The School of Integrative Health Sciences


The School of Integrative Health Sciences focuses on disciplines such as Life Science, Genomics, Clinical Research, Local Health Traditions, Indian Systems of Medicine (Ayurveda) and Ethno-veterinary sciences. The School currently offers courses in the areas of Life Sciences (Ayur–Biology), Ethno-veterinary practice and Nadi-Vigyana

 

Post Graduate Programs

  1. M.Sc. Life Sciences (Ayurveda Biology)

 

Certificate Programs

  1. Certificate course in Ethno-veterinary practice
  2. Certificate course in Nadi-Vigyana

Master of Science in Life Sciences (Ayur - Biology)

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Objective

Ayurveda primarily focuses on health management through holistic principles. Though Ayurveda is an ancient science of life, its principles and practices are valid even today and have significant relevance in contemporary healthcare sector. The essence of any science is the continuous quest for new knowledge through research and development. The need for continuous scientific evaluation of Ayurveda has also been well recognized. However, research in Ayurveda has been highly dominated by studies focusing only on medicinal plants and bioactive compounds for herbal drug development. It is the need of the hour to have novel educational and research programs in Ayurveda, integrating with modern bioscience, for a paradigm shift in Ayurvedic research perspective as well as to broaden the understanding of the principles and science of Ayurveda in contemporary scientific languages. The MSc in Life Sciences is focused on the theme of Ayurveda Biology, and intends to generate a knowledge interface between Ayurveda and life sciences for applications in contemporary healthcare research and industry needs. The program scope is to interpret the sophisticated, systemic theoretical foundations, principles and practices of Ayurveda using modern scientific tools. Thus, it works for bridging SHASTRA (traditional Indian health sciences) and SCIENCE.

 

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The program theme is ideal for students who are interested in taking up challenging transdisciplinary research in Ayurveda and modern biomedicine. The following broad outcomes make it a unique program

  • To create a knowledge interface between Ayurveda and modern life sciences.
  • To integrate theoretical and practical aspects of life sciences and technology with Ayurveda for applications in contemporary healthcare research and industry needs.
  • To train students in basics of Shastra and Science for logical synthesis and application of knowledge systems of Ayurveda and Biology.
  • To build skill and capacity in students to take up industry/academic based research jobs in the area of Life Sciences/Biomedicine/Ayurveda.

 

Course details (topics)

The MSc Life Sciences (Ayurveda Biology) is a four semesters, 80 credit postgraduate degree program. Coursework offered as part of this program are broadly divided to core courses and elective courses.

Core courses are mandatory courses that form the foundation of Ayurveda Biology program. The program will have the following focus in each of the semesters –

 

Semester-1: Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of modern life sciences including human physiology, biochemistry, bioenergetics, molecular biology and cell biology. A course on principles of life, wellness and disease in Ayurveda will provide the basic foundations of Ayurvedic understanding of human physiology and wellness. A course on nutrition and human health will introduce the subject from both Ayurvedic and modern science perspective. Further, students shall undertake various practical learning activities to learn about laboratory/research documentation and scientific writing. Students will be encouraged to have active discussions and dialogues between Ayurveda and modern science researchers either on campus or at partner research institutions to explore transdisciplinary applications.

 

Semester – 2: Students will learn basic concepts of drug design in Ayurveda and biomedicine, fundamentals of immunology and infections and the basics of clinical and public health. The research methodology course will help students understand different research methods, approaches, hypothesis development, scientific writing and communications. A ‘lab rotation’ activity shall be given to the students wherein the students will be assigned to research groups, on a rotation basis, to enable hands on learning of research activities. Workshops will be conducted to build confidence and soft skills in the students.

Apart from these core courses, students will be required to take relevant electives (at least one per semester), in consultation with their research supervisor, to get a deeper understanding of their subject of research. The School of Life Sciences plans to offer various electives viz. Bridge course in Sanskrit, Scientific and logic concepts in Indian Philosophy, Herbal drug analysis, Bioinformatics and Database, Pharmaceutical chemistry, Biology of metabolic diseases, Mode of action of Ayurvedic formulations and Ayurgenomics. Students are however free to take relevant elective courses from other institutions (ensuring the courses adhere to the credit system prescribed by UGC) in consultation with their research supervisor.

 

Semester – 3 & 4:  The program has a major component of hypothesis driven research in different fields of Ayurveda Biology leading to a thesis/research paper. Students are expected to have the necessary foundation from their core and elective coursework and should be ready to start serious research work. Students who have gaps in their knowledge and skills may be required to do additional coursework as recommended by either the research supervisor or the Masters Advisory Committee. Students will select and obtain consent from a research supervisor with expertise in the specific research topic related to Ayurveda Biology and work with them on a research project. At the end of the 4th semester, students shall submit a thesis/dissertation which shall be evaluated by a panel of examiners. The research topics selected are expected to have long term and short term deliverables. The minimum duration of the research component is two semesters (one year). Broad areas for research could include Traditional Knowledge based public health (Water purification and quality enhancement, Iron deficiency anemia, Malaria), Health and wellness in Ayurveda (Metabolic diseases, Holistic nutrition, Ayurvedic nootropics, Ayurvedic Nutraceutical), Pharmacology (Ayurvedic pharmacognosy, Ayurvedic pharmaceutics, TK based drug discovery, Quality control and standardization of herbal drugs) and OMICs in Ayurveda biology

 

Potential partners who will offer elective courses

Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi

Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore

Centre for Cellular And Molecular Platforms

StJohn’s National Academy of Health Sciences

 

 Opportunities for students who will complete the course

The proposed program has collaboration and partnership with leading academic/research institutions like Acharya B.M.Reddy College of Pharmacy, Bangalore, IGIB, New Delhi as well as herbal industries like Natural Remedies Bangalore. The students trained through this program will have opportunities in the academic/research sector as well as in Ayurvedic, nutra- and pharmaceutical industries.