i)        miRNA in Disease

(1)    miRNA as a regulatory molecule in oncogenesis and apoptosis

(2)    miRNA as a regulatory molecule in metabolic dysfunction leading to diabetes.

(3)    Anti-viral potential of miRNA: Study of miRNA interaction with critical genes of HIV and H5N1 virus.

(4)    Study of the role of miRNA as a host specificity factor for viral infections.


ii)      Delineation of physicochemical principles governing miRNA-mRNA interaction

(1)    Selectivity

(2)    Specificity

(3)    Co-operativity


iii)    Integrating ncRNA into gene regulation:

Correlating transcriptome, miRNome and the proteome

(1)    Co-regulation and anti-regulation of miRNA and mRNA transcripts and protein products

(2)    Intronic miRNA as an auto-regulatory switch in human disease related pathways

iv)    miRNA & genomic context:

Discovery of Single Nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in miRNAs, target regions in UTRs and flanking regions of target regions leading to structural alteration of target region.

v)      miRNA in Development

(1)    Tissue – specific expression map of miRNAs and their correlation to the transcriptional signals on the genome.

(2)    Maternal Inheritence of miRNA: role in disease and early development

(3)    miRNA based mechanism for incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity


vi)    Mapping the non-coding RNA potential of the genome:

(1)    Discovering novel miRNAs

(2)    Discovering repeat encoded small non-coding RNA: Role of ALU repeats in genome wide regulation

(3)    Comparative Genomics (phylogenetic footprinting) to identify conserved non-coding component of the genome and testing for their expression potential.

(4)    High –throughput Discovery of the real miRNA-mRNA target network.


vii)   Development of miRNA as a prognostic marker for cancer and viral disease susceptibility and miRNA based diagnostics for cancer


viii)  Development of modified Nucleic Acids to enhance miRNA –target hybridization


ix)     Sugar based small molecule to recognize RNA secondary structure in Untranslated regions of RNA


x)      Designing Lipid based Transfection Vectors for Packaging and Target Specific Delivery of Small RNA.