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    'A Glimpse of the 75 Years (1941-2015)'  
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Welcome to the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology

A place is what its people are. The students, the faculty and the support staff, our ‘people’, are integral parts of the family that we proudly call MCB.

Starting as a Pharmacology unit in 1941, we have grown to a centre of excellence that offers world-class facilities and a stimulating environment to carry out cutting edge research and training in varied areas of biology with an appreciation of the issues of societal importance. MCB has had a history of making pioneering contributions to our understanding of the basic biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. Today, MCB is a major centre of studies for a number of infectious diseases. And, as is evident from the profiles of its research groups, diseases of microbial (bacterial, fungal and viral), genetic, and life-style origins, provide us with many other important models for studies in the areas of molecular biology, cell biology, immunology, cell signaling and computational biology. The classical models such as Escherichia coli, yeast and Caenorhabditis elegans continue to offer us with exciting opportunities to cleverly explore newer areas of biochemistry and gene expression. These areas of research are further complemented by our studies in the area of developmental genetics of plant organs to tease apart multiple layers of biological complexity.
The research activities at MCB are routinely supported by the efforts of its faculty members in successfully securing highly competitive research funding from various national agencies (DST, DBT, ICMR, CSIR, UGC, DAE etc.), international agencies (European Union, Wellcome Trust, RCUK etc.) and industries. The department has an exceptional distinction of being recognized as the Centre for Advanced Studies in Molecular Medical Microbiology by ICMR; Centre for Advanced Studies in Molecular Microbiology by UGC; and a FIST level II department by DST. MCB is also a Networking Resource Centre for teachers’ training program of UGC.

Students with excellent academic records are admitted to the department through a rigorous and highly competitive procedure for PhD and Integrated PhD programs.  A large number of post-doctoral fellows, undergraduate students, and summer trainees from all over the country are also trained. International students are admitted through the institutional program of cultural exchange. The department offers courses in Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunology, Virology, Genetic Engineering, Developmental Genetics, Developmental Biology, Molecular Oncology and Electron Microscopy for PhD, Integrated PhD, and the undergraduate students.  In addition, the research and literature survey seminars are essential components of a student’s academic training in the department.  Numerous eminent scientists visit us from various parts of the world to interact with our people and deliver lectures in the modern areas of science. In addition, from time to time, we organize in-house, national and international conferences in the areas of our interest.

Our ingenuity of embracing newer areas of science and encouraging collaborative research locally and globally contributes to making MCB a vibrant and exciting place to work in and grow. Thus, it is no surprise that many of our students and postdoctoral fellows go on to become leading investigators in institutions of repute within India and abroad.

Usha Vijayraghavan
Professor and Chairman