First phase of Kerala’s Institute of Advanced Virology operational

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan dedicated the first phase of the Institute of Advanced Virology to the State   -  THE HINDU

Once fully functional, the institute will house eight scientific divisions dealing in multiple aspects of research

The first phase of the Institute of Advanced Virology situated at the up-and-coming Bio 360 Life Sciences Park at suburban Thonnakkal near here has become operational, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan dedicating the facility to the State, online, on Thursday.

The Bio 360 Life Sciences Park is an initiative of the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation and is intended to be a cluster of research institutions, sci-tech academia and companies working in the field of biotechnology, nanotechnology and life sciences.

Eight scientific divisions

On Thursday, the clinical virology and viral diagnostics divisions became operational in a pre-fab building of 25,000 sq ft in area. Once fully functional, the institute will house eight scientific divisions dealing in multiple aspects of research in another building of 80,000 sq ft in area.

Akhil C Banerjee has taken charge as the Director of the institute while Mohanan Valiyaveetil is the Senior Principal Scientist. The institute will work closely with the Indian Council of Medical Research; and the Thiruvananthapuram-based Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology; the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology; and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research.

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A global research centre

The Chief Minister said that the Institute of Advanced Virology would evolve into a global centre for high-end virology research and help Kerala’s efforts to improve public health and contain virus outbreaks. In the first phase, two of the eight divisions have become operational.

It was heartening to note that the institute had become functional at a time when the State was battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chief Minister said. He hoped that the institute would enable high-end medical research and better equip the State’s efforts to tackle epidemics.

It was a robust public health system that helped the State check the Nipah virus outbreak of 2018, he recalled. Movement of people in and out of the State is constant, which makes it vulnerable to virus outbreaks. Lifestyle diseases pose another grave to risk to Keralites, he added.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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