We are group of Cell and Molecular Biologists, studying the molecular intricacies of Cancer cells, and trying to find out how these intelligent cells develop new methods for their survival. Through simple strategies, we try to solve complex problems in the field of Cancer science.
Mission & Vision
Understanding the development and manifestation of a disease process as complex and heterogeneous as Cancer, could only be possible if we get a clear view how normal cellular process works. Our Mission is to study and understand in details how a normal cellular process gets disrupted leading to an abnormal behaviour, similar to what is observed in a malignant cell. Our Vision is to understand these mechanisms that would provide us with the necessary information to target such an “Oncogenic” process and reverse it.
What We Do ?
Cancer cells are highly intelligent. On one hand while they devise new strategies to escape our Immune System, on the other hand they develop new modes of survival. One of these modes of survival depends on expression of several “Tumour Derived Factors” or TDFs, which could be Protein or Non-Protein factors.
Our laboratory studies one such “Non-Protein” TDF, Glycolipids or more specifically “Gangliosides” which are over-expressed in several cancers. We ask – “What’s the consequence of such an over-expression in the process of tumorigenesis, and “Why” some of these gangliosides are at all over-expressed in cancer ? So we essentially study the “What” and “Why” of Gangliosides in Cancer.
To answer the first question, we genetically manipulate cells to either knockout, knockdown or over-express select gangliosides, and study the alterations in their gene expression through NGS based sequencing. Over the last several years, data from such experiments have enabled us to define the role of these gangliosides in driving the cells towards pro-tumorigenic behaviour. Using a combination of classical biochemical techniques as well as state-of-the-art genetic tools, we are trying to decipher yet unknown functions of these glycolipids. In an attempt to find out “Why” some of these gangliosides are at all over-expressed in some cancers, we have uncovered a novel epigenetic mechanism of the regulation of ganglioside synthase expression at the transcriptional level.