1. Project Title: Microbiome mediated fate and transformation of man released nanopollutants

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Anil K. Suresh

    Sanctioning Authority: Department of Science and Technology -SERB Early Career Research Award Scheme, ECR/2017/000339 dated 07/03/2018.

    Duration:3Y (March 2018-March 2021)

    Grant Amount: 46.73 Lakhs

    Project Abstract: Human exposure to engineered nanomaterials is inevitable and impacts on the distribution, fate and transport to host and host cells are beginning to be addressed. However, less well recognized and explored are their effects on our microbial flora; the microbiome and the indirect effects this could have on human health and disease. The present proposal will fill this knowledge gap by evaluating the impacts of the most widely used nanomaterials on the mouse gut microbiome and potential health concerns. Correlations between gut microflora response and the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles will be sought. This information will provide a fonndation for understanding the probable fates of these materials in the environment, for guiding the development of effective nanoparticle-based technologies, and for understanding how microbiome adapt to theses exposures.

  2. Project Title: Nanobiotics:Direct removal of multidrug resistant bacteria out of blood.

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Anil K. Suresh

    Sanctioning Authority: Department of Biotechnology

    Duration:5Y (2013-2019) - Completed

    Grant Amount: 1.24 Crore

    Project Abstract: The uses of engineered nanoparticles in nanomedicine are emerging as an efficient therapeutic alternative and are extensively being used due to nanomaterials unique properties. I hypothesize that magnetic force can be implemented to remove multi-drug resistance bacteria itself from our blood system upon selective targeting. Super paramagnetic iron oxide nanomagnets will be attached to the bacterial surface following bacterial specific antigen-antibody interactions. I propose to move the disease causing cells out of our blood using strong permanent magnet placed outside of our system. And the biggest advantage of the proposed work is that I will not be introducing any foreign materials (nanomedicine, drugs) into our blood system and thereby I am avoiding severe side effects caused by various medicines/nanomedicines.This novel proposal will model, optimize and achieve novel targeting strategy using permanent magnets to control and remove multi-drug resistant microorganisms labeled with nanomagnets and will improve the current therapeutics drastically, in particular will enable new and immediate treatment for several dreadful multidrug resistant microbes.

  3. Project Title: Role of Nuclear Hormone Receptors in C. elegans metabolism and Aging

    Project leader: Dr. Manjunatha Thondamal

    Sanctioning Authority: DST-INSPIRE (From September 2016-August 2021, DST/ INSPIRE/ 04/2015/002416 dated 03/10/2016)

    Grant Amount: 35 Lakhs research grant and ~70 Lakhs Fellowship Amount

    Project Abstract: The main objective of this study is to understand the dietary restriction (DR) mediated longevity. By adopting C. elegans as main model, our group studies the genetic of DR mediated longevity. By using combination of genetics, behavioral, and molecular approaches we will study the effects of DR on lifespan and, the cost (fitness) associated with it. We are actively working on elucidating the roles of nuclear hormone receptors (NHR) in mediating the diverse signals from various longevity pathways such as DR signaling, insulin signaling (ILS), germline signaling, etc.

  4. Project Title: Molecular links between nutrition, reproduction and aging

    Project leader: Dr. Manjunatha Thondamal

    Sanctioning Authority: SERB – Early Career Research Award (From April 2018-March 2021, ECR/2017/000213 dated 15/3/2018)

    Grant Amount: 44.5 Lakhs

    Project Abstract: Long chain fatty acids have various functions in metazoan physiology. Fatty acid transporters localize to sub- cellular compartments upon certain stimulus like insulin. Expression of these proteins changes with age. This in turn may affect fatty acid metabolism and thus have a role in age related conditions. Further research is required to understand the role of lipid metabolism in aging and the contribution of fatty acid transporters. The research gaps that we would like to address are: What are the functions of fatty acid activation proteins in C. elegans? How do they affect C. elegans lifespan? How do they affect lipid metabolism (intracellular TAG formation, free fatty acid accumulation, etc. Do these proteins contribute to energy homeostasis by altering the mitochondrial function? Is aging a function of lipid metabolism? Can lipid metabolism be controlled to preserve health and longevity in aging?

  5. Project Title: Discovery of CRISPR-Cas silencing proteins using functional metagenomics

    Project leader: Dr. Sutharsan Govindarajan

    Sanctioning Authority: DST-INSPIRE

    Project Abstract: The CRISPR-Cas genome defense systems of bacteria has been developed as a revolutionary technology for targeted gene editing at an unprecedented scale. However, the technology suffers from a major limitation due to its off-target effects. Anti-CRISPRs, which are naturally existing small protein inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas, are widely used for controlling CRISPR-Cas off-target effects. Due to its ‘safe gene editing’ applications, anti-CRISPRs are promising and their discovery is an active area of research. The project involves discovery of novel anti-CRISPRs capable of inactivating specific CRISPR-Cas proteins and characterizing their mechanism of action. Towards this goal, we will employ metagenomics, genetics and biochemical approaches. Our research will open new possibilities in the field of CRISPR-Cas technology.