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Friday, September 17, 2021

Mumbai to get its first genome sequencing laboratory

The genome sequencing facility was suggested by the state task force for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. Another project – Spinraza therapy for spinal muscular atrophy in children will also be started.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: August 4, 2021 9:04:01 am
The centenary celebration began last year in September, but not much could be done because of the pandemic.

MUMBAI’S FIRST genome sequencing laboratory and bank will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday as a part of Nair hospital’s centenary celebrations.

The genome sequencing facility was suggested by the state task force for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. Another project – Spinraza therapy for spinal muscular atrophy in children will also be started.

The centenary celebration began last year in September, but not much could be done because of the pandemic. The 100th foundation day is on September 4, 2021, and the CM will inaugurate the month-long celebrations from his official residence Varsha. Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Dean, Nair hospital said, “The genome sequencing lab will be at Kasturba hospital and run by Nair hospital staff. It can deal with 1,000 cases at a time and cost us Rs 6 crore, which was raised through donations by US-based organisations. It will be useful during the pandemic and we will use data for analysis. It will help in tackling Covid as well as other outbreaks in the future.”

Leading cardiologist Dr Ajit Desai, who is also president of the TM Nair Medical College Global Alumni Association said, “We had planned a big celebration, but it took a backseat because of the pandemic. However, this being a unique occasion as far as medical education is concerned, we decided to have a month-long celebration from August 4 to September 4 keeping in mind Covid-appropriate behaviour. Most functions will be online.’’

The Alumni association, which has three branches — Mumbai, UK and US — have also planned donation events. The genome sequencing laboratory was funded due to their efforts, said Dr Desai.

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