Don’t miss anything. Follow Us.


Genetic & Autoimmune Diseases

Genetic and auto-immune diseases affect a significant number of people. Several of the auto-immune diseases also show strong genetic association to disease predisposition and progression. Most diseases are a result of a combination of complex genetic and environmental factors. It is important to look into, why only some ethnic population are genetically predisposed to develop a certain disease. Preventive measures can be taken to reduce the risk of the disease by molecular diagnosis, treatment, and genetic counseling.

Scientists Working in the Field

Major activities undertaken during last 5 years

Human genetics and molecular diagnostics group has undertaken projects to investigate the genetic and molecular basis of congenital hearing impairment, otosclerosis, otitis media and noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing impairment shows high genetic heterogeneity in terms of genes and mutations and also in the prevalence of specific mutations among different populations. The goal is to use the data emerging from genetic epidemiological studies to design molecular diagnostic protocols specific for each population.

T cell biology group focuses on understanding the role of T helper cells in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes and Asthma. The central focus is aimed at deciphering the mechanism by which physiologically relevant T helper cells convert to a pathologically aberrant cell. Using cell lines, mouse models and human samples, investigations are being carried out to understand these processes. The mandatory use of primary human and mouse T cells is to understand how they convert from a physiologically relevant T helper cell to pathologically aberrant phenotype in immune pathologies because it is extremely difficult to use only patient derived samples to understand their conversion. The group has been developing technologies by employing a multi-prong approach (e.g. flow cytometry, imaging cytometry, confocal microscopy, multiplexing, animal models, human disease samples etc.) to understand T cell biology and to define T cell function in both mouse and human physiology and pathology.

Immuno-genomics group focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms behind the generation of immune responses by dendritic cells (DCs) that dictate T cell-mediated immunity vs immune tolerance. They have developed immune response perturbed tolerogenic DCs showing promising results in reducing the autoimmune responses by inducing development of regulatory T cells. This group is now trying to develop tolerogenic DCs in the human system and explore their therapeutic potential.