The National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease (NFGFHD) was inaugurated in Pune by Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education.
- The NFGFHD will be established at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune. It has been funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
- It will be a primary centre where trans-genic (transfer of genes within animals, naturally or artificially using genetic engineering methods) animal models will be made in-house. Animal models of rats, mice and rabbits will be here. Otherwise, these are imported at huge costs, involve significant time to procure and often undergo strict import restrictions.
- In all, the NFGFHD houses 53 cleanrooms and 30 service or experiment rooms that will ensure preservation of these animal models in pathogen-free and temperature-controlled environments required for scientific and disease research.
Why it is needed?
- With a growing zoonotic disease burden on human health, there is an increased urgency to perform disease studies based on physiological evidence and methods.
- Since human trials alone cannot suffice for such studies, the need for having experimental setups using animal models has become imperative. Hence, animal, plant and microorganism-based models are now being significantly deployed to study diseases in a time-bound manner.
- The most commonly used animal models are that of mice, rats and rabbits.
- The Pune-based NFGFHD aims at making such models in-house, thereby also cutting India’s dependence on imports and allied costs.