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Members of MCB Faculty in front of the department

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Students of MCB Department are the core drivers of research

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We use advance technologies to study biology at all scales from populations to molecules

Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology

The Microbiology and Cell Biology (MCB) department has successfully completed 84 years of its journey. It can be traced back to the inception of the Pharmacology Laboratory and the Fermentation Technology Laboratory in the early 1940s. These two laboratories were merged in 1968, laying the foundation for the MCB department.

Over the decades, the MCB department has made significant and fundamental contributions to microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, and organismal biology. Some areas where we have a long tradition of excellence are the biology of microbes including pathogens, vaccine/ drug development for infectious diseases, regulation of gene expression, cancer biology and plant developmental biology.

The department is committed to addressing important and emerging issues of national and global concern. Our noteworthy discoveries include the biology of bacterial and fungal pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella sp. & Candida albicans. Our research on several RNA viruses, the host-response and the diseases they cause, has led to the discovery of many therapeutic strategies including vaccines and antiviral molecules, reflecting our dedicated quest towards solving global health challenges. Our outstanding foundational research on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms controlling gene expression in prokaryotic and eukaryotic models has gained worldwide recognition. 

We are making significant progress in comprehending fundamental eukaryotic life processes including cellular trafficking, organelle development, cell division, cell fate determination, and plant organ specification & patterning. Through diverse model systems such as human cell lines, C. elegans, mice, yeast, and plants such as rice and Arabidopsis, we strive to deepen our understanding of life-threatening diseases and address challenges related to food security.

The progressive approach and commitment to high-quality research and teaching have arguably positioned MCB among the best centers in microbiology and cell biology research.

One of the core strengths of our department is our students, who come from leading  universities across the country and from abroad. They undergo rigorous course program in the department before embarking on the research projects for their thesis. We also teach, train and mentor IISc students at the undergraduate level who pursue B.Sc. (Research) and M.Sc. (Life Sciences) degrees. We also mentor talented post-doctoral fellows and young investigators who secure competitive national-level fellowships, and who are on their way to becoming independent investigators in academic institutes and industry.

MCB alumni are serving the scientific community at large and occupying several celebrated positions and contributing to the National and International policy decisions.

Our ingenuity in embracing newer areas of science and encouraging collaborative research locally and globally is our strength, which contributes to making MCB a vibrant and exciting place to work and grow.

Prof. Saumitra Das
(Chair, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology)