During the Sixth Five Year Plan
Period (1980-85), the concept of Regional Medical Research Centres (RMRCs)
was evolved in the ICMR, under which it was proposed to establish six new
Centres in different regions of the country to undertake research
regarding the health problems of the respective regions.
The RMRCs would address a variety of issues of local/regional
relevance, as the health problems of one region may differ from those of
another on account of several factors such as demographic characteristics,
geographical, climatic and other environmental influences, literacy
levels, status of socio-economic development etc.
The Governing Body of the ICMR approved in principle the
establishment of RMRC at
(later shifted to
) at its 50th meeting held on 2nd May 1980.
However, due to resource constraints and other logistic problems,
development of RMRC,
could not take place, though 20 acres of land located on the
Pune-Bangalore National Highway
, was allotted to ICMR by the Govt. of Karnataka.
This proposal is intended for the purpose of fully establishing and
operational with main emphasis on research on herbal and traditional
medicines practiced in this region due to close proximity of
. In mid 2003, a Deputy Director and a Research Assistant were posted to
RMRC to establish basic infrastructure.
Support staff was provided in 2004 on contract basis. During last
five years, in spite of limited resources and manpower, necessary
infrastructure like electricity, water connections, telecommunications,
internet, LAN facilities, internal roads and laboratory facilities etc
have been established. A fully
furnished Guest House is also set up.
The Centre was officially inaugurated on 20th May 2006.
Areas of Research:
Scientific validation of Herbal Medicine (phytochemistry,
efficacy, safety, mode of action and clinical trials)
Prevalence of diseases at regional level and the
role of Herbal Medicine in treating these diseases
Database for ethnomedicinal plants of
Improve infra-structural facilities and strengthen
human resources in the area of Herbal and Traditional Medicine
Working in close collaboration with traditional and
herbal medicine practitioners in the region
Create general awareness
Promote scientific temperament and
Collect, collate and disseminate relevant
scientific information in the area of herbal medicine
facilities-Highlighting sophisticated and modern facilities:
core laboratory with basic equipments like analytical balances,
autoclaves, sterilizers, centrifuges, water bath/ shakers, hot air
ovens etc. has already been set up. A Phytochemistry laboratory with
necessary facilities for extraction of herbal drugs, identification of
phytoconstituents and quality control has been developed and different
laboratory processes are being standardized. A Microbiology and
Molecular Biology/Biotechnology is being set up and expected to be
fully functional very soon. The instrumentation facility includes:
heaters with digital display
mantles with temp controllers
stirrers with hot plate
with all accessories and razors
freezer (vertical) -20C
thermometers -50 to 200C
Gel Electrophoresis Units
Nitrogen Storage Facility
Proof Pocket TDS Tester
High Speed Centrifuge
thermal cycler with Gradient Facility
Medical Freezer (4ºC)
Medical Freezer (-86ºC)
Layer Chromatography apparatus
facility for all labs and scientific/technical staff
facility for sensitive and sophisticated instruments.
research facilities specially for herbal medicine research
have been developed in collaboration with BMK College of
and computational facilities:
Centre has well developed computational
facilities, both intra and inter network system with a 24 node server.
and training program:
& Human Resource Development
building and human resource development especially in the north
western Karnataka is one of the objectives of establishing the
objective is achieved by:
Scientists of this Centre are recognized as supervisors in various
disciplines by different Universities for the award of Doctoral
following Scientists are the recognized guides:
Sanjiva D Kholkute, M.Sc., Ph.D -
Speciality: Reproductive biology and Ethnomedicine
Subarna Roy, M.Sc., Ph.D
Microbiology & Molecular Biology
Rajesh K Joshi, M.Sc., Ph.D
- Speciality: Chemistry & Phytochemistry
Harsha V Hegde, M.Sc., Ph.D
- Speciality: Botany & Ethnomedicine
programmes/workshops are conducted by the Centre which are
advertised on ICMR and Centre’s website.
Scientists of the Centre are also serving as visiting
faculty/resource persons in various training programmes /workshops/CMEs/Orientation
courses organized by the neighboring institutes/hospitals.
of UG & PG Students:
Centre imparts training to students undergoing Undergraduate and
Post Graduate courses in Botany, Pharmacology, Phytochemistry,
Dravyaguna, Microbiology, Biotechnology and Molecular Biology,
Biostatistics and Bioethics. Usually applications received from the
candidates are scrutinized and short listed in April (for training
in May-Jul) and October (for training in Dec-May).
limited number of deserving candidates are provided training
depending on case to case basis on formal application.
studies undertaken by the Institute/Centre:
hospital based retrospective study was carried out in collaboration with
. Hospital records were
evaluated from 2001 to 2004 and diseases recorded were classified into
various codes as per the International Statistical Classification.
Data from KLES Hospital indicated that diseases of the circulatory
system was maximum (20%) while for District Civil Hospital, code for certain
infectious/parasitic diseases was maximum (11.1%).
This study was extended
further to evaluate the burden of infectious diseases on hospital services
at District Civil Hospital, Belgaum based on hospital discharge records from
2001-2004. The results indicated
that 5 sub-classification under infectious diseases contribute 93% of
disease burden on hospital bed. Intestinal
infectious diseases (44%) followed by TB (35%) were leading.
Among intestinal infectious diseases, diarrhea and gastroenteritis
contributed 83%. Further,
intestinal infections were leading cause of hospital admission for 0-4 years
children. Study suggests that
proper sanitary measures, supply of proper drinking water and proper
awareness about DOTS can considerably reduce burden on hospitals.
is decided to extend these studies in nearby region to determine the pattern
of diseases in neighboring areas.
leads are obtained from the data collected from the traditional
practitioners, especially in herbal formulations for various ailments.
The toxicological, preclinical and clinical evaluation of selected
leads are in progress. The biological screening of isolated
pytoconstituents from the medicinal plants is also underway.
activities and achievements:
for Medicinal Plants from
is in collaboration with Kittur Rani Chennamma College of Horticulture,
Arabhavi and funded by National Medicinal Plants Board,
. The objectives of the project are:
Cultivation and Ex situ
conservation of rare, endangered, threatened, endemic and important
medicinal plants of the
Create awareness and educate
public about importance of medicinal plants and their conservation
Establishment of sustainable
medicinal plants resource base
Developing propagation protocol
for important medicinal plants
The landscaping of the
garden was done by consulting various experts. Within a short period, more
than 175 species of medicinal plants were procured from various sources and as
on date the total number of medicinal plant species in the garden is about
250. Of these, 79 are herbs, 58 are shrubs, 33 are climbers, 9 are scandents
and 96 species are trees. Each plant is named with information board, which
includes its scientific name, English name, Sanskrit name and vernacular names
in Kannada, Hindi and Marathi. The local names are given in their respective
script. The poly house and shade house are constructed for the propagation and
acclimatization of medicinal plants. People belonging to various backgrounds (Ayurveda,
traditional practice, pharmaceuticals, herbal research), professions
(Teachers, Students, Researchers, Herbal healer) and age groups are visiting
the garden. It is planned to expand the area of the garden with introducing
more number of medicinal plants. It is also planned to set up an IEC centre on
medicinal plants of the
ii. Museum for Ethnomedicinal
Plants of Western Ghats:
is in collaboration with and funded by CCRAS (Department of AYUSH),
. The objectives are:
To provide scientific
information on medicinal plants of
and their usages.
To create awareness on the
role of medicinal plants / ethnomedicobotany in health care and drug
To improve knowledge on
as a biodiversity hot spot and conservation of medicinal plants.
To disseminate scientific
information on ethno-medicinal plants of
than 100 laminated photographs, images of scanned herbarium sheets and
herbaria of selected medicinal plants have been displayed in the museum.
Posters are prepared on various aspects such as biodiversity of
, importance of traditional and Indian systems of medicine, RET plants
and their conservation etc and are displayed in the museum. The crude
drug depository is being developed with both dry and wet preserved plant
materials. More than 280 such samples are collected and processed so far
and the further collection is in progress.
for revitalization of Local Health Traditions:
project is funded by Department of AYUSH,
for documentation, assessment and scientific evaluation (preclinical/pharmacological
and clinical) of the local health traditions in
documentation of the practices was made Belgaum Integrated Rural
Development Society (BIRDS), Tukkanatti by participatory rural appraisal
and leads were identified for prioritized conditions like Ulcer,
constipation, pain abdomen and arthritis.
toxicological and preclinical evaluation of these leads is being carried
out at RMRC. The Anti arthritic activity was assessed by complete
Freund’s Adjuvant induced arthritis in male Wistar rats; Skin
sensitivity test by rabbit skin sensitization test (OECD 404-2002) and
Anti inflammatory activity by Carrageenan induced paw edema in
male/female Sprague Dawley rats. The laxative activity was evaluated by
propulsive gut motility in mice. The Spasmolytic activity of the
formulation was tested in isolated guinea pig ileum. The evaluation of
the other formulations is in progress. The anti-arthritic activity of
the selected lead is also under clinical evaluation in collaboration
with BMK College of Ayurveda,
on infectious diseases in
The following two
pilot research projects on infectious diseases are proposed to be carried
out. If successful, comprehensive projects will be formulated based on the
experience with these pilot studies.
A. Hospital based
bacteriological surveillance of childhood diarrhoeas in
Diarrhoea diseases in
children is common in and around
. In a particular study carried out among 8506 inpatients in District Civil
Hospital (DCH) Belgaum intestinal infections has been found responsible for
as much as 44% of all infections and parasitic diseases, the most frequent
cause of disease. Shigella, E.coli
and Vibrio cholerae are associated
with the highest morbidity and mortality. A study is proposed to find out
the different causatiave against of childhood dioarrhoea in children in
and to monitor their antibiotic sensitivity patterns for formulating
The objectives of the
To measure the proportion of
childhood diarrhea cases caused by different enteropathogenic bacteria.
To monitor the drug resistant
patterns of the isolates in and around the area.
To describe the
epidemiological characteristics of diarrhea cases.
Stool samples from acute cases of pediatric diarrhea will be
collected from patients attending
. Microsocopically examined for presence of parasites and /or RBCs and pus
cells and subsequently processed for isolation of bacterial entric pathogens
following standard protocol on selective and differential media. Isolated
organisms will be tested for different biochemical reactions and identified.
Confirmation will be done based on serology with commercially available
antisera. PCR for presence of
different virulence marker genes will also be done.
DNA finger prints of isolates will be generated to determine genetic
diversity. Antibiotic sensitivity tests will be done following disc
diffusion technique with a panel of 18 antibiotics.
Reports will be routinely sent to the attending physicians and
recorded for the purpose of analyses. Comparative analysis will be done with
all data generated and conclusions will be drawn.
leptospiral infections in
Leptospirosis is the
most widespread and most emergent zoognosis.
It is common in tropical and subtropical countries and manifests in
different sign and symptoms, often resembling other common infections and
that makes it very difficult to diagnose. The disease is endemic in Andaman
and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Kerla, parts of Maharashtra and
. It is said to be emerging in newer areas. Emergence of leptospirosis in
has now posed a major public health problem. Suspected cases are often seen
region which is close to Mahrashtra, but in the absence of proper tests and
awareness on the part of doctors, it has not been studied so far.
A project is therefore proposed to study the concurrence of
region in association with the Department of Microbiology of the
and the National Leptospirosis Reference Centre, RMRC, Port Blair.
The Study is proposed:
To measure the occurrence of
To confirm laboratory
To study the serological and
Serum samples form suspected cases of leptospirosis from the
will be collected. Samples will be tested for leptospirosis using a rapid
test kit. PCR will also be done of the samples. Attempts for isolation will
not be made initially. If needed, samples may be sent to RMRC, Port Blair
for isolation and determination of serogroup status of the infecting
leptospires. The study is expected to generate knowledge on the prevalence
of leptospirosis in this region and its clinical presentation, that in turn
will help in raising awareness level of the people and physicians of this
use of new technologies:
The Centre has taken
initiatives to exploit modern molecular biological techniques like PCR, DNA
fingerprinting, RFLP patterns, immunoassays, etc., in the study,
characterization, sustainable exploitation and conservation of medicinal
plants of the
. The following activities are being proposed:
establishment of facilities for genetic characterization of plants of
A DNA bank and repository of
genetic resources on the endemic and endangered medicinal plants.
Tissue culture facility to
conserve and propagate germ plasma of rare and endangered species for
sustainable exploitation is also planned.
Keeping in tune with the
mandate of the Centre, studies have been initiated on locally prevalent
infectious diseases in collaboration with the hospitals located in the
region. Diseases like various intestinal infections and tuberculosis have
been identified as major health problems. HIV has also been found to be a
major cause of concern in the region. Use of the latest molecular biological
tools in detection and characterization of these pathogens is being planned
by this Centre.
Pharmacognosy, phytochemistry and pharmacological screening of the
plants of the
laboratory has been established for extraction, isolation, purification
and characterization of the phytoconstituents.
Facilities are also developed for screening the in vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of the essential
oils, various extracts and fractions and isolated phytoconstituents of
the medicinal plants. Pharmacological studies will be carried out of the
aqueous lyophilized extracts of traditional medicinal plants used for
antidiabetic and wound healing activities in collaboration with the
. Isolation, purification and characterization of bioactive
phytoconstituents from the various solvents extracts (non polar to
polar) of medicinal plants of
is in progress.
Since HIV is
identified as one of the major public health issue in
region our Centre is trying to address the research needs in this area
by participating in multi-centric projects lead by National Aids
Research Institute, Pune and Indian Council of Medical Research. Through
this it is expected that not only quality data will be generated for use
by policy makers, Human resources will be developed for qualitative and
quantitative research methods.
provided to outsiders:
One of the mandates of
the Centre is to improve infra-structural facilities and to strengthen
human resources by serving the needs of local scientific community. The
scientific staff the Centre is helping the researchers and students of
various neighboring institutes. The services rendered are:
on collection, cultivation and utility of medicinal plants
of medicinal plants/drugs
Preliminary screening of
of in vitro antimicrobial activity of aqueous lyophilized and organic
of in vitro antioxidant activity of aqueous lyophilized and organic
for experimental design and statistical analysis of their results
The library facility of
the Centre, which is the best of its kind in this region, is extensively
used by the researches and students of various other institutes.
Similarly, laboratory facility of the Centre, especially sophisticated
equipments, is used by the researchers of neighboring institutes. Apart
from this, the museum for ethnomedicinal plants of Western Ghats and the
medicinal plants garden is attracting visitors from various backgrounds
(Ayurveda, traditional practice, pharmaceuticals, herbal research),
professions (Teachers, Students, Researchers, Herbal healers) and age
groups. Regional Medical Research Centre is also serving as IEC Centre
for Medicinal plants/ traditional herbal medicine in the region.
Reports on Seminars/Symposia/Workshops conducted by the
Workshop on “Research
Methodology in Herbal Medicine” for PG students,
, 27.12.2007 to 29.12.2007.
A two-day workshop
for the students of biotechnology of Garden City College,
was arranged as per their request. About 10 students and 2 faculty
members have attended the workshop. Various aspects like medicinal
plants and their diversity, collection, identifications, herbarium
preparation, screening and basic phytochemistry were covered in the
workshop. Both lectures and hands on training sessions were arranged in
which professors and scientists from the Centre and neighboring
institutes guided the students.
interactive workshop with Traditional Practitioners, 8th January 2008.
this interactive workshop, 12 invited traditional practitioners of the
region have participated. The practitioners shared their knowledge and
experience in the workshop. The traditional treatments for various
ailments were discussed in the light of modern science as both Ayurvedic
and allopathic practitioners have also participated in the workshop.
The workshop helped to understand the mode of diagnosis and
treatment methodology in the traditional medicine.
January 2007. (Co-organized
workshop was for the teachers, students and faculty members of BMK
College of Ayurveda. The lectures were arranged on various aspects like
ethno medicine, taxonomy, survey methods and biostatistics. The
opportunities in the field of traditional medicine were discussed in
detail. The features and utility of advanced software for documentationc
and assessment of Ayurvedic principles called AYUSOFT was presented by
Dr. Girish Tillu, CIDAC, Mumbai. The workshop created awareness and
motivated the students and faculty members to take up the research in
National workshop on
survey of medicinal plants in Western Ghats.27th -28th
September, 2008. (Co-organized
two-day workshop was attended by participants from 8 states. On first
day, the informative lectures were arranged on various topics relevant
to medicinal plants of
. The second day, field visit was arranged to the nearest forest areas
for hands on training on collection, identification and herbarium
preparation of medicinal plants. The methodology was demonstrated by
experts in the filed. The Ayrvedic counterpart of the medicinal plants
was elaborated by the Ayurvedic physicians in the field.
23rd Annual National
Conference of the Indian Society for Medical Statistics (ISMS),
20th-22nd January, 2006. (Co-organized
with KLE’s JN
In this National
Conference scientists and statisticians from all over
have participated and actively interacted. Technical and scientific
sessions were arranged in which both invited talks and oral
presentations were conducted. Preconference CME was also arranged on 19th