Areas of Expertise:
Molecular biology, Drosophila genetics, Insect Immunity, Developmental biology
I am interested in to understand the molecular and the cellular mechanisms involved in the response against nematode infections in Drosophila melanogaster. Currently, I am working on insect immunity, particularly Drosophila immunity towards entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN). Until now, our knowledge on Drosophila immunity mostly comes from studies of bacterial and fungal infections. However, nematode parasites are considered one the biggest threats to human health, causing diseases leading to death. Even when they are not killing, they could stay in the host and cause chronic diseases. Lymphatic filariasis is such an example which is caused by Wuchereria bancrofti (filarial nematode). These lymphatic-resident parasistes can cause severe damages to the lymphatic system, resulting in the development of lifelong disabilities. Recent studies estimate that around 3 billion people are infected by nematodes globally. Besides human health, nematodes have devastating consequences on livestock and in agriculture.In order to minimize or eradicate these effects, we need a model that is in use for host defense. Powerful genetics in Drosophila make it available to study human diseases as well. So take these into an account the whole scenario, we employ entomopathogenic nematodes to uncover the host immune response in Drosophila. Recently we performed a genome-wide transcriptional analysis of Drosophila response against EPN in order to get a complete picture upon nematode infection. At present, I am focusing on the role of the identified genes against EPN.