BHUBANESWAR: All the medical colleges in the country will have specialised multi-disciplinary research units (MRUs) to propel health and biomedical research activities, said Dr VM Katoch here on Sunday. He is Secretary, Department of Health Research (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare), and DG, Indian Council of Medial Research (ICMR).
The ICMR is in the process of empowering the medical colleges to build up their capacities for establishing the MRUs. Proposals for more than 60 medical colleges have already been received. The evaluation and sanction of funds for them have been initiated. In Odisha, the three Government medical colleges would soon be included in the scheme, the ICMR head said.
The MRUs would be equipped with advanced research facilities like labs and allied infrastructure, resource materials, technical manpower and expert guidance to encourage scholars and students to take up research activities in a more intensive manner. The units would be broad-based and absorb activities in all aspects of health and medicine. The aspects are from study on public health issues, preventable and chronic diseases to vaccine development, drug evaluations, social and behavioural sciences, health systems research and clinical trials.
The objective is to spur health and biomedical research by creating an enabling environment in the medical colleges. “We have to create the environment, ensure that the students, faculty and the scholars have all that they need at their disposal to build up an inclination to research activities among them,” Katoch said.
The ICMR has also launched a series of schemes to encourage independent research in health and biomedical spheres. It is conducting workshops across the country with the purpose of bringing both medical faculty and researchers to a common platform for furthering research and innovation.
“It provides opportunities to discuss and initiate collaborative research between medical experts and researchers of ICMR,” said Dr SK Kar, Director of Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) here.
They said these on the sidelines of a symposium held here on Sunday at RMRC. It was attended by heads of six ICMR institutions. “We have received around 30 research proposals from about three medical colleges in the State which is significant. All the proposals were of good quality,” Dr Katoch said.
The ICMR, meanwhile, is all set to revamp its highly-cited and internationally- acclaimed Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR) soon. IJMR, which is completing 100 years, will be given a new shape to be more competitive in the global sphere.