National Centre For Biological Sciences (NCBS)

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The National Center for Biological Research is a wing of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Professor S Ramaseshan, the director of IISC, in 1982 proposed the idea of collaboration between TIFR and IISc for starting a biological center, which would be located in the IISc campus. The idea did not bear any fruit, but in 1984 the Planning Commission, Government of India decided to provide funds for a center for biological studies at Bangalore.


It was decided that the center would be an autonomous unit under the guidance of TIFR. The center was supposed to deal with almost all aspects of biology viz cell biology, development of animals and plants, brain research, behavior, ecology and theoretical biology. A MOU was signed with the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in February 1991 at Bangalore and finally a campus was set up in 1992. Today, the NCBS has become a premier research institute in the field of biology, which uses computational and experimental approaches.


Research Areas at NCBS:

At NCBS research is presently being conducted on four fields. The institute has planned to increase the number of their research groups by two times in the coming future. The areas of research, the NCBS wishes to focus on in the future include plant biology and the relation between biology and other physical sciences. The present areas of concern and their details are given below.


Biochemistry, Biophysics and Bioinformatics the areas of work in this field include

The self-packing polypeptide puzzle: how do proteins fold, unfold and misfold?
Exploring the architecture and function of transmembraneion channels
Computational Approaches to Protein Science
All in a ball: how does maximally compacted DNA still do its job?
DNA damage and repair mechanisms: insights from Raman spectroscopy and computational modeling
Separating the signal from the noise in signal response systems
Lethal lasers: microscopic dissection of their biological impacts Structure and Dynamics of Nucleic Acids

Cellular Organization and Signalling

Countering cervical cancer: insights from Notch signaling and other disregulated pathways Life and death decisions in the immune system
Only Connect: how cells tune-in via multiple mechanisms of endocytosis
Real-time, whole-organism mitochondrial demographics
Cell Biology of the Synapse
Physical principles of organization in biological systems

Genetics and Development

Doing the Locomotion: developmental neurobiology of animal movement
Inositol 1,4,5, - trisphosphate signalling in cellular and systemic physiology
Architecture, development and cell biology of the olfactory system
The genetic heritage of South Asia: tracking its history, conserving its future
Molecular genetic analysis of complex neuro-psychiatric disorders
Evolutionary ecology and environmental conservation

Academic Programs offered by NCBS:


  • PhD: The NCBS provides academic programs which leads to the awarding of PhD and integrated PhD degrees. iBio is an interdisciplinary program that has recently been introduced which involves the application of the principles of physical sciences in solving Biological problems. The iBio PhD offers degrees in Biology, Physics and Chemical Sciences. A MD/PhD program has recently been started which aims at providing the facilities of bio medical research to talented medical students.
  • Post Doctoral Programs: A visiting postdoctoral traineeship program is being offered by NCBS. The trainees usually work with any one of the existing four groups.
  • Teacher Trainees: College and University teachers are allowed to carry out research at NCBS.
  • Visiting Students/ Training Program: NCBS provides the facility to students of M.Sc, Engineering and Medicine.

Facilities at NCBS: The NCBS provides various facilities for facilitating the research works conducted, they are -

  • Workshop
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Computing
  • Animal Care center
  • Informatics 

Address of NCBS:
National Center for Biological Sciences
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK, Bellary Road, Bangalore 560065, India
Telephone: 91 80 23636421/ 429, Fax: 91 80 23636662

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