Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology
Mentor-DIrector, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research-Kolkata
Cluster Director, Biological Cluster of Research Institutes, CSIR
President, West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology (The State level Academy)





Scientific Acievements and Interests



DNA sequence dependent conformation and dynamics of transcription factors


DNA sequence dependent allostery and its role in functioning of transcription factors is unclear. Last two decades of work from my laboratory has demonstrated  λ -repressor, a prokaryotic homeodomain like transcription factor assumes different conformations when bound to different target sites. This laboratory has also shown that protein dynamics----at sites distant from from the DNA-binding sites-----also depends on the nature of the bound target site. Currently the laboratory is exploring how the DNA induced allosteric changes----both static and dynamics----affect the function of the protein. More…….



Peptides as tools of Chemical Genetics and Therapeutics


In eukaryotes, protein-protein and protein-nucleic acids interactions form the backbone of cellular functions. Selective intervention in this network is important for both chemical genetics approach to study cell function and highly selective therapeutics. This laboratory has developed several highly selective peptide based molecules that eludicate roles of certain post-translational modifications or selectively intervene in targeted functions. More…….



Transcription initiation in prokaryotes and its regulation (Collaborator: Dr. Sankar Adhya, NIH, Bethesda)


We have developed a theory----named differential contact---- of how prokaryotic transcription factors regulate transcription initiation. We were also able to experimentally demonstrate some key aspect of this theory, such as negative regulation by contact. More…….


Molten Globule and Substrate specificity


Through studies spanning many years, our laboratory was able to show that the molten globule state of Glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase is dependent on the presence of a small loop that carries anti-codon binding information to the active site. This loop appears to have co-evolved with evolution of GlnRS from GluRS, suggesting that the molten globule state may have played a role in conversion of GluRS to GlnRS. More……




Early Career Achievements


* First correlation of residue hydropathy with protein interior/exterior (with Prof. George Rose)More……
* First assignment of imino proton spectra of a nucleic acids (with Prof. Alfred Redfield) More……
* Development of techniques of regio- and base- specific labeling of nucleic acids. More……





Recent Interests

Metabolic engineering of biosynthetic pathways of pharmacologically  important  metabolites from medicinal plants of India. As a test case we have taken up the plant Azadirachta indica (neem). Neem is one of the most important medicinal plants in Indian traditional medicine. Our group is leading a CSIR-wide effort to sequence neem genome and identify secondary metabolic pathways of neem. More...