A Viral Genome Sequencing Lab, established with support from CryptoRelief, was inaugurated at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR), IISc, on Sunday, 17 July 2022
The lab was established with a grant from CryptoRelief. The grant supported the expansion of the existing Viral BSL3 facility at IISc. The expanded lab was inaugurated by a team of CryptoRelief core volunteers in the presence of Deans and faculty members of IISc.
The Viral Genome Sequencing Lab will focus on studies related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These include continuous surveillance and tracking of virus mutations and variants. The expanded Viral BSL3 facility will support research on assessment of virulence and cross-reactive immunity of SARS-CoV-2 mutants and variants of concern in cell culture and animal models.
For more than a year, IISc’s Centre for Infectious Disease Research has been actively working with the state and central government to provide COVID-19 RT-PCR diagnostic services and conducting research involving SARS-COV-2 virus.
The new viral genome sequencing facility will be an important addition to the Centre and will enhance the ongoing efforts to better understand SARS-CoV-2 virus evolution and its impact on our health.
Professor Govindan Rangarajan, Director of IISc, said: “The Viral Genome Sequencing Lab will contribute not only towards tackling the threat that COVID-19 poses, but will also ensure that we are ready to handle future health emergencies as well. We are grateful to CryptoRelief for partnering with us on this critical initiative.”
A member of the CryptoRelief core volunteer team said: “It is an honour for CryptoRelief to support and partner with the Indian Institute of Science. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been evolving over time. Understanding the new variants that are coming up and whether existing vaccines can combat these variants is important. Through this support, we intend to take a step towards that.”
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was established in 1909 by a visionary partnership between the industrialist Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the Mysore royal family and the Government of India. Over the last 113 years, IISc has become India’s premier institute for advanced scientific and technological research and education. Its mandate is “to provide for advanced instruction and to conduct original investigations in all branches of knowledge as are likely to promote the material and industrial welfare of India.” In 2018, IISc was selected as an Institution of Eminence (IoE) by the Government of India, and it consistently figures among the top Indian institutions in world university rankings.
Crypto Relief is the result of the global crypto community mobilizing to help India combat the COVID19 crisis, and to help it prepare for future outbreaks. The fund was started by Sandeep Nailwal (co-founder, Polygon) and has since been supported by Vitalik Buterin (co-founder, Ethereum) and Balaji S. Srinivasan (former CTO at Coinbase).