Prof. Maneesha Inamdar is a cell and developmental biologist with several years of experience in a comparative analysis of cardiovascular development. She initiated both teaching and contemporary research in the area of stem cells and developmental biology at the JNCASR. Prof. Inamdar’s group has established human embryonic stem cell lines in India and worked extensively on mammalian cardiovascular development. Her laboratory studies cell lineage specification and differentiation during development. They have taken a unique comparative approach using embryonic stem cell models, mouse developmental biology and transgenics, and Drosophila genetics, to decipher the roles of novel genes expressed early in the blood and cardiovascular system. Their current focus is on analyzing mammalian development using stem cell models as well as clinical studies.
The Inamdar laboratory derived the first well-characterized human embryonic stem cell lines representing the Indian ethnic background- importantly, these were from unusable, discarded embryos. They established novel protocols to generate cardiomyocytes from these cells. The cell lines are deposited in the UK Stem Cell Bank and have been distributed worldwide and included in the International Stem Cell Initiative (ISCI2) project involving 22 countries - which is the only contribution from India in this project. Indian researchers now have internationally accepted indigenous stem cells which provide a unique platform for genetic and chemical screens and developing therapies. They have also generated and characterized mouse and human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells with the aim to use patient-derived iPS cells as disease models.
Prof. Inamdar has actively participated in collaborative research with several leaders in the field of stem cell and cardiovascular biology through international programs funded by the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), Indo US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and The Wellcome Trust, UK. She participated in and organized several national and international meetings in the area of stem cells. She has trained over eighty researchers in stem cell culture and is currently the member of WHO expert advisory committee on Developing global standards for governance and oversight of Human Genome editing.
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