Laboratory of Epigenetics of Behaviour and Diseases

Our interests lie in unraveling basic molecular mechanisms of how the environment shapes us as genetic beings either within our lifetime or over short transgenerational periods, a phenomenon that seems to play a role in dictating our eventual evolutionary path. We study molecular mechanisms of, how environmental insults - modulate heritable gene expression, a hallmark of epigenetic change. We characterize these changes, both at single (candidate) gene resolution or by studying the global epigenome (chromatin remodelors, histone modifications and their effectors/modulators/readers, DNA methylation) . Our current focus in Cancer Epigenetics lies in understanding how environmental insults in the early life of an individual (be it foetal or during its infancy/adolescence/young adult) translates to either behavioural changes (eg. individual identity, sexuality) or even early onset of an array genetic diseases/disorders (eg. diabetes, obesity, neurological disorders, degenerative diseases). We assay for the very first epigenetic changes that can be detected where gene expression in normal cells get altered to a heritable mis-regulated state, cumulatively leading to a cancer specific epigenome which becomes the precursor to what eventually manifests as a genetic disease which can later be histologically classified as cancer (from stage I to IV). In lieu of discovering drugs that can interfere with these processes, we are also developing Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model system to screen for novel epigenetically active compounds from traditional sources.

Current Projects: 

1) Mapping Bivalent Chromatin in the epigenomes of Cancers and Stem Cells (in collaboration with Johns Hopkins, USA). 

2) Developing a phenotypic assay for Chlamydomonas as a model system for Epigenetics.

3) Molecular mechanisms of Epigenetic changes in Chlamydomonas

4) Discovery of de novo nucleases from Chlamydomonas and its use in epigenetics.

5) Studying evolutionary patterns of Epigenetic proteins and its co-relations with DNA packaging

6) Epigenetics of the latent HIV virus and its reactivation using epigenetic drugs (in collaboration with NIRRH, Mumbai).

Other Useful Lab Links: 

Research Gate for research updates:

Current Lab Members:
Ms Snehal Kaginkar - Junior Project Assistant
Ms Nicole D'Souza - Project Assistant
Ms Pooja Potdar - Project Assistant
Mr Akshay Malwade - CBS Student
Mr Upnishad Sharma - CBS Student
Mr. Akshay K. Hotkar - CBS Student
Past Lab Members:
Mr Saim Mulla (ACTREC)
Mr Milind Surve (UoM)
Ms Nayana Ramesh (DY Patil)
Ms Shivangi Shinari (UoM)
Ms Jharna Chawda (UoM)


UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences
"Nalanda", Opp Nano Sciences Building,
University of Mumbai, Vidyanagari,
Mumbai 400098, India.
Phone: 91-22-26532132
Telefax: 022-26532134
General Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website Related: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Us

CBS was set up by the Department of Atomic Energy and the University of Mumbai in 2007. CBS offers a 5 year integrated MSc program in Basic Sciences, with undergraduate teaching embedded in a postgraduate and research environment, for students who have completed 10+2 schooling or its equivalent.