National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease

Contact Counsellor

National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease

  • The NFGFHD will be established at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune.
  • It has been funded by the Department of Biotechnology.


  • This will be one-of-its-kind large facilities providing a timely supply of animal models to researchers studying a range of diseases from cancer to diabetes.
  • Rats, mice and rabbits will be housed here, doing away with the need to import them.

Why it is needed

  • With a growing zoonotic disease burden on human health, there is an increased urgency to perform disease studies based on physiological evidence and methods.
  • Since human trials alone cannot suffice for such studies, the need for having experimental setups using animal models has become imperative.
  • Hence, animal, plant and microorganism-based models are now being significantly deployed to study diseases in a time-bound manner.
  • The advanced facility will build capacities in biological research & assist in reducing the knowledge gap in understanding of pathogens.

Why are animals needed?

  • Scientists depend on small animals such as rats, mice and rabbits to study human diseases.
  • When an animal model is used to study diseases, we need to carefully follow the animal’s well-being for long durations.
  • During this time-frame, the animals are prudently observed, bred for further generations.
  • Their behaviours are monitored in responses to stimuli, signs for any phenotypic variations, feeding behaviours and changes in habits if any.

Technological facilities

  • The facility houses molecular biology laboratories and mico-injection setups to generate mouse models, in which scientists will knock out existing genes and replace them with external or artificial genes that are linked to the disease under study.
  • This is done through CRISPR / Cas9 systems.
  • The genome engineering facility at NFGFHD
  • There are facilities for making embryonic stem cell-based models and traditional transgenic mice models, embryo and sperm cryopreservation, and in-vitro fertilisation.

Exams Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Knock out gene technique
  • Embryonic Stem cell
  • Somatic stem cell
  • Transgenic animals/plants
  • In-vitro fertilization technique

Mains Track

Q. The rise in biotechnology has made it feasible to cure genetic diseases. Give a brief about gene editing, their methods and role of transgenic animals in curing genetic diseases.