Head: Prof. A. K. Singh
Contact: 272 2101/ 272 2102
Prof. Arvind Kumar Singh
Department of Biochemistry
North-Eastern Hill University
Shillong 792 022
The Department of Biochemistry forms a part of the School of Life Sciences located at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong campus and has been in existence for 36 years in 2016. From its inception in 1980, it has been a core department for education, training and valuable research with applied potentials in the field of Biochemistry in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent.
Its journey through 36 years has seen several changes in its physical and functional aspects in its pursuit of academic excellence, contributing significantly to the holistic development of the university as a whole. The department is nationally and internationally recognized with state-of-the-art facilities for research. It has met its objectives of existence with perseverance and hard work of its members of the faculty and students.
The foundation of the Department was laid in 1980 in a temporary building in the city with only one member of the faculty. This was the first department of its kind in the entire NE-region. The humble beginning of teaching program began, with just two members of the faculty (Drs. R. Lalthantluanga and M.Y. Khan) and one technical staff (Mr. P.K.Prabhakaran). It saw addition of Drs. R.N. Sharan, C. Kumar, A.N.Rai, R. Sharma and A. Alam in successive years accelerating the pace of all round development of the department. The department now boasts a faculty strength of 12 with a robust support of technical and support staffs. The department received significant academic contributions from Visiting Professors (late) E. S. R. Talapsai and H. N. Singh in the formative years. During the same period, many Guest Lecturers from within and outside NEHU, including Dr. S.N. Bhatt and Dr. S. Subramanium (Department of Chemistry, NEHU), Dr. S.B. Paul (superannuated from Assam University), Prof. A.L.Verma (Department of Physics, NEHU), Prof. B.K. Ratha, Prof. K.C. Chatterjee, Prof. R.G. Michael (Department of Zoology, NEHU), Prof. Asis Dutta, Prof. Kasturi Dutta (JNU), etc. have also helped the department lay sound foundations in teaching and research. The current teaching and research programs of the department are supported by heavy extra-mural funding from national and international funding agencies, including a DRS-III support from the UGC.
In early 1995, the Department of Biochemistry shifted to its present location,the Science Complex, within the NEHU permanent campus. Presently, the department is offering M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programs in all modern fields of Biochemistry. The first batch of M.Sc. passed out in 1984 and the first Ph.D. was awarded in 1989. Presently, the department admits 21 students for M. Sc. program and variable number of students for M.Phil./Ph.D. programs each year after a national test. A large number of students and research scholars desire to join us every year highlighting the emphasis on good quality research in the department.
The infra-structure at the department includes modern and well-equipped and furnished research laboratories and sitting rooms for each member of the faculty, Central Instrumentation Facilities, cold room, animal and microbial culture rooms, radioisotope lab., preparation rooms and documentation room besides a library and a seminar hall. The department has technical staff rooms and computer & internet facilities for students. We use a modern animal house facility for housing our small experimental animals. Our modern M.Sc. teaching class rooms are located in a separate Cluster of Science Class Room building.
The Central Instrumentation Facility supplements various research labs by providing access to high-end sophisticated instruments, including ultracentrifuges, high speed refrigerated centrifuges, gel documentation unit, Ultra-low deep freezers, UV-VIS spectrophotometers, HPLC, HPTLC, real time PCR, GC and GC-MS, Spectroflurometers and spectrophotometers, ELISA reader, 2-D gel electrophoresis, Solvent extraction unit, Oxygen electrode, Scintillation counters, Microscopes, Millipore water purification systems, Ice machine, Lyophilizers, etc. The department is well equipped with computers. Each member of the faculty and research laboratory is connected to high-speed LAN providing access to internet resources besides telephones.
During these 36 years the department is proud to have produced 65 doctorates and around 400 post-graduates (March 2016). The departmental achievements are mirrored through its alumni spread across the globe. Our students are now well placed in universities and research institutions across the globe (Canada USA, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand etc.). Some are also senior members of the faculty in JNU New Delhi, HU Hyderabad, PU Pondicherry, AU Silchar, NEHU Shillong among others. The department follows modern and up to date syllabi for its M.Sc. teaching program, which is revised regularly to help the students and updated with the latest in Biochemistry. This has enabled a large number of them to qualify in NET/GATE examinations regularly. Presently there are 10 members of the faculty in the department, 34 research scholars, 42 M.Sc. students, 7 technical support staffs and 6 office support staffs (March 2016). Two faculties, namely, Prof. R. Lalthantluanga and Prof. A. Alam have retired from the department in 2011 and 2016 respectively.
The Department through its faculty has received extramural funding over the years, which had contributed and bolster its research activities. Fundings through UGC, DST, IAEC, DBT, NEC etc and special assistance on infrastructure through University with Potential for Excellence (UPE) from the UGC, promotion of university research & scientific excellence (PURSE) from the DST, has contributed immensely to the growth of the department. The Department of Biochemistry has been selected for prestigious research and development programs like UGC-SAP, DST-FIST& DRS-phase III(DST) and has been highly commended by NAAC. Individual faculty are recipient of several coveted honors/awards and have held responsible positions in the academic community.
The passage through these years has been paved forward through the judicious guidance of the respective Heads of the Department.
The department has been engaged in Research and Development activities in specialized areas of Biochemistry. The thrust areas of research include biogerontology, enzymology, immunology, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, protein chemistry and natural products. Several National (BHU, JNU, CUH, CDRI, NII) and International (Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, USA) collaborations of the faculty members with different research groups have strengthened their expertise.