National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis earlier known as Tuberculosis Research Centre is a permanent institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research. It is an internationally recognized and famous in the country for Tuberculosis research as well. It is a national Laboratory and a WHO Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis Research and the related Training.

The Centre set up in Madras in 1956 for a period of 5 years under the joint auspices of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Government of Tamil Nadu, the British Medical Research Council and the World Health Organization. The main focus of the Centre was to develop studies that can be designed to provide the best information on the mass domiciliary application and its related segments of chemotherapy in the treatment of pulmonary TB. The activities were started with eight international staff members of the World Health Organisation and a team of national staff members pulled from ICMR and from the Government of Tamil Nadu under the much-appreciated leadership of Dr. Wallace Fox of the BMRC.

Research & Development

Highly motivated individuals with an impeccable academic performance- who are also holding a fellowship, with a keen interest in pursuing research in the frontier areas of Infectious Diseases related to tuberculosis and its co-morbidities are always welcomed to join the Ph.D. programme at this National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis.

NIRT is one of the permanent institutes under the Indian Council of Medical Research and it is an internationally recognized institution for research in Tuberculosis and its co-morbidities such as HIV etc. For an expanded study focus, an International Centre for Excellence in Research in collaboration with NIH was established at the Centre. This institute carries out research on epidemiological, clinical, as well as bacteriological and behavioural aspects of tuberculosis and the HIV-TB. The Institute is equipped with best in class research facilities and all the necessary lab establishments to carry out extensive research as well.

The major research areas of the institution are Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Statistics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Immunology and HIV/AIDS. The institute played an important role in putting a control over the TB prevalence in the country quite back, which lead to a much more extensive study or research in the field of TB and its related co-morbidities.

Notable Alumni

Soumya Swaminathan is a clinical scientist known for her research on tuberculosis who currently is the Chief Scientist at WHO  since March 2019 and formerly was the Deputy Director-General of Programmes at WHO has been a proud alumna of National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis.