Department of Biology

C. Durga Rao
Professor & Dean-SLABS
Email: durgarao.c@srmap.edu.in
'Virology, Molecular, and Cell Biology'

Areas of research interest

(a) Molecular biology of rotavirus,

(b) Biology of Enteroviruses

(c) Post-transcriptional and translational regulation of viral and eukaryotic gene expression
Rotavirus : Rotavirus is the major causative agent of morbidity and mortality due to acute infantile gastroenteritis, A major contribution of public health importance from our laboratory is the discovery of novel bovine-human reassortant human rotaviruses and development of the first ‘Made-in-India’ viral vaccine. Our novel and tour-de-force publications on the structure of rotavirus enterotoxin NSP4 and mechanisms of subversion and hijacking of cellular processes by the virus are of importance in understanding the biology of not only rotavirus but other related fields of research.
Enteroviruses : Enteroviruses are associated with a wide range of diseases in humans and animals such as acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), meningitis, myocarditis, acute diarrhea, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, Type 1 diabetes, conjunctivitis etc. They belong to the family Picornaviridae, poliovirus being a notorious member. Our novel findings that non-polio enteroviruses are major causative agents of AFP, acute and persistent diarrhea, an unrecognized gastrointestinal symptom termed as ‘Non-diarrheal Increased frequency of bowel movements’ (IFoBM-ND), and Hand-foot-and-mouth disease are of great public health importance.Our current goal is to develop diagnostic reagents.
Post-transcriptional and translational regulation of eukaryotic gene expression : Post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of gene expression play critical role in cellular and viral gene expression. Our research efforts are directed towards identification of sequence elements in cellular and viral mRNAs, their cognate binding factors including hnRNPs and ARE-BPs, and their role in modulation of mRNA stability and translational efficiency.

Selected Publications

1. Jagannath, MR.,Kesavulu, MM, Deepa, R., Narayan Psastri, S.. Senthil Kumar, K. Suguna and Rao, C.D. N- and C-terminal cooperation in rotavirus enterotoxin:Novel mechanism of modulation of the properties of a multifunctional protein by a structurally and functionally overlapping conformational domain. 2006. J. Virology 80, 412-425.

2. Chacko, A. R., Arifullah, M., Sastri, N. P., Jeyakanthan, J., Ueno, G., Sekar, K., Read, R. J., Dodson, E. J., Rao, C. D.,* and Suguna, K* K.*.Novel pentameric structure of the diarrhea-inducing region of the rotavirus enterotoxigenic protein NSP4. J. Virology 85:12721-32, 2011. Dhillon, P., Varsha N Tandra, Sandip G Chorghade, Nima D Namsa., Lipika Sahoo and Rao, C. D. Cytoplasmic re-localization and colocalization with viroplasms of host cell proteins, and their role in rotavirus infection. J. Virology 92, e00612.18, 2018.

3. Dhillon, P., and Rao C. D. Rotavirus induces formation of atypical stress granules and P-bodies and their sequestration in viroplasms to promote progeny virus production. J. Virology 92, e01363-18, 2018.

Google scholar link - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=fFTEwkcAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Faculty Profile - https://srmap.edu.in/faculty/c-durga-rao/

Prof. Jayaseelan Murugaiyan,
Professor & Head,
Email: Jayaseelan.m@srmap.edu.in
‘Proteomics and Antimicrobial Resistance’

Prof. Murugaiyan carried out his research at the department of proteomics (now department of systems biology), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ and subsequently received his PhD from University of Leipzig, Germany. Then, he worked as group leader (proteomics) at the Institute of Animal Hygiene and Environmental Health, Freie Universitaet- Berlin, Germany.

Research Interests
Our laboratory is interested in application of both quantitative and qualitative proteomics analysis on studies focused on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. Our expertise includes 1) Quantitative Proteomics Analysis using Two Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis (2DE), Difference Gel Electrophoresis (2DE-DIGE) and Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). Label free quantitative proteomics analysis. Proteomics-Bioinformatics analysis. 2) Serological Proteome Analysis (SERPA) involving cell culturing, molecular methods-real-time PCR, 2DE- Western blotting and immune dominant protein identification and 3) Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) based microbial/insect species.

Selected Publications
1. Murugaiyan J, Lewin A, Kamal E, Bakuła Z, van Ingen J, Ulmann V, Unzaga Barañano MJ, Humięcka J, Safianowska A, Roesler UH, Jagielski T. MALDI Spectra Database for Rapid Discrimination and Subtyping of Mycobacterium kansasii. Frontiers in Microbiology 2018;9:587.

2. Kirubakar. G., Murugaiyan. J, Schaudinn. C, Dematheis. F, Holland. G, Eravci. M, Weise. C, Roesler. U, Lewin. A., (2018) Proteome analysis of an M. avium mutant exposes a novel role of the bifunctional protein LysX in regulation of metabolic activity, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 218(2):291-299.

3. Murugaiyan J, Eravci M, Weise C, Roesler U. Label-Free Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Harmless and Pathogenic Strains of Infectious Microalgae, Prototheca spp. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2016 ;18(1). pii: E59.

Google Scholar Link - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=WaIQZ-gAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Faculty Profile - https://srmap.edu.in/faculty/dr-jayaseelan-murugaiyan/

Dr. Anil K. Suresh
Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnology
Email: anil.s@srmap.edu.in
“Bio-Nanotechnology Lab: Nano-Biomedicine, Targeted Drug Delivery, Imaging, Cancer Theranostics”.

Dr. Anil K. Suresh received his Ph. D. in Biotechnology from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, India. He got trained as a Visiting Scholar/Postdoc (2007-2009) at McGill University, Canada, as a Research Associate (2009-2011) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA. He then worked as a Staff Scientist (2011-2013) at City of Hope, California, USA. He returned to India as a Ramalingaswami Fellow (2013), to establish his independent research career. He is a DST-SERB-ECR Awardee (2018). He recently received Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology by Andhra Pradesh Association of Biotechnology and Pharmacy-2019. He is an elected Associate Fellow of the Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences-2019. Dr. Anil has authored 40 peer-reviewed high-impact International Publications; portions of his research expertise is also published as 13 book chapters, two brief-books by various International Publishers.

Research Interests

Our lab focuses on fabrication and characterization of nanoparticles for various biomedical applications; Cancer therapeutics, Clinical medicine, Cell and Microbiology toxicity assessments of engineered nanoparticles, Nano-microbiome interactions, cell-imaging, targeted drug delivery, Engineered nanoparticles aided early diagnosis of diseases and microbial based infections, Camouflage based nanoparticle synthesis.

Selected Publications

1. Chandra Shekar Bhatt, Bharathkumar Nagaraj, Deepanjan Ghosh, Ramasamy Suresh, Ranjit Thapa, Sreekar Babu Marpu and Anil K. Suresh. Core-composite mediated separation of diverse nanoparticles to purity. Soft Matter.2019;15(39):7787-94.

2. Anil K. Suresh*, Veena V, S. Ramasamy and N. Sakthivel. Bio-entities mediated facile fabrication of morphologically tunable gold nanocrystallites, J. Industrial Engineering Chemistry, 2017, 51, 288–294.

3. Anil K. Suresh, Y Weng, Z Li, R Zerda, Desiree Haute, John Williams and Jacob Berlin. Matrix metalloproteinase-triggered denuding of engineered gold nanoparticles for selective cellular uptake. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2013, 1, 2341-2349 (Journal Cover).

4. Anil K. Suresh*, D. Pelletier, W. Wang, J. L. Morelle-Falvey, M. J. Doktycz. Cytotoxicity Induced by Engineered Silver Nanocrystallites is Dependent on Surface Coatings and Cell Types. Langmuir, 28, 2727-2735, 2012, Highlighted by ACS-C&EN).

Google scholar link - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=hD-iz2wAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Faculty Profile - https://srmap.edu.in/faculty/dr-anil-k-suresh/

Dr. Manjunatha Thondamal
Assistant Professor-DST INSPIRE Faculty
Email: manjunatha.t@srmap.edu.in
'Genetics of Aging'

Dr. Thondamal obtained his PhD with ‘tres honorbale’ (highest distinction) from Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) de Lyon, France in 2014. He did his postdoctoral research at University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY USA. He joined Dr. Reddy’s Institute of Life Sciences (DRILS), Hyderabad as DST INSPIRE Faculty in 2016. He is a SERB-ECR Awardee (2018_. Currently, Dr. Thondamal is an Assistant Professor at Department of Biology, SRM University AP. Dr. Thondamal is also a visiting scientist at Institut Pasteur, Paris.

Areas of Research Interest

a) Genetics of aging

b) Dietary Restriction and healthspan

c) Mitochondrial morphology and aging

Research Interests

Dr. Thondamal’s research group at SRM University AP, Amaravati, mainly focuses on the genetics of aging; particularly in understanding the dietary restriction (DR) mediated longevity. By adopting C. elegans as main model, his group studies the biology by utilizing various tools in genetics, behavioral, and molecular approaches. His group studies effects of DR on lifespan and, the cost (fitness) associated with it. Recently, Dr. Thondamal has initiated research projects on studying age related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases by using C. elegans as model aspect. Dr. Thondamal is also working in collaboration with Pasteur Institute, Paris, where he is currently visiting to establish a C. elegans facility to conduct research on role of mitochondrial morphology in regulating organismal healthspan and aging.

Selected publications

1. Das, R., Melo, J, A., Thondamal, M., Kim. J, H., Swartz, E, W., Douglas, p, M., Samuelson, A, V. “The homeodomain-interacting protein kinase HPK-1 preserves protein homeostasis and longevity through master regulatory control of the HSF-1 chaperone network and TORC1-restricted autophagy in Caenhorhabditis elegans” PLoS Gen. 2017

2. Thondamal, M., Witting, M., Schmitt-Kopplin, P., and Aguilaniu, H. “Steroid hormone signalling links reproduction to lifespan in dietary restricted Caenorhabditis elegans” Nat. Comm. 2014.

3. Shamalnasab,M., Dhaoui, M., Thondamal,M., Harvald,E, B., Færgeman, N., Aguilaniu, H., and Fabrizio, P. "HIF-1-dependent regulation of lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by the acyl-CoA- binding protein MAA-1" Aging 2017

Google scholar link - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=lwP_-F0AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Faculty Profile - https://srmap.edu.in/faculty/dr-manjunatha-thondamal/

Dr. Imran Pancha
Assistant Professor
Email:- imran.p@srmap.edu.in
'Algal Biotechnology'

Dr. Imran did his Ph.D. from Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSIR-CSMCRI), India. He received a prestigious JSPS postdoctoral fellowship form Japan to carry out his postdoctoral research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology-Japan between 2016 to 2018. Currently, Dr. Imran is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology, SRM University-AP, Amaravati.

Research interests

Our main research focus is to produce renewable energy from microalgae. We are applying various chemical modulators to mitigate stress and improve the growth of microalgae. We are trying to develop integrated microalgal biorefinery to produce high-value compounds like phycobiliproteins, carotenoids along with biofuel from microalgae. Apart from this, we are also interested to understand algal-bacterial interaction, particularly isolate and characterize the microalgae associated bacteria and finding their role in growth enhancement and inhibition in microalgae. In a parallel, we are interested to understand how the checkpoint kinase target of rapamycin (TOR) is involved in growth as well as accumulation of TAGs/starch in microalgae. We are utilizing various biochemical and molecular genetic tools to understand TOR signaling in microalgae.

Selected publications

1. Pancha, I., Shima, H., Higashitani, N., Igarashi, K., Higashitani, A., Tanaka, K., & Imamura, S. (2019). Target of rapamycin‐signaling modulates starch accumulation via glycogenin phosphorylation status in the unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. The Plant Journal, 97(3), 485-499.

2. Pancha, I., Chokshi, K., Maurya, R., Bhattacharya, S., Bachani, P., & Mishra, S. (2016). Comparative evaluation of chemical and enzymatic saccharification of mixotrophically grown de-oiled microalgal biomass for reducing sugar production. Bioresource technology, 204, 9-16.

3. Pancha, I., Chokshi, K., George, B., Ghosh, T., Paliwal, C., Maurya, R., & Mishra, S. (2014). Nitrogen stress triggered biochemical and morphological changes in the microalgae Scenedesmus sp. CCNM 1077. Bioresource Technology, 156, 146-154.

Google scholar link - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=h0TQ1HsAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Faculty Profile - https://srmap.edu.in/faculty/dr-imran-pancha/

Dr. Writoban Basu Ball
Assistant Professor
Email: writoban.b@srmap.edu.in
'Mitochondrial Biology'

Dr. Basu Ball obtained his PhD from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB), Kolkata in 2013. He did his postdoctoral research at Texas A&M University, College Station, USA. Currently, Dr. Basu Ball is an Assistant Professor at Department of Biology, SRM University AP.

Areas of Research Interests

a) Mitochondrial Phospholipid Transport

b) Mitochondrial Membrane Contact Sites

c) Host-pathogen Interactions in Visceral Leishmaniasis

Research Interests

1) Characterization of spatial and temporal regulation of mitochondrial membrane contact sites with special emphasis on mitochondrial phopsholipid transport and metabolic diseases like diabetes.

2) Role of mitochondria in eliciting innate immune responses in host organism against Leishmania donovani infection.

Selected publications

1. Basu Ball, W. *, Baker, C.D. *, Neff, J.K., Apfel, G.L., Lagerborg, K.A., Zun, G., Petrovic, U., Jain, M., and Gohil, V.M. (2018) Ethanolamine ameliorates mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiolipin-deficient yeast cells. J Biol Chem, 293, 10870-10883.

2. Baker, C.D., Basu Ball, W., Pryce, E.N., and Gohil, V.M. (2016) Specific requirements of non-bilayer phospholipids in mitochondrial respiratory chain function and formation. Mol Biol Cell, 27, 2161-71.

3. Basu Ball, W., Kar, S., Mukherjee, M., Chande, A.G., Mukhopadhyaya, R. and Das, P.K. (2011) Uncoupling protein 2 negatively regulates reactive oxygen species generation and induces phosphatase-mediated anti-inflammatory response in experimental visceral leishmaniasis. J Immunol, 187, 1322-1332.

Google scholar link - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=tFRd9jUAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Faculty Profile - https://srmap.edu.in/faculty/dr-writoban-basu-ball/

Dr. Sutharsan Govindarajan
Assistant Professor
Email: sutharsan.g@srmap.edu.in
‘Molecular and Cell biology of Phage-Bacteria interaction’

Dr. Sutharsan obtained his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel where he received ‘Excellence in PhD award’ for his outstanding thesis. He did his postdoctoral research at the University of California San Francisco in United States between 2017 and 2019. Currently, Dr. Sutharsan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology, SRM University-AP, Amaravati.

Research Interests

Our lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in bacteria and bacteriophage interaction. Specifically, the lab focuses on the following questions; (i) how bacteriophages modulate bacterial morphogenesis, (ii) how bacteriophages inactivate bacterial immune systems; (iii) Understanding ancient mechanisms of cell organization using jumbo-bacteriophages as model systems. We are an experimental biology lab and we use a range of approaches including cell biology, genetics and biochemistry to understand fundamentals of phage-bacteria interaction.

Selected Publications

1. Suthasran Govindarajan* and Orna Amster-Choder*. "The bacterial Sec system is required for the organization and function of the MreB cytoskeleton." PLoS genetics 13.9 (2017): e1007017. * corresponding author

2. Senén D. Mendoza, Eliza S. Nieweglowska+, Sutharsan Govindarajan+, Lina M. Leon, Joel D. Berry, Anika Tiwari, David A. Agard, Joseph Bondy-Denomy*. “A nucleus-like compartment shields bacteriophage DNA from CRISPR-Cas and Restriction nucleases”. Nature, 577(7789), 244-248. +equal contribution

3. Sutharsan Govindarajan and Orna Amster-Choder. "Where are things inside a bacterial cell?." Current opinion in microbiology 33 (2016): 83-90.

Google scholar link - https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=_YQVW58AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

Faculty Profile - https://srmap.edu.in/faculty/sutharsan-govindarajan/