The Centre for Research in Science and Technology (CRIST) was inaugurated on November 4, 2010 with the objective of promoting scientific research especially in the fields of Biotechnology, Microbiology and Physical sciences involving the department of Physics, Chemistry ,Botany, Zoology, Biotechnology and bioinformatics. The activities of the CRIST lab are supervised by Dr. Mary N.L the Administrative Director and Dr. Raja Sidambaram Technical Director.
The centre is equipped with the following instruments: FT-IR Spectrometer, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Millipore Water Purifier, Trinocular-Phase Contrast Microscope and CO2 Incubator ,UV-visible spectrophotometer, Centrifuge, laminar flow, Biochemical Analyser etc.
The centre provides instrumental facilities for the students of Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics for their UG and PG projects. The center has provision for animal & human cell cultures and extends the research facility to students and researchers of other colleges in antibacterial, antioxidant & cytotoxic effects. The centre also offers a Diploma course in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) for under graduate students & a Postgraduate diploma course in Medical Laboratory Technology (PGDMLT) for graduates & postgraduates coordinated by Dr. Raja Sidambaram.
The centre organizes training programmes, workshops and guest lectures periodically. A few of the popular lectures are by Dr. K. S. Viswanathan, Senior Scientist, IGCAR, Kalpakkam, on ‘Role of Hydrogen bonding in chemistry & biology’ for the post graduate students of the department of Chemistry , Biotechnology and Bioinformatics and a lecture on ‘Research on HIV disease’ by Dr. N. Kumaraswamy, Chief Medical Officer, YRG CARE Medical Centre, Voluntary Health Services, Taramani. To minimize the quantity of chemicals used in experiments, thus bringing benefits in terms of cost, time, safety and protection of the environment the Centre for Research in Science and Technology (CRIST), the science research wing of Stella Maris College in collaboration with Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai organised a two-day National Workshop on “Microscale Experiments in Physical Chemistry” on 23 & 24 November 2012 for the faculty.
The centre also offered a three-month project titled ‘Exploring Nanoscience – Synthesis and Characterisation of Nanoparticles’ to the undergraduate students of Botany, Physics, Zoology, Maths and Chemistry from Jan – April 2014 on the synthesis and characterization of nanopaticles. The students carried out the project after their regular class hours. The project was supported by the Star College Scheme, DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.
This year the centre offered two certificate courses. A certificate course in “Mammalian cell culture techniques” is coordinated by Dr. Raja Sidambaram and a 50 hrs certificate course titled ‘Exploring Nanoscience – Synthesis and Characterisation of Nanoparticles’ in Collaboration with Prof. Pradeep T Director of the Nanoscience unit, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras is coordinated by Dr. Mary N .L. The certificate courses are an initiative to kindle research interest in the young minds of the undergraduate students and also to equip them with the knowledge and skill in the current frontiers in research. July 25 2014 the first Nanoscience certificate course was initiated for the students of Physics, Botany, Zoology and chemistry (II and III year students - 45 students). As apart of the SCF-DBT project round 40 students benefitted from the Interdisciplinary project for 3 months –march 2014-June 2014.
A two- day workshop on ‘Animal cell culture techniques’ was conducted on 27 & 28 of June, 2014 by Dr. M. Ravi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Human Genetics, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur and his research students for the faculty members of Zoology, Botany, Biotechnology & Bioinformatics of Stella Maris College.
A two-day workshop on Clinical Biochemistry was conducted on 16 & 18 July 2014 by Dr.R.Raja Sidambaram and Dr. Anita Singh Associate Professor, Dept. of Biotechnology, WCC for the undergraduate students of Chemistry and Botany. In January 2015, a DBT - sponsored interdisciplinary Nanoscience project was conducted under the SCF scheme (for 42 students from Physics, Botany, Zoology and Chemistry).
Lectures by eminent professors from IIT, the University of Madras, WCC and Anna University offer students hands-on experience on the synthesis of nanoparticles by different methods, following which, the students visit the IIT lab or the lab at Madras University where they get an exposure to the sophisticated instrumentation available for characterization studies; and finally the students present a report of their findings.SMCDRIVE