At AIIMS research is not
just a routine activity but rather a mission with three
objectives. As anywhere else, the primary purpose of
research is to gratify curiosity by disciplined
activity, thereby leading to creation of new knowledge.
But at AIIMS, we are also conscious of the role research
can play in improving the quality of teaching. A
teacher engaged in research is up to date with recent
information, and can also inculcate a sprit of enquiry
and freedom of thought into his/her students. Finally,
research at AIIMS is apart of our national endeavour to
cultivate a scientific temper and to eliminate from our
society the way of authority and superstition.
Research at AIIMS is a part of our national
endaeavour to cultivate a scientific temper
and to eliminate from our society the sway
of authority and superstition .
While AIIMS attracts sizeable grants from national and
international agencies, the Institution itself also
offers modest research grants. The grants are sanction
after the projects submitted have been screened by a
Committee and are primary meant to initiate the junior
faculty into research. Thus, other things being equal,
preference is given to younger application. After an
investigator has made some progress, he or she can apply
for bigger grants from other agencies.
There is a wide variety of research performed at AIIMS.
On the one hand we do sophisticated investigations in
the neurosciences, in genetics and on computer
simulation of hormone-receptor interaction. On the other
hand ,we undertake clinical and epidemiological studies
on the prevention and treatment of national health
problems. We are trying to apply advanced techniques
such as DNA recombinant technology, immunology and
electron microscopy to study the common diseases in our
country such as leprosy, malaria , tuberculosis,
diabetes, diarrhea, hepatitis, fluorosis and iodine
deficiency. We have large internationally funded
programmes on goals-oriented research in reproduction
aimed at widening the variety of acceptable
contraceptives. The scientific publications emanating
from the Institute have been quite steady at about
2 publications per faculty member per year about half of
these publications are in journals covered by the
Science Citation Index. During the 8 year period from
1980-88, AIIMS topped the list of medical colleges in
India with (mean ± SD) 237.5 ± 37.3 Science Citation
index-listed publications per year (Reddy et al. Natl
Med J India 1991; 4: 90-92).During the 7 year period
from 1987-94, AIIMS topped the list of institutions
engaged in medical research in India with 1630
Medline-listed publications (Arunachalam. Current
Science 1997; 72:912-922).
The quality and range of research at AIIMS may be judged
from the following highly selected assortment of some
Control of Diarrheal disease
In 1980s,40% of pediatric beds in hospitals were
occupied by cases of diarrheal dehydration. In 1997 it
is difficult to find such a case even for demonstration
in many parts of India. Basic, applied and operational
research done at AIIMS has played a pivotal role in
achieving this transformation. Recently we have
developed two types of super oral dehydration solutions
based on amino concentration.
We are trying to apply advanced techniques
such as DNA recombinant
technology,immunology and electron
microscopy to study the common diseases in
WHO will formally introduce this new formulation
in the Global Diarrheal DiseaseControl Programme
this year. AIIMS has developed an algorithm for
the treatment of persistent diarrhea, which the
WHO introduced in the Global Diarrheal Disease
Control Programme in 1994. The
bacterium responsible for 50% of the cases of
persistent diarrhea has been discovered at AIIMS
and provisionally named Enteroaggregative E.coli. AIIMS
research on the role of zinc deficiency in
diarrheal disease was cited by the "Time
Magazine" in 1996 as good news for child health.
Flowcytometry in progress in the
Biotechnology Laboratory for identification of
and surface markers
in cancer cells.
Rotavirus was demonstrated at AIIMS to be the major
cause of diarrheal disease.Now we have developed a
rotavirus vaccine in collaboration with the Department
of Biotechnology, which is ready for phase-1 trials to
be started this year.
Early and sure diagnosis of tuberculosis
AIIMS has developed a PCR
test for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. The test, which
is specially useful for extra pulmonary tuberculosis,
gives the diagnosis within 24-48 hours of receiving the
sample in contrast with conventional tests which take
Contributions of AIIMS towards research
on this dreaded disease include:
Development of an anti-leprosy vaccine which
is undergoing trials in Kanpur district.
Trials of interferon in the treatment of
Use of DNA technology to identify genes of
tests that identify patients at risks of
developing life-threatening reactions.
A behavioural physiology study
By using modern DNA technologies at AIIMS, it has
now become possible for the first time in India to study
the strains of the parasite responsible for an epidemic.
AIIMS has developed indigenously a highly
sensitive and specific ELISA system for
detecting HIV antibodies. It costs less than
half the imported test kits, and has
detected many early cases which the imported
kits could not.
AIIMS has developed indigenously a highly sensitive and
specific ELISA system for detecting HIV antibodies. It
costs less than half the imported test kits, and has
detected many early cases which the imported kits could
not AIIMS has been one of the Reference Centres for
HIV/AIDS since 1986, and the National HIV Reference
Centre since 1992.
Research To Control Liver Disease
Epidemiological, clinical and basic research at AIIMS
has assessed the magnitude of the problem, led to the
development of an indigenous diagnostic test and a
candidate vaccine, and a diagnostic assay system for
screening blood donors for hepatitis C virus.
Diagnostic Test For Plague
AIIMS was the first place in the world to use PCR on
formaline fixed autopsy material to detect and confirm
plague during the1994 outbreak. We have cloned,
sequenced and expressed the f1 and pla genes of
Yersinia pestis which are immunoreactive. These
are being used for developing a serological test for
Iodine Dificiency Disorders
has defined the effect of iodine deficiency on
growth and development, specially the role of
thyroxine in brain development in human
fetuses.Laboratory and field studies done
at AIIMS paved the way for the 'Universal Salt
Iodisation Programme of the Government of
India in 1986.Our Contributions to control of
iodine deficiency extend to Bhutan, Nepal,
Bangladesh, Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand and
several countries of Africa and the middle east.
Titration method for estimation of iodine in
salt.This simple is very important for
ensuring the success of the universal salt
Laboratory and field studies done at AIIMS
paved the way for the 'Universal Salt
Iodisation Programme of the Government
Much of the
research that has been carried out in the
last 25 years towards the development of an
anti-human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
vaccine began with research initially
carried out at AIIMS.
Morphometric analysis of immuno
cytochemically stained endometrium and
photomicrography inprogres in
the Primate Implantation Biology Laboratory.
Post-Coital and Post-Ovulatory Contraception
Basic Research on the endocrine and paracrine mechanisms
in embryo implantation of pregnancy and the development
of post-coital and post-ovulatory contraceptives. Our
Primate Implantation Biology Laboratory has been
recognized as a non-US Centre for Contraceptive Research
and Development Programme of the Andrew Mellon
Foundation and is also one of the 13 such Centres in the
world supported on a long-term basis by the Rockefeller
Exploration Of Antarctica
AIIMS has been participating in India's efforts at
exploration of Antarctica since 1990.Besides providing
health care to members of the expedition, AIIMS has also
been using the opportunity to conduct research on
chronobiology of the human organism, physiological
responses to the stress of the hostile antarctic
environment, and performance under the harsh and lonely
conditions prevailing in antarctica.
Dr. B.B Dikshit Library
The library, named after the first Director
of the Institute, is a treasure house having
61423 books, 53547 journals and 14008
reports in the field of Biomedical Sciences.
The library receives 490 journals and
80 newsletters every year. The library is
open to the readers from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
seven days a week. The
has a computer facility, microfilm
library reader and reader-printer facility
The rich and efficient is a potent force for
energising our research activities.