The College has been involved in carrying out many research projects with the help of its faculty in some fields of science with great national and international impact. With a view to strengthen this further and to promote greater and vigorous research in some important and emerging areas of science, the management of St Xavier’s College has decided to establish Xavier Research Foundation (XRF) in 2018.
XRF is a new initiative of St Xavier’s College management to promote research, publication and extension activities in various disciplines. It is a research center of eminence. It directly comes under the supervision of Frs Rector, Secretary and Principal. In this sense it is like any other department of the college except that it will promote only doctoral studies. It will be supported by the management financially and carry out its activities through various projects from funding agencies. Full time scientists and technician will work in XRF. After they get recognition from the University to guide doctoral students they will register students for Ph.D. program. XRF will also have Emeritus Scientists, Visiting Scientists and post-doctoral fellows.
Center for Biodiversity and Biotechnology (CBB) was established in 1984 by the management and FrDrV.S.Manickam, S.J. was the first director. He brought many projects to CBB from many funding agencies and built up good infrastructure. Since he was a member of the department of Botany he guided doctoral students under its label. After FrManickam’s demise, CBB was maintained by other members of the department of Botany.
In order to streamline things with new perspective and to look after the fruits of FrManickam’s hard labor, now the management has decided to make it one unit of XRF so that wholesome research and extension activities can be taken up. The director and scientists of XRF will also take care of CBB to preserve the cherished dream of FrManickam, to maintain the herbarium, the laboratory, the herbal garden and the green house.
XRF will function as an interdisciplinary research centre promoting cutting edge pursuits to solve peoples’ problems and to protect the environment.
- Activities of research include value-based areas of applied significance. These are: Insect Biodiversity, Biological Control of pests, Biotechnology, Biodiversity, Biopesticides, Mosquito control, Ethnopharmacology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetic Engineering and Medicinal Chemistry.
- Isolation of molecules related to insecticidal, antifeedant, repellent and growth regulating aspects from plants and microbes.
- Collection, identification and documentation of economically important beneficial and harmful insects and spiders from agroecosystems and forest ecosystems.
- Utilization of plant tissue culture, genetic engineering and marker-assisted selection techniques for producing varieties which are resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.
- Screening of secondary metabolites from microbes and plants for antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anticancer, antiinflammation and insecticidal activities.
- In vitro assays and In vivoassays for anticancer, antidiabetic, antiarthritic and antiobesity properties of medicinal plant extracts and compounds using cell lines, rat and mouse models.
- Identifying useful compounds present in edible and medicinal mushrooms for the purpose of using them against obesity, microbial pathogens and vector mosquitoes.
- Documenting the biodiversityn of plants and their uses.
- Patenting useful processes and products.
- Taking up any other up to date research area.
All the departments of the college can approach the director of XRF for any help, collaboration, use of facilities, etc. If any one individual is interested to be associated with XRF and CBB, he or she will be an associate member. This arrangement will enable one to use XRF’s name officially for academic purposes. XRF’s intention is to promote research and publication in various disciplines of science, arts, and humanities in the long run. Retired professors with outstanding publications can get associated with XRF as Emeritus Scientists.
XRF will establish linkages with other institutions through MoUs and MoAs and make use of the facilities available with them to promote collaborative research and publication. XRF will also engage eminent scientists from other institutions from within India and abroad as Visiting Scientists. Joint publications are contemplated through this.