Biology

Research Groups  Research Facilities  Contact 

Biology section in IISER-Tirupati offers Interdisciplinary education in biology leading to a BS-MS degree where the student learns how Biological designs are organised, sustained and evolved in order to exhibit intricate functions at various length and time scales. Class-room teaching goes hand-in-hand with laboratory experiments that reinforce the foundational principles in Biology such that the student develops a deep appreciation towards the mechanistic basis of biological functions. We also train students in experimental research leading up to Int.PhD, PhD or post-PhD programmes. Our research programmes span diverse areas such as Cancer Biology, Genome Biology, Infectious & Parasite Biology, Plant & Animal Developmental biology, Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Ecology & Evolution.

Research Groups

B J Rao

My programme relocated to IISER-Tirupati from TIFR-Mumbai very recently. I continue my research efforts at IISER-Tirupati that are mechanism-centric and are mainly directed towards two questions of cellular-molecular biology.

  1. How do chromosomes maintain quasi-stability against a variety of cellular stresses? We probe signaling mechanisms that lead to such genome-homeostasis in mammalian cells.
  2. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, single celled plant organism exhibits tight coordination between chloroplast and mitochondrial compartments of a cell. How is this tuned under changing cellular states? We hope to glean the dynamic signaling cross-talk between these organelles which is unique to plant world and hope to extract new Biology from it.

Replication fork restart sites(indicated white arrows) in mammmalian chromosomes assayed by DNA-fibre analyses where each fibre represents the image of a single DNA Molecule

Molecular Microbiology Laboratory (Raju Mukherjee)

The focus of our research is circumscribed around understanding the biology of Mycobacterium species with an ultimate objective of developing strategies for successful interventions to stop the diseases (e.g. Tuberculosis) caused by these microorganism.

V Siva Kumar

Plant Development & Applied Genetics Group (Eswar Rami Reddy)

Our group focuses on deciphering the molecular mechanisms and the regulatory systems that enable plants to orchestrate complex root system architecture. Further, improvement of tolerance in crop plants to abiotic stresses (drought, salt and heavy metal) by improving root traits.

 

Nandini Rajamani

 

Molecular Oncology and Cell Signalling (Pakala Suresh Babu)

Our group works on understanding the molecular mechanisms of coregulators in signal transduction, Gene regulation, inflammation, Cancer progression and Cancer metastasis. Our research interests also include developing transgenic and knock out mouse models for studying the role of coregulator signalling in cancer and inflammatory disorders.

Cellular and Molecular Parasitology (Suchi Goel)

Our research focuses on pathogenesis of severe malaria parasite where adhesion of parasites in the microvasculature leads to activation of stress signalling pathways in human host.

Neuroscience Lab (Vasudharani Devanathan)

Our group is focused on the following areas of research:
Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in regulating neurogenesis, neurite outgrowth and degeneration; specific interactions among CAMs and their downstream signalling mechanisms.
Molecular mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction in diabetic retinopathy.
G-protein signalling in platelets and neutrophils.

V V Robin 

 

Cellular and Vascular Biology Lab (Sanjay Kumar)

Our lab research focuses on signaling mechanisms that define the complex responses to TGF-β in the mammalian system.  We also study the role of mitochondrial proteins in normal cellular functions and human diseases. 

 

Ash Lab (Ashwani Sharma)

Ash Lab works in the area of nucleic acid aptamers, which are single stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides having high affinity and specificity to their target. Aptamer binding to its target is utilized in designing new biosensing platforms for disease detection and diagnostics. In addition, the lab also focuses on construction of DNA/RNA based nanoparticles decorated with aptamers and oligotherapeutics such as siRNA for the targeted drug delivery to different cancers.

Plant Stress Biology group (Annapurna Devi Allu)

Our research focuses on understanding the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of plant growth and stress responses. We are particularly interested in studying the effect of priming on plant response to individual and combined environmental stresses. The molecular mechanisms that determine the duration of primed state and stress memory in plants will be investigated.

Single Molecule Biophysics Lab (Nibedita)

Our research focuses on amalgamating DNA nanotechnology and biomolecule in its native form to answer basic questions that are pertinent to the field of Biophysics. In particular we are interested in designing reconfigurable DNA structures responsive to external stimuli and its potential application in therapeutics. We are also interested in exploring the mechanism of biomolecule induced conformational transitions of higher order DNA junctions and structures using single molecule techniques such as Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy, multi-parameter photon time-stamping spectroscopy etc.

Genomics and Systems Biology group (Sreenivas Chavali)

Our research aims at obtaining a holistic understanding of how variation in information flow affects phenotypes and fitness. We particularly focus on understanding how sequence variation- single nucleotide changes, repeats or compositional bias within intrinsically disordered proteins/regions influence the function(s), regulation and evolution of biomolecules, with special emphasis on health and disease. To address this, we investigate biological information flow at different scales of complexity (genome(s), systems and molecular levels) and at different time-scales (at an instant to millions of years) in diverse organisms ranging from yeast to humans. Our research work involves computational investigations integrating and analyzing large-scale datasets, coupled with experimental investigations, primarily using budding yeast as a model system.

Plant Signaling Group (Swarup Roy Choudhury)

We are interested in identifying the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind signal transduction in plants to unravel plant signaling pathways extending from receptors to signaling cascades and target genes that are crucial to root nodule development, plant architecture determination and stress adaptation. The important questions are: How signaling is initiated by receptor-like kinases and which kind of ligands bind to the receptors? How is downstream regulatory network modulated by receptor kinases from lower to higher groups of plants? How is receptor-mediated signaling orchestrated the gene expression? We approach our questions both in model and crop plants with current tools in biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology and biotechnology to achieve a notion for improving agricultural productivity.

 

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