Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences at IIT Madras

Established in 2006, the Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences facilitates cutting-edge biotechnology research and scholarship on the main campus of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM).

The school broadly encompasses four major domains:

-Biological Sciences

-Biomolecular Sciences

-Computational Biology

-Biological Engineering

Due to an increased demand for graduates in the biosciences, MFF partnered with IITM to construct a second building in 2016. The original building contains specialized research labs and classrooms. The second building also houses research labs as well as the National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) and a vivarium.  

Currently, studies and research within the school benefit from the unique, interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum designed in collaboration with MFF CARE that provides students with an in-depth learning experience and training in research methodologies. The curriculum empowers students to discover scientific breakthroughs and develop innovations that lead to cures for life-threatening diseases, solutions to food and water shortages, and answers to universal environmental threats.

Biological Sciences 

Nearly half of the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission. Hundreds of millions of clinical episodes are recorded each year, accounting for well over 600,000 deaths worldwide annually. Atherosclerosis is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” that affects millions of people worldwide. This condition leads to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, or even death. Faculty within the Biological Sciences group focus their research on dozens of important life-saving areas such as atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease, pancreatic cancer evolution, vision restoration, developing pre-clinical models of tumor progression, quantitative genetics, and malaria. These varied research areas seek to find cures and improve diagnoses and treatments for many human ailments—some research focusing directly on diseases and conditions within humans, and others focusing on the plants and animals that sustain human life.

Biomolecular Sciences

This area of science is often referred to as the interface between biology and chemistry. Big changes are created here, even though researchers work on the cellular and molecular levels. Genetically modified crops provide food for rapidly growing populations. Artificial organs extend and improve lives. Biomolecular scientists also address ecological concerns such as producing affordable energy from renewable sources, while others work to clean the environment through bioremediation. Students and faculty alike seek to unravel essential processes in living cells in order to understand life at a molecular level. This understanding helps propel innovations that make the world a better place for everyone.

Computational Biology

What would you need to measure if you wanted to discover the cause of disease? Faculty and students within the Computation Biology group seek to use computers and computer science to understand and model structures and processes of life. his group focuses on the intersection of algorithmic thinking of the computer science discipline with the problem solving approach of physics to address biological problems. Computational biologists examine things that have previously been observed in a qualitative manner and seek to quantify them—to attach measurements and numbers. They find that these quantifiers help them to understand biological processes and the underlying processes that drive biology. 

Research areas include protein structure and function, protein interactions, disease-causing mutations, computational neuroscience, comparative genomics, and the design of drug delivery mechanisms. 

Biological Engineering

What if hospitals were equipped with 3D printers that could generate functional tissue to significantly increase their patients’ recovery speeds? What if physicians were able to prescribe therapies that effectively modulated their patients’ immune systems? What if diabetes had a cure instead of a lifelong treatment? These are some of the questions being asked by biological engineers. 

Faculty and students within this group combine life sciences and engineering to create new solutions for a wide variety of challenges. Though their specific focuses are widely varied, biological engineers are all constantly working to sustain and protect the fundamentals of life.

Sanjib Senapati

Professor Sanjib Senapati

Head of the Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences

Chennai is the current name of the city that has been settled and known by many names (Madras and Fort St. George in recent centuries),  since the Paleolithic Period. Located on the Coromandel Coast near the Bay of Bengal, it is a city full of history, temples, churches, world-class hospitals, and beautiful parks. With such a rich history, it is no wonder that Chennai is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This vibrant, bustling city is made up of 284 square miles of urban villages and diverse neighborhoods that comprise Tamil Nadu’s capital. It is considered the keeper of South Indian artistic, religious, and culinary traditions. It boasts an estimated population of over 12 million residents, with a vast number of expatriates. 

India’s fourth largest city has a lot to brag about. It proudly boasts being India’s undisputed chess capital. Tamil Nadu is home to 26 of the 74 Indian Grandmasters. Additionally, it is home to the second longest beach in the world. Marina Beach stretches over 13 kilometers. Chennai is also the hub for Tamil film production and is often referred to as the “Kollywood” of India, second only to Bollywood in its popularity. Chennai was home to the first railway line in South India and The Madras Courier holds the distinction of being the second oldest English language newspaper still in circulation. 

But Chennai is not merely living in its past. It is also home to a thriving automotive industry, often referred to as the “Detroit of India.” In contrast to Detroit, Chennai also contains a thriving IT and technology hub. Several multinational IT companies call Chennai home. The combination of its rich history, vast cultural diversity, and modern infrastructure make Chennai an idyllic location for students seeking an education in one of its numerous educational institutes. 

The Madras campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IITM) is a noteworthy scientific institution located in Chennai. It began with an offer from the German government in 1956 to offer technical assistance in establishing an institute of education in engineering in India. The Institute was formally inaugurated in 1959 when the city was still officially known as Madras. In recent years,  IITM has been ranked first in the overall category, second among research institutions, and first among engineering colleges across India. The institute has departments and advanced research centers across the disciplines of engineering and science, boasting nearly 100 laboratories. It maintains academic friendship with prestigious educational institutes around the world. 


Students who are interested in learning more about enrollment or placement requirements should contact IIT Madras
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International Faculty

International Faculty who are interested in partnering with IIT Kanpur should contact MFF.
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