Maternal & Child Health - Developmental & Disease Biology

Maternal & Child Health is an important priority area for the country’s health needs and also in line with the MDG 5 to reduce maternal and child mortality. Several initiatives have been taken for advancing research and scientific knowledge in this area which encompasses research from preconception to adolescence. Programmes have been supported on aspects of pregnancy complications, mechanistic paradigm governing the outcomes of pregnancy, congenital anomalies, diseases of neonatal period and early childhood. Several collaborative efforts have been initiated for hypothesis driven original research for answering questions relevant to our health need in the area.


Maternal and child health programme emphasizes on research activities related to pregnancy complication, factors of adverse pregnancy outcome, antenatal development, congenital anomalies and problems and diseases of early childhood. The projects supported so far focus on preeclampsia, IUGR, recurrent miscarriages, effect of maternal nutritional status on pregnancy outcome, development of neonatal immune system, neonatal sepsis and aspects of congenital anomalies. The overall goal is to support both basic research on Developmental and Disease Biology and application centric discovery under the competitive grant system.

Mandate of the program

  1. Mechanistic paradigms underlying:
    1. Complications during pregnancy such as preeclampsia, preterm birth, IUGR, autoimmunity etc.
    2. Foetal growth & development, premature or abnormal birth, still birth, congenital anomalies etc.
    3. Gene (dys)function leading to early developmental anomalies;
  2. Gene environment interactions : involved causes for pregnancy loss and congenital anomalies;
  3. Developmental basis of adult onset of diseases;
  4. Novel tools of prediction, early & easier disease detection and therapeutic intervention in the above conditions;
  5. in vitro systems and in vivo models to study early developmental anomalies and disease.

Some Success Stories

Grand challenge PTB program: This program is coordinated by an interdisciplinary research group now christened as GARBH-Ini – (interdisciplinary Group for Advanced Research on BirtHoutcomes – a DBT India Initiative). The programme envisaged to establish a cohort of pregnant women in Gurugram General Hospital, Haryana and a large bio bank of longitudinally collected varied bio specimens with well characterized information on environmental, clinical, social, epidemiological determinants at different time points in pregnancy has been established at THSTI. There are 294,684 serial ultrasound images of the fetus across pregnancy and the repository contains 600,150 of different types of biospecimens. This cohort and the biorepository will serve as a global resource to answer critical questions on preterm birth and other birth outcomes.

Program Head

Program Head:Dr.(Mrs.) Alka Sharma,Scientist G
Contact No.011-24363699

Concerned Officer for more information

Program Officer:Dr Anamika Gambhir, Scientist F
Contact No.011-24363665
Attached Officer:Dr. Neha Bansal, Scientist C