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Name of the Postdoctoral Fellow

Name of the Supervisor

Brief Description of Project

Sillarine Kurkalang

Arindam Maitra

Identification of recurrent somatic mutations in Gastric Adenocarcinoma in Mizo population, Northeast India.

Mizoram in the North Eastern region has the highest incidence of gastric cancer in India. Etiologically, gastric cancer is associated with environmental factors like food, pathogens like H. pylori and Epstein – Barr virus and genetic and epigenetic alterations, both somatic and germline. Our aim is to identify the recurrently mutated driver genes in gastric cancer patients in Mizoram who are exposed to these environmental risk factors. Identifying such mutations might help in development of methods for detection of risk, early diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer in the Mizo population.

Manjarika De

Sreedhar Chinnaswamy

Type III IFN (IFN-λ) family was discovered in 2003 among which IFN-λ4, the newest member was discovered only in 2013. A dinucleotide variant upstream of IFNL3 (IL28B) gives rise to IFN-λ4 by causing a frame-shift in the ORF of the gene. Only a subset of the human population possesses the variant allele ΔG at the dinucleotide polymorphism rs368234815 that causes the frame-shift in exon 1, producing a fully functional IFN-λ4. IFN-λ signaling is apparently restricted to epithelial cells, hepatocytes and some immune cells due to the restricted distribution of the IFN lambda receptor complex (IFNLR). Although, role of type III IFNs in clearance of viruses is widely studied, not much has been explored to ascertain their role in Leishmania infection partly because Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease. Therefore, studying the immunomodulatory role of IFN-λ4 in general and the role of IFN-λs in Leishmaniasis in particular, can lead us to novel paradigms. Moreover, some strong association between PKDL (Post kalazar dermal leishmaniasis) with IFN-λ signaling cannot be undermined as IFNLR are highly expressed in epithelial cells. In this context, my study is aimed at characterizing IFN-λ4’s role as an immunomodulatory cytokine and in characterizing the functions of IFN-λs in Leshmania infections.