All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Aravind Medical Research Foundation, Madurai
I have been fascinated with the medical facts about the health and disease. My undergraduate training in Pharmaceutical Sciences paved me the way for selecting my career in medical sciences. The research exposure on ocular drug delivery during my undergraduation gave me an opportunity to pursue my research career (PhD) at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in eye research. Eye, being the sensory organ of the body is highly guarded from xenobiotics by the presence of physiological barriers which pose a major challenge to drug therapy in sight-threatening conditions. It was very interesting to study the role of drug efflux transporters especially P-glycoprotein (Pgp) at these barriers in eye and how these drug transporters could be exploited for ocular therapy by targeting them smartly with small molecules? I was able to functionally demonstrate the presence of the efflux pump in the retina facing vitreous to blood and its role in the ocular disposition of drugs in the experimental animal model.
After my PhD, I joined Aravind Medical Research Foundation (AMRF) as a scientist where I have been trying to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis and identifying drug targets for the age-related eye diseases including the “silent sight killer –Glaucoma”. The extensive training and hand-on experience on organ cultured anterior segment at Dr. Kaufman’s lab, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA helped me to establish the human organ cultured anterior segment (HOCAS) facility at AMRF. This ex vivo model system is the first of its kind in India for determining trabecular meshwork outflow facility responses to investigational drugs.
As a Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellow, I am keen on investigating the role of microRNA in glucocorticoid receptor signaling in steroid-induced glaucoma using HOCAS ex vivo model which would have implications in delineating ocular hypertension associated with steroid use.