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Basic Reproductive Biology


  1. Gamete Cell Biology and Gonadal function

    • Germ stem cell differentiation

    • Gene expression and cell - interaction during oogenesis and spermatogenesis

    • Apoptosis in reproductive tissues

    • Ovarian dys function

  2. Molecular mechanism of fertilization, embryo development and implantation

    • Stagespecific expression of gamete antigens

    • Fertilization and Embryogenesis

    • Endometrial receptivity of implantation following the use of Gene array technology

    • Molecular basis of implantation and functional characterization of implantation associated gene expression

2a. Sexual differentiation and genomic imprinting mechanism

  1. Mechanism of action of protein, steroid hormones and growth factors

    • Structure and function relationship and regulation of hormones and growth factors

    • Receptorology and signal transduction and designing of new agonist and antagonist to ligands and receptors

    • Production of hormones by recombinant DNA technology

    • Endocrine, paracrine and intracrine regulation of gonadal function, using genomics and proteomics approaches

    • Rationale drug design

  2. Fertility regulation

    • Development of innovative system for contraception and interception for pregnancy (inhibition of fertilization, leuteolysis and anti-implantation)

    • Emergency contraceptives and its mechanism of action

    • Neuromodulation of pulse generators

    • Relative importance of LH, FSH and testosterone in spermatogenesis

    • Factors associated with infertility and newer strategies to overcome it

    • Alternative system of medicine in fertility control

  3. Implantation, placentation, lactation and the immunobiology or reproduction

    • Molecular basis of implantation failure

    • Endometrial angiogenesis

    • Hormonal control of uterine bleeding

    • Endocrine and paracrine regulation of implantation

    • Genetic and molecular basis of spontaneous abortion

    • Molecular basis of endometriosis 

    • Feto-maternal interaction and maternal recognition of pregnancy

    • Immuno-competence and mucosal immunity of male and female reproductive tract

  4. Impact of nutrition and environmental pollution on reproduction

  5. Product development in reproduction health

    Such projects will be encouraged, provided they are accompanied by an industrial collaboration

    • Cu IUD - Newer technology

    • Condom - Inspiral

    • Tubal rings

    • Diagnostics for Reproductive Health

  6. Reproductive Health and management

    Ovarian and Breast cancer

    • Prostatic cancer - Androgen independent prostate cancer

    • Premature ovarian failure and PCO

    • Endometriosis

  7. Molecular basis of STD and RTI

    • Etiology of infections

    • Vaccines for prevention and control of infection

    • New therapeutics including herbal products for control of infections

    • Diagnostic markers





Contraception & Family Planning

  • Evaluation of recently available post partum IUDs for their efficacy. 

  • Evaluation of improved contraceptive implants, single rod and reformulated Norplant II, and newer generation of IUDs such as frameless IUDs in clinical settings as potential candidates for inclusion as contraceptive choices.

  • Pre-programme introduction studies with contraceptives evaluated in clinical trials, particularly injectables and implants, to study their acceptance in programme conditions and logistic requirement for their introduction.

  • Evaluation of comparative efficacy of different regimens available for emergency contraception (levonorgestrel, CuT200, RU 486).

  • Evaluation of hormonal contraceptive  methods for males.

  • Evaluation of  female condom so as to provide a user-controlled  method to women which will also protect them from STIs. 




Maternal Health


Basic Research

  • Study of genetic and immunological aspects of PIH.

  • Study of endothelium derived relaxing factor in PIH.

  • Biology of PIH.

  • Placental transfer of nutrients.

  • Cell mediated immunity and anaemia.

Clinical Research

  • Fibronectin in the prediction of pre-eclampsia.

  • Electroencephalography and C T study of the brain in eclampsia.  

  • Chorioamnionitis as an etiological factor in abruptio placentae.

  • Urogenital infections in the etiology of preterm labour/premature rupture of membranes.

  • Investigation of recurrent pregnancy loss with reference to the role of antiphospholipid antibodies.

  • Prevention, detection and management of genetic and genetico-environmental disorders.

  • Effect of food supplementation on energy balance of pregnant women.

  • Effect of varying doses of calcium supplementation on the incidence and severity of pre-eclampsia and other related problems.

  • Universal screening for diabetes mellitus in antenatal women using glucose challenge tests.

  • Prediction and management of IUGR using doppler studies.

  • Role of doppler in the management of post dated pregnancy.

  • Comparison of aggressive and expectant management of severe PIH at 28-32 weeks of gestation.

  • Prophylactic administration of newer generation antibiotics in the management of preterm labour.

  • Epidemiological study of recurrent abortions.

Health Services & Operational Research

  • Research in training needs and processes for health manpower development.

  • Improvement of communication and manipulative skills.

  • Formation of self help groups for financing and transport in obstetric emergencies.

  • Non utilization of delivery services at PHCs/CHCs.  

  • Developing models and processes for decentralised participatory planning for RCH services through the District Health System

  • Strategies to strengthen emergency services and referral for life threatening obstetrical morbidity.

  • Testing quality assurance mechanism for obstetric care at the community, PHC and referral levels.

  • Study on prophylactic use of Carboprost for prevention of PPH at PHC level.

Community based Research

  • Chronic parastic infections and low birth weight.

  • Perception of women on obstetric morbidities.

  • Gender role and maternal health.

  • Strategies to improve post natal care in the community.

  • Assessment of risk of maternal morbidity and mortality associated with  anaemia and adverse pregnancy outcome.

  • Assessment of  traditional medicines for control of anaemia and other complications during pregnancy and childbirth.    





Child Health

Community based & Operational Research

  • Development and validation of a simple criteria for diagnosing neonates with sepsis.  

  • Home-based management of neonates with sepsis.  

  • Organisms causing neonatal sepsis in the community and their antimicrobial sensitivity.  

  • Surveillance of pathogens causing diarrhoeal diseases in children.  

  • Epidemiology of childhood asthma.  

  • Testing of efficacy of available interventions for asphyxia.  

  • Home-based management of LBW neonates.  

  • Care-seeking behaviour of families for their sick neonates and impediments to early  care-seeking.

  • Studies on traditional beliefs and practices in newborn care in different communities.    

  • Development of low-cost primary newborn care technologies : mouth-to-mask resuscitation and kangaroo mother care.  

  • Impact of bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections on the incidence of prematurity/LBW.  

  • Association of LBW with maternal energy expenditure, tobacco abuse, nutritional deficiencies, malaria and household smoke; and interventions(single or in combinations) aimed at reduction of LBW.  

  • Prevalence of genetic disorders and birth defects in different communities.  

  • Status of newborn care services at the secondary level.  

  • Involvement of Panchayat raj institutions (PRIs) in implementation of the RCH programme.  

  • Develop database for state and district profile  of  RCH indicators and services.

Hospital based Research

  • Development of a foetal growth chart for classifying neonates as appropriate-for-date, small-for-date and large-for-date.  

  • Room air resuscitation of neonates and long-term neurodevelopmental outcome of babies thus resuscitated.  

  • Risk factors and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance among organisms causing hospital-acquired neonatal sepsis

  • Effect of early interventions (such as phenobarbitone therapy and brain cooling) among neonates with birth asphyxia on mortality and neurodevelopmental outcome.  

  • Interventions for bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections to reduce the incidence of prematurity.  

  • Development and validation of a simple tool for evaluating neurodevelopment status of at risk neonates.  

  • Epidemiology of transmission of HIV through breast milk.                   

  • Kangaroo mother care in the management of very low birth weight babies.  

  • Burden of disease of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and interventions for its primary and secondary prevention.  

  • Application of oil on skin as a method of energy supplementation and thermal. Protection.  

  • Post-natal growth norms of LBW/preterm babies.  

  • Norms for bilirubin levels among breast-fed neonates and predictors of hyperbilirubinaemia.

Basic Research

  • Genetic/molecular epidemiology of pathogens of newborn sepsis.

  • Development of low cost, simple diagnostic tests for genetic disorders.  

  • Development of a low cost indigenous surfactant for RDS.  

  • Basic research on  determinants of kernicterus.  

  • Developmental biology of the newborn.

Capacity building 

  • Strengthening of the National Neonatal Perinatal Database.

  • Training in epidemiology, research methodology and networking.

  • Infectious disease diagnosis at the field facility and institutional levels and  molecular epidemiology of major pathogens of perinatal-neonatal disease.

  • Setting up genetics units aimed at prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders.


Safe Abortions Services

  • Clinical trials on newer non-surgical methods of MTP and comparative study of medical vs surgical methods (manual vacuum aspiration) for early termination of pregnancy.

  • Epidemiological  studies on unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

  • Database for morbidity of unsafe abortions.

  • Operationalisation of safe abortion services at PHC level.

  • KAP studies on awareness of doctors and paramedical workers for safe abortions.

  • Develop indicators for quality and coverage of safe abortions for effective monitoring.

  • Study of unwanted pregnancy and abortion: perceptions, problems, utilisation of services.

  • Evaluation of functioning of existing laws for safe abortion and selective, gender based abortions.

  • Enhancing awareness of the traditional birth attendants, ANMs/LHVs and RMPs and private medical practioners with regard to safe abortion services and prevention of complications of abortions.

  • Study of factors responsible for underutilisation of safe abortion services.

  • Enhancing utilisation of safe abortion services by the community.

  • Need based operational research to improve efficiency of safe abortion services.

  • Evaluation of MTP training programmes to improve the quality.

  • Innovations in training programmes.

  • Community needs assessment for unmet need for abortions.

  • Pre- and post-abortion counselling.

  • Barriers in accepting MTP services: social attitudes, confidentiality, lack of information and affordability.

  • Ways and means of improving contraceptive acceptance, particularly spacing methods so that the chance of unwanted pregnancy can be minimised. 

  • Community based studies on post abortion morbidity of both legally and illegally induced abortions.




Reproductive Tract Infections, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infertility

  • Molecular  basis of STDs and RTIs.

  • Etiology of infections.

  • Vaccines for prevention and control of infection.

  • New therapeutics including herbal products for control of infections.

  • Diagnostic markers for RTIs/STDs. 

  • Studies on polycystic ovaries/syndrome.

  • Simplified approach to diagnosis and management of infertility at the PHC level.

  • Community based studies on magnitude, causes and psychosocial consequences of infertility.



Adolescent Health

  • Magnitide, complications and prevention of teenage pregnancies.

  • Susceptibility of infections in adolescents.

  • Studies on the onset of puberty, wet dream and the adolescents attempts at self education in sex.

  • Adolescent sex behaviour patterns and factors responsible for high risk sex behaviour in urban and rural areas , out of school, working group, street children etc.

  • Develop culture-appropriate instruments to study the sex behaviour patterns in different age groups.

  • Prevalence of STIs/HIV infection among adolescents. 

  • Intervention strategies for effective IEC programme to address the sexuality issues  and study its impact on behavioural/ attitudinal changes.