Mehta Family Center for Engineering in Medicine at IIT Kanpur
Kanpur is a large industrial city located in the central-western area of Uttar Pradesh, India. Founded in 1207, Kanpur was considered one of the most important commercial and military stations of British India. Today, Kanpur is the financial capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Nestled on the banks of the Ganges River, Kanpur has been the major financial and industrial centre of North India producing fine quality leather, plastic, and textile products which are exported mainly to the West; it is also the ninth-largest urban economy in India. The city is renowned for its colonial architecture, gardens, and parks.
The Kanpur campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IITK) has strong roots in both computing and engineering. Since its inception by a consortium of nine leading American universities in 1959, IITK has proven to be a distinctive and groundbreaking institute. In 1963, under the guidance of renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith, IITK became the first institute in India to offer computer science education. In 2019, its partnership with MFF made it the first institute in India to integrate engineering and medicine.
Today, IITK houses 18 academic departments, 4 interdisciplinary programs, and 21 academic and research centers. The Mehta Family Center for Engineering in Medicine is a dedicated research building designed to leverage IITK’s existing strengths in engineering, biological sciences, and biomedical research diversifying into three frontier areas:
- regenerative medicine,
- digital medicine,
- and molecular medicine and engineering.
Imagine a world without osteoarthritis, where cardiac and neurology patients regenerate functional tissue after surgeries, where oral cancer patients can fully recover through regeneration of lost bone tissue, and treatments for diseases new and old are readily available and affordable. All of these and more can be made possible through advancements in regenerative medicine.
Improved treatment of solid tumors (like those found in oral, breast, prostate, and liver cancers) as well as neurological disorders are the driving force in molecular engineering. Researchers are working to develop local healthcare solutions that include low cost diagnostics and therapeutics through new scanning approaches and drug delivery systems. The societal impact of improved testing and treatment of cancers and neurological disorders is boundless, bringing improved health to individuals and, in turn, prosperity to families with immeasurable generational reach.
India’s population is poised to become the largest in the world within the next year. This in and of itself brings immense healthcare needs. But compound this with the wide range of socioeconomic statuses, climate change, and emerging diseases and it is easy to see the urgent need for increased breakthroughs in digital medicine. With increasingly stressful lifestyles, we face a pressing need to develop new forms of therapies. Digital medicine seeks to address these concerns with artificial intelligence and cognitive science. Researchers within IITK are also working to develop automated diagnostic tools to make various types of medical imaging and real time monitoring of patients possible through mobile devices. These enhancements in digital medicine have the potential to democratize healthcare in India and other developing countries by addressing the shortage of doctors and medicines with high scalability and low costs.
The Mehta Family Center for Engineering in Medicine makes IITK the premier institute for research and development designed to enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people across India and the globe.
Professor Nitin Gupta leads the Mehta Family Center for Engineering in Medicine—a center dedicated to interdisciplinary research and labs—which is slated to open November 6, 2023. The first group of students began coursework in 2021.