.

  • Technology solutions for high-throughput diagnosis and managing respiratory illness in a clinical setting.

Public Engagement and Information

Along with other Centres of TIFR and national institutions, we are developing web resources in multiple languages to provide authoritative, scientifically checked, and updated information about the disease and its management. These will include community information, assistance in mapping specific Covid-related needs to relevant medical and industry resources, and ways to engage with volunteer groups and research.