National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) (India)
The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis [Formerly Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC)], a permanent institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is an internationally recognized institution for Tuberculosis (TB) research. It is a Supranational Reference Laboratory and a WHO Collaborating Centre for TB Research and Training. Recently, an International Centre for Excellence in Research (ICER) in collaboration with NIH was established at the Centre.
The Centre (formerly known as the Tuberculosis Chemotherapy Centre) was set up in Madras in 1956 as a 5-year project, under the joint auspices of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Government of Tamil Nadu, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the British Medical Research Council (BMRC). The objective of the Centre was to develop studies designed to provide information on the mass domiciliary application of chemotherapy in the treatment of pulmonary TB. It started its activities with 8 international staff members belonging to the WHO and a team of national staff members drawn for ICMR and the Government of Tamil Nadu under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Wallace Fox of the BMRC.
The Centre, which had an initial lease of life of five years and had faced the threat of closure in 1961, has moved from strength to strength. Dr. Hugh Stott who succeeded Dr. Fox as WHO Senior Medical Officer in 1961 and had ably guided the research activities of the Centre during the following 6 years. Dr. N. K. Menon, who assumed charge in July 1964, was the first national Director. Dr. C. G. Pandit and Prof. V. Ramalingaswami, of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. P.V. Bengamin, Adviser in Tuberculosis to the Government of India, Col. Sangham Lal, Director of Medical Services, Tamil Nadu State and Dr. C. Mani, Regional Director of the World Health Organization, South East Asia Region, played key roles in placing the Centre on a firm footing in Madras. Dr. N.K.Menon was succeeded by Dr. S. P. Tripathy in September 1969, Dr. R Prabhakar in1983 and Dr.P.R. Narayanan in 1996.
In 1964 the Centre was made a permanent establishment under the ICMR. In conformity with the general policy of the WHO regarding the provision of technical expertise, the WHO staff members were withdrawn as and when national counterparts were trained. The last WHO bacteriologist and the last WHO medical officer left the Centre towards the end of 1965. In April 1966, the staff members initially employed by the Government of Tamil Nadu were absorbed by the ICMR. The last WHO Senior Medical Officer was withdrawn in July 1966.See more