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Maintenance of Repository for Filarial parasites and reagents

Funding agency: Department of Biotechnology (BBT), Ministry of S&T, Govt of India
Duration of Study: 2012-17
Principal Investigator: Dr MVR Reddy, Director-Prof. & Head, Department of Biochemistry
Co-Investigator: Dr K Goswami, Professor in Biochemistry
Ethics Approval: Obtained from Institutional Ethics Committee ( MGIMS/IEC/39/2012 dated 26 March 2013) & Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, MGIMS (MGIMS/IAEC /10/2014 dated 24 July 2014)

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) caused by vector borne nematode parasites mainly Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi is one of the major public health problems in India. The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) has been launched by providing anti-filarial drugs to millions of people through mass drug administration (MDA) strategy, with about 70% of the endemic countries having implemented the program effectively. However several gaps still exist in understanding the "epidemiology of elimination" of LF. There is need for a multi-pronged research approach including conduction of epidemiological surveys, effective surveillance, development and validation of effective alternative diagnostic tools, development of novel and alternative drugs and vaccine as adjunct measures to strengthen the filariasis elimination task.

We have designed this study to maintain a national level bio-tech facility serving as a resource cum training centre and to ensure the availability of filarial animal models, filarial parasites and sera, cDNA libraries and drugs and vaccines screening systems needed for filariasis research at this institute and for other filarial research groups in India. The research activities planned under this programme include conduction of epidemiological surveys in selected endemic areas, development of diagnostic test and its validation as a tool to monitor the effect of MDA, identification and screening of novel anti-filarial drugs, studies on the mechanism of action involved, experimental animal studies on filarial vaccine development, and assessment of the immunomodulatory effect and therapeutic potential of filarial proteins in autoimmune disorders. Another component of this programme is regular conduction of national level training courses on molecular and immunological methods applied to research in infectious diseases using filariasis as model.


Evaluation of immunomodulatory effect and therapeutical potential of filarial proteins in experimental ulcerative colitis

Funding agency: Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of S&T, GOI
Duration of study: 2013-16
Principal Investigator: Dr MVR Reddy, Director-Prof. & Head, Department of Biochemistry
Co-Investigators: Dr K Goswami, Professor in Biochemistry; Dr MR Shende, Prof. & Head, Department of Anatomy; Dr. A Tarnekar, Professor in Anatomy
Ethics approval: Obtained from Institutional Animal Ethical Committee, MGIMS (MGIMS/ IAEC/ 01/2012 dated 12 November 2012)

There is no medication that can cure ulcerative colitis (UC), a disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the colonic mucosa. In this context, helminth therapy is being explored as safe and effective option, which possibly induces strong Th2 response and enhancement of Treg cell function in the host causing a net suppressive effect in intestinal inflammation. Though protective response in ulcerative colitis has been demonstrated followed by treatment with different helminths, the disadvantages of using whole worm for therapy are explicit, suggesting further studies on the identification of specific molecules to serve the purpose. Filarial parasite derived immunomodulators, which are known to be instrumental in suppressing host’s immune response to favour their long time survival are ideal candidates to be explored for their therapeutic effect in ulcerative colitis.

To meet this important end, this study is proposed to explore filarial proteins cystatin, abundant larval transcript (ALT-2) and a RAL family protein (WbL2) for their immunomodulatory effect and therapeutic potential in experimental colitis induced by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in Balb/c mice. This study is expected to pave the way in development of an effective medication which can ameliorate ulcerative colitis.


DST- Fund for Improvement in S & T Infrastructure

Funding agency: Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of S&T, GOI
Duration: 2011-15
Principle Investigator: Dr. MVR Reddy, Director-Prof. & Head, Department of Biochemistry
Ethics approval: Not needed as this is research infrastructure strengthening project

Funding from FIST program aims to provide facilities like building of basic infrastructure, create environment to promote research and development in new & emerging areas to utilize the talent in new generation. DST has identified the Department of Biochemistry for this support to improve research and training infrastructural facilities. Fund received under this grant is being utilized to purchase advanced instruments such as Real Time PCR System, 2D Gel Electrophoresis, Gel Documentation System, -80 Freezer and CO2 Incubator and for setting up computer systems to create networking facility for faculty and PG students and for procuring books to update departmental library.


Assessment of serum adiponectin levels and its association with Lipid profile parameters in patients of Acute Myocardial Infarction

Funding Agency : University Grant Commission
Duration of Study : 2013 - 2015
Principal Investigator : Dr Kumud N. Harley, Associate professor, Dept. of Biochemistry
Co-Investigator : Dr. Satish Kumar, Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry
Ethics Approval: Submitted for Institutional Ethics Committee approval

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Every year, nearly 1.5 million people in the US are affected or debilitated by myocardial infarction (MI). A similar trend of mortality and morbidity exists in many developing nations, which account for 80% of CVD-related mortality worldwide. One important mediator of coronary artery disease (CAD) progression is adiponectin. Adiponectin (ADPN) is a protein hormone made of 224 amino acids produced by the adipose tissue. It is considered to have anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic effects and have pronounced effects on the metabolism of both carbohydrates and lipids in liver and muscle promoting uptake and oxidation of fatty acids by myocytes. Moreover, association of dyslipidemia in CAD development is extensively studied and is one of most important risk factor in cardiovascular events.

In this study, we plan to analyze serum adiponectin levels in 120 patients of acute myocardial infarction admitted to the ICCU, MGIMS aged between 40-70 years and diagnosed by ECG findings and raised CK-MB. Age and sex matched 60 healthy subjects will also be included as controls in this study.


Evaluation of Diagnostic Potential of Adenosine Deaminase and its isoenzymes activity in pulmonary, extrapulmonary tuberculosis & HIV-TB coinfection

Funding agency : UGC
Duration of Study : 2013 - 2015
Principal Investigator :Dr Kanchan M. Mohod, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
Co-Investigators :Dr Aakash Bang, Associate Professor of Paediatrics
Ethics Approval: Submitted for Institutional Ethics Committee approval

Tuberculosis is common infection in India. Accurate diagnosis of the infection is necessary for the prompt initiation and monitoring of treatment and for preventing further spread of the disease. Adenosine deaminase (ADA) has recently been proposed to be a useful surrogate marker for tuberculosis and thus has become a valuable tool in diagnosis of TB. ADA is an enzyme catalyzing deamination reaction from adenosine to inosine. The increase in ADA activity in biological fluids from tuberculosis and HIV patients might be due to interaction of mycobacterium & HIV with host factors. Hence this study is undertaken to evaluate the role of ADA in the diagnosis of TB and to assess the existence of any predictive value of serum concentration of ADA and its isoenzymes to the outcome of disease.

We are recruiting 300 individuals, belonging to different groups of TB viz; pulmonary TB, extra pulmonary TB, and HIV-TB coinfection. Selection of the cases would done by using pretested and predesigned Proforma with the patient’s clinical history which includes present, past, treatment history and various investigations including Radiology, AFB smear, Culture, Histopathology & Hematology. Age and sex matched 50 healthy subjects will also be included as controls in this study. The samples will be analyzed for the activity of ADA and its isoenzymes.


Anti-tubercular bioassays of plants and marine algal extracts

Funding Agency: CSIR - CSMCRI, Bhavnagar
Duration of study: 2013-2015
Principal Investigators: Dr. B.C. Harinath, Director, JBTDRC , Dr. Pranita Waghmare
Asst. Prof. Dept of Biochemistry , MGIMS and Dr. A.K. Sidhhnata, CSIR - CSMCRI, Bhavnagar
Co- Investigators: Dr. Arup Ghosh, Dr. Soumya Haldar, Dr. Shruti Chatterji, Dr. M. R. Rathod, Mr. Supravat
Ethics Approval: Submitted for Institutional Ethics Committee approval

Tuberculosis is a major problem till date in spite of revolution in the field of diagnostics and treatment. Newly emerged threats of drug resistant and multi drug resistant tuberculosis have dampened the dream of tubercular eradication globally. It is the need of time to discover new drug targets with highly potential drugs against the TB bacilli, with minimal or no side effects with maximum benefit. Salicornia Brachiata, (US patented) algal extracts are shown to have anti-tubercular activity.

Under this project we have tested 120 different extracts of the same by rapid screening of extracts for anti-tubercular potential followed by further in vitro axenic culture and MTT assay to confirm their therapeutic activity. We have also started the phytochemical analysis of extracts showing most potent anti-tubercular activity.


Clinical usefulness of exploring immunological host response in tubercular infection

Funding Agency: MUHS, LTRG, NASHIK
Duration of study: 2014-2016
Principal investigator: Dr. Pranita Waghmare, Assistant Professor in Dept. of Biochemistry, MGIMS
Co-Investigator: Dr. Satish Kumar, Professor in Biochemistry and Dr. Anshu, Professor in Pathology
Ethics approval: Approval obtained from IEC, MGIMS

Tuberculosis is a disease in which the outcome of the disease depends on bacillary load, regular treatment with anti-tubercular drug and timely follow up with precise prognostic test. Once bacilli get enter the body, various cytokines and chemokines are produced as a result of body’s immune response to Mtb bacillary infection. It includes both pro-inflammatory (TH1) and anti-inflammatory responses. Pro-inflammatory response markers are interleukin-12, interferon gamma, tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL -1, IL-2, etc. To counterbalance these cytokine Th2 responses are developed which includes IL-10, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-13, etc. Under this project, the above cytokines will be analyzed in a total of 75 newly diagnosed, relapsed and drug resistant tuberculosis cases and 25 healthy controls to check their utility to know infection status, severity of disease and response to treatment.


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