SAHA INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR PHYSICS
Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India
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Dr. Sangram Bagh

Associate Professor
Room No : Phase IV(Off), 3122(Lab)
Ext. : 4625
Email id : sangram.bagh[AT]saha.ac.in
Division :
Research
      *** We are looking for PhD students with background in Biology as well as Physics/Chemistry***

Our lab is interested in the emerging field of synthetic biology. By adapting engineering principles in the realm of molecular biology and genetic engineering, synthetic biologists dream to program living cells as engineer programs electronic devices. This approach has a great potential to meet key challenges in medicine, materials, energy and space. We focus on three directions.
1. Cellular Robotics and Cancer Gene Therapy: We are developing a cellular robotics platform for cancer gene therapy. We reprogram microbial cells  as 'robots' (biobots) to sense varieties of extracellular signals similar to a cancer microenvironment, to decode those signals, to co-ordinate with other cells and decide to invade cancer cells. We are developing a set of synthetic gene circuits in bacteria analogous to combinatorial logic circuits in electronics to perform such tasks. We apply those 'bio-bots' for programmed delivery of therapeutic genes and RNAi into the  cancer cells. Our work is recently covered in The Economic Times (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/comments-analysis/biological-pathways-designing-genetic-circuits-from-scratch/articleshow/40312042.cms)
2. Space Synthetic Biology: With the multiple successful space missions to Mars, including India’s own mission, scientists are looking at ambitious plans like long duration manned space mission to the Mars and asteroids. Synthetic biology could provide a regenerative and sustainable closed loop solutions for long term space habitation.  We are developing synthetic and systems biology solutions for in-situ resource utilization in space station and Mars analogous condition. Typical projects include i) a molecular systems level undersnading about the effect of microgravity and space ionizing radiation on human disease pathways and pathogenesis, ii) synthetic engineering of microbes for various potential uses in ISS and Mars and iii) developing instrumentation for mimicking Mars atmosphere in lab. Our recent publication is featured in Nature India, May,2016 (http://www.natureasia.com/en/nindia/article/10.1038/nindia.2016.72)
3. Quantitative Reconstruction of Native Gene Network: The function of a living cell is controlled by complex genetic regulatory networks. The reductionist’s approach in biology identifies genes and its function in cellular pathways. However, it cannot answer how and at what extent do genes in the pathway influence the other? Which part of the gene network is most sensitive to control the cellular function? How do those gene networks regulate themselves?  We chose endoplasmic reticulum (ER) biogenesis of the yeast Pichia pastoris as a model system to answer those questions. We construct synthetic gene circuits to perturb the native gene networks in controlled manner, measure the change in global and local gene expression, use the concepts from network theory to develop quantitative models, and test the models by further experiments.

We use varieties of techniques including advanced molecular biology and genome editing tools, 'omics technology' (DNA microarray and NGS), analytical measurments (high resolution microscopy, flow-cytometry, fluorimetry etc), 3D cell culture, microgravity simulator, mathematical modelling and multivariate statistics. We apply concepts from molecular and cell biology, physical chemistry and engineering.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 19:21
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