University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ph.D, 2008
TamilNadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, MVSc, 2001
Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, B.V.Sc and A.H, 1998
Visiting Research Fellow (Postdoc) 2009-2014
Mentor: Dr. Dorian McGavern, Senior Investigator
NINDS, National Institute of Health, USA
IIT Indore, 2014-2019
Research Interest and Group Activities:
Our research activities are interdisciplinary in nature, which spans major disciplines, such as virology, immunology, and biomedical device development. Projects undertaken in these domains are described below.
1. Basic Research: Field of Research: Host restriction factors against viral infections. Here, we look at the molecular mechanism of host-virus cross-talk and its implications in shaping viral pathogenesis. We work on two major host factors, such as bone marrow stromal antigen 2 (BST-2), and Viperin (RSAD2) in the contest of VSV and Chandipura virus infection. Using animal tissue culture model accompanied by the latest tools such as CRISPR-Cas mediated gene-editing system, we ask the question that how these host factors medicate viral pathogenesis to a particular group of viruses. We look for the effect of presence and absence of such factors and its impact on virus attachment, entry, replication, assembly, and other cellular processes and overall aspects of the virus biology.
2. Vaccine Research (Translational): In this domain, we aim to utilize vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) reverse genetic system to create novel vaccine candidates in VSV glycoprotein deleted (VSVΔG) platform capable of expressing immuno-dominant domains of infectious viruses. Currently, we are aiming to bring candidate vaccines against the chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Kyasanur forest disease virus (KFDV) and bovine ephemeral fever virus (BEFV). Some of the works are sponsored projects. Here we genetically engineer rVSVs to suit the criteria of the effective vaccine candidate. We characterize the viruses in the cell culture; following this and getting feedback, we further modify the virus. Next, we test the biological activities of these viruses in vivo model where we look for host immune response, memory response, etc.
3. Biomedical device development. Primarily we collaborate with engineering faculty members to bring state of the art biomedical devices. The current focus is on an acoustic signal-based pregnancy detection system (for canine). A prototype to monitor fetal heartbeats and health of pregnant canine is developed, and field-testing is ongoing. In the future, we would like to focus on developing more hand-held devices suitable for the veterinary and animal husbandry sector.