Present Research Interest
Knowing the cause responsible for a patient’s illness remains fundamental to evidence based treatment and care. Despite the fact that the reliable diagnostic tools affect health care decisions to a degree well out of proportion to their cost, in the developing world healthcare workers are forced to use empirical approaches of treatment which often result in inappropriate clinical outcomes because of lack of reliable, affordable and practical in vitro diagnostic solutions.
Goal of my lab is to provide diagnostic solutions which are reliable in local conditions, affordable and practical. Major focus of our work is on the development of high quality diagnostic assays for acute febrile illnesses (e.g. dengue, malaria, typhoid, scrub typhus etc) and blood borne infections (e.g. HIV, HCV and HBV). To generate high quality diagnostic intermediates, we are involved in protein and antibody engineering, cost effective recombinant antigen and antibody production in E. coli and yeast Pichia pastoris, expression host engineering and high throughput clone screening. We are using genome fragment phage display libraries and antibody libraries for immune epitope mapping and biomarker discovery.
Major scientific contribution
At ICGEB, I was involved in the development of diagnostic intermediates and assays for the detection of anti-dengue virus IgG, IgM antibodies and NS1 antigen. This “know-how” was transferred to a diagnostic company which resulted in a very successful commercial product for detection of dengue NS1 antigen & differential detection of IgM & IgG antibodies in Human Serum/ Plasma.