My primary research interest lies in studying, understanding and translating molecular events into cellular physiology to understand and treat neurodegenerative disorders. My academic career so far has provided me with an excellent background in understanding and studying the cell signaling pathways associated with a number of cellular processes such as cell death, autophagy- lysosomal machinery, cytoskeleton modulation and cellular metabolism. I have expertise in cell and molecular biology techniques along with expertise in qualitative and quantitative imaging by confocal microscopy. My present work in Dr. Celeste Karch’s lab is focused on stem cell models of dominantly inherited AD (DIAD). Our findings suggest that DIAD mutations in PSEN1 and PSEN2 are sufficient to cause impaired lysosome function and tau accumulation, which may drive AD pathogenesis. My previous postdoctoral research work with Dr. Mathieu Bollen was focused on the role of microtubule-associated factors (MAPs) in the regulation of mitotic events and to delineate the molecular mechanism associated with phospho-dephosphorylating events. My doctoral research with Dr. Sunil Manna, was focused on understanding the AGE (Advanced Glycation End product)-mediated cellular responses.
AGEs normally form during aging and at an accelerating rate in diabetes. Our novel findings mapped AGE-mediated cell signaling pathways related to inflammation, cellular degeneration and metabolic deregulation, which may be prevalent in neurodegeneration and fatty liver condition seen in aging and diabetes. We were also able to identify a key rate limiting signaling pathway and a natural small molecule that is effective in protecting AGE-mediated metabolic de-regulation. My research career has focused on understanding the role of cytoskeleton associated protein machinery in regulating different cellular processes such as cell division, intracellular transport and spatio-temporal modulation of the cell signaling pathways with neurology in prime focus. My long-term goal is to build on these skills along with additional training in stem cell biology and neuropathology in order to establish an independent research program on understanding the role of lysosomes in AD and developing novel therapeutics.