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
- (2023). RNA-binding is an ancient trait of the Annexin family. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology.
- (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.
Structure analysis of thymidylate synthase from white spot syndrome virus reveals WSSV-specific structural elements. Int J Biol Macromol. 2021 Jan 15;167:1168-1175. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.11.071. Epub 2020 Nov 14.PMID: 33197475
A novel mutation alters the stability of PapA2 resulting in the complete abrogation of sulfolipids in clinical mycobacterial strains. Panchal V, Jatana N, Malik A, Taneja B, Pal R, Bhatt A, Besra GS, Thukral L, Chaudhary S, Rao V.FASEB Bioadv. 2019 Apr 10;1(5):306-319. doi: 10.1096/fba.2018-00039. eCollection 2019 May.PMID: 32123834
Phospholipid homeostasis, membrane tenacity and survival of Mtb in lipid rich conditions is determined by MmpL11 function. Bothra A, Arumugam P, Panchal V, Menon D, Srivastava S, Shankaran D, Nandy A, Jaisinghani N, Singh A, Gokhale RS, Gandotra S, Rao V.Sci Rep. 2018 May 29;8(1):8317. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26710-z.PMID: 29844505
Role of oxidative stress and autoimmunity in onset and progression of vitiligo. Laddha NC, Dwivedi M, Mansuri MS, Singh M, Gani AR, Yeola AP, Panchal VN, Khan F, Dave DJ, Patel A, Madhavan SE, Gupta R, Marfatia Z, Marfatia YS, Begum R.Exp Dermatol. 2014 May;23(5):352-3. doi: 10.1111/exd.12372.PMID: 24628992
Amazing day at dept of Biochem. @Themsubaroda. Brought back all memories of college days. I went to disseminate my research #EXPLORE with @BrenkRuth which is a part of @JPIAMR and funded by @forskningsradet. Interacted with masters students and research staff there. Some pictures can be found at https://twitter.com/VNPanchal/status/1616076045538721795
As a part of the not-for-profit organization- Science and Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI) team, I am engaged in organizing various events focused on career opportunities in India.
- The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are centrally funded technical Institutes across India. IITs are internationally recognized for their outstanding research excellence. In this webinar, I hosted a panel discussion with established scientists from various IITs together with other SciROI teams and discussed the hiring process, including tips for success, common pitfalls to avoid, and their own personal experiences. https://youtube.com/live/vIKkf8_7aoA