The School now has four funded projects, 3 from DST (major) and one from UGC (minor).
 

  1. Studies on anti-quorum-sensing and immunomodulatory properties of Euphorbia spp. extracts.
    Dr. Nandita Nashikkar, DST

  2. A comparative study of bioactivities of in vitro produced saponins with natural saponins from Asparagus racemosus.
    Mrs. P. Mashitha, DST

  3. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal biotechnology for improvement of Withania somnifera with respect to its alkaloid content.
    Dr. Nilima Ratti, DST

  4. In vitro study of quorum-sensing and immunomodulatory activity of subtilisin and nisin.
    Mr. Deovrat Begde, UGC

RESEARCH PROGRAMME
The school offers a doctoral research programme leading to Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry/Biotechnology

 

RESEARCH RECOGNITION TO OUR LABORATORIES ACCORDED BY THE RTM NAGPUR UNIVERSITY

Research with us is the key to education. Therefore, most of the major projects that are currently in progress started as small projects given to M. Sc. or B.Sc. students. These same projects have now blossomed into stories that are shaping up rather well. Involving students allows us to make them think originally, give them a training into how research is actually done while at the same time furthering our own research goals.
To give added thrust to research, we have developed laboratories specifically devoted to research – no component of coursework gets done in these laboratories. We now have laboratories that can do very good work in plant tissue culture and plant transformation, microbiological work and work with infectious diseases, and animal tissue culture and related aspects.
To give added thrust to research, we have developed laboratories specifically devoted to research – no component of coursework gets done in these laboratories. We now have laboratories that can do very good work in plant tissue culture and plant transformation, microbiological work and work with infectious diseases, and animal tissue culture and related aspects.

Given below are the main themes of research that involve us currently.

     Throw your DNA out to control infection…
You think DNA has only a genetic function and does nothing else? Well, that is what we thought till now. But recent research in several laboratories suggests that it can also have a structural role. When a white blood cell wants to kill the infection, it often extrudes its chromatin including the DNA in order to construct what is called the Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs). They do so at the expense of their own life, as formation of NETs is one of the preliminary events of neutrophil suicide. Thus by doing so it ensures that those bacteria which are not phagocytosed are killed extracellularly.

Therefore, any substance that could induce NET formation can be of immense therapeutic potential. In our laboratory, one of the bacteria’s own extracellular antimicrobial peptide has been shown to have this remarkable ability in vitro.

     Compounds that stop infection may not necessarily kill bacteria…
When you consume chemicals to kill bacteria, they develop resistance. After all they have to live too! So can there not be a way of controlling them and warding off infection without killing them? This is the question we are asking and this is the subject on which Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, has given Dr. Nandita Nashikkar a Major Project funding.

Even pathogenic bacteria do not cause a disease until they sense that they are present in a good number (quorum-sensing). Once they sense that the quorum is high enough, they move (swarming). Swarming genes are critically linked to pathogenic genes. Thus if you can interfere with quorum-sensing or inhibit swarming, you can stop disease.

In the last one year we have been able to prove that there indeed are some plant extracts that stop bacterial swarming. We are today involved in purifying the active compounds from these extracts.

     Producing pure ayurvedic compounds in a flask…
We established the root callus of Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) in our tissue culture laboratory (we are the first one in the world to have done so, other attempts failed for years). We then made the callus friable and these cells now grow in suspension and produce pure saponins. No need to grow the plants. All you need is a small room, a few cheap equipments and you can manufacture the medicinal compounds. Bonus? You get pure, high value added saponins, rather than crude root powder. Neat, isn’t it?


 

 

Copyright 2003 HISLOP SCHOOL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY