Tata Institute of Fundamental Research


Latest News

  • Students selected for IPhD-PhD and MSc programs at DBS-TIFR for the academic year 2021-2022




The Department is located in the picturesque Colaba campus of TIFR on the shores of the Arabian Sea in South Mumbai, India. Established as a pioneer Molecular Biology Unit in early 1960, the department has expanded to encompass various branches of modern biology. We are currently a vibrant community of 9 faculty members and over 70 other researchers consisting of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, Integrated PhD and Masters students.


History & Mission

Research activities in the biological sciences started at the Colaba campus of TIFR in 1962 with the induction of Obaid Siddiqui as a young faculty member of the institute. True to the founding principle of Dr. Homi Bhabha, who wished an institute of excellence that will nucleate and propagate the future science in India, the biology research in TIFR-Colaba seeded the growth of several new initiatives such as the Bangalore Genei, the first indigenous company to produce molecular biology reagents; and the National Centre for Biological Sciences.

The department's research activities are guided by a simple motivation – academic excellence at the frontiers of research. Flexibility has been and remained the hallmark of operations in the department. This environment helped produce some of the outstanding scientific achievements. Although the research focus has always been diverse, the faculty always share the technical and academic resources equally. One of the lasting legacies established by Prof. Siddiqui has been a highly interactive environment where the students and the faculty freely exchange their ideas and analyse each other's data with a critical viewpoint and appreciation.



Today's biology is a highly interdisciplinary science that amalgamates ideas from many different science fields, producing a new understanding of the physical nature of life's processes. Since its inception, the biology group at TIFR, Colaba has witnessed a continuous flux. The vision now is to maintain a vigorous core biology activity focusing on specific areas interfacing other disciplines and augment it with interdisciplinary research. The core biology research is considered essential to support interdisciplinary research

DBS of the future aspires to make an impactful contribution in the interface areas. The research on material science, more specifically the soft matter, has considerable overlap with biology. With a robust condensed matter science and biology activities on campus, TIFR has terrific potential. Similarly, the big data science, based on AI-based learning network and algorithm to identify meaningful correlations amongst patterns in various data systems, is another area of biology where DBS could make a significant contribution. The third focus area would be developing image analysis tools and hardware improvements and reagent development for imaging science