Theme 2: The correlates of immune protection
We are interested in understanding the correlates of immune protection against viral diseases focusing mainly on RNA viruses using system biology approach to develop the host directed therapy.
During the viral infection, a certain proportion of rare individuals show natural protection against the viruses. The induction of the innate immune mechanisms is not pathogen-specific but depends on interactions between the host cell determinants and pathogenic factors. The primary focus of our lab is to understand the mechanisms of immune control in HIV-1 infection, focusing in particular on HIV-1 infected individuals called Elite Controllers (EC) who control HIV infection spontaneously. EC is a group of HIV-1 positive individuals who control viral replication and restrained progression to immunodeficiency, without any antiretroviral therapy for a longer duration of time. System analysis using multi-omics technologies (transcriptomics, proteomics, microbiome, and metabolomics ), we aim to identify the molecular mechanism and identify novel biomarkers of natural immune control. We aim to identify the components of the immune response that are required for natural immune protection that can be translated into the future development of functional HIV-cure including therapeutic vaccine strategies
Apart from this, we also use a system biology approach to identify the mechanism of antiviral responses against emerging and re-emerging viruses like Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) viruses, dengue viruses, Zika viruses, etc.