National Centre for Cell Science, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Interactive Research School of Health Affairs, Pune, Maharashtra, India
I was always fascinated by science and it was an obvious decision to have career in this field. I did M.Sc. in Biochemistry from Department of Chemistry, University of Pune. During the course work, I was interested in topics related to cell biology and cellular mechanisms.
I started my Ph.D. in Biotechnology at National Centre for Cell Science, Pune under supervision of Dr. V.P. Kale. Here, my formal training in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) biology started. My topic of Ph.D. thesis was “Studies on effects of plant lectins on hematopoietic stem cells”. We used mannose specific plant lectins isolated from banana and garlic and studied its effect on human and mouse hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC). We showed that in vitro and in vivo treatment with these lectins protect mouse and cord blood derived human HSPCs.
Further, I pursued my research interest in HSC fate decision and signaling mechanisms involved in regulation of HSC function during postdoctoral work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, USA with Dr. M-D Filippi. Initially, we showed that p190-B RhoGap protein (p190-B) was important in regulation of functional composition of the mesenchymal environment and p190-B deficient mesenchymal stem cells were dysfunctional in supporting hematopoiesis. Further, we addressed how p-190B regulates HSC fate decision during stressed hematopoiesis using in vitro single cell assays and in vivo serial transplantation. We observed that p190-B mediated increase in reactive oxygen species levels causing activation of TGF-β and down-stream p38MAPK signaling pathway. This regulatory pathway balanced HSPC self-renewal versus differentiation decisions and may serve as HSC fate determinant.
Wellcome Trust – DBT India alliance fellowship has given me an opportunity to start my independent research in India. The proposed work will uncover previously unknown role of mitochondrial metabolic control in HSC function during obesity.