Our research revolves around protein engineering, biophysics, and aggregation studies related to pathogenic, neurodegenerative, and viral diseases. In the case of neurodegenerative diseases, one of our projects focused on ALS-associated proteins like optineurin. We hypothesized that disease-associated mutants of OPTN impair cellular autophagy, leading to neurodegeneration. We are now focusing on how ALS and glaucoma-related OPTN mutants might affect the integrity of the proteome. While on the one hand, we are working on its folding behaviour, on the other hand, we are deciphering the aggregation propensity of OPTN and its disease mutants. In parallel, we established the importance of L-asparaginase in pathogenic organisms like Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Our group successfully showed the effective potential of screened drugs in ceasing the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Our lab is actively engaged towards discovering potential therapeutic targets of multidrug resistance pathogens. We are currently focusing on Salmonella typhi, where we identified a potential therapeutic target, cell division activator protein (CedA), which is mainly conserved. We are currently investigating the transcriptional and translational effects of Salmonella CedA on human macrophages to understand its pathogenesis.

Kusuma School of Biological Sciences Indian Institute of Technology Delhi Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110016