Established in 1984, the CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) is one among the chain of 38 national laboratories, 6 units and 39 outreach centres of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research. Set-up to be a fore-runner in the niche domain of microbial biotechnology, the Institute in its initial years functioned from a start-up laboratory that provided a truly world-class R&D ambience in an area of over 10,000 sq. ft. to its researchers. In September, 1989, upon completion of the permanent campus, the Institute shifted to occupy an area of about 47 acres, of which the labs covered 22 acres and the residential campus 25 acres. The Institute covering a built up area of about 3.60 lakh sq. ft., is spread over four main buildings, namely, Main R&D block, Fermentation block, Animal House, Workshop, Stores and Services area, several service building including a guest house and Cafeteria. Recently another block of almost 50000 sq. ft. area (the G.N. Ramachandran Protein Centre) has been added, to cater to R&D in all aspects of Protein science and engineering. The Institute provides laboratories which are functionally modular and offer large, air-conditioned, clean research areas to all the scientists.
The Institutes primary asset is a team of more than 55 highly motivated scientists, with a majority of them having several years of training in world renowned laboratories. Supported by more than 300 well trained technical staff and graduate students, these scientists have built strong peer credibility both in basic and application-oriented broad thematic areas of Molecular biology and microbial genetics, Cell biology and immunology, Protein science and engineering, and Fermentation technology and applied microbiology. These overarching focus areas required enabling research facilities, structures and practices which IMTech has created over the years, recognized nationally to be the best, and globally at par with the best. This required a visionary approach and objectives with a long term mandate of scientific relevance.
CSIR-IMTechs team of scientists having cutting edge R&D expertise in the areas of: Cloning & expression of recombinant / engineered proteins & their scale-up, Understanding / manipulating proteins and their engineering, Protein structure determination through X-ray crystallography, Molecular microbiology of pathogens especially with respect to drug resistance & vaccine development, Immunology of infectious diseases, Yeast Genetics, Screening of microorganisms for novel enzymatic activities and strain improvement, Bioinformatics & high end computational biology, Microbial taxonomy and metagenomics, and allied areas like technology and business management and intellectual property protection.
That IMTech could attract and gather a highly motivated and creative team of scientists speaks volumes of the ambience, achievements and a defined focus which are associated with it. CSIR-IMTech as it stands now, a symbol of a top biotechnology institute in the country.