Mr. Manmeet Singh, a PhD student in Prof. Jayasri Das Sarma’s laboratory is the recipient of the 2015 Du Pré award.

This prestigious research grant is awarded to young researchers from emerging countries by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF). This award help students to undertake short visits to established multiple sclerosis research centres, either to learn more from each other or to carry out parts of joint research projects. Manmeet has received £5000 grant to travel to the University of Pennsylvania, USA to work for 3 months in the year of 2016 under the joint supervision of Prof. Das Sarma and Dr. Kenneth Shindler, Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology under the MSIF Program. His study aims in understanding the role of two consecutive prolines present within fusion domain of Mouse Hepatitis Virus spike protein in demyelination and neuroinflammation.

Stem Cells and Development paper investigates the role of nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) in migration of Wharton’s Jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs).

Dr. Malancha Ta, faculty of Department of Biological Sciences, recently published an interesting piece of work with her team in the journal ‘Stem Cells and Development’ [Arora S, Saha S, Roy S, Das M, Jana S and Ta M. (2015) Role of Nonmuscle Myosin II in Migration of Wharton's Jelly-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Stem Cells Dev. Apr 29. (Epub ahead of print)]. In this paper, the authors attempted to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for migration of WJ-MSCs and showed for the first time that inhibition of NMII by pharmacological inhibitors resulted in significant reduction of migration. Further trying to dissect the role of individual NMII isoforms, they established that down regulation of NMIIA but not NMIIB expression led to cells failing to retract their trailing edge and losing cell-cell cohesiveness while exhibiting non-directional migratory pathway. And finally, using a PCR array, they also demonstrated that inhibition of NMII resulted in increased gene expression of extracellular matrix proteins and adhesion molecules which possibly led to stronger adhesions and hence, decreased migration of WJ-MSCs.

JV paper describes Spike protein mediated microtubule assisted transneuronal spread in demyelinating strain of mouse hepatitis virus

Department of Biological Sciences faculty member, Dr. Jayasri Das Sarma, has recently published an exciting work with her student Dr. Kaushiki Biswas which appeared in the recent edition of Journal of Virology [Biswas K, Das Sarma J. (2014) Effect of microtubule disruption on neuronal spread and replication of demyelinating and nondemyelinating strains of mouse hepatitis virus in vitro. J Virol.  88(5):3043-7]. In this paper they show the involvement of microtubules in the transport of demyelinating but not non-demyelinating strains of coronavirus. The significance of the study is the observation that strains of virus that differ only in proteins important for attachment to host cells have profound differences in their ability to cause myelin destruction. This study explains why only some strains of neurotropic viruses cause demyelination. In addition to increasing our understanding of virus-induced demyelination and axonal loss, it identifies a potential therapeutic target in patients with the human demyelinating disease, multiple sclerosis.

Jibin Sadasivan receives Du Pré grant

Jibin Sadasivan, our fourth year Integrated BS MS student pursuing Neuroscience project under the guidance of Dr. Jayasri Das Sarma is the recipient of the 2014 Du Pré award. This prestigious researchgrant is awarded by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) to young researchers from emerging countries to enable them to undertake short visits to established multiple sclerosis research centers, either to learn more from each other or to carry out parts of joint research projects. JIbin will use his £5000 grant to travel to the University of Colorado, Denver, USA to work with DrRandell J Cohrs, on the dynamic regulation of host immune mediators in the central nervous system during mouse hepatitis virus induced acute and chronic inflammation.

For details of the award announcement follow this link

Rahul Basu receives Du Pré grant

Rahul Basu, a PhD student of Dr. Jayasri Das Sarma at the Department of Biological Sciences, IISER- Kolkata, is the recipient of the 2012 Du Pré grant. This prestigious research grant is awarded by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) to young researchers from emerging countries to enable them to undertake short visits to established multiple sclerosis research centers, either to learn more from each other or to carry out parts of joint research projects. Rahul will use his £5000 grant to travel to the University of Pennsylvania, USA to spend 3 months working under the supervision of Dr Kenneth Shindler, looking at the role of conventional T cells and B cells in mouse hepatitis virus induced demyelination.

Cell paper combines computational and experimental biology to demonstrate new regulatory mechanism

Department of Biological Sciences faculty member Partho Sarothi Ray has recently co-authored a paper in the prestigious journal Cell [Yao P., Potdar A.A., Arif A., Ray P.S., Mukhopadhyay R., Willard B., Xu Y., Yan J., Saidel G.M. and Fox, P.L. (2012) Coding region polyadenylation generates a truncated tRNA synthetase that counters translation repression. Cell 149, 88-100] which describes a new mechanism of generating new proteins by converting a stop codon into an amino acid-encoding codon by adding an alternative poly-adenine tail to an mRNA. The significance of the study lies in the fact that the discovery is based on computational modeling of a translation regulatory system which was observed to give a constant low level of translation of a protein, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), even when the synthesis of the protein was inhibited. This is one of the first studies which have utilized computational modeling together with experimental validation to discover a new molecular mechanism, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of scientific discovery today.