Bengal plans India’s first stem cell course

The West Bengal government has decided to introduce a fellowship course in stem cell biology at School of Tropical Medicine — a first in the country.

The state Health Department had decided to give the post-graduate programme — Regeneration Medicine and Translational Science — a go ahead. After completing MBBS, students can apply for the one year course.

The course is aimed at helping medical students to get an idea on how dead tissues of brain, kidney could be used in various purposes for clinical research. In the first batch that will begin from 2013 academic year, around 20 students will be inducted.

Senior officials of West Bengal University of Health Science said the course is being currently taught at some of the reputed universities in Europe and USA — Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Germany, University of Liverpool and Stanford University.

Registrar of West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Manoj Ghosh, no university in the country runs this course and hence West Bengal will be the first state to introduce the course.

Students from various discipline like MBBS, Bachelor in Dental Science and biotechnology can pursue this course. For getting admission, an interview and a written test will be conducted.

The course, however, is not being recognised by Medical Council of India (MCI). Senior officials of the department said once successful, they will apply to the MCI for its recognition.

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