Welcome To Molecular Immunogenetics lab
Our lab, 18 yrs old, is focused on better understanding of the pathogenesis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory diseases. We currently focus on the pathogenesis of difficult-to-treat asthma and COPD, which are global threats to health, and are attempting to translate our findings into humans. We utilize a three-pronged strategy; mammalian cell culture, human mimicking animal models of respiratory diseases, and ex vivo human studies to understand the molecular and pathological basis of these diseases and to develop effective novel strategies for future therapeutics.
MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS :
1. Established a pipeline for rapid identification of anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic molecules from natural sources, and validation of these compounds using relatively high throughput cultured mammalian cell assays, followed by more specific mouse models.
2. Identified a novel gene, Inositol polyphosphate 4-phosphatase (INPP4A), to be associated with asthma phenotype, which has since been functionally validated. This could open new avenues for therapeutic intervention by modulating PI3K-Akt pathway for asthma.
3. Demonstrated for the first time that mitochondrial structural alteration and dysfunction are associated with allergic asthma, which could be useful in the development of novel drug molecules targeting mitochondria.
4. Identified, hsa-miR-106a, a microRNAs, mediated regulation of the expression of interleukin-10, a key regulator of the immune system. This breakthrough discovery could be useful in understanding the importance of hsa-miR-106a in pathogenesis of various immunological diseases including asthma, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and infectious diseases.
5. Identified Let-7 microRNAs mediated fine posttranscriptional regulatory mechanism for modulating IL-13, a key proinflammatory cytokine in asthma and other Th2 mediated diseases.
6. Discovered the beneficial role of high dose L-arginine in asthmatic condition and further demonstrated the altered L-arginine/ ADMA (asymmetric dimethyl arginine) metabolism in asthmatic lungs. This strategy has been taken to translational level for difficult-to-treat asthmatic conditions.
7. Demonstrated hypoxic response mediated differential modulation of asthmatic phenotype.
8. Global profiling of micro-RNAs in different subtypes of T cells has been done, and their role in regulation of T cell biology is being studied.
9. Demonstrated for the first time that 12/15-lipoxygenase can lead to bronchial epithelial injury via its linoleic acid metabolite and this also lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and severe asthma.
10. Elucidated the role of epithelial cell–derived exosomes in driving undifferentiated macrophages in the lung, during asthmatic conditions.
11. Established a NMR-based metabolomic approach to characterize metabolic breathprints of patients with respiratory diseases.
12. Identified, for the first time, exhaled breath micro-RNA signatures as a biomarker for respiratory disease
13. Demonstrated the role of stem cells as mitochondrial donors in alleviating lung injury as well as airway remodeling in asthma
Ours is truly an integrative lab, with different individuals exploring different aspects of respiratory diseases in a comprehensive manner that includes computational, experimental, and human biology towards a common vision of improving human health.