CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (degree awarded by Jadavpur University)
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research - Kolkata (IISER K)
Willingness to uncover every facets of the unknown has fascinated me ever since I can remember. Trying to know the unknown guided me to choose research as a profession.
Cell, in spite of being the simplest unit of life, captivates me with its complexity. It is a powerhouse with different compartments with several proteins functioning in each one of them. Their proper functioning relies on their timely arrival at the proper destination. Optimum functioning also relies on the proper retrieval to its original location. This is dependent on efficient transport system between the compartments, which to me, resembles a New York Subway Map. I am interested to know the intricacies and complexities of the trafficking routes within the cell taking ligand (copper) mediated trafficking as an example.
My doctoral research at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata involved understanding the genetic etiology of copper metabolism disorder, Wilson Disease (WD), caused my mutations in ATP7B. It is a P-type ATPase, responsible for copper delivery to the secretory pathway. It also exports excess intracellular copper out of the cell by trafficking from Trans Golgi Network (TGN) to the plasma membrane. Mutations in ATP7B cause copper accumulation in liver, brain and kidney triggering hepatic and neurological symptoms. WD is a pediatric disorder, affecting the first decade of life. This makes WD, equally important, to the comparatively prevalent late onset neurological disorders like AD and Parkinson’s disease.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanism of disease, I decided to study the cellular consequences of the disruption of copper homeostasis in WD. During my postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, I studied the mechanism underlying phenotypic heterogeneity associated with WD. During this time, the concept of copper mediated trafficking of ATP7B intrigued me. With my independent funding, I discovered the phenomenon of ATP7B recycling between the subapical compartment and the plasma membrane in hepatocyte model. Still there are unanswered questions as to (i) what are the proteins responsible for the trafficking of ATP7B throughout its anterograde and retrograde route? (ii) How are such interactions triggered? (iii) How do perturbations in such route lead to WD?
In order to find answers to these questions, I applied for the Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship. This funding has provided me the basic platform to realize my research interest. I am grateful to the India Alliance Trust to enable early career independent scientists like me to set-up their laboratories and initiate their research in a short period of time.
Lastly I believe that man is a part of the ecosystem comprising his profession and family. This fellowship has given me the opportunity to pursue my professional interest, staying close to my family.
visit my research page: https://arnabatiicb.wixsite.com/guptalab