Systems Biology

Modeling cell-death

Cell-death process, which occurs ubiquitously under normal and healthy conditions, is disturbed in diseased tissues. Cell-death process can be viewed as an outcome of a network of reactions. How does the network dynamically orchestrate the overall cell-death outcome? Can the network be re-wired to reverse the disturbances in the cell-death process? The goal of this project is to understand the cell-death process by developing a kinetic model of the network of reactions and validating with experimental data.

Modeling chronic kidney disease (CVD) for diagnostic and personalized management

CVD is a complex disease involving signaling, immune and metabolic perturbations along with perturbed flux across kidney. This causes nutrient imbalance leading to whole body perturbations. The project deals with developing a system perspective model to represent pathophysiology of CVD.

Topic 2 : Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria (CO2 to chemicals).

-  Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes.

-  We have isolated fast-growing and robust cyanobacteria from Powai lake.

-  We are developing these cyanobacteria as hosts for metabolic engineering.  This involves:

Open problems in evolutionary biology (experiments and/or theory)

Evolution of life over the last >3.5 billion years has shaped the life forms that we presently see on the planet. Developments in genome sequencing and molecular biology allow us to perform evolutionary experiments in lab, and see in real time, how environment shapes changes in a population. Understanding this relationship between the environment and the changes that take place in the DNA of an organism is the focus of our lab's research. We perform theory and also perform experiments (using yeast and bacteria) to answer questions of interest.

Biochemical signaling network for periodic forcing within sperm flagella.

Sperm motility is critical to fertilization and reproduction in animals. There remain several gaps in the knowledge base about the signaling mechanisms that govern conversion of chemical energy to mechanical work leading to flagellar beating as well as sperm steering and homing. The goal of this study is to build biochemical networks from available literature and propose models that explain and predict sperm motility in response to chemo-attractive molecules. We intend to use of MATLAB® for this project.

Modeling autoimmune disorders

Immune cells help fight infections, but if fights host cells, the pathological condition is that of autoimmune disorder. When does such a phenotype occur. What are the conditions that leads to such a state? Modeling of immune system complexity will be carried out to explain some of these questions for specific diseases.