Regional Medical Research Centre 
Dibrugarh, Assam






- History


In view of the existing unevenness in the geographical distribution of scientific and research capabilities in Bio-medical sciences and also the fact that there are large tracts of the country where major health problems still far from health facilities, Indian Council of Medical Research developed a strategy of setting up a chain of Regional Medical Research Centre's to address  a regional priority health problems. One of such centres was established on 12th July, 1982 at Dibrugarh for promoting research and talking various pressing health problems of the Northeast region of India. Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh made a modest beginning in a  rented building in the heart of the Dibrugarh town. Dr.B.D.Baruah, the eminent pathologist of N.E.Region had the distinction of being the founder Director of this centre. This centre initially started working on Malaria and Japanese encephalitis among communicable diseases; nasopharyngeal carcinoma, haemoglobinopathies and allied disorders in non-communicable diseases. Today besides these, centre has also expanded its horizon of activities in the field of drug/substance abuse, oesophageal cancer, endemic goitre, cardio-vascular diseases, filariasis, dengue, dermatitis causing schistosomes and intestinal parasites and has made several significant contribution in these fields to National and International scientific literatures. The centre shifted to its own permanent campus at Bokel in 1991, which is about 8 km away from Dibrugarh town on Dibrugarh-Tinsukia road. Thirty-four acre  large campus of RMRC houses both laboratories and residential facilities besides a guest house for the visitors. First phase of its construction was completed in 1996 including one permanent laboratory building. Now the centre is equipped with all essential laboratory  facilities, equipments, animal house, library, computers, e-mail, vehicles etc. is managed by 89 personnel of all categories including 18 scientists.            








- Objectives


To promote biomedical research in the priority areas which  are of immediate relevance and importance to the people of  north-east (NE) region of India.

To train and build up technical manpower in the field of  health in NE region of India.

To interact with the local health authorities to help find solutions to the health problems in NE region of India.

To collect information for effective traditional systems of medicine among the local Tribal populations and  provide  suitable  guidance  regarding  the  manufacture  of efficacious drugs.




- Thrust areas of research

Mosquito borne diseases

Drug abuse and HIV

Food borne parasitic diseases







- Staff/Departmental Structure

dibrugarh staff/department structure







- Laboratory facilities (Sophisticated and Modern)

Molecular Biology - equipped with DNA thermocycler, Pulse field gel electrophoresis.

Virology / Microbiology - with facility for  ELISA, SHA Serology, tissue culture facility for bacteria, fungi and parasites.

Entomology - equipped for  identification of  mosquito blood meal , xeno diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis virus, membrane feeding etc.

General - chromatography, spectrophotometry, fluorescent microscopy, cryopreservation, cold centrifuge, ECG, mutagenic testing, microphotography, water analysis, iodine estimation of water and soil, ELISA, electronic blood cell counter.

Diagnostics  - serodiagnosis of  arbo and rotaviruses;  malaria, filariasis, intestinal parasites, haemoglo-brinopathies. iodine deficiency disorders.

Animal facility - equipped with  Swiss albino mice, balb-c mice, Mastomys coucha, rabbit Belgian strain, fowl, mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti, Toxorhynchites splendens, Culex quinquefasciatus, malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) in vitro culture (short term)






- Clinical facilities


         Malaria, Filaria, Hypertension.







- Communication and computation facilities


    Telephone, Fax, Computers, E-mail, Internet






- Education and training programme


Short term re-orientation courses in Malariology to Medical Officers.

Short term re-orientation courses in Malaria microscopy to Lab.Technicians.

Short term courses for field workers (Entomology).

Short term courses on detection of HCV to Blood bank Officers & Lab.Technicians.

Short term reorientation courses on Diarrhoeal diseases to Medical Officers  & Lab.Technicians.      

Short course on Research Methodology for scientists.  

Facility for  Community education on various  Communicable  and

Non-communicable diseases and IEC activity arranged regularly.

      These are not regular courses but are organised on special request.







- Achievements


Following are the `firsts' in the country reported from this centre :


Antichloroquine antibodies in persons under long term  chemoprophylaxis of chloroquine.

Natural infection of anopheline immatures by Lambornella (an endoparasitic hymenostome       ciliate) sp.

Foci of human Heterophysis.

Day resting habitats of Anopheles dirus, the major vector mosquito of forest malaria

Peculiar habit of abusing water extract of tobacco smoke (in Mizoram) and its potential mutagenic effect demonstrated.

Following are the `firsts' in the North-eastern region reported from this centre :

Foci of Clonorchiasis in Assam.                                         

Five  new  `country',  nine `regional'  and 12 `state' records of  mosquitoes.

Infection of Leptospirosis in Assam.

Concurrent multi-drug resistance to antimalarial in Arunachal Pradesh.

Use of smoked meat and nasal drops identified as major risk factors for nasophoryngeal carcinoma in Nagaland

Distance to medical care facility from the village identified as an important risk factor for malaria in Arunachal Pradesh

Risk factors for oesophageal cancer in lower Assam.

Haemoglobinopathy in several ethnic populations.






- Services provided to outsiders  

Clinical :   Malaria and filaria diagnosis and treatment to the community through Malaria Clinic in this Centre.

Laboratory :  Diagnostic  services  for  Arboviruses  (JE, Dengue)  to State Health authorities.

Consultancy :  For  control  of  Malaria.

Information and Technology:

- Library  and  literature search  through   CD-ROM 

- Computer to the faculty, students of Assam Medical

- College  and Dibrugarh University.




- External funding  


Community control of thalassaemia syndromes - awareness, screening, Genetic counselling and prevention (Funded by Jay Vigyan Mission/ ICMR -  Rs. 79.0 Lac (approx.)

A pilot study on Haemoglobinopathy and viral markers under ICMR/WHO multicentric study on development of capacity building for health Care among primitive tribe (Funded by ICMR/ WHO- Rs. 7.0 Lac (approx.).

Etiology of endemic goitre in the North east India : Role of environmental Goitrogen (Funded by ICMR Tribal Health Fund - Rs. 23.0 Lac (approx.).

Central scheme for development and cultivation of medicinal plants (Funded by Deptt. of  ISM, Min.of H & FW, GOI - Rs. 8.0 Lac (approx.).




- Reports on Seminar/Symposium/Workshop 
  conducted in the Institute 


  • Proceedings of the Seminar on Zoonoses (9-10 November, 1989).

  • Proceedings of the Workshop on Community Based Rehabilitation (20-22 June, 1996).

  • Report on Situational Analysis of HIV and Drug Abuse in North-eastern Region of India : A report by ICMR (6-8 April, 1998).






- Announcements of new discovery 


Mosquito records - 5 country, 9 regional and 12 state records.

Focus of Heterophyesis and  Clonorchiasis detected.

An indigenous plant based Molluscicide discovered.

A new species of  dermatitis causing Schistosome documented.