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Research Interests

Reproductive Biology & Cancer Biology

Unique protein domains, concentration gradients, and asymmetric protein distributions or polarities are the principle factors establishing the identity of gametes and the fate of individual cells during early embryonic development. Our lab, basically strives to identify markers associated with the above mentioned regulatory factors. Their identification and characterization will help to gain significant insights into the process of gamete maturation and early embryonic development in mammals. It is also known that if some of these gonad specific markers start expressing in the normal cells, they can become cancerous. Based on this we are attempting to identify novel cancer biomarkers in our lab and this research study has possible implications in early diagnostics of various cancers as well as developing novel cancer therapies

In the area of cancer research, our lab has excellent expertise for in-vitro screening of anti-cancerous compounds, particularly with respect to cervical cancer. In addition, our lab has developed novel cancer biomarkers; these cancer biomarkers are also known as Cancer-Testis Antigens (CTA); as in the normal condition, such proteins are testis specific, but start expressing in the cancerous cells/tissues. Presently, we are working on five major CTAs; where the expression of these markers has been confirmed in various cancerous cell lines and couple of them also has been validated in the squamous cell carcinoma of patient samples. Towards characterization of these cancer biomarkers, we have also taken up the task to characterize novel fluorophore tagged lipid binding dyes in the cancerous cells.

My research lab is also focusing on reproductive biology, which includes particularly towards the processes of gametogenesis and embryogenesis, wherein we are attempting to gain a better understanding of the process of gamete maturation as well as embryonic development in various mammalian species. A few important gametogenesis markers involved in germ cell development have been characterized and comprehensive miRNA regulators expressed specifically during folliculogenesis and oocyte maturation process have been identified in Mice. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) of mice is being used as a tool for high-throughput screening of bio-molecules to validate their contraceptive potential. Anti-implantation screening is being done in SD rats to identify non-steroidal contraceptives with better outcome and lower side effects. Our team has also established a rodent model to study the breach of blood-brain barrier, blood-testes barrier as well as placental barrier through the recombinant HIV protein Nef.

In another proposed project, we aim to develop the rodent model for undertaking in-depth studies related to gonadal dysfunction and for screening of pro-fertility compounds/natural extracts, which can restore the gonadal function. Proposed study will also include analysis of the therapeutic effect of isolated adult stem cell transplants in the gonads of infertile rodents and validate the efficacy of the strategy in restoration of gonadal functions and overall fertility levels.