The National Institute of Immunology (NII) is committed to advanced research with a view to understand body's defense mechanisms for developing modalities of immune system manipulation that can intervene with disease processes. The institute’s research thrust areas under immunology and related disciplines cluster in four main themes, namely, infection and immunity, molecular design, gene regulation and reproduction and development, where cutting edge research in modern biology is being carried out employing multiple overlapping disciplines of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and structural biology.
The areas of interest under the above themes include the basic biology of T and B lymphocytes, elucidation of mechanisms used by the immune system in responding to infectious pathogens and characterization of the strategies used by a variety of pathogens to establish infection and disease. Another area of research involves analysis of the processes that control reproduction and development to understand genetic as well as epigenetic influences on development and function of the body and its defense mechanisms.
NII’s interests also include the translational research in the area of vaccines and drug development. The research is focused on designing novel immunogens, anticancer agents and therapeutic inhibitors against pathogens of public health significance.
The institute has plans to embark upon integrated research in human disease biology, where complex questions of susceptibility to and spread of diseases in field conditions are intended to be addressed using systems approaches. These research efforts will create an internationally competitive intellectual knowledge base as a sustainable source of innovative futuristic modalities of potential use in health care.
NII is conscious that any success in these complex and competitive areas would require trans-institutional efforts and inter-disciplinary collegial collaborations. NII has developed collaborative programmes with both national and international universities and scientific institutions to synergise research activities. NII also cooperates with the biotech industry on a broad interface ranging from technology transfer to joint R&D programmes and policy development initiatives. NII is a founder partner in the development of a coordinated thrust in this direction through a supra-institutional Biotech Science Cluster coming up in the National Capital Region.
The institute also has provisions for state-of-the-art teaching and training facilities in advanced biological sciences using an interdisciplinary approach so as to inculcate the highest level of aptitude and ability in the country’s skilled manpower pool. In addition to the standard modalities of dissemination of scientific information through professional journals and symposia, NII organises regular public lectures on topical scientific matters for the community at large.