NEW DELHI - 110029

(Established in 1980)



Phone: 011 -26198402
Fax: 011 -26198401
Scope of Activities:

Situated at New Delhi, the National Institute of Pathology (NIP) conducts research on various cancers of national importance (breast cancer, prostate cancer, urinary bladder cancer, hematopoiticlymphoid malignancies and neurological cancers), leishmaniasis, chlamydial infection, environmental toxicology and adult stem cell biology. The major thrust is on basic as well as translational research leading to development of vaccines for prevention and biomarkers for screening, diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of drug response/resistance for various diseases.

Thrust Areas:

The following are the thrust areas of NIP

  • Tumor biology (breast cancer, genitourinary malignancies, lymphoma, cancers in north east
    region), infectious diseases (chlamydia, leishmania), stem cell biology and environmental
  • Genetic susceptibility for various familial and non familial tumors, predictive and prognostic
    biomarkers, molecular pathology, molecular functional pathways and drug targets.
  • Investigation of the gene-environmental link responsible for very high incidence of several
    malignancies, especially those associated with tobacco and pesticide (oral, esophageal,
    gastric, lung and breast cancers) in north eastern states in India.
  • Studies on chlamydia infection on genital tract and coronary artery disease, including
    study on role of chlamydial heat shock protein in pathogenesis of genital tract infection in
  • Understanding the process of in vitro differentiation of Leishmania donovoni.
  • Studies on role of environmental toxicants especially heavy metal in cases of miscarriage.
  • Studies on utility of a patented synthetic thermo-reversible hydrogel polymer as supportive
    matrix towards the development of 3-D composite skin for application in wound healing
    and other dermatological disorders.
  • New high priority areas have been identified, viz.: lifestyle diseases, metabolic syndromes,
    chronic diseases biology and telepathlogy.
International Recognition:

  • NIP is a
    • WHO recognized centre for research & training in advanced molecular techniques in tumor
      biology and infectious diseases for pathologists & laboratory technicians
    • Member International Union against Cancer (IUCC).
  • NIP has several international collaborations for research projects supported by European
    Commission, INDO-US Vaccine Action Programme, INDO–US, INDO- French, INDO-German,
    European Commission, etc.
Human Resource Development :

  • NIP lays a lot of emphasis on human resource development and is actively engaged in organizing
    training courses as well as conducting PhD and DNB programmes.
  • The Institute conducts one and a half year Pre PhD course as a prerequisite for registration to
  • The post graduate level training programme, i.e. Diplomate National Board (DNB) in the specialty
    of pathology is being continued at the Institute since 1992.
  • The Institute has been recognized as Centre of Excellence in Research by WHO and regularly
    imparts training to WHO trainee pathologists and advanced level training for lab technicians
    which are sponsored by WHO/Health Ministry.
Recognition for Doctorate/Masters by a University:

The Institute is recognised as an off campus centre for doctoral programme by BITS Pilani since 1993. Under the programme, faculty members of NIP are recognized as independent guides. Under the doctoral programme, NIP is also recognized by Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, (GGSIP) Delhi.

Major Achievements:

Significant achievements of NIP are the following

  • Demonstrated through studies on Indian Childhood Cirrhosis (ICC) that
    • Factors like dietary copper toxicity, hepatitis A or B do not have any etiological role;
    • The presence of stainable cu & cu binding protiens observed in the more severe stages
      could be a consequence of severe damage of hepatocytes;
    • Trace element analysis of hepatic biopsies showed presence of Zn also, beside Cu
      suggesting manifestation of iatrogenic liver injury.
    • The starting point of ICC seems to be at the stage of “Acute Hepatitis of Toxipathic
      or Trophopathic Nature” following widespread use of domestic remedies and the
      disappearance of such practices may explain the virtual extinction of this disease.
  • Identification of high risk alleles- CYP17A2, VDR Poly A L allele and >20CAG repeats in AR
    gene for breast cancer in young women and androgen receptor as independent predictive
    biomarker for response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer
  • Establishment of cell line from primary breast cancer in young woman as an important tool
    to study molecular carcinogenesis and develop new therapeutic strategies.
  • Establishment of in vitro model of cultured autologous bladder cancer cells for in vitro
    cytotoxicity assay to select the drug and tailor the dose for individualization of treatment.
  • The wide spread use of tobacco and fermented betel quid in northeast region of India,
    the genotoxic chemicals in tobacco and betel quid contribute to the development and
    progression of oral, lung and esophageal cancer. Genome-wide analysis of chromosomal
    alterations and gene expression profile has shown a characteristic pattern of genomic
    imbalances associated with tumor initiation, metastasis and high-grade disease.
  • Betel quid chewing was identified as the single main risk factor for breast cancer in NE
  • Functional genomic studies of virulence related genes in Leishmania- First identification of
    centrin gene of Leishmania.
  • Genes associated with drug resistance in Kala-azar.
  • Developed diagnostics for Kala-azar (KA) and PKDL.
  • PKDL immunobiology
  • Development of indigenous diagnostic assays (serovar and species specific) for Chlamydia
  • Identification of biomarkers for prognosis of women at risk of developing a sequalae to
    chlamydial infection.
  • Identification of proteins acting as potential candidates for vaccine development.
  • Biomarkers for a risk of developing coronary artery disease due to C. pneumoniae infection.
  • Conducted toxicological study on the health effects of the toxic gas leak from Union Carbide
    Methyl Isocyanate Plant in Bhopal which resulted in many unique patho-gnomonic and
    other major findings as described below-
    • Detection of widespread conjunctival congestion, nasal and oral frothing and fluid
      exudation, pinkish discoloration of the bodies and lack of cyanosis.
    •  ‘Cherry red discoloration’ of blood and viscera accompanied by edema and
      haemorrhage. The lungs appeared to be the target organ, followed by brain and other
      organs to a variable degree. Microscopic examination showed extensive changes such
      as necrotising bronchiolitis and widespread damage of the lung parenchyma.
    • Acute bronchiolitis, bronchopneumonia, pulmonary haemorrhages and edema, with
      outpouring of albuminous fluid into the alveoli, pneumonitis and alveolitis.
    • The Histo-pathological changes in other organs were suggestive of extensive or
      widespread cerebral edema or swelling, pericapillary ring haemorrhages, both in the
      cortex as well as the white matter.
    • A group of autopsies on victims who died during the 8-12 week after the episode revealed
      less marked but essentially a similar picture of pulmonary changes. There was, however,
      no suggestion of any interstitial or parenchymal fibrosis at that stage. The progression
      of severe pulmonary edema to chronic fibrosis was confirmed experimentally, following
      a single exposure to MIC.
    • Established not only ‘acute cyanide toxicity’ but also ‘delayed or recurrent cyanide
      toxicity’ due to the thermal decomposition of products like HCN and/or ‘recurrent
      cyanide toxicity’ through N- & S- Carbamoylation.
    • There were elevated thiocyanate levels in the urine of exposed as against unexposed
      controls, especially after administration of NaTS injections to the survivors. In addition
      to ‘clinical relief’, the initial rise in the urinary NaSCN levels gradually declined.
    • Revealed the mechanisms of acute, delayed and recurrent cyanide toxicity, probably
      due to underlying disturbances of cyanide metabolism, during the reversible phases by
      blockage of sulphane donors of rhodanese-like enzymes or due to trans-carbamoylation
      between more dynamic sulfydryl (SH) and end-terminal amino groups.
      • Also demonstrated :
        That MIC crosses alveolar-capillary barrier and was observed bound to free endterminal
        alpha amino group of valine residues;
      • The binding of MIC to end-terminal amino groups of Hb and tissue proteins and
        tracked MIC in the blood of Bhopal victims (dead and living).
    • Undertook study on tank residue constituents (TRCs) to detect other possible ‘cyanideyielding
      nitriles’. While no nitriles were detected, a total of 21 compounds were
      demonstrated, including 11 compounds reported previously by UCC and NCL, Pune. In
      addition, traces of HCN were also demonstrated even after a considerable lapse of time.
      Importantly many of these compounds could be traced in the autopsy tissues especially
      during the first few days.

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