Institute of Microbial Technology (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research), Sector 39A, Chandigarh-160036, INDIA. Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: ++91-172-6665261 (O), 6665262 (Lab), Fax: ++91-172-2690632, 2690585, 2690132, 2690056.
Write-up of research and development interests/focus, past and present goals:
Host-pathogen relationships are characterized by the complex interplay between host defense mechanisms and attempts to circumvent these defenses by microorganisms. Macrophages and T cells play key roles in host defense in the recognition and elimination of microorganisms. Our studies and from other groups have generated an evidence that costimulatory molecules play a potential role in immmuno-suppression in leprosy patients, also a mycobacterial disease (Agrewala et al. 1998). Recently, we have also provided a novel insight into the mechanism whereby signaling through costimulatory molecules could deliver regulatory signals. We demonstrated that the delivery of costimulatory signals by antigen presenting cells (APC) not only activates T cells but may also influence the APC itself (Agrewala et al. 1994, 1998, Suvas et al. 2002). We observed that signaling of B cells through B7-2 costimulatory molecule enhanced its proliferation and production of antibodies and augmented the level of anti-apoptotic molecules and decreased the levels of pro-apoptotic molecule. In contrast, triggering through B7-1 could efficiently block the proliferation and production of antibodies by B cells and could retard their growth and favored the up-regulation of pro-apoptotic molecules.
Our current research interest is in microbial pathogenesis in diseases like tuberculosis where a coordinated cross-talk between macrophages and T cells is essential for protection and wish to explore the following problems: (i) eventhough immunity is highly efficacious in preventing disease but is extraordinarily inefficient in terminating infection; (ii) why only 5-10% of the infected individuals develop active tuberculosis and the remaining 90% impart effective immunity against the M. tuberculosis; (iii) why macrophages play a “dual role” by providing protection to host as well as survival of the bacteria; (iv) what factors make the relationship between M. tuberculosis and host immunity labile, converting infection into clinical disease; (v) what are the regulatory signals delivered by the infected macrophages to effector T cells and in return what signals are transmitted by effector T cells to macrophages. This study would provide insights not only into mechanisms of pathogenesis but may also suggest targets for therapeutic intervention.
Significant recognition: Awards, fellowships, international funding of distinction, technologies transferred/licensed etc.:
- SHANTI SWARUP BHATNAGAR AWARD
- Fellow-Indian National Science Academy
- Fellow-Indian Academy of Sciences
- Fellow-National Academy of Sciences India
- National Bioscience Award for Career Development
- New Idea Research Talent Award
- Regular Member-American Association of Immunologists
- Visiting Scientist: MRC-TB Unit, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London
- Visiting Scientist: Trudeau Institute, Saranac Lake, New York
- Biotechnology Overseas Associateship, DBT, India
Member Editorial Board/Associate Editor/Reviewer
PLoS One, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, BMC Immunology, Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery, Amino Acids, Eur J Immunol, J Neuroimmunol, Infection Immunity, Clin Exp Immunol, Inflammation Res, J Infect Dis, J Bac, J Proteome Res, Immunology, Vaccine, Cancer Lett, Microbiol Immunol, J Med Microbiol, Brain Behaviour Immunity, Int Immunopharmacol, Hematologia, Exp Parasitol, Polish J Food Nutr Sci, Adv Applied Res, Current Science, J Bioscience, etc.
Caerulomycin A as an immunosuppressive agent [Patent Application No. 2465DEL2005]. Licensed a technology on immunosuppressive molecule for 3 million US dollars [INR 15 crore] to the USA based company on February 15, 2009 [Team: Dr. Javed N Agrewala: Immunologist, Dr. RM Jolly: Chemist, Dr. RM Vohra: Microbiologist].