Date & Time: 9th November 2023 (Thursday), 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Venue: C V Raman Hall, IISER Tirupati Transit Campus
Speaker: Dr Ghanshyam Swarup
Scientist, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology,
Title: “Molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration caused by mutations of optineurin”
My main research interest is to understand the function of the protein optineurin, and to study the functional defects caused by disease-associated mutations in optineurin. Mutations in the coding region of the gene OPTN, which codes for the protein optineurin (OPTN), cause glaucoma, an eye disease, and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Both of these are neurodegenerative diseases. In glaucoma, the loss of vision is irreversible, which occurs due to progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in the optic nerve head. ALS is a fatal progressive disease, which involves degeneration of motor neurons of the primary cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Optineurin is also seen in pathological structures present in many neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, Alzheimer`s disease and Parkinson`s disease. We have investigated the role of optineurin in autophagy, membrane vesicle trafficking, signalling, and stress response. In addition, the functional defects caused by disease-causing mutants of OPTN were explored. For this purpose, we have used various molecular and cell biology approaches with the neuronal cells. We have also generated OPTN knockout mice to explore the function of OPTN. Our results have provided novel insight about the functions of OPTN, and how mutations affect the normal functions of OPTN to cause neuronal cell death.
Ghanshyam Swarup worked for his Ph. D. degree at the Molecular Biology Unit, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay. After his Ph. D., he worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Vanderbilt University, USA, where he worked with Prof. David Garbers and Prof. Stanley Cohen. He joined CCMB (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology), at Hyderabad as a scientist in 1983. His areas of research interest include cell signalling, autophagy, membrane vesicle trafficking, and molecular basis of disease. He was awarded Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Biological Sciences, in 1996. He is elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, and Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. Hope to see you all during this event.