DETAIL : Microbiology& Immunology

  • Initiated, for the first time in India, studies on molecular epidemiology and genetics of multi-drug resistant (MDR) M. tuberculosis (M.tb). These studies highlighted: a) the emergence of rifampicin as a surrogate marker for MDR – an observation now universally accepted for rapid diagnosis of MDR; and b) the presence of critical differences at the sequence level in the Indian clinical isolates of M.tb– thereby implying the futility of using M.tb antigens as diagnostic markers in ELISA based assays.
  • Coordinator and a Principal Investigator of a DBT National Project to completely sequence the genome, for the first time in India, of a medically relevant bacterium Mycobacterium W, which was renamed by his group as Mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP);
  • Coined the term “Geographic genomics” and was the PI of the first study of its kind demonstrating the predominance of ancient isolate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in India;
  • Continues to contribute extensively to the Molecular Functional Epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis including assigning functional roles to many of the unidentified open Reading Frames (ORF) of M.tuberculosis belonging to the PE-PPE family;
  • PI and Coordinator of DBT ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Mycobacterium tuberculosis for understanding the functional biology of this pathogen and eventually aimed at developing novel intervention strategies against tuberculosis.