Journal of the Practice of Cardiovascular Sciences

: 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 214--215

International center for genetic engineering and biotechnology

Jyoti Chhibber, Varsha Singhal, Amit Sharma 
 Structural and Computational Biology Group, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amit Sharma
Structural and Computational Biology Group, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Arun Asif Ali Marg, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110 067

How to cite this article:
Chhibber J, Singhal V, Sharma A. International center for genetic engineering and biotechnology.J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2015;1:214-215

How to cite this URL:
Chhibber J, Singhal V, Sharma A. International center for genetic engineering and biotechnology. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 May 24 ];1:214-215
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International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) was instituted in the mid-1980s as an international center of excellence for research and training aimed at solving health and agricultural problems of the developing world. The success of ICGEB model is testified by the fact that 64 countries are currently its members, with three ICGEB centers placed in New Delhi, India, Trieste, Italy and Cape Town, South Africa. ICGEB laboratories provide world class scientific infrastructure and conduct cutting edge research. ICGEB is also engaged in the transfer of technologies with industrial partners located in Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most of the companies involved in these technology transfers are now producing biosimilars and/or diagnostics using ICGEB technologies. These products are not only sold in local markets but also successfully compete in the international arena.

ICGEB New Delhi was established in 1988 and has ~25 principal investigators (PIs) with a flourishing PhD program through Jawaharlal Nehru University. Over 200 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral staff presently work here via extramurally funded research projects. ICGEB, New Delhi PIs have been funded by international agencies including Wellcome Trust, European Malaria Vaccine Initiative, European Commission, International Aids Vaccine Initiative, National Institute of Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dupont and Pepsico. Innovative collaborations have been established with Emory Global Vaccine Centre and the Drug Discovery Research Centre to strengthen translational research objectives.


Amit Sharma's group focuses on multi-disciplinary approach toward understanding malarial parasite proteins. They aim to highlight the principle which governs biological functions of key parasite proteins. The group extensively relies on bioinformatics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, parasitology, and protein crystallography. The current focus of research includes critical parasite processes such as invasion of liver and red blood cells, nucleosome assembly, gametocytogenesis, cytoadherence, and protein translation. The group has successfully elucidated crystal structures of key proteins from the sporozoite, asexual and sexual parasite stages. They have also made remarkable advances in validating protein translation machinery as new targets for anti-pathogen drug discovery.

In addition to being focused on the malaria biology, Amit Sharma's group has initiated a new program in molecular medicine with a focus on the human health-microbiome axis. The group is interested in dissecting the role of commensal or pathogenic bacteria in the establishment of atherosclerosis in human patients. The group is currently working with a cohort of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients whose oral microbiomes along with blood metabolites are being investigated. This work is being done in close linkage with Drs. Balram Bhargava and Neeraj Parakh of Cardiothoracic Sciences Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. Here, the primary focus is to elucidate the link between host oral microbiome and CAD in diverse patient populations, with an aim to determine common microbial-origin molecular mechanisms. Evidence from several recent studies has established an association between host microbiota and CAD. While the exact mechanisms via which these microbes lead to an increased risk of CAD remain unclear, they can be categorized as indirect and direct associations. Among the direct associations are obesity and diabetes – The major modifiable risk factors for CAD while indirect associations include microbial origin metabolites that link with CAD. A link between oral microbiome, in terms of periodontitis and CAD has been established, and a surge in experimental and analytical tools to study human microbiome has provided a much deeper representation of the association between the two. It is suggested that flow of bacterial toxins and/or bacterial components into the bloodstream and finally adipose and vascular tissues may lead to exaggerated release of inflammatory mediators. This is consistent with studies suggesting that atheroma lesions may be initiated by inflammatory stimuli, including systemic and locally produced inflammatory cytokines and chemotactic agents. The systemic immune response then causes changes in the endothelium promoting interactions with leukocytes, promoting leukocyte migration into the intimal layer of the artery resulting in activation of endothelium, which in turn leads to the release of chemotactic cytokines, further attracting monocytes, or other immune cells. Using targeted techniques, oral microbes are also being studied in coronary plaque samples. By understanding the contributions of human oral microbiome toward the development of CAD, the group aims to unravel both diagnostic and therapeutic avenues over the course of the current research.


ICGEB centers operate through an international Ph.D. program jointly developed with academic institutions of world renown. They provide a training platform for topics and techniques that the trained scientists may implement in future in different fields of research and development. We invite students, postdocs, and young PIs to initiate links and collaborations with the soon to be launched “Molecular Medicine Group” in ICGEB, New Delhi. This group will provide a tight linkage between basic, clinical and translational research, and foster excellence in cross cutting “omics” technologies directed at biomedical problems. The group has already initiated work on atherosclerosis as described above, and we seek collaborations with the community of clinicians in India where microbiome research can be applicable.