Next generation sequencing has created revolutions in medical discoveries. CHeST offers a unique opportunity to be exposed to this state-of-the-art technology and also to analyze the genomic, metagenomic or transcriptomic data as part of ongoing translational research projects.
In the field of biomolecular research, molecular modeling and molecular dynamic simulation has an imperative role to explain and/or support experimental findings at atomistic detail. The thrust areas of our research comprise of structure, function and dynamics of disease-related proteins, both ordered and intrinsically disordered, which may lead to develop novel strategies for drug discovery.
We also focus on the self-assembly of peptides. Abnormal self-assembly is common in neurodegenerative diseases, however regulated self-assembly of peptides has significant biological use, e.g. biomaterials used in drug delivery. One of our research areas focuses on the structure-function-toxicity relationship of the cancerous proteins and also the role of self-assembly in drug delivery.
The low-resolution model or the coarse grain model is highly necessary when we work on the binding/unbinding mechanism of protein complex, study of aggregation or comparatively bigger systems like lipid bilayer etc. We have started the development of force field and protein model by studying self-assembly of small peptides.
Most bacterial species, pathogens or commensals, are clonal in nature, represented by the strains with distinct phenotypes circulating as a limited number of genetically related (i.e. clonal) lineages. The stability of such (adapted) clonal lineages has been demonstrated to be strong enough, both temporally and spatially, to decipher consistent clonal association with important traits like specific virulence potentials or antibiotic resistance profiles. A couple of the planned projects:
(a) Identification of clonal signatures for antibiotic resistance in enterobacterial pathogens.
(b) Adaptive role of truncation mutations in Salmonella virulence evolution.
The array of microorganisms residing at various body-sites of human, known as the human microbiome, is one of the key determinants of human health and disease. The overall goal of our microbiome and metagenomics research is systems-level characterization of metabolic interactions within microbial communities in both healthy and different disease states by high-throughput sequencing techniques and state-of-art software development. Some of the planned projects:
(a) Understanding microbial co-occurrence relationships in different body-sites
(b) Identification of oral microbiome signature for malignant transformation from leukoplakia.
(c) Microbiome associated with periodontitis as a possible early sign of diabetes mellitus.