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IIT Kanpur inaugurates Mehta Family Centre for Engineering in Medicine with 2-day Symposium

 

Bangalore : The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur   inaugurated the Mehta Family Centre for Engineering in Medicine  with the objective of facilitating breakthroughs in biomedical engineering innovations. The centre had been set up with the generous support of Mr. Rahul Mehta of the Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta Family Foundation, and was formally inaugurated on November 6, 2023 with a two-day inaugural symposium. It brings together researchers and scientists to collaborate for research at the convergence of engineering and medicine.

Dr. Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of the Department of Science & Technology presided over the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest. Mr. Rahul Mehta shared his vision for the centre, which is dedicated to propelling the next generation of healthcare innovation, and fostering collaboration between various engineering and medical disciplines.

Dr. Shankar Subramaniam, a distinguished figure in the field of bioengineering at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and an Advisor to the centre was also present at the event. The event commenced with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and the unveiling of a memorial plaque, symbolizing the Mehta family’s substantial contribution to the establishment of this unique centre of excellence.

Prof. S Ganesh, Officiating Director, IIT Kanpur said, “IIT Kanpur recognizes that the future of innovation in MedTech and healthcare sectors hinges on the convergence of multiple disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the dynamic intersection of engineering and medicine. We express our deep appreciation to Mr. Rahul Mehta and the Mehta Family Foundation for their generous contribution towards fostering cutting-edge research in the interdisciplinary domain of biomedical engineering by establishing the MFCEM on campus.”

Mr. Rahul Mehta, of the Mehta Family Foundation said, “Under the Mehta Family Foundation, our priority, since inception, has been to support quality-of-life initiatives. We have funded over 100 organizations with the vision of advancing healthcare and education to nurture intellectual talent through global academic collaboration. The MFCEM at the IIT Kanpur aligns with the same goal, and through this, we are striving towards furthering research at the intersection of medicine and engineering.”

The research symposium featured compelling presentations from prominent global experts in three primary research areas at MFCEM comprising Molecular Medicine, Regenerative Medicine, and Digital Medicine.

On the first day, the proceedings commenced with a keynote address by Dr. Gang Bao, the Chair of Bioengineering at Rice University. Dr. Bao expounded upon the applications of nanomedicine and genome editing for disease therapies. Soon afterward, the Aurobindo Nath Bose Entrepreneurship Lecture was delivered by Dr. R. Venkataramanan of Karkinos Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., a technology-driven oncology platform, with a focus on Molecular Medicine in Oncology practice.

Recognizing the rapid advancement of digital medicine, the second day of the symposium dedicated a session to the diverse research areas within this field. Dr. Shankar Subramaniam of UCSD delivered the keynote address, delving into the application of digital medicine in deciphering how the brain undergoes reprogramming under conditions such as Alzheimer’s. In the same session, Dr. Priyanka Bagade from IIT Kanpur provided insights into the expanding realm of IoT in Healthcare.

Dr. Shankar Subramaniam, from the University of California San Diego and an Advisor to the centre said, “The challenges at the interface of engineering and medicine of our time mandate a multidisciplinary approach. With the MFCEM, IIT Kanpur is able to dive into collaborative research in critical domains like Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, systems biology, computer science and engineering, cellular and molecular medicine, Nano Engineering and more.”

Prof. Nitin Gupta, Co-ordinator of MFCEM, said, “The establishment of MFCEM solidifies IIT Kanpur’s position as a leading institute dedicated to research and development aimed at improving the quality of life for millions in India and around the world.”

There was an exclusive session on regenerative medicine where Dr. Shamik Sen from IIT Bombay delivered the keynote address on understanding the engineering of stem cell niches and their regulation by the physical microenvironment.  Prof. Jayandharan Rao of IIT Kanpur talked about Indigenous Gene Therapy Technologies and the journey from concept to clinical translation. 

The symposium also provided a platform for students to showcase their research work across the three focus areas of MFCEM through lightning talks, posters and interactions with the distinguished speakers. There were other fun sessions such as the science quiz bowl hosted by Dr. Shankar Subramaniam which was open to all to bag some exciting prizes.

MFCEM is furthering the vision to develop innovative and sustainable engineering solutions to medical problems. The Centre draws upon the existing strength of IIT Kanpur and involves faculties from different engineering and science departments, such as: Biological Sciences and Bioengineering (BSBE); Computer Science and Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry and Cognitive Science.  

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