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Congress president Sonia Gandhi will lay the foundation stone of the new Bio-Innovation Centre (BIC) at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in Kerala on Monday.
Gandhi will also interact with the students and staff of the RGCB after the ceremony.
The BIC, coming under a Rs.100 crore expansion programme, is intended to expand its research activities to the frontiers of science, especially in the field of cancer treatment and communicable disease control.
It will be a knowledge centre and hub for the development of cancer vaccines and immunotherapeutics, molecular diagnostics and cancer biomarkers and nano drug delivery systems.
Apart from R&D, the centre will also impart world-class education and training in biotechnology to science graduates and post-graduates.
A 150,000 sq ft building is proposed in BIC phase I which is expected to be commissioned by 2016. Once operational, it will house research laboratories, state-of-the-art instrumentation facilities and animal testing labs.
RGCB director M Radhakrishna Pillai said the objective is to develop the BIC into a 'Centre of Excellence' in the areas of disease biology and molecular medicine.
'Cancer vaccines, immunology and biomarkers will be a core focus for the new centre. Vaccines are being explored worldwide as an alternative to existing cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy in view of their postulated target specificity and minimal side effects,' he said.
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