Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to man, but very little scientific knowledge was available about it until a few decades ago. Modes of transmission of the disease, leprosy drug reactions and effective therapy for prevention of permanent nerve damage are some of the important questions that need to be answered. There is also no effective vaccine to prevent the disease. Research on social, behavioural and psychological aspects of leprosy are also relatively neglected areas; though they are most significant aspects leading to stigma that leprosy affected people face.
Further advances in the field of leprosy are possible with research on new tools to address the challenge of apparent persistence in transmission and incidence, and the long-term consequences of the disease. It is important to continue to develop a vaccine, improve patient care, develop tools to prevent leprosy and reduce physical, social and psychological consequences of leprosy.
At TLMTI research is a cross cutting issue, being carried out at the central level as well as in the field, through our hospitals and projects. We address the need for research in different aspects of leprosy, from basic sciences such as immunology and genetics and clinical research to the social aspects of leprosy including stigma and discrimination. TLMTI aims at making significant contributions to priority areas in leprosy research, so as to improve the quality of life for people affected by leprosy, and their communities, and influence policies at local and national levels that impact people affected by leprosy.
Stanley Browne Research Laboratory (SBL)
Stanley Browne Research Laboratory (SBL) of TLMTI is a recognised WHO and National Drug Resistance Surveillance centre for leprosy. SBL seeks to address the urgent need for research in different aspects of leprosy concerning basic sciences such as immunology and molecular biology, to help answer questions and solve the problems of this disease. SBL is a recognized centre for PhD by the Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong, Meghalaya. SBL also trains post-graduate students in advanced laboratory research.
We work with individuals and communities disadvantaged by leprosy, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, by addressing their physical, mental, social and spiritual needs to uphold human dignity and eradicate leprosy.