Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Head of the Division

Mission & Objectives

Infectious diseases continue to be a serious health problem throughout the globe. The situation is further complicated by the emergence of drug resistant newer clones. Progress in controlling, eliminating or eradicating infectious diseases are a key part of the international health agenda. Keeping this in mind this Division of Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) is conducting various research programmes on Leishmania donovani, the causative agent for visceral leishmaniasis, and major enteropathogens like Vibrio cholerae and Shigella spp., which are major health concerns in India. With the use of genomics and proteomics the group at IICB has already undertaken intervention strategies for controlling the diseases caused by these human pathogens. The strategies include: 1) prevention of host-parasite interaction, 2) identifying new trans-membrane proteins, specific for the parasite that can be potential target sites for drug development, 3) targeting sub-cellular organelle, glycosome for anti-leishmanial drug design, 4) developing DNA topoisomerase-based therapeutic agents derived from indigenous plants, 5) structure-function relationship of important enzymes like DNA topoisomerase/adenosine kinase, 6) protein kinases in relation to cell signaling, 7) programmed cell death in Leishmania, 8) development of vaccines and diagnostics, 9) stress survival and regulation of virulence gene expression in V. cholerae, 10) role of diverse intra and extracellular small signaling molecules in expression of genes essential for growth, survival, biofilm formation and virulence of V. cholerae,11) genetic mapping of ctx, rrn and sxt loci of V. cholerae genome to understand rapid emergence of new epidemic clones 12) comparative genomics of Shigella species.

  • Structural function of individual domains of type I and type II
  • DNA topoisomerase of Leishmania donovani
  • DNA topoisomerases of L. donovani as targets for development of therapeutics
  • Programmed cell death of L. donovani induced by DNA topoisomerase inhibitors
  • Macrophage biology in relation to disease pathogenesis using visceral leishmaniasis as the model macrophage disease
  • Comprehensive cyclic nucleotide signaling in the infectivity of a eukaryotic intracellular pathogen like Leishmania
  • Immunomodulators of natural origin for effective therapy against macrophage-associated diseases
  • Regulation of protein kinase(s) and protein phosphatase(s) in Leishmania promastigotes
  • Storage, maintenance and characterization of Leishmania strains
  • Signaling mechanisms involving phosphatidyl choline hydrolysis to control interaction between macrophage and L. donovani
  • Studies on developmentally regulated galactosyltransferase, galactose terminal glycoconjugates and attenuation of L. donovani promastigotes
  • Search for new chemotherapeutic targets against Leishmania
  • Role of phospholipid composition on the adjuvanticity and protective efficacy of liposome-encapsulated L. donovani antigens
  • Development of a simple blood based assay for the diagnosis of visceral leismaniasis
  • Antigen presentation of experimental leishmaniasis
  • Immunoprophylaxis and immunotherapy against experimental leishmaniasis
  • Identification of host protective antigens of L. donovani
  • DNA vaccines against experimental visceral leishmaniasis
  • Hybrid cell vaccination against leishmaniasis
  • Modulation of immune response by dendritic cells
  • Regulation of anti-cancer activity with a ROS scavenger
  • Studies related to medicinal plants and their potentialities
  • Studies related to O-acetylated sialoglycoconjugates (Neu5,9Ac2-GPsALL) in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Understanding the impact of glycosylation of biomolecules in health and disease
  • Investigation on human C-reactive protein involved in various acute phase responses
  • Effect of hns mutation on colonizing efficiency of Vibrio cholerae
    Studies related to stress survival and virulence gene expression in V. cholerae
  • Genome diversity and molecular basis of evolution of pathogenic clones of V. cholerae
  • Molecular basis of stringent response in V. cholerae
  • Comparative genomics of Shigella spp. to understand evolution of epidemic S. dysenteriae type 1 clone

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