Epidemiology is the branch of medical science that deals with the factors that determine the presence or absence of diseases. Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution, patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare.
Why do we focus on this : The purpose of epidemiology research is to understand what risk factors are associated with a specific disease, and how disease can be prevented. Epidemiological research helps us to understand how many people have a disease, if those numbers are changing, and how the disease affects our society or our economy. Epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness and as a guide to the management of patients who are already suffering.
The term “big data” refers to data that is huge, fast or complex and difficult or impossible to process using traditional methods. There are five V’s of big data which includes Volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity and Value. Big data includes the use of predictive analytics, user behaviour analytics, or certain other advanced data analytics methods that extract value from big data.
Why do we focus on this: Today Data is Wisdom. Medical and public health domain is using data analytics in a major way to resolve the current issue and identify the evolving challenges. Amid the Covid Pandemic, data has been a very useful tool to trace the trend, identify the future issues and be proactive & be ready for the future pandemics.
Genomics is defined as the branch of molecular biology that deals with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes. Genomics uses DNA sequencing methods and bioinformatics to sequence, assemble and analyse the structure and function of genomes. Specialists in genomics strive to determine complete DNA sequences and perform genetic mapping to help understand disease. Genomics also involves the study of intragenomic processes such as epistasis, heterosis and pleiotropy as well as the interactions between loci and alleles within the genome .
Why does I3T focus on this: Gaining a better understanding of the interactions between genes and the environment by means of genomics is helping researchers find better ways to improve public health and prevent disease. I3T acquired a Genexus Machine for genetics that is 1st of it’s kind in India. I3T has Genexus and S5+ which is a comprehensive genomics facility that can give test analysis reports within 24 hours.
Malaria and Dengue
A disease, caused by a plasmodium parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes have been a cause of worry for India at large. There are four kinds of malaria parasites that can infect humans: Plasmodium vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. falciparum. Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species (Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus) mosquito.
Why do we focus on this: I3T scientists want to understand how the dengue virus causes damage to the human body and how the immune system responds to a dengue infection, so that they can develop new treatments for the disease. This is going to help millions of Indians.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis can be caused by infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs) and autoimmune diseases. There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These five types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection that can lead to a high fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. It can be fatal. It is caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi.Typhoid fever is an infection that spreads through contaminated food and water.Vaccines are recommended in areas where typhoid fever is common. Symptoms include high fever, headache, stomach pain, weakness, vomiting and loose stools. Treatment includes antibiotics and fluids.
Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer begins when genetic changes interfere with this orderly process. These cells may form a mass called a tumour. A tumour can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumour is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumour means the tumour can grow but will not spread. Different types of cancer are Carcinomas which include prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer, Sarcomas, Leukemias and Lymphomas.
Why does I3T focus on this: I3T is having an Advanced Diagnostic Center. Clinical trials can help researchers find new ways to prevent and detect cancer, and they can also help improve the quality of life for patients during and after treatment.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is the main source of energy and comes from the food we eat. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into our cells to be used for energy. Sometimes our body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in our blood and doesn’t reach our cells. There are three main types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational.
Cell Biology and Metabolic Disorder
This department engages in investigation of mammalian cells leveraged as exigent model system to find application in various important aspects like study of various diseases situations (metabolic disorders, cancer, COPD, myocardial infarction etc); biomolecular therapeutics; development of vaccines; elucidation of drug delivery mechanism etc. Study on intracellular signalling pathways and involvement of subcellular organelles unravels yet-unidentified facts on cellular machineries leading to a better mechanistic understanding of specific physiological conditions. The department, with its ‘state-of-the-art’ facility, aspires to achieve, through appropriate translational innovations, significant contributions towards disease management and improvement of public health.
Virology is the branch of microbiology that deals with the study of viruses (as well as various virus-like particles), their characteristics, classification, as well as the relationship with their respective hosts. I3T is a public health institution and wants to spread the outreach so that we will work on all public health issues under a single roof. I3T has advanced instruments, ultra modern infrastructure and scientists. We are willing to work on Infectious, communicable and non-communicable diseases such as Dengue, Malaria, Hepatitis, Cancer, Diabetes and Virology.
Neuroscience majorly covers two broad areas, the Brain and the rest of the neurological pathways. The brain study can be separated into two sub-domains. One is overall mental and cognitive health, including memory, perception, and voluntary movements. The other domain deals with neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). NDs are generally characterised by uncontrolled neuronal death leading to a gradual decline in brain functions. The NDs affect tens of millions of people worldwide and have become a major concern of public health. The Department of Neurosciences at I3TK mainly focuses on neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and neurodevelopmental disorders like Autism. Unfortunately, to date, no biomarker approaches and/or effective therapeutic interventions have yet translated into regular clinical practice for neurodegenerative disorders. Modern technological advances in transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics offer many crucial insights into the disease mechanism, as well as opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics that can reverse and/or halt neurodegeneration. In spite of these latest developments, there are still significant gaps in connecting genetic information and/or environmental factors with disease mechanisms and in harnessing the critical role of intercellular interactions to develop effective therapeutic interventions. Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that comprises cellular and molecular biology, physiology, and pharmacology, as well as behavioural and cognitive neuroscience.
Major research thrust areas: Pathophysiological models of different neurodegenerative diseases both animal cell lines and in vivo experimental animal models. Development of new models and approaches to study both the genetic and environmental risk factors of neurodegenerative disease and identification of disease biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases aiming to develop approaches to early diagnose, prevent, and/or treat the disease. Genetics and molecular mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases, the cross-talk between the genetic associations, genetic susceptibility and contribution of developing neurodegenerative diseases.