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Life Sciences
Department of Life Sciences

Our vision is to be a partner in translational research and evolve new technologies with wider applications. A graduate from the Department will be trained, and recognized by researchers, peers and mentors as the one who is fully prepared for future research and who maintains the standards of highest professional conduct. Following are the broad research areas of Department of Life Sciences:
  • Virology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Vascular Biology
  • Bioinformatics & Systems Biology
  • Cell signalling in cancer biology
  • Hydrolases as antibiotic targets
  • Systems and Synthetic Biology

Virology & Industrial Biotechnology

  • The HEV ORF2 protein binds to HSPGs on Huh-7 hepatoma cells. .   
    As a virologist, research will be carried on two viruses, Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) and Hepatitis B virus (HBV). We will construct and express four non-structural proteins of HEV- ORF1 and attempt to find a drug target against one of these proteins. In HBV study we will construct recombinant HBV using Baculovirus Expression Vector System for the drug therapy. Collaboration with clinicians will be carried out to test the drug effect on the viral load upon infection with the mutated viruses.
  • Experienced in Biotechnology industries, my interest area is to develop new recombinant drug molecules using Genetic Engineering and Biochemical techniques. I will work on developing the Biobetters to increase the serum half life, efficacy and shelf life of the existing anti cancer drugs. An active collaboration with biotech industry will be made where the student can perform the industrial part of the research project that will create the option of placement in academic institute or Biotech MNCs.

Vascular Biology Lab

  • Vascular Dysfunction in Breast Cancer
  • Novel targets in Brain Glioma progression
  • CRISPR based Targeted Genome Editing
  • Nanomedicine based therapy


Dynamic Microtubules: MT EB1-GFP transfected Endothelial cells

A kinase anchoring protein 9 (AKAP9) present at the centrosome colocalizes to GM130 (Golgi marker) and regulates Microtubule Dynamics. Silencing AKAP9 in primary endothelial cells regulates Microtubule Growth rate. [Post-Doctoral Work at Harvard Medical School]    

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Development of novel biomarkers and potential drug targets poses a great challenge to the biomedical research.

  • Protein-Protein interaction network of differentially expressed genes in Cancer  
    The group is working on the translational research for development of novel biomarkers for early detection of Cancer and identification of novel drug targets leading to inhibitor design and lead discovery.
  • The group is also eager to understand the various pathways modeling techniques for the analysis, reconstruction (reverse engineering) and targeted modification of biological networks.
  • We are also studying the effect of antivirals and natural compounds over viral hepatitis using omics technologies with advance bioinformatics and systems biology approaches to propose realistic networks of cellular signal transduction and metabolism.
  • In addition, our interest also lies in understanding the stress mechanism in plants and Genes responsible for providing Cross tolerance in crop plants using high throughput data for crop improvements.

Cell Signalling in Cancer Biology

In spite of the latest advancements in technology and medical procedures like surgery, chemotherapy etc. cancer still remains a deadly disease with its alarming statistics of approximately 12.7 million cases of incidence and 7.6 million cases of mortality according to GLOBOCAN 2008. Lack of clear understanding about its incidence, progression and diagnosis makes the disease fatal. As well understood it is more of a cell cycle disorder than an infective disease. Therefore, it is very important to understand the mechanism by which a normal cell loses its control over regulation of cell division.

Proteome profile of normal and drug treated HeLa cells.  

  • My research interest focuses on delineating the cross talk between various key molecules in signal transduction pathways that mediate colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers incidence and its progression.
  • Our lab would use various tools like Transcriptome and Proteome, in vitro and in vivo models that will be developed in house.
Hydrolases as Antibiotic Targets

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is growing rapidly and as a consequence need for development of new antibiotics is desired. Hydrolases represent attractive targets for new antibiotics as the activities of hydrolases are required to inset new peptidoglycan.

  • The broad area of my research interest is to gain insight into the temporal and spatial regulation of cell wall hydrolases in bacterial cells using Caulobacter crescentus as model system which may lead to develop new antibiotics targets.
  • I would like to address how the activity of Peptidoglycan hydrolase is regulated both during cell growth and cell division and how it is coordinated with peptidoglycan synthetase in time and space to ensure that the integrity of cell wall remains intact.

My lab is trying to answer fundamental questions about host pathogen interactions involved in blood stage infection of malaria parasite in order to establish a signaling pathway that might lead to the identification of key players like effectors of signaling pathways exploitable for therapeutic interventions leading to vaccines and new drugs. We are using multidisciplinary approach such as high end bioimaging platform, molecular biology, cell biology and protein chemistry to address these questions. Specifically, my current research focuses are:

  • Spatiotemporal dynamics of host cell invasion and parasite egress by time lapse live cell imaging
  • Determination of signals controlling the initiation of parasite invasion and egress
  • Unraveling molecular machinery at play during Plasmodium falciparum invasion and egress and undermine their function to abrogate these process
  • Evaluating novel compounds in terms of their efficacy against inhibition in signaling process and Plasmodium blood stage
  • Elucidating the role of perforin like protein in the context of Plasmodium merozoite egress and invasion
  • Identification and functional characterization of novel parasite proteins involved in invasion and egress for novel drug targets for Plasmodium falciparum

  1. Host-pathogen interactions and their role in pathological conditions.

    Host-pathogen interactions and their role in pathological conditionInfectious agents such as bacteria, virus or parasite when infect human host tries to alter the host genomic environment in such a manner that favours their survival and successive proliferation. An important strategy employed by these organisms to ensure their survival and replication is by epigenetic alteration of host genome to change its protein expression profile and inactivation/degradation of proteins related to cell cycle check points and apoptotic pathways. During my postdoc I have shown the interaction and destabilization of Tip60 protein (Tat interacting protein 60 kDa) by human adenoviral proteins. Tip60 is a chromatin modifier and thus co-regulate genes expression and plays important role in various cellular functions by acetylating non-histone proteins like p53, ATM kinase, androgen receptor and other proteins and thus regulates their functional activity. It is suggested that some viruses inhibit/degrade Tip60, which could be vital for inhibiting virus based cellular transformation and tumorigenesis.

    The major objective of this study is to investigate the role of Tip60 in host-pathogen interaction and to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which Tip60 is targeted by pathogens for their successful establishment and infectivity.

  2. Novel targets characterization of malaria parasite.

    Another area of my research work is to characterize and understand the epigenetic regulators of malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria is endemic in more than 90 countries and, together with HIV, tuberculosis and diarrheal diseases, constitutes one of the major causes of death by infectious diseases worldwide. Major contributing factors to the severity of this disease are the widespread emergence of resistance in P. falciparum. Thus there is an urgent need to characterize novel molecular targets to combat the malarial infection and develop anti-malarial drugs against them.

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