Research Interests

The laboratory of ‘Functional Genomics and Molecular Toxicology’ in the Division of Toxicology of CSIR - Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow is spearheaded by Dr. Aamir Nazir, Senior Scientist. The laboratory employs functional genomics and epigenetics approaches towards understanding mechanistic aspects of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Model system C. elegans is employed for the studies because of its immense genetic relevance; it exhibits appreciable homology of gene sequences with that of humans, is accessible for carrying out genetic manipulations and presents with multiple disease pathways that are conserved across the taxa. The first ever genetic understanding of Alzheimer’s disease came from research with C. elegans that led to identification of Presenilin-1 (orthologue of C. elegans sel-12). Similarly the process of apoptosis was first studied in C. elegans and later became applicable to higher mammalian systems as well. C. elegans was the first multi-cellular organism to have it genome mapped and the process of RNAi induced gene silencing was first discovered in this model. Work with C. elegans has resulted in award of Nobel prize to six scientists for their pioneering work that has significantly aided in understanding of multiple biological processes including understanding of various human disease conditions.