Department of Molecular Immunology and Microbiology



About Us

 

 

 

 

 


The department is actively pursuing the following research programs

  1. Development and preclinical evaluation of microbicides for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS.
    Several potent antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been identified by our group from diverse natural sources and have undergone pre-clinical evaluation for use as safe and effective microbicides. A few of them also possess anti-HIV activity. Additionally, the contraceptive potential of AMPs such as Nisin (from bacteria) and Magainin (from frog) has been demonstrated in animal models.
  1. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms governing innate immune responses in human vaginal cells.
    The primary objective of this study is the characterization of events downstream to the activation of Pathogen Recognition Receptors (PRR’s) such as TLR, NLR, RIG-1, following the binding of Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs). Additionally, we are investigating the possible modulation of the PRR signaling pathways in the presence of innate immune AMPs

 

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  1. Unraveling the biology of the male germline stem cells in order to gain insight into the molecular aspects of infertility using transgenic mouse models.
    The major focus of this program is (i) Designing transgene constructs using germ cell specific promoters and (ii) Identification of the regulatory network of genes controlling self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs).
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Some of the recent achievements of the department have been the 1) identification of fertility associated sperm antigen-57 (FASA-57), 2) integrin αvß3 on peripheral blood lymphocytes (instead of endometrial biopsies) as markers for male infertility and endometrial receptivity respectively and 3) the development of the resazurin reduction test (RRT), which is cost-effective, simple and reliable for assessing sperm quality and fertilizing ability. The RRT is being commercialized through NRDC, New Delhi.