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GROUP MEMBERS

The misfolding and aggregation of various proteins inside the brain are widely implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases. The progressive accumulation of misfolded amyloid beta (Aβ) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) proteins in different regions of the brain are the key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Also, the loss of autophagy and ubiquitin proteasome system activity is strongly implicated in the AD pathology. So, currently, I am working on the role of protein degradation pathways in the progression of AD.

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Cathelicidins as Host Defense Peptides have attractive pharmacological profile and intrinsic properties, therefore represent an excellent starting point for the design of novel therapeutics and their specificity has been seen to translate into excellent safety, tolerability, and efficacy profiles in human. The key obstacles for the clinical application of peptides are toxicity against eukaryotic cells and poor membrane permeability, so my research work focuses on designing a novel peptide analog with enhanced antimicrobial activity and low cytotoxicity based on the physiochemical properties like hydrophobicity, cationicity and amphipathicity and further in-silico and in vitro  structural characterization of the peptide analogs and their biological evaluation.

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Bioengineered nanoconjugates have enormous potential as a multifunctional platform for biomedical applications. Conjugation between biotic and abiotic materials enables formulation of nanoconjugates with enhanced physico-chemical properties, increased stability and ability to overcome the inherent shortcomings of individual materials. Formulation of nanoconjugates having enhanced efficacy than the individual nanomaterial forms the basis of my doctoral research. Currently I am working on green synthesis and characterization of graphitic nanoparticlesfollowed bytheir functionalization with peptides to form nanobioconjugates with enhanced antibacterial efficacy and reduced toxicity. I am also interested in investigating the nanoconjugate as a novel microbial sensor.

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My research area involves computational designing of novel peptides on the basis of common scaffold extracted from known peptides, optimizing the structures of designed peptides for the better function and experimentally examine their broad spectrum of activities. Furthermore, I am interested in building the web server for my experimentally validated peptides.

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Prostate specific antigen (PSA) has been used efficiently as a marker protein for seminal fluid in the forensic field. Currently available semen identification kits utilized by forensic laboratories are based on monoclonal antibodies whereas, compared to antibodies, peptides are highly stable, have greater shelf-life, stronger binding specificity and affinity towards target protein with lower manufacturing cost. Peptides have the ability of real time monitoring, early detection and ease of immobilization on biosensor surfaces. So, my research work focuses on in-silico designing of a novel peptide specific to PSA by exploring the principle of protein-peptide interaction and further designing a peptide-based biosensor with minimum detection limit and higher sensitivity towards PSA.

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Antimicrobial peptides design and characterization.

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