University College London (UCL) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have entered into a new partnership which will enable much closer research collaboration and will explore opportunities to increase academic and student exchange between the institutions.
India’s AIIMS will be joining the new International Centre for Genomic Medicine in Neuromuscular Diseases (ICGMN), which is led by UCL. The ICGMN is a £5m initiative, bringing together skills and resources from five countries and aims to advance the genetic diagnosis and therapy for patients with muscle wasting neuromuscular diseases, including motor neurone disease and muscular dystrophy, which affect at least 17m children and adults globally.
As a part of the Centre’s research, AIIMS will soon launch its first patient trials. These trials will provide a better understanding of the different genes present in India’s populations, which affect neuromuscular diseases, and this insight could lead to better treatments.
AIIMS investigators will recruit, phenotype and genotype around 1,000 Indian patients during the next 5 years creating a unique highly phenotyped “trial ready” patient cohort. In addition, the partnership will support a unique clinical training fellowship programme for Indian neurologists to become the genomic medicine experts of the future in India.
“The AIIMS neurology team is delighted to be part of this major new MRC funded international genomics initiative with UCL. It will enable us to jointly train Indian fellows in genomic medicine, to understand the genetic architecture of neuromuscular diseases in India and to build ‘trial ready’ cohorts of patients. We believe this collaborative initiative will enable a step change in genomic medicine in neuromuscular diseases and will be a template for genomic understanding other neurological diseases in India.” – Padma Srivastava, Professor of Neurology, AIIMS.
Through closer collaboration and sharing of our complementary expertise, UCL and AIIMS will gain a deeper insight into ground-breaking research and seek to fulfill our joint ambition to address some of the biggest challenges facing society today.