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Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
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Department of Stem Cell
About Us


The stem cell department was started to provide solutions to ocular disorders where cell replacement can be considered as therapy. Towards this we have started corneal tissue transplantation on a regular basis. Investigative research is also being undertaken to study how other ocular tissues such as the corneal epithelium can be generated, both from non-ocular sources and ocular sources. Department has standardized the Isolation and characterization of the retinal stem cells from non-retinal sources that could help in future for transplantation purposes. The department is engaged in in-vitro retinal cell biology for better understanding of the cellular characteristics. It is intended to make all research activities translational in nature. In future the department plans to go into iPS and the possible utility of Muller glia as sources of retinal neurons, it also looks at non-ocular sources of stem cells which could be differentiated into retinal cells.


The Stem Cell Lab was set up to help in patient care. The department is staffed by two full time faculties. Dr.S Krishnakumar is In-charge and Dr.Nivedita Chatterjee, as Lecturer. The facility is also assisting in the Ph.D of two students. The laboratory is involved in a number of research activities.

Dr.Krishnakumar works on a variety of topics from cancer stem cells and their applicability to eye cancers to culturing corneal cells for transplantation which has been taken to the level of clinical trials. The team is also looking at better scaffolds for growing Stem Cells. Processed amniotic membranes are supplied to surgeons in the hospital for corneal transplantation. Dr. N. Chatterjee is looking at glial cells as source of retinal neurons. She works on retinal inflammation and how they affect progenitor status.

Dr. S Krishnakumar- Faculty
Dr.Nivedita Chatterjee- Faculty
Vidya Gopakumar - Student
S.Saranya- Student
Vinod – Lab attender

PhD students
Dr. Sudha Balasubramanian received her Doctoral degree from BITS, Pilani and completed 2 years of Doctoral fellowship from University of Nebraska). Currently employed in Stempeutics
Ms.Sasirekha Krishnan - SASTRA University. Currently employed in Aravind Eye Hospital
Ms.Srilatha Jasty – BITS, Pilani.
Ms.Vidya Gopakumar - SASTRA University
For Appointment contact
Medical Research Foundation,
18, College road,
Nungambakkam, Chennai – 600006.
Telephone: 044-28271616
Extension: 1237, 1238.