To promote a multi-disciplinary approach in areas related to cancer care, Delhi University is set to introduce a five-year integrated course in cancer biology and infectious diseases.
To be offered at the MSc and PhD levels, the course is likely to begin next year. DU’s cluster innovation centre (CIC) will run the course in partnership with 12 other departments.
In the first two years, students will learn about the biological aspect of cancer. The remaining years will focus on research, said CIC head M M Chaturvedi. “Overall, India has a low rate of cancer, but incidence of cancer has been increasing in the past decade. The factors behind the surge range from change in dietary habits to indiscriminate use of pesticides,” he added.
Students from any discipline can apply for the course, provided their knowledge could further cancer research. “They will have to analyse complex data, wherein the role of a mathematics student comes into play. An economics student can look into aspects related to pricing of anti-cancer drugs,” said Chaturvedi.
The course has received the approval of the university’s statutory bodies and it will admit 12 students.
“We are coordinating with the departments concerned. Two to three meetings have been lined up for finalising the course structure and working out other modalities. If all goes well, the course will start in January 2015,” he said.
The department of Biochemistry, Dr Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research and Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute are collaborating with CIC to run the course.
DU is also planning to sign MOUs with US-based MD Anderson Cancer Centre and King’s College London.