Each Core Faculty of the institute has a PhD and post-doctoral experience. Usually, one or the other has involved a stint abroad. Each faculty member’s research programme is outlined in this section. In addition, the multi-crore facility for next generation sequencing, GANIT Labs is profiled here. The research of the faculty has led to publications, including in top international journals, and to tools and databases, which are listed in this section. Finally, the institute runs a PhD programme and offers research projects to interns and research assistants, and these programmes are outlined here.
Listed below are the Core Faculty of the institute, and their backgrounds.
Prof. N. Yathindra is Director of the institute. He received his PhD from the Center of Advanced Study in Biophysics, University of Madras. His postdoctoral work was carried out at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prof. Yathindra has served as Chairman, School of Physical Sciences and Dean-Academic at the University of Madras. His research involves the use of computational approaches to study structure and function of biological macromolecules. He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Kshitish K Acharya obtained his doctoral degree from the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He did post-doctoral research at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and then at the University of Virginia. Thereafter, he was heading the research and production unit of a growing biotechnology company in India. Dr. Acharya is basically a reproductive biologist and has used molecular biology extensively in his research work. Though he is particularly interested in studying differential transcriptional regulation in reproductive vs. other systems, he has multiple research interests and enjoys flexibility in technical approaches. He has been with IBAB since March 2003. Apart from teaching and research, he was the key person handling the very popular Postgraduate Programme in Laboratory Biotechniques. He is currently heading the short term courses.
Dr. Bibha Choudhury received her PhD from BHU, Varanasi. Subsequently she did post-doctoral work in the US. She has taught at the Manipal University and joined IBAB in April 2011. Her work focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in specification and differentiation of cardiomyocytes using embroyonic stem cells. The role of cell-cell interaction, signaling molecules and micro-RNA during differentiation of embryonic stem cells to multiple cell lineages will be investigated.
Dr. Gayatri Saberwal did her PhD in the life sciences at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. She then did post-doctoral work at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York. She has been involved with the institute since its establishment in 2001. Her research and teaching relates to the bio-medical industries, in India and abroad. Dr. Saberwal also spearheads the entrepreneurship activities at the institute and is involved in its business incubator.
Dr. S S Shivakumara obtained his BVSc degree from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, MSc degree from the University of London and PhD degree from Virginia Tech. He did post-doctoral work at the University of Kansas and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His research interests include the genetics and genomics of prokaryotes. He is particularly interested in elucidating the mechanisms and roles of gene gain and loss in bacteria of pathogenic and biotechnological importance. His current research emphasis is on the application of comparative genomics for understanding horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of bacteria within the genus Francisella. He joined IBAB in February 2012 and is involved in teaching microbiology, genomics and lab courses related to these modules.
Dr. Subha Srinivasan has a PhD from the Centre of Advanced Study in Biophysics, University of Madras. Before joining IBAB she was founder and CEO of Jivan Biologics, a start-up company that specializes in microarray services for alternative splicing. Prior to this, Dr. Srinivasan headed the bioinformatics unit at Berlex Biosciences, a fully-owned subsidiary of Schering AG. She also has 10 years of experience at Immunex, a Seattle-based biotechnology company where she was hired to head the molecular modeling group, later assuming responsibility of setting up a bioinformatics core facility. Her research areas include protein structure prediction, homology modeling, gene discovery, alternative splicing, microarrays and next generation sequencing.
Dr. R. Srivatsan did his PhD in physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and worked for more than ten years in the fields of astronomy and plasma physics before shifting to bioinformatics. Before joining IBAB, he worked in Strand Life Sciences and Geschichten Biosciences, both in Bangalore, on systems biology modeling and microarray data analysis. At IBAB, his research activities will be on the development of new algorithms, analysis methods and software tools in the field of computational biology.
Dr. S. Thiyagarajan joined IBAB in May 2013. He received his PhD in physics, crystallography and biophysics from the University of Madras in 2006. Subsequently he did a post-doc at Wayne State University, Detroit, where he worked on the biochemical and structural characterization of arsenic and other heavy metalloid responsive repressors. He did a second post-doc at Lund University, Sweden, where he worked on redox-sensing molecules in microbial systems. He joined Madurai Kamraj University as Assistant Professor in computational biology in 2010, before moving to IBAB. His research interests are in X-ray crystallography, protein biochemistry and computational biology studies of DNA and metal-binding studies from the perspective of microbial stress response.