Virus research gets booster dose as IAV phase I kicks off

The establishment will focus primarily on setting up world-class laboratories to diagnose common viral infections.

Published: 16th October 2020 04:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2020 04:55 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when disease detectives are working out strategies to defeat Covid-19 virus, the operations of the first phase of Institute of Advanced Virology’s (IAV), that comprises diagnostic and research facilities, was commissioned at the Bio 360 Life Science Park at Thonnakkal on Thursday. In his inaugural address via video-conferencing, Pinarayi termed the initiative as nothing but timely in a situation when the state is reeling under Covid risks. He also said IAV will bolster the strength of the public health sector through high-end research in combating the emerging and re-emerging viral threats. 

“IAV is certain to become an institution of international standards in the field of health research. We were able to prevent Nipah and contain Covid to a certain extent in the state because of our robust public health system. But to combat new threats like Covid-19, initiatives such as IAV are imperative,” the Chief Minister said. 

Pinarayi said the institute will conduct research on viruses, viral infections and review their clinical aspects with the help of national institutes like the Indian Council of Medical Research, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, National Institute of Science and Technology, IISER and others. The IAV had earlier received the membership of the Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of leading international virologists with research in medical virology as its main mission. It is headed by eminent virologist Akhil Banerjee. 

The establishment will focus primarily on setting up world-class laboratories to diagnose common viral infections. It will then conduct an epidemiological study among Keralites to determine the factors associated with specific diseases and analyse the said factors to prevent such diseases. In the third phase, its focus will be on virus-related cancer and in the fourth phase training will be given to medical doctors as clinical virologists, so that they can detect and treat diseases with more efficiency. In the final phase, the institute will focus on the production of vaccines. 


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