The research activities of the department are in following major thrust areas as listed below:
Nitrogen Fixation & Cyanobacterial Biochemistry: Elucidation of the pathways of nitrogen metabolism, regulation of nitrogen fixation, amino acid transport and mechanism of ammonia release by cyanobacteria in natural symbioses. This information could be utilized for the manipulation of free-living cyanobacteria for their use as biofertilizers and photobiological production of ammonia/amino acids.
Hormone & Ageing Research : Deduction of the mechanism of enzymatic regulation and signal transduction during development and ageing. The emerging mechanism of cross-talk in signal transduction between protein/peptide and steroid hormone action is also being ascertained.
Molecular Biology of Cancer & Radiation Biology: Molecular events associated with poly-ADP ribosylation of chromosomal proteins are actively being studied to elucidate their influences on the chromatin organization and gene expression during chemically induced carcinogenesis in mouse model. An Indian patent has been registered in the field of cancer diagnosis with a technology for screening of human cancer. The technology transfer of this novel diagnostic tool is currently underway. In addition, radiation induced DNA damage and its repair is also being studied in bacterial, mouse and human systems. DNA microarray and qRT-PCR based analyses are planned to be applied to identify candidate genes for use as a countermeasure to radiation exposure.
Drug Delivery/Drug Targeting & Immunotherapy : Liposomes are being used as a carrier for delivery and targeting of drugs (radiomodifiers) and ribosome inactivating protein (RIP) in cancer therapy. This carrier system is also used for presentation of tumor-associated antigen to potentiate the immune response against tumor.
Medicinal Plants/Biodiversity: Meghalaya in the whole Northeast is biodiversity hot spot. Therefore, identification, isolation and chemical characterization of active component from indigenous herbal anti-diabetic and anti-cancer have significant impact on the health of common people of this region. Such studies are also being carried out.
Enzyme Biotechnology: Enzymes are being immobilized on different matrices, the conditions for better stability and their applications in clinical investigations.
Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics: Role of apoptosis and related markers in diabetes associated complications; structural and functional characterization of novel chemotherapeutic protein targets against diseases.
The department is currently being supported by the UGC (under the Special Assistance Programme - SAP) as well as by the DST (under FIST) programme.
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