Prospective PhD projects

Faculty in MRDG, who would be interested in PhD students this year are as follows:

  1. Dr. Shantanu Shukla
  2. Dr. Sona Rajakumari
  3. Dr. Tanweer Hussain
  4. Dr. Srimonta Gayen
  5. Prof. Varsha Singh
  6. Prof. Deepak K Saini
  7. Prof. Sandhya Visweswariah

Tanweer Hussain

The synthesis of proteins using genetic information is a fundamental process in all life forms. In bacteria, three initiation factors (IFs), namely IF1, IF2, and IF3, coordinate the selection of start codon using a specialized initiator tRNA during the initial steps of protein synthesis. Although translation initiation is a fundamental and indispensable process, many of its aspects are poorly understood.  We employ biochemical, mutational, and structural biology approaches to understand the molecular details of the initial steps of protein synthesis. Understanding the details of translation initiation would provide avenues to develop novel therapeutic strategies against bacterial infections. 

The incoming Ph.D. student would build upon the ongoing project to understand the mechanistic details of bacterial translation initiation using molecular biology, biochemistry, and structural biology techniques. The structures of ribosomal translation initiation complexes will be determined using Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), while X-ray crystallography will be used for individual domain/protein. The facilities for both cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography are available in-house in IISc.  For further details of the project, please contact Dr. Tanweer Hussain.

Shantanu Shukla

We are interested in understanding the role of the microbiome in host nutritional physiology and the emerging consequences on host dietary adaptation. We use a combination of methods involving metagenomics, molecular biology, microbiology, microscopy and ecology to address our questions. We employ theoretical, experimental and computational approaches to understand the initiation and maintenance of long-term associations and to identify and validate microorganisms involved in host digestion, detoxification and defense. Currently, we are interested in characterising the microbiome of economically important insects to elucidate the molecular pathways involved in digestion and supplementation of essential nutrients. The projects will provide possibilities to acquire a broad set of skills combining analyses at the molecular, cellular and organismal level, quantitative and statistical methodologies, and provide opportunities for collaborations. Students should discuss their interests with me to help conceptualise a research problem within the realm of our research focus.

Sona Rajakumari

The research program in my laboratory focuses on key transcription factors and lipid molecules that regulate adipose tissue function and maintenance of pre-adipose stem cells. We employ several approaches including CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene editing, transcriptomics, lipidomics and transgenic mouse models to understand the adipocyte lineage commitment and function.

Sandhya Visweswariah

‘All disease begins in the gut’. This is what Hippocrates stated many years ago, and today, we realize the truth of these words.  Almost all physiological functions in a complex organism are dictated by responses elicited in the gut by the intestinal cells and the microbiome.  Our laboratory is interested in studying the role of cGMP in gut function, using transgenic mouse models and in vitro cell culture methodologies.  We study a receptor guanylyl cyclase that has roles in ion and fluid secretion, cell proliferation and intestinal cell differentiation.  We propose to extend our studies into investigating the role of cGMP in regulating colonic cell proliferation that may lead to colorectal tumorigenesis. 

 Please visit the lab web page to get more information and email me for any clarifications.