The Clinical Biochemistry laboratory runs round the clock and has facilities for conducting around 150 different tests. It performs more than 900 routine and emergency tests per day, with a turnaround time (from receiving samples to reporting) of approximately two hours for most routine tests. With bi-directional barcode reading and reporting facilities, all the lab operations viz., requisition and payment for tests, sample acceptance and tracking and reporting of results are done online with minimum paper work. The lab is equipped with random access chemistry analyzers, blood gas electrolyte analyzers, HbA1c analyzer and chemiluminescence reader. Apart from daily internal quality check, the lab participates in external quality assurance programmes of ACBI, CMC Vellore and Randox RIQAS.
Apart from its involvement in training undergraduates, postgraduates (MD Biochemistry) and PhD students, it runs regular short term courses on ‘Immunological and molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases’ with the support from DBT to selected junior faculty, residents and PhD students from medical institutes and universities from different parts of India. The department also provides summer training for interested medical undergraduates and post graduates of science stream on research techniques and facilitates the students to do short term project works. A number of innovations implemented in the undergraduate curriculum include: case based learning (CBL) for selected topics in small groups, integrated seminars, additional formative tests and provision of immediate feedback on formative assessment. Interactive tutorials and special classes on research methodology, statistics and quality control have been introduced in the postgraduate curriculum.
The thrust in research is on applied aspects of tropical diseases; filariasis and tuberculosis. The work spans developing immunodiagnostic, vaccine and therapeutic leads and exploring therapeutic potential of filarial immunomodulators in autoimmune diseases. The Department is home to the National Repository for Filarial Parasites & Reagents, a facility supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt of India. This facility includes rare filarial animal models: mastomys & jirds, maintained in a CPCSEA registered animal house, an insectarium for breeding and maintenance of Aedes aegypti mosquito vector as well as filarial parasite and sera banks and cDNA libraries. In tuberculosis research, molecular markers, Chemokines, Cytokines and other biomarkers are being worked upon in addition to a study on the anti- Mycobacterial activity of selected marine algal extracts. Another focus area of research is HPV. The department is DST-FIST supported and has major research equipment like real time PCR machine, regular thermal cyclers, digital imaging system, FPLC, 2D electrophoresis system, scintillation counters, spectrophotometer, ELISA readers, lyophilizer, culture filtrate concentrators, cryopreservation system, cold lab, bio safety hoods, inverted and fluorescent microscopes, shaker incubators, deep freezers, walk-in cold room etc. The Department collaborates with the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford (USA), Anna University (Chennai), AIIMS (New Delhi), Institute of Medical Sciences of BHU (Varanasi), The Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Mumbai and University Institute of Chemical Technology (Mumbai).