President APJ Abdul Kalam will lay the foundation stone on December 1 for the country's first stem cell translational research centre, being set up by the Christian Medical College, Vellore.
The centre is being set up in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology at a cost of Rs 15 crore. The research focus will be on the use of bone marrow and cord blood derived adult stem cells for the treatment of a variety of diseases, Dr George M Chandy, Director of the hospital, told a press conference.
Research at the centre will look at the mechanisms of differentiation and expansion of cells and how they could be manipulated for clinical purposes. Attempts will be made to genetically modify these cells for possible use in people with genetic diseases.
The CMC research centre will be the first of a series of centers the Department of Biotechnology will set up in the country, as it has world-class clinical hematology and biochemistry departments.
Care will be taken to ensure that these cells will be processed according to international guidelines before human use. CMC will be creating appropriate facilities for this purpose.