ICMR working with industry to take research forward: Director-General

Says the endeavour is to translate discoveries into policy changes that will benefit millions

India needs a research ecosystem that can take discoveries forward all the way through and sustain them till they have an impact, said Soumya Swaminathan, Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Dr. Swaminathan was speaking at the 24th convocation of Sri Ramachandra University (SRU) on Friday.

At present, discoveries and breakthroughs were not moving forward to the next stage, she said. To change this, the ICMR was working with the biotechnology department and NITI Aayog to link discoveries with industry partners to take them forward and to translate discoveries into policy changes that will benefit healthcare, she said. “The ICMR has a long history of medical research — it is the oldest research organisation in the world,” she said, adding that there was a need to take the organisation to a level comparable internationally and also to apply research to diseases and find solutions for them.

She had earlier said that far too few medical graduates in our country embarked on research career and there was a great need for more research on problems that affected the country. She also spoke of the research fellowships ICMR offered.

Dr. Swaminathan highlighted the importance of the ethical aspects of research and counselled those who were thinking of entering the field of research to be patient.

They must ensure that they were in for the long run. Even though it would take time, the rewards would pay off in the long run, he said.

In her message to the 675 graduates of medicine and other allied disciplines, she told them to be patient listeners and kind friends, urged them to keep themselves updated, to be as evidence-based in their approach as possible, to be part of the team and also to look after themselves and to achieve a work-life balance.

Earlier in the day, she had inaugurated the Sri Ramachandra University - ICMR Center for Advances Research on Air Quality, Climate and Health.

Dr. Swaminathan had said more people needed to enter the field of environmental and occupational health.

Says the endeavour is to translate discoveries into policy changes that will benefit healthcare

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