Institute of Microbial Technology,
Sector 39A, Chandigarh 160 036, India
(+91) 172- 2690751 (direct)
(+91) 172- 2636680, extn. 3241
Fax: (+91) 172- 2690585
House no. 1005 (Ground Floor),
Sector 39A, Chandigarh 160 036, India.
Phone: (+91) 172 2695488.
Mobile: (+91) 9815863975
Write-up of research and development interests/focus, past and present goals:
Therapeutic intervention of tuberculosis has become a complex phenomenon because of the development of drug resistant strains of the causative agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and unusual life style of this bacterium within the host. To overcome the situation, we need to have new/novel drug intervention strategies. Therefore, molecular mechanisms underlying these phenomena and their interrelationship, if any, can provide insight for developing new therapeutic strategies. The prime focus of my lab is to know the mechanism of drug resistance and the biology of this microorganism with special emphasis on regulatory/secretory protein(s) involved in the process of signal transduction. Besides this, we have also concentrated towards identification/characterization of essential gene(s) in this bacterium. Thus, our long-term goal is to utilize the results of basic research towards identifying new drug target(s), which may lead towards development of novel antimycobacterial agents.
Besides work with mycobacteria, we were successful in developing a heterologous expression system for androgen receptors in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), which could be utilized as a rapid, easy and sensitive screen for identifying novel androgen agonists. The need for short half life androgens in clinical settings to combat wasting in patients with AIDS and other chronic diseases like cancer is well documented and it is in this context our work is of considerable significance. Furthermore, we have shown that this yeast-based system could be utilized for detection of mutation in the steroid receptor gene that impairs normal receptor function. Therefore, such a function-based assay has several potential advantages over existing methods for detecting mutations that cannot distinguish between polymorphisms and missense mutations. Another facet of our work has been to address the cross talk between different signalling pathways in steroid hormone regulated gene expression. Our results clearly indicated for the first time that the steroid-dependent activation of rat androgen receptor by the modulators of kinase-phosphatase pathways could be recapitulated in yeast. Therefore, recapitulating this phenomenon in yeast would definitely provide an efficient means for genetic analysis of the cross-talk between modulators of protein phosphorylation and steroid receptors for a better understanding, especially in clinical settings, like androgen resistance, prostate cancer etc.
Significant recognition: Awards, fellowships, international funding of distinction, technologies transferred/licensed etc.:
- Research Associate (Postdoctoral) awarded by CSIR, New Delhi, India.
- Visiting Associate in the Fogarty International Programme, NIH, Bethesda, USA.
- National Biosciences Award for Career Development (DBT, Govt. of India, New Delhi).
- Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, India.
- Member, Guha Research Conference.
- Member, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, USA.
- Life member, Society of Biological Chemists, India.