Assistant Professor of Medicine & Pharmacology
Ph.D., Hamdard University (India) & US FDA/NCTR (Jefferson, AR)
Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Neurodegeneration, Cell Signaling, Oxidative Stress, Parkin, Tyrosine Kinases
The main research goal of my laboratory is to understand the molecular basis of neurodegeneration, which can be implicated to develop therapeutic trials for neurodegenerative diseases. The broad areas of investigation in my lab include the study of the molecular mechanisms of neuronal cell death, novel cell death and cell survival pathways and their correlation with the molecular basis of Parkinson's disease (PD), α-synucleinopathies and related neurodegenerative disorders. We strive to identify regulatable targets that can be manipulated by chemical or genetic means for pharmaceutical and therapeutic intervention.
Presently, my laboratory is focused on role of signaling kinases in the regulation of various components of PD as a therapeutic target in animal models and in PD patients. Our novel finding that oxidative stress sensitive tyrosine kinase renders parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, non-functional has opened up various new avenues to understand progression of nigro-striatal degeneration during the pathogenesis of PD. We are investigating the role of cell signaling regulation of α-synuclein and LRRK2 in the pathogenesis of PD. Furthermore, we have ongoing pre-clinical studies on the role of kinase inhibitors as a potential therapeutic approach in slowing down the progression of PD.
In addition, we are working to develop projects on molecular signaling mechanisms during progression of AD. Furthermore, my laboratory has a very strong background in the oxidative-stress mediated neurotoxicity induced by substituted amphetamines as well as in DNA damage and repair in aging brain. My laboratory has set-up extensive collaborations with various PD research and clinical centers in USA and Europe that include Morris Udall Center of Excellence for PD Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Neurology at UCSD, Hertie Institute of Clinical Brain Research at University of Tubingen, Germany and Brain Mind Institute of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland.
Unique technical and clinical research capabilities/instrumentation in my laboratory include Gene and Protein Interaction, Cell-Signaling Studies, Biochemical and Immunochemical analysis, HPLC analysis of neurochemicals and pro-oxidants, Gene-silencing and overexpression using plasmid, lenti- and retro-viral vectors, protein purification, kinomics, analysis of proteome and transciptome, primary and permanent neuronal cultures, animal modeling of neurodegenerative disorders, analysis of post-mortem human brain samples. Immunoprecipitation, gene-transfection, Western blots, etc.