Stem cell research is emerging as one of the most viable career options for youngsters willing to take on a variety of challenges. It is an advanced level of scientific research carried out by people from diverse science backgrounds to find new and efficient therapies for various ailments. The next level leading from stem cell research is stem cell therapeutic procedures. Stem cell therapy or regenerative therapies are, healing often dubbed as the "future of modern medicine".
The Stem cell therapy market in India was valued at ~1 billion in 2013 which is expected to reach ~2 billion by 2018. India is projected to witness a rise in the number of stem cells banks and stem cells depositor in the near future. Liberalisation of stem cell research and government support due to the rise in the incidence of chronic diseases is the major factors aiding this growth gradient. Stem cell banking which was unheard of a few years ago has become popular in the recent past as a relatively less traumatic alternative to treat neurological conditions. This emerging branch of regenerative medicine needs quality, online skilled and trained manpower. With the global market expected to touch $40 billion by 2016, recipe excellent career opportunities will be available to post graduate students from diverse fields.
Researchers grow stem cells in a lab. These cells are manipulated to specialise into specific types of cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells. The specialised cells can then be implanted into a person. Stem cell treatment or therapy refers to introducing new adult stem cells into damaged tissue to treat a particular type of disease. For instance, stem cells from the bone marrow, adipose tissue and umbilical cord (embryonic stem cells) have been used to treat many chronic diseases. Stem cell therapy also holds the potential to treat a variety of other serious ailments, such as, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease and a variety of cancerous conditions.
There is a general misconception that only people with medical education background can be employed in stem cell therapy space. In fact, students of basic biology, too, can find jobs in stem cell research and therapy. BSc graduates with at least one subject of biological Sciences, MBBS or BPharma or BDS or BVSc or BE Biotechnology students can find jobs in the stem cell research domain. India is a major biotech player in the Asia Pacific region, coming next to Japan and South Korea. Malaysia is also catching up. Karnataka, and Bangalore in particular, is a major hub in work related to stem cells. Careers in stem cell therapy have taken off in a big way. Students in Europe, Australia, USA and now even in India have the option to pursue their research career in developmental biology, tissue engineering, embryology, medical biotechnology, molecular biology, cell biology, nanotechnology, clinical research and stem cell biology. It provides multiple options to the students to even pursue higher studies in basic biology and applicative translational field. Aspiring candidates today have the option of pursuing the following courses: MSc in biotechnology, biochemistry, genetics, zoology, biophysics, microbiology and life sciences;
Stem cell research is among the most dynamic fields of modern medicine in India as several institutes are researching newer therapies. In India, stem cell biology is emerging in both basic science and clinical applications. Even the Government of India, through its agencies like DBT, DST, ICMR has started investing funds to support basic and translational research in this field of science. Stem Cell therapeutic procedure is at a very nascent stage considering the lack of regulatory body for standardisations, the future has a lot of scope both in terms of capital influx and scale. Moreover, with a large number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and prominent stem cell institutions carrying out pioneering research in this field, the opportunities for students are immense. From a doctor to a lab assistant, the opportunities are several and highly rewarding. One can choose to start one's career in quality, R&D, production, clinical research, supply chain, and human resources besides finance and other administrative functions.
As a beginner, an eligible postgraduate can earn up to Rs 30,000 per month and after obtaining a PhD one can earn more than Rs 50,000 per month. When PhD holders are recruited abroad as postdoctoral fellows, they can earn, around $ 35,000 to 40,000 annually.
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