Nichi-In Loyola Society (NILS) Research Partnership

Nichi-In Loyola Society (NILS) (pronounced as ‘nɪlz’) Partnership is an initiative for a collaborative research among Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), Chennai, India, their collaborators and Institutes under the Loyola College Society, Chennai, India. Its origin dates back to the year 2012 and in those pre-covid-19 times, Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), Tokyo, Japan, was a part of it and exchange of students between the partner institutes for academic events and research projects were robust. Since Covid-19 pandemic, the NILS partnership continues with Institutes managed by the Madurai and Chennai provinces of Society of Jesus and their collaborators. One such initiative later paved way for research in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Autism Sunday Commemoration in February 2022.

The objective of this initiative is to bring together the necessities of each institute and the society around them as well as the resources available and technical advances towards building a synergistic platform to arrive at novel solutions.

NILS partnership - Key events in the Timeline

2012: Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) and Loyola-ICAM College of Engineering & Technology (LICET) under leadership of Rev.Fr. Francis Xavier as its Founder- Director, LICET initiated dialogues for academic and research collaboration

2013: NCRM & LICET signed MoU to foster mutually beneficial research activities centred around cryogenic and biomedical engineering technologies, the strengths of LICET whereas NCRM by then had developed strategies for cryopreservation of several types of cells, stem cells and precursor cells.

2013: Eighth Anniversary Commemorative event of NCRM, NCRM NICHE 2013 was graced by Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier as the Guest of Honour and faculty of LICET

2015: Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier served as Guest of Honour in the Tenth Anniversary Commemorative event of NCRM, NCRM NICHE 2015 in which academic collaborations to start courses of Biomedical Engineering in LICET with Institutes from Japan through NCRM was proposed

2016: NCRM NICHE 2016 was held in collaboration with Loyola College Society in the campus of LICET in which Prof. Yasuo Yoshimi, Department of Applied Chemistry, Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), Japan participated and delivered lecture on Biosensors

2016: Technical team of NCRM in Japan under the representation from M/s GN Corporation started a collaboration with SIT under a tie up arrangement to take biosensor technologies to meet specific demands in developing nations especially India in which the strengths of institutes under Loyola college society were considered to have a potential to play a significant role

2017: Seminar on Multi-disciplinary International Collaborations for developing solutions in Healthcare held at LICET organized by NCRM, LICET and Edogawa Evolutionary Laboratory of Sciences (EELS), Japan in which Dr. Tomohiko Kisaka from Hiroshima University, Japan, delivered a lecture titled "International Collaborations in healthcare – My experience in USA, Japan and India & the way forward"

2017: Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier, having become the Vice President, of academic initiatives of Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) NCRM delegation visited him and started a discussion on establishing collaborative initiatives with the Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL), Geneva through Rev. Fr. Rev. Fr. Peter Balleis SJ, Head of JWL

2017: Rev. Fr. Rev. Fr. Peter Balleis SJ, Head of JWL and Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier, Vice President, JWL were invited a guests to deliver talks in the Inter-disciplinary Conclave of NCRM NICHE 2017 held at the Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) in Japan where global perspectives of synergistic tie-ups between JWL, Geneva, Loyola College Society, India, SIT, Japan, NCRM, India and GN corporation, Japan were discussed

2018: Inter-Disciplinary Seminar; Engineering Systems and Healthcare Solutions held at LICET was organized by NCRM in collaboration with LICET in which Mr. Kazuyoshi Soma, CEO, SEO Corporation, Japan delivered a talk on Novel Air-Handling Systems for Cleanrooms and Operation theatres and Mr. Yozo Koga, Director, International Division Nihon Trim Co. Ltd., Japan delivered talk on a novel Anti-oxidant water technology from Japan

2018: NCRM, India and GN Corporation, Japan play a catalyst role in bringing together Loyola, LICET and SIT to sign a MoU thereby enabling SIT to invite 10 students from LICET and Loyola join the Global Project Based Learning (PBL) 2019, the first and only institute in India to qualify for participation in the PBL.

2019: In August 2019 NCRM through a platform of selection assisted by GN corporation, Japan assisted 10 students from LICET and Loyola attend the PBL 2019 at SIT, Tokyo, Japan among which two were fully sponsored by Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) based on the recommendations of the Loyola College Society as per their norms for a social contribution .

2019: A Seminar was conducted on 4th of December, 2019 that brought together all stake holders in the presence of the Hon. Consul General of Japan, Mr. Kojiro Uchiyama to discuss strategies and plan phase wise steps to progress on application based solution oriented collaborations in which students from LICET and Loyola who participated in the PBL 2019 also presented their experience.

2022: A clinical research in Autism Spectrum Disorder was conducted among NCRM, JAICARE, Madurai and its collaborator Dr Raghavan, Pediatric neurologist, which was based on basic and translational studies conducted in Japan and India with novel beta glucans and their beneficial effects in human health through advantageous reconstitution of gut microbiota. The results were published in peer reviewed journals and this was commemorated during Autism Sunday 2022 with a panel discussion.