Amity University Mumbai has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) – an independent Hyderabad-based research facility funded by the Union ministry of science and technology – to encourage research in the field of Astrobiology and other related fields by facilitating the use of high-end instruments.
The MoU was signed on December 18 by CDFD director K Thangraj and AW Santhosh Kumar pro vice-chancellor of Amity University, Mumbai, at the CDFD headquarters in Hyderabad, a press communique from Amity University Mumbai stated.
“This collaboration will mainly focus on research initiatives with all the centres of excellence in Amity University, especially the centres for Astrobiology,” said pro vice-chancellor Santhosh Kumar.
Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. This interdisciplinary field requires a comprehensive and integrated understanding of biological, planetary, and cosmic phenomena. According to the official website of NASA, there are very few dedicated degree programmes in Astrobiology as of now.
Besides Astrobiology, the major areas covered under the ambit of the MoU will include research on microbes that live in extreme environments, research on genomics, drug discovery and research in the field of nano delivery systems.
Nanotechnology offers multiple benefits in treating chronic human diseases by site-specific and target-oriented delivery of precise medicines. Several agencies across the globe have also been researching ways to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection by introducing nanomedicines.
Primarily, this collaboration between Amity University Mumbai and CDFD will facilitate the use of high-end instruments in biological research. It will also provide internship facilities to the students and training to faculty members.
CDFD is an autonomous organisation that is funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, government of India. CDFD is also funded by other agencies for specific collaborative projects.
This centre for research is recognised by Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Regional Centre for Biotechnology and University of Hyderabad for Ph.D. programme in Life Sciences. The centre has world class state-of-the-art instrumentation and computing infrastructure to support research and development in various areas of modern biology. There are 19 groups currently working on diverse research areas in CDFD. CDFD is supported by an efficient Bioinformatics facility.