The goal of my research program is to understand how viruses manipulate different host organisms to replicate and cause disease and use these insights to develop host-directed antiviral interventions and vector-control strategies.
I completed my PhD in the Department of Microbiology at Cell Biology at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with Dr. Saumitra Das. During my PhD, I identified and characterized the molecular mechanisms by which the protein HuR supports HCV infection in human liver cells, paving the way for the use of chemical inhibitors of HuR as antivirals. I discovered novel microRNA and protein biomarkers that can be used to monitor disease progression in HCV infected patients.
As a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, I started working on mosquito-borne RNA viruses in Dr. Peter Sarnow's lab. I developed high throughput RNA-centric proteomics-based methods to identify host proteins essential for Dengue virus infection in human and mosquito cells and identified Loquacious as a pro-Dengue mosquito protein that can be targeted to block virus transmission.
Future work in my lab will leverage from this expertise and identify conserved and species-specific drivers of viral infection in vivo across diverse host-virus systems using novel high throughput RNA-centric and protein-centric approaches, with immediate focus on mosquito-borne RNA viruses.
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