Our Work

Noninvasive prenatal genetic testing (NIPT) in India

Project Objectives

The overarching goal of this project is to identify and understand factors that will affect
implementation of NIPT and to assess barriers to safe and equitable use of NIPT in India. We
would also like to build relationships with public sector genetic service providers/research
centers, NGOs and national/state organizations involved in delivering prenatal and women's
reproductive healthcare in India. We plan to meet with and interview experts in several public
sector organizations that offer prenatal genetic services. We also plan to visit and interview
representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are involved in providing
basic prenatal care to economically disadvantaged women India. Approval for human subjects
research has been obtained already. We believe travel to India is essential to overcome
logistical barriers such as time differences, which make telephone and Skype interviews difficult.
Furthermore, observing these sites in person will allow us to obtain a real -world perspective
on the resources/facilities for prenatal genetic services in different settings and interactions
between the private and public health sectors for prenatal testing in India. Field visits will
therefore be invaluable to our research and analysis, and to foster relationships that can lead to
collaborations and research partnerships going forward.

Project Outcomes

Shubha Chandrasekharan and two undergraduate students Dechen Lama and Shilpa Sridhar (supported by Bass Connections project) travelled to India between December 11 - January 3 to meet with and interview medical and clinical geneticists in Delhi Mumbai, Chennai, Tirunelvelli and Hyderabad. In addition Shubha Chandrasekharan gave invited to give guest lectures at AIIMS, New Delhi India and Hospital for Sick Children and Genetic Diseases Hyderabad India. The work was presented as a poster in the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy in July 2015

Project Policy Impact Description

Yes this research may help inform practice guidelines that Indian clinical societies develop regarding clinical implementation of NIPT in India.