School of Life Sciences (SLS) is the first science school established in JNU during 1970-71 based on a concept paper developed by (now late) Prof. M.S. Swaminathan committee as the first department to impart life sciences teaching and research in the country. The teaching and research programmes in the School was conceptualized as an interdisciplinary program unifying the disciplines of biological sciences from a molecular level to whole organismal level. The experimental approaches undertaken by different research groups include biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, genetics and molecular biology in organisms representing viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, plants, and mammals.
The teaching programme of SLS has earned a high reputation for its integrative nature for students at the M.Sc. level. This is made possible by offering remedial courses in physics and chemistry for students coming from the bioscience stream and in basic biology for students coming from physical sciences stream. The School has an in- house system of continuous review of its academic programmes that allows inclusion of newer areas into research and teaching. The M.Sc. practical laboratories are well equipped to give ‘hands-on’ training to students in the theory subjects taught to them.
For its Ph.D. programme, the School admits students into five research notional groups encompassing disciplines from molecules, organisms to diseases, by offering fundamental courses in theoretical and practical skill development and advanced theory courses in chosen areas of research. The Ph.D. students carry out their thesis research in an interdisciplinary environment in the state-of-the-art laboratories in the School of Life Sciences. The School has consistently attracted funding from various funding agencies both at the School-level and at the faculty-level to conduct research and training. During the past 50 years, the School has produced over 750 PhDs and over 1000 MSc graduates. The research emanating from SLS has led to novel findings published in high ranking journals and patents. The graduates completing their degrees in SLS are always sought after by research labs in India and abroad and have performed exceptionally well in the universities, institutes and in biotech companies.