I am a molecular and structure biologist by training. After receiving my Ph.D. in 2018 from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), India I joined Prof. Ruth Brenk at the University of Bergen, Norway. Here, my research focuses on evaluating the drug therapeutic potential of regulatory RNA elements of mRNA in bacteria. As the drug therapeutic potential of RNA elements has just begun to realize, there is a need to develop RNA-focused assays that could facilitate their assessment as a potential drug target. This has a larger implication in terms of expanding the existing tiny "druggable landscape".
With this in focus, my current research focuses on exploring the potential of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) riboswitch as a novel class of antibacterial drug target. Riboswitches are structured noncoding RNA elements, residing in the 5'-untranslated region of the mRNA and regulate the expression of the immediate downstream genes (cis-mode of action) in a ligand-dependent manner. As the TPP riboswitch is absent in humans and prevalent across bacteria, identifying a drug-like compound specific to it could lead to a novel drug target. Towards this, I have already developed a novel dual molecular reporter assay and carried out high-throughput screening (HTS).
We are currently working on to establish a structure-activity relationship for verified hits from the HTS. Meanwhile, I am also working on virtual HTS against TPP riboswitch. With this comprehensive approach, I expect to deliver potent drug-like compounds targeting the TPP riboswitch.
Thanks to the invitation from JPIAMR, I communicated my data on a newly developed high-throughput compound screening assay to probe small molecule modulators of the TPP riboswitch in session 4 of the JPIAMR therapeutics workshop-2021, "Feeding the AMR Therapeutics Pipeline".
JPIAMR Therapeutics workshop
Apr 20, 2021 13:00 - Apr 22, 2021 17:00
Feeding the AMR Therapeutics Pipeline
Session 4: Novel antimicrobial targets
- Stimulation of the innate immune system as a non-traditional target to quench infection and reduce treatment failure
- Chemical and antibody screens targeting biofilm formation and other anti-virulence approaches to avoid gene transfer and resistance
- Novel HTS strategies that explore the non-coding RNA space by targeting TPP riboswitches
- Novel antimicrobials specific against Helicobacter pylori – FLAV4AMR
- (2021). Exploration of the TPP riboswitch as a new target for antibiotics.
- (2021). Riboswitches as Drug Targets for Antibiotics. Antibiotics. 1-22.
- (2021). Fragment-Based Drug Discovery for RNA Targets. ChemMedChem.
Check back soon to read about my outreach activity on the current research at my alma mater- The biochemistry department, The Maharaja Sayajirao Univerisity of Baroda, India