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Research Interests

Leishmaniasis comprises a complex of vector-borne diseases, caused by more than 20 species of the protozoan genus Leishmania, and ranging from localized skin ulcers to lethal visceral disease. The most lethal form, if left untreated is visceral Leishmaniasis, a major tropical threat in Indian subcontinent. Since there is no vaccines available at present, chemotherapy is the main weapon against this disease. Pentavalent antimonials (SbV) are the first-line drugs for all clinical forms. Unfortunately, since the last decade, treatment has been eroded by development of resistance against this drug and has becomes a major obstacle in the treatment especially in India. Other drugs recommended for the treatment are far from ideal because of high costs, high toxicity and long term treatment requirements. Therefore, there is a need imperative to identify novel chemotherapeutic approaches to fight Leishmaniasis.

Rational approach to develop new chemo-therapeutic agent is based on knowledge of molecular mechanisms, employed by the parasite for its survival at various levels. In spite of significant progress in the past few decades, much remains to be discovered on the biochemical-molecular mechanisms governing important properties of the parasite such as virulence, differentiation, drug resistance and survival. Addressing these questions will lead in the identification of new drug targets and determinants of drug resistance.