The Translational Health Science and Technology Institute-Merging Engineering, Basic Sciences and Medicine   
-Shiladitya Sengupta, Professor, MIT   

The future of healthcare lies at the interface of fundamental sciences, technology, and clinical translation. For the longest time, these disciplines have operated in silos in India. Indeed, even within the fundamental sciences, there have been limited interactions between the fields and very often Indian institutions have missed out on innovation opportunities. Excitingly, this is all set to change! In a bold new experiment, the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India has decided to establish a new Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI). The vision of the institute is to emerge as a world leader in translational research at the interface of medicine and engineering, built on a strong foundation of basic and applied sciences. The mandate of the institute is to engage in advanced collaborative research and education in frontier areas of natural and applied sciences, engineering and translational medicine.

The new campus is being developed on a 200 acre land on the scenic Aravalli Ranges, right next to Badhkal Lake in Faridabad area of the NCR Delhi, and very close to Surajkund, a tourist attraction. The close proximity to the other cluster institutes and centers, including a Center for Vaccine and Infectious Disease Research, Center for Child Biology, Center for Chronic Biology, a Center for Nanomedicine, and the more disciplinary Regional Center for Biotechnology Training and Education (RCB) under the aegis of UNESCO, will offer unique collaborative opportunities and access to cutting edge technology platforms and intellectual capacity. While the infrastructure comes up in Faridabad, THSTI has already started operating from leased laboratory and office space in Gurgaon.

THSTI has already established a partnership with the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a strong faculty, and research and teaching program. The faculty search process has already commenced, and will be jointly conducted by Harvard-MIT Division of HST and THSTI. The final composition of the entrepreneurial faculty will be a rich and diverse mix of expertise bridging basic sciences, engineering sciences and medicine, which can enable translation of an idea from the bench to the bedside.
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