CMFRI launches Winter School to train researchers in developing products from marine organisms

CMFRI Launches Winter School to Train Researchers in Developing Products from Marine Organisms

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) launched a Winter School to train young researchers about the latest technologies in the area of developing natural products from marine organisms against various diseases. Organised by the Marine Biotechnology division of CMFRI, the Winter School on ‘recent advances in bioactive compounds from marine organisms and development of high value products for health management’ is being attended by 25 researchers and officials from various institutes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the universities from across the country.

Padma Bhushan Dr Manju Sharma, eminent biotechnologist and former secretary of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India inaugurated the School on 23 January 2018 at the CMFRI, Kochi.

Expressing concern over the alarming rate of malnutrition among the children in the country’s rural areas, she called for an integrated and holistic approach for developing proper technologies to ensure the food and nutritional security for the people of India.

Regular training and awareness camps should be organised, particularly involving women in rural areas, Dr Sharma said. “A people-centred approach focusing on farmers, technological empowerment and rural community should be developed” she said adding that women should be given special focus in agricultural innovations.

CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan presided over the inaugural function of the Winter School. Dr P Vijayagopal, Head, Marine Biodiversity Division of the CMFRI and Dr Kajo Chakraborty, Senior Scientist, CMFRI spoke on the occasion.

Training will be provided to the budding researchers on various research aspects for developing medicines and other nutraceutical products from sea that include isolation and characterisation of natural products of pharmaceutical importance from marine organisms such as seaweeds, molluscs, sponges, coelenterates, etc. 

CMFRI is the pioneering marine research institute to work in the frontier area of marine bio-prospecting molecule discovery, marine food product technology and development of high-value nutraceutical products such as dietary and health management supplements. The institute has already developed and commercialised various nutraceutical products for various diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, cholesterol and obesity. In addition, several products from marine organisms as promising therapeutic agents against diseases such as thyroid are in pipeline to be out licensed soon.

CMFRI’s training programme would help the participants formulate strategies further research in the area, paving the way for an upsurge of research on marine bio-prospecting in the respective laboratories and various institutes of the participants.