Dr. Jitendra K. Thakur

RESEARCH INTERESTS

1. Architecture and function of plant Mediator complex

In last two decades, Mediator complex has emerged as the key component of RNA pol II-dependent transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Most of the knowledge about mechanistic details of Mediator functioning has come from studies in yeast and metazoan systems. Our lab is studying different aspects of Mediator functioning in plants. We are using Arabidopsis and rice as model systems. We have explained role of Intrinsically Disorder Regions (IDRs) in the evolution of diversified role of Mediator functioning and establishing extensive protein-protein interaction network. In another study, we delineated interaction map of Arabidopsis Mediator complex and expounded its structural topology. Now, we are trying to characterize the transcriptional network being controlled by different Mediator subunits as important regulatory switches. We are also looking at the functional relevance of individual Mediator subunits in different signalling pathways affecting growth and development of plants. We are also interested to know if Mediator collaborates with or affects the chromatin structure during gene regulation.

2. Epigenetic regulation of seed development

 

Epigenetic modifications of chromatin play very important role in programming the gene expression network. Available literature suggests that many genomic loci are epigenetically modified during reproductive phases of plant life cycle. However, we do not know how these epigenetic modifications drive different phases of seed development. Our laboratory is interested in unravelling the basic aspect of epigenetic regulation of seed development in rice.

3. Characterization of novel phytochemicals possessing anticandida activity

Infections caused by pathogenic fungi are very serious threat as billions of people all over the world are affected by them. Candida species have been found to be the main cause of widespread fungal infections ranking fourth among the hospital-acquired infections. Since, azole and other current treatment of Candida infection often lead to proliferation of resistant Candida species, use of plant extract will be useful. We are interested in to purification and characterization of anticandida activities from different plants.  

Career

  • Visiting Faculty (April - August 2014): Department of Biochemistry & Cellular & Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.

  • Scientist (Oct 2009 - present): National Institute for Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, India.

  • Assistant Professor (Sep 2008- Sep 2009): Indian Institute of Science Education & Research - Kolkata, Mohanpur, India.

  • Research Fellow (Jan 2004 - Aug 2008): Harvard Medical School/MGH Cancer Center, Boston, USA.

Awards, Scholarships & Fellowships

International

  • International Fellowship for Medical Discovery (ECOR-FMD), Massachussets Genreal Hospital, Boston, USA. 2006-2008

  • Financial Aid Award, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA. 2006

  • Keystone Scholarship 2002

  • IAPTC&B Fellowship 2002

National

  • Prof. Archana Sharma Memorial Award given by Indian Science Congress Association. 2017

  • Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) from DBT, Govt. of India. 2008

  • INSA (Indian National Science Academy) medal for Young Scientist. 2008

  • Junior and Senior Research Fellowships, CSIR-UGC-NET, 2000-2003

  • DBT scholarship for M.Sc.(Biotechnology). 1994-1996

  • Membership of Academic Honours Society of Mathematics on the basis of merit. Christian College, Lucknow. 1993

Last Updated: 08-Oct-2019

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