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PEOPLE

 

Somasish Ghosh Dastidar, M.Sc., M.S., Ph.D. 

Principal Investigator

Dr. Dastidar was born in Eastern India in the quiescent town of Chinsurah by the river Ganges. He did his Bachelors in Microbiology from the University of Pune, Maharashtra and his Masters in Biotechnology from Visva Bharati University, West Bengal. During his Masters he did a thesis project on the role of Aeromonas hydrophila in the etiology of epizootic ulcerative syndrome with Prof. Shibnath Mazumder. Later he worked briefly with Prof. Swadesh Ranjan Biswas of Visva Bharati University where he worked on the identification of a food grade preservative Nicin. Dastidar moved to the US and obtained a MS & PhD in Cell and Molecular biology from the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Dastidar did his graduate work in the lab of Prof. Santosh D’Mello, University of Texas at Dallas, where he investigated the role of transcription factors, in the modulation of neuronal survival/apoptosis and the underlying mechanism(s) behind these processes.


After his PhD, Dastidar decided to join the laboratory of Prof. Albert La Spada who has developed an extensive research program in neurodegeneration and neurotherapeutics, and notably for the tremendous fertile research environment in UCSD and its adjoining institutes in San Diego. Dr. La Spada is credited for the discovery of trinucleotide repeats in the etiology of Spino Bulbar Muscular Atropy, the first in the series of many repeat nucleotide disorders. During his postdoctoral training Dastidar built on his foundation, to learn microarray analysis to study miRNA expression & regulation patterns, generation of sophisticated transgenic mice models, characterization of the mice behavioural and histopathological analysis, stereotactic surgery for delivery of lentivirus or drugs in different parts of the brain, stem cell modelling and CRISPR/Cas9 based genome editing and a host of cell biological processes such as autophagy, stress granule biology, unfolded protein response, proteasomal machinery, nucleolar stress critical for cell homeostasis Dr. Somasish has extensive expertise in making and characterizing transgenic mice, working with knock in mice and triple transgenic mice. He uses animal cell lines, primary neuronal cells, primary glial cells and induced Pluripotent Stem cells as models to test his scientific hypothesis with a clear and defined focus on identifying genetic targets for therapeutic possibilities. Somasish has published in Cell Metabolism, Acta Neuropathologica, Nature Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Clinical Investigation, eLife, Cell reports, GeroScience etc. Somasish has mentored over 30 undergraduate and graduate students during his PhD and postdoctoral training. Currently he is mentoring 3 PhD students and co guiding 2 Phd students. Dastidar enjoys mentoring budding scientists and is very passionate about it.


Out of the lab, Dastidar enjoys having a stroll by the Malpe Beach or End-point, visiting the Krishna Temple, cooking and oil-painting. He remains much attached to his family and friends. If you are visiting Manipal, Somasish would gladly be your tour guide!

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Graduate Student, Predoctoral candidate

Miss Shrilaxmi M S was born in Southern India’s small city called Moodbidri (Karnataka) which is famous for beautiful Jain monuments and temples. She did her Bachelors in Microbiology, Biochemistry and Botany from Alva’s College, Mangalore University, Karnataka and her Masters in Medical microbiology from Kasturba Medical College, MAHE Manipal. She had completed a P. G. Diploma in Cellular and Molecular diagnostics’ in School of Life Sciences, MAHE, Manipal, under the Biotechnology Skill Enhancement Program (BiSEP) by Govt. of Karnataka.

During her masters she had worked on ‘Effect of UV radiation and different concentrations of metal ions on virulence factors of Mucorales’ and ‘Highly fluorescent azine stain for the detection of ferric ions in Mucorales’ under the guidance of Dr. P Y Prakash. Shri also worked on the Biliary tract infections and their microbiological spectrum under guidance of Dr. Mamata Ballal. Lateras an intern in String Bio Private limited, Bangalore Shri worked on Growth and screening of recombinant methanotrophic bacteria under guidance of Dr. Rajeev.

During her academic venture, she got great exposure to biochemistry, immunology and microbiology techniques, mammalian cell culture, flow cytometer, karyotyping, HPLC, Mass Spectrometry and molecular biology. In the Dastidar lab she is focused on the activators of 4EBPs and identify drugable targets to treat malignancy in the brain. She is also on the trails behind the genetic factors that modulate Meloidiosis in India.

Apart from these, she’s a trained Classical singer and a person who likes to travel in pursuit of amusement, fun and pleasure. She can be a good partner for trekking, as exploring Nature is her passion. As she is fond of spending time with her family and friends, she can be a good fun-loving friend to hang out with.

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VenkataSurya kumar, B.Pt, M.Sc (Medical Anatomy)

Graduate Student, Predoctoral candidate.

Surya hails from a remote village called Devarajupalli. Venkata pursues his Bachelor of Physiotherapy from Sri Balaji Institute of Surgery Research and Rehabilitation for the Disabled (BIRRD). BIRRD is a premier medical institute that treats patients suffering from polio, cerebral palsy, congenital anomalies, spinal injuries, and orthopedically disabled. There he was introduced to a number of congenital and developmental disorders which created an interest in Anatomy.

Subsequently he qualified for the Master’s program in Medical Anatomy at MAHE, the best three years of his life! His passion for teaching took him to AIIMS Bhopal where he taught Anatomy for six-year. Surya qualified for the TMA Pai PhD entrance examination and chose to join the Dastidar lab in the Center for Molecular Neurosciences. Surya is currently exploring the control of protein translation in neuro-oncology. He is also trying to establish a mice model system to study loss of muscle mass and physical performance. Surya is also thinking to establish a mice model to study Melioidosis.

Surya's is a numismatic and a gardener! He loves classical music. He is an awesome dad, a biker and proud owner of the Royal E.  Someday he would like to possess a patent or write a book!

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Sindhu Sree, B.Sc, M.Sc (Medical Biochemistry)

Graduate Student, Predoctoral candidate

Sindhu was born in Southern India in a small city of Andhra Pradesh. She did her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Chemistry and aced in biochemistry. She joined Kasturba Medical College to pursue her Master’s in Medical Biochemistry. Her Master’s thesis project was focused on a biomarker known as Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in Myocardial infarction. She had presented in National conferences. She held second rank in Dr. TMA Pai PhD entrance examination. Apart from studying protein regulation, Sindhu is currently investigating the regulation of protein homeostasis in ALS. She is also looking at functional genomic screening using CRISPR/Cas9 system to identify factors that aid and abet bacterial entry into mammalian host cells.

She enjoys spending time with her family, loves writing poetry and enjoys gazing at stars in the beach. She is an animal lover and rescuer.

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