MUHS inks pact with IDRA-L to set up genetic institute, diagnostic centre

IN A FIRST, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik, and Pune-based Indian Drug Research Association & Laboratory (IDRA-L) will set up a unique
genetic institute and diagnostic centre in the city.

MUHS and IDRA-L on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the Late Dr K C Gharpure Genetics and Molecular Laboratory for cancer diagnosis and clinical research. Not only will the government centre provide genetic diagnostic training for clinicians, it will also give hands-on training to students in the latest molecular, cytogenetic and biochemical techniques.

MUHS Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen (retd) Dr Madhuri Kanitkar, who was present at the MoU signing ceremony in Pune, said the laboratory will be a state-of-the-art facility with latest genetic diagnostic tests at subsidised rates which will also provide genetic diagnostic training for clinicians in the form of a one-year fellowship course.

MUHS’s regional centre, which is located at Aundh general hospital, will also be shifted to the central location of the 100-year-old bungalow of late Dr K C Gharpure. The property belonged to the Dr Gharpure trust which was then taken over by IDRA-L.

“We have tied up with IDRA-L and will relocate the centre to the premises,” she said. “The 100-year-old structure is strong and around 1,200 sq ft area will be used for the genetics lab. The infrastructure cost is estimated at Rs 80 lakh while the project will run into a couple of crores,” Lt Gen Kanitkar said. The lab will be set up around June with plans to undertake next generation sequencing in the second phase.

The centre will house a molecular testing lab, a biochemical genetics lab, and a cytogenetic lab. There will be a broad range of lab tests to analyse DNA, RNA, chromosomes, proteins, and plans are also underway to provide carrier screening tests, prenatal diagnosis, newborn screening and others. Apart from the one-year fellowship course in genetic diagnostics for clinicians, a six-month certificate course will be provided for students who have completed their PG in allied fields.

1,200 medical students from Ukraine registered for MUHS online courses

There are 1,200 medical students from the state who have returned from war-torn Ukraine and have registered for online courses with MUHS. “We have started these `foster care’ online courses till such time that they return to the country where they are enrolled for an MBBS degree. There is no way we will allow any backdoor entry to our system of medicine at colleges here,” Lt Gen Kanitkar said.

“The first module on medicine for endocrinology will commence next week with an online lecture and a one-day workshop of case runs in the civil hospital. This is being done specialty-wise. These courses will help them appear for the foreign medical degree exam,” Lt Gen Kanitkar added.

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