PhD, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, USA, 2008
Innate immune signalling, Zebrafish infection biology
Ramanujan Fellow, 2016
email: sanjita [at] niser [dot] ac [dot] in
phone: +91-674-249 4191
Host-pathogen interactions is an extensively researched topic. But the influence of environmental factors on host immune responses to pathogenic challenges remains unexplored, although environment critically influences immune responses. My current research is directed towards understanding the influence of environmental stimuli on infection pathogenesis using zebrafish as a model organism.
Using a variety of pathogenic and environmental stress models, I will study how the presence of an environmental stimulus modulates zebrafish immune response towards an infection pathogenesis. Initial studies will be carried out using two natural fish pathogens – Mycobacterium marinum and Vibrio anguillarum. M.marinum infection model is well-established and recapitulates key features of human tuberculosis. In contrast, V.anguillarum model is not well-studied, but has the potential to mimic cholera in humans. UV and particulate stress will be used as two model environmental stimuli. The mechanisms by which these environmental stimuli modulate zebrafish immune responses to the infection models and affect disease progression and outcome will be analysed at the organismal and at the molecular level.
The overall objective of my research is to understand how non-neutral environmental stimuli shape and modulate host immune responses to infections. This knowledge, in the long term, has translational potential in allowing us to design more effective treatment regimens by taking environmental factors into consideration.
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