M.Sc., Ph.D., CSIR-NET-JRF
Contact: +91 20 39116429/ +91 9923732442
In course of my Ph. D. in Biotechnology on “Characterization of the Genes Involved in Santalene Biosynthetic Pathway in Indian Sandalwood Santalum album Linn” under the guidance of Dr. H. V. Thulasiram from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India, I have isolated and functionally characterized five sesquiterpene synthases such as farnesyldiphosphate synthase (SaFDS), sesquisabinene synthases (SaSQS1, SaSQS2), bisabolene synthase (SaBS) and santalene synthase (SaSS), involved in the biosynthesis of farnesyldiphosphate (FPP), sesquisabinene, (S)-β-bisabolene and santalenes and bergamotenes, respectively, from Indian Sandalwood Santalum album. Furthermore, to understand the structural basis for cyclization of santalenes and bergamotenes by santalene synthase, the active site amino acids involved in stabilizing the intermediates in carbocation cascade were identified using homology model and subsequently, site directed mutagenesis studies were performed. I have demonstrated the evolutionary origin of santalene biogenesis and structural basis for the product specificity of santalene synthase by selective changes in the active site pocket residues. I have also investigated mechanistic insights for the biosynthesis of these sesquiterpenes using deuterium substitution at specific centers of (E,E)-FPP.
My Postdoctoral Research at National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi, on CHIP-sequencing of Rice transcription factor (Hb1) involved in different abiotic stresses such as drought and salt stress, etc. under the guidance of Dr. Mukesh Jain. This work dealt with the antibody designing against transcription factor, chromatin isolation, shearing and chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by CHIP-sequencing for better understanding of the regulatory mechanism of specific transcription factors.
Presently I am working as SERB Fast-Tack Young Scientist for pursuing research on “Metabolic profiling and screening of genes involved in biosynthesis of major anti-cancer compound, shatavarins in Asparagus racemosus”. Phytochemical analyses of roots and fruits of A. racemosus revealed the presence of various steroidal saponins such as shatavarinsI—IV, asparagosides, sarsasapogenin, asparagamine A and Quercetin. This plant is exploited as food supplement to enhance the immune system and regarded as a highly valued medicinal plant in Ayurvedic health system for the treatment of various ailments such as gastric ulcers, dyspepsia, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, as a galactogogue and against several other diseases. Our aim is to establish the biosynthetic pathway of major biologically active compounds (steroidal saponins) which will pave the way for their metabolic engineering and large scale production in heterologous systems.
His areas of interest include Elucidation of biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolites, Protein engineering and metabolic engineering.
SYMBIOSIS SCHOOL OF Biological SCIENCES (SSBS)
(formerly Symbiosis School of Biomedical Sciences)
Constituent of Symbiosis International University (SIU)
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