This week the IAEA formalises its relationship with the St. John´s Research Institute (SJRI) in Bangalore, India, designating it one of the IAEA´s select collaborating centres worldwide.
The SJRI has been working with the IAEA´s Nutrition and Health-Related Environmental Studies Section since 1988, and is well networked in India as well as internationally.
"The SJRI is not only special because of its excellent track record, but because it´s the first institution we have chosen to be a collaborating centre in nutrition," says Lena Davidsson, Head of the IAEA´s Nutritional and Health-related Environmental Studies Section.
The Institute´s research focuses on nutrition, cancer, as well as infectious and lifestyle-related diseases.
"This is an exceptionally good example of a centre where stable isotope technique is being used for nutrition-related research in a developing country," says Davidsson.
The longstanding relationship between the IAEA and the SJRI has provided a number of benefits to both parties. For example, the SJRI analyses samples for Asian and African Member States, provides lecturers for the Agency´s courses on stable isotope technique, and trains research fellows from Member States worldwide.
The IAEA has introduced the concept of collaborating centres to assist in implementing specific areas of its programme of research, development and training in nuclear technologies, while capitalizing upon and helping to expand the capabilities of Member States´ scientific and technical institutions.
Designation as a centre does not imply preeminence in the specific scientific field; rather it is a public recognition of the collaboration with the IAEA in a specific field of work.