Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Alok Bhattacharya is currently Professor in the Schools of Life Sciences & Computational and Integrative Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He obtained a Master’s degree in Chemistry from IIT–Kanpur and PhD in Life Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He carried out post-doctoral work at National Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, USA. After returning to India, he spent a few years at AIIMS, New Delhi, and Tata Research Development & Design Centre, Pune, before joining Jawaharlal Nehru University as an Associate Professor. Initially he set up a lab to carry out research in immunology and infectious diseases, particularly for understanding immune response to pathogens at the molecular level. Later he developed a research program on amoebiasis, an intestinal disease highly endemic in India and one of the neglected tropical diseases. He had also set up one of the first teaching and research programs on bioinformatics and computational biology in India.
SESSION 2C: Symposium: Community Health – A Genomic Perspective
Rajiva Raman, BHU, Varanasi
Genetics and biology of neuromuscular disorders: Unmet scientific need
Neuromuscular disorders cause defect in peripheral nervous system and or muscles. Unfortunately for most diseases currently there are no treatments. Over the last 2–3 decades, it has become evident that most of these disorders have a genetic origin. Currently hundreds of genes have been identified and it is expected that more disease-associated genes will be found thanks to increasing whole genome sequence data. Not all patients of neuromuscular disorders inherit the mutations – increasing number of de novo mutations is being identified. Moreover, disease-associated genes have been found in both mitochondrial and nuclear genome and are known to participate in several different pathways. In most cases it is not clear how the mutations in the respective genes affect neural and or muscle functions. There is also very little information available about mechanisms of genotype–phenotype relationship in these diseases. The speaker will broadly cover these points in his talk.