Thematic Research Areas
School of Biotechnology
Research philosophy of the School of Biotechnology focuses on developing products of industrial and societal relevance through systematic exploration of Himalayan Biodiversity. School of Biotechnology also strives to provide solutions to problems of local (Himalayan) relevance in the areas of Agriculture, Health, Food and Environment. The same has been endorsed by various funding agencies of Govt. of India. Following are the list of specific areas in which funding has been received by the School:
Drug discovery o Targeting cell cycle kinases and modulating immune response for Cancer Therapy. o Identification of bioactive molecules (antimicrobial, anticancer, immunomodulators) from medicinal plants and mushrooms of Western Himalayas.
Microbial biodiversity o Genomics, proteomics, and enzyme mining from extremophilic (thermophiles, psychrophiles, and halophiles) microorganisms of Himachal Pradesh.
Agricultural research o Host pathogen interaction
- Generation of mycovirus based biocontrol strategy for the control of fungal pathogens.
- Molecular tools for engineering desiccation and salinity tolerance in crop plants.
Conservation of himalayan biodiversity o Conservation, characterization and micro-propagation of economically important and endangered medicinal plant species of Western Himalayas.
Etiology of human diseases o Molecular epidemiology of common diseases, like malaria, Leishmaniasis, Typhoid etc
Diagnostics o Molecular mechanism, genetic relatedness, and diagnostics of various pathogens i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites infecting humans and animals.
- Development of diagnostics and nanopeptide based vaccines for Malaria
School of Bioengineering and Food Technology
The School is focusing its research on sustainable utilization and conservation of Himalayan biodiversity. The major thrust areas of the School are utilization of wild fruits from Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh; Biosensor technology for food items and human diseases and fortified food development for micronutrient deficient diets. To promote the global competencies of the students the international research and ethical standards are followed by the School.
Following are the major thrust areas of research undertaken by the faculty members:
Food Fermentation and Nutrition Science o Production of probiotic and nutraceutical food products.
- Corn flour: a versatile substrate for zein, xanthophylls extraction and alcoholic beverage production.
- Red yeast (Monascus purpureus) fermented rice for production of anticholesterol metabolite Lovastatin (monacolin K).
Microbial enzyme technology, bioremediation and industrial biotechnology o Enzyme mediated synthesis, scale up and downstream processing of important industrial chemicals like benzoic acid, acrylamide, benzoic acid and D-Lactamide.
- Bioremediation of toxic nitrile compounds (cyanide group containing compounds) using microbial enzymes like nitrilase, nitrile hydratase and amidase
- Cloning and expression of thermostable and alkaline protease gene from Bacillus sp. and its fermenter scale up and application in photographic waste recycling.
- Generation of cost-effective biofertilizer/ biocontrol/bioremediant in crop improvement and organic farming.
Fruit and Vegetable Technology o Development of low cost technologies for fruit and vegetables grown in Northern Himalayan region.
- Development of Technology for Preparation of Functional Wine from Diospyros kaki (Persimmon Fruits).
- Utilization of Millets for development of Probiotic rich Millet Milk beverage.
Biosensor Technology o speB gene as a specific genetic marker for early detection of rheumatic heart disease in human. o Biosensor technology for diagnosis of human and food pathogens o Development of genosensors for human pathogens.
- Developing diagnostic protocols for functional foods. Nanotechnology in Food Industry o Application of nanotechnology in food science.
- Use of nanoparticles for developing fast and accurate colorimetric methods for detection of food adulteration.
- Nano-encapsulation of functional food ingredients and incorporating in different products for better bioavailability. Fortified food development o Micronutrients fortification to combat the problem of deficiency disease.
- Developing the functional dairy products.
- Optimization of procedures for developing fermented dairy products.