Division of Molecular Medicine
Indian women tend to have a greater proportion of breast tumors that do not express the estrogen receptor protein compared to Western Caucasian women. These estrogen receptor negative tumors tend to be more aggressive than the estrogen receptor positive tumors. While there are specific molecular tests as well as targeted anti-estrogen therapies for estrogen positive tumors, the estrogen receptor negative subgroup has neither.
The breast cancer research group is engaged in the task of establishing an atlas of the molecular alterations in breast cancer in Indian women. The long term goal is to develop a diagnostic test that will help select the most appropriate therapy based upon the specific set of molecular alterations contained within an individual tumor.
Through Aadhara, a breast cancer patient support group comprising young women who provide psycho-social support, we have developed a method of staying-in-touch with the patients and have achieved a follow-up rate of 99 %.
Our research is focused on the investigation of structure function correlation of physiologically important protein molecules and their relation to disease. We are interested in various medical conditions such as hemoglobinopathies, thalassemia, iron deficient anemia, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders and depression. The major biophysical techniques used by the group include absorption and emission spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. To screen the clinically important biomarker in the biological fluid, we use mass spectrometry based proteomics. In addition, we are also involved in the discovery of diagnostic tools using mass spectrometry. The group collaborates with Indian Institute of Science in Bioinformatics and Molecular Modeling research.
The thrust of the renal genetics unit (a part of the molecular medicine division) is to engage in patient-oriented research in order to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children with kidney diseases. The key research areas include renal development and its determinants, understanding the molecular basis of steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome and acute kidney injury.
Our laboratory is devoted to investigating the prevalence, etiology and pathophysiology and control of anemia in India. Our studies range from qualitative and quantitative research methods in communities to more complex basic laboratory methods that include mass spectrometry based proteomics, next generation sequencing, and tissue culture. Finally, we study the epidemiology of cancer and have focused studies on the epidemiology and basic biology of breast cancer in India.