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An Indo-US Bilateral Symposium on

Aging and Age-Related Diseases


March 3rd and 4th, 2011
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF IMMUNOLOGY
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, INDIA

Keynote speaker
Dr. Thomas E. Johnson is a Professor of Behavioral Genetics at Institute for Behavioral
Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder and Adjunct Professor, Buck Institute for Age
Research, Novato CA. Prof. Johnson has a Ph.D. degree in Genetics from University of
Washington. His lab uses C. elegans as a model system to understand the molecular basis of
aging. Currently, he is studying the stochastic nature of aging by examining the mortality
kinetics in large populations of normal and mutant nematodes. He is also trying to understand
the underlying link between longevity and stress resistance using comparative studies of
stress resistance versus longevity, stress reporter lines, and forward genetic screens for stress-
resistant mutants. Dr. Johnson is the recipient of several awards and honours including
President, American Aging Association, Robert W. Kleemeier Award, Gerontological
Society of America, Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar and has Chaired the Gordon
Conference on the Biology of Aging.

Metabolism and aging


Dr. Andrew Dillin is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Associate Professor
in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and
Director of the Glenn Center for Aging Research. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from
University of California and pursued his postdoctoral work at University of California San
Francisco. Dr. Dillin has received several awards including McKnight Neuroscience Fellow,
Glenn Foundation for Medical Research Award, Ellison Medical Foundation Award,
American Diabetes Association Junior Faculty Award, Larry L. Hillblom Junior Faculty
Award and Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Dillin uses C.
elegans as a model system to study the role of insulin signalling in aging and development.
He also studies age-onset neurodegenerative diseases as well as the molecular mechanisms
of caloric restriction-mediated life span extension using C. elegans.

Dr. Marc Van Gilst did his Ph.D. from University of Oregon in 1998 and trained as a
postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology,
University of California, San Francisco. He was appointed Assistant Member at the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2005. Dr. Van Gilst in interested in understanding
metabolic changes that occur during fasting and feeding stages in an organism and
mechanisms by which these changes alter nutrient partitioning, reproduction, and longevity.
His lab is studying the role of NHR-49 in metabolic shift from fed to non-fed states and role
of starvation on reproductive life span as well as developing new isotope labeling strategies
to study nutrient partitioning. Dr. Van Gilst is the recipient of the American Diabetes
Association Junior Faculty Award (2007 to 2010), NIH Career Development Award (2002 to
2005) and Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Research Fellowship (1998 to 2001).

Dr. Ullas Kolthur is a Reader at tbe Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. He
obtained his PhD from the Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore. He carried out his postdoctoral research at IGBMC, Strasbourg, France.
Currently, he is working towards deciphering the Sirtuin controlled molecular mechanisms
and their importance in aging and age-related diseases.

Dr. James R. Mitchell is an Assistant Professor of Genetics and Complex Diseases at the
Harvard University School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. degree from University of
California, Berkeley. Dr. Mitchell’s lab works on evaluating the role of hormesis, brought
about by dietary restriction, as the central factor in providing protection to acute stress and
extending life span in mammals. His lab uses a novel readout to evaluate organ protection by
using resistance to acute organ stress associated with surgical ischemia reperfusion as a
parameter. Dr. Mitchell has published papers in leading scientific journals.

Age-related diseases-I
Dr. G Bhanuprakash Reddy is the Assistant Director of National Institute of Nutrition. He
holds a Ph.D. degree from the National Institute of Nutrition and was a Research Associate at
Case Western Reserve University, and at Indian Institute of Science, Molecular Biophysics
Unit, Bangalore. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India and has received
ICMR Dr. V. N. Patwardhan award, BOYSCOST Fellowship from Department of Science
and Technology and the Young Scientist Award of the Nutrition Society of India. He
research interest is to understand the molecular basis of cataractogenesis and retinal
degeneration. His lab also works on the role of dietary and nutritional factor in the prevention
or treatment of secondary complications of diabetes (cataract and retinopathy).

Dr. Madhu Dikshit is a Scientist and the Head of the Pharmacology Division, Central Drug
Research Institute, Lucknow. Dr. Dikshit is an elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of
Sciences and Fellow of The National Academy of Sciences, India. Her current areas of
interest include role of NO in the physiological as well as pathological conditions like
thrombosis, ischemia, hypertension, and neurodegeneration, studying the molecular
mechanisms involved in the regulation of NADPH-oxidase and NOS activity in the
neutrophils. Her lab also studies peripheral markers in the CNS disorder.

Dr. M.Balasubramanyam is an Assistant Director & Senior Scientist at the Madras Diabetes
Research Foundation (MDRF), India. He has a Ph.D. from S.V.University, Tirupati and
pursued his Post Doctoral work at New Jersey Medical School, USA. He is interested in
studying the biochemistry and molecular biology of diabetes and its vascular complications
by studying nutrient-sensing pathways, redox signaling, advanced glycation end products,
calcium signaling and epigenetic mechanisms. His group also investigates the role of
organellar dysfunction in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes utilizing and focuses on
biomarker identification and bioprospecting for herbal molecules to cure metabolic disorders.
He is an elected Member of the Asia Pacific International Molecular Biology Network, a
Fellow of the Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists and received the Third World
Academy of Sciences Associateship award.

Dr. S.Sivakami has retired as a Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Mumbai. She
has a Ph.D. degree from Christian Medical College, Vellore and pursued her postdoctoral
work at the University of Leeds and University of Georgia at Athens. She was a Visiting
Scientist at University Medical College of Georgia at Augusta and University of California
at Santacruz as well as a Visiting Professor at Department of Biochemistry, National
University of Singapore. She is interested in studying glycosidases and nonenzymatic
glycation in small intestine and kidney in diabetes models as well as characterisation of
cerebrospinal fluids from patients with tuberculous meningitis leading to early diagnosis.

Signaling, Development, Stress and aging


Dr. Heidi Tissenbaum is an Associate Professor at the Program in Molecular Medicine,
University of Massachusetts Medical School. She did her Ph.D from Harvard University and
carried out her postdoctoral work from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr.
Tissenbaum’s lab is focused on understanding the complex role of insulin signalling pathway
in controlling longevity, fat storage and development using C. elegans as a model system.
She studies how the insulin signalling co-ordinately regulate these phenotypes with inputs
from different other pathways using a conserved transcription factor DAF-16. Dr.
Tissenbaum is the recipient of the Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences from the
Burroughs Wellcome Fund and is a William Randolph Hearst Young Investigator.

Dr. Vineeta Bal is a Project Leader/Staff Scientist at the National Institute of Immunology,
New Delhi. Dr. Bal is a trained physician with an MB BS from BJ Medical College, Pune and
MD in Microbiology from Haffkine Institute, Mumbai. She carried out her Post-doctoral
research from Haffkine Institute, Mumbai and London University, UK. Her research interests
in immunology range from infectious disease epidemiology, diagnostics, innate immunity to
cell fate decisions in T cell biology. Current focus is on investigating molecular mechanisms
associated with immunological memory, reasons for compromised immune memory in the
aged, Th1/Th2 commitment decisions and regulation of survival and death of macrophages.

Dr. Leanne Jones is an Assistant Professor and Emerald Foundation Developmental Chair
of Laboratory of Genetics at Salk Institute of Biological Studies. She possesses a PhD.
Degree from Harvard University and pursued her postdoctoral work at University of
Sheffield, UK and Stanford University. Dr. Jones has received several awards for her
outstanding work that includes California Institute of Regenerative Medicine New Faculty
Award, American Cancer Society Research Scholar, Ellison Medical Foundation New
Scholar in Aging Award, Lilly Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation, Human
Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) postdoctoral fellowship, AACR-AFLAC Scholar in
Cancer Research and Rhône Poulenc Young Investigator Award. Dr. Jones uses Drosophila
spermatogenesis as a model to study stem cell behaviour, relation of stem cell to the stem cell
niche and the role of aging in stem cell behaviour. Her study shows that stem cell niche play
an important role in maintaining youthfulness of stem cells and it may be necessary to
transplant cell niche, along with the stem cells, to provide for better sustenance of the latter.

Dr. Martin W. Hetzer is the Hearst Endowment Associate Professor in Salk Institute of
Biological Studies. Dr. Hertzer obtained a PhD in Biochemistry and Genetics from Vienna
Biocenter, Austria and carried out his postdoctoral work at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany. He
is recipient of several awards including 2009 ASCINA Award, Early Career Life Science
Award from American Society of Cell Biology, Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar
in Aging, American Cancer Society Research Scholar, Pew Scholar 2005, EMBO long term
fellowship etc. Dr. Hertzer investigates the role of the nuclear membrane in development,
aging and disease. His lab has showed that the nuclear pore complex (NPC) deteriorates with
age resulting in breakdown of compartmentalization in post-mitotic neurons. His worm
shows that such deterioration may contribute to the onset of age-related neurodegenerative
diseases like Parkinson’s disease. His lab also studies the role of NPC in chromatin
organization and gene regulation.

Dr. Patrick D' Silva is an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
He received his Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, Powai-Bombay, and did his
postdoctoral research in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison,
U.S.A. His research interests are chaperone mediated protein folding in cell, mitochondrial
protein transport, heat shock protein-based therapeutics and iron-sulphur proteins. His lab
also works towards understanding the role of role of heat shock proteins in health and
diseases. Dr. D’ Silva is a recipient of Welcome Trust International Senior Research
Fellowship.

Dr. Malene Hansen is an Assistant Professor at the Program of Development and Aging
in Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. She received her early training at the
University of Copenhagen in Denmark that conferred her Master’s degree in Biochemistry in
1998 and a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology in 2001. Dr. Hansen trained as a postdoctoral
fellow in molecular genetics at the University of California in San Francisco. She is the
recipient of postdoctoral funding from the Danish National Research Councils as well as an
Ellison/American Federation of Aging Research Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Hansen
was recruited to Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in September 2007 to the
Institute’s Development and Aging Program at the Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging and
Stem Cell Research Center. She is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that
affect the process of aging, using C. elegans as a model system. Using a combination of
genetic, cellular and biochemical approaches her lab focuses on unravelling how several
evolutionarily conserved signalling pathways as well as some newly identified longevity
genes modulate organismal aging.

Dr. Arnab Mukhopadhyay is a Group Leader/Staff Scientist at the National Institute of


Immunology, New Delhi. Dr. Mukhopadhyay holds a Ph.D degree from the University of
Delhi and carried out his postdoctoral work at the University of Massachusetts Medical
School. He is interested in identifying novel regulators of longevity and in elucidating the
intricate network of signal transduction pathways that determine an organism’s longevity. His
laboratory also works on transcription factor-DNA interactions under various physiological
conditions like stress and pathogen attack. He is a recipient of the Ramalingaswami
Fellowship from the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.

Age-related diseases-II
Dr. Avadhesha Surolia is a professor in the Molecular Biophysic Unit, Indian Institute of
Sciences, Bangalore and the director of the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi. Dr
Surolia obtained his Ph.D. from Christian Medical College, Vellore. He is the Fellow of all
three Academy of Sciences in India. He is also a Fellow of the Third World Academy of
Sciences, elected Member of Guha Research Conference and was President of International
Glycoconjugate Organization and President Elect of International Glycoconjugate
Organization. He has received many awards including Dr. BR Ambedkar Prize by ICMR,
Third World Academy of Sciences Prize in Biology, Professor GN Ramachandran 60th
Birthday Commemoration Medal, Ranbaxy Science Foundation’s Award, W.H. Stillmark
Prize and S.S. Bhatanagar Award in Biological Sciences. Prof. Surolia’s has many
contributions in the field of lectins, orientation and dynamics of cell surface carbohydrate
receptors, blood group and tumor associated antigens, protein folding and quality control in
the Endoplasmic Reticulum. He discovered the fatty acid synthesis pathway in human
malarial parasite that is distinct from its human host. Currently, his lab is working to identify
of new therapeutic targets for Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite and
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, understanding ligand specificity of lectins and energetics of
their interactions and using protein engineering to develop of novel methodology for
treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Dr. P. Prakash Babu is a Professor at the School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad
Hyderabad. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Hyderabad. Dr. Prakash
Babu is the Secretary, Asia Pacific Society for Neurochemistry, DBT Overseas fellow for
stem cell research,General Secretary, Society for Neurochemistry, India and has received
BOYSCAST Fellowship from Department of Science and Technology, STA Fellowship from
Japan Science and Technology and Tulsa Bai Somani Educational Trust Award by Indian
Academy of Neurosciences. His lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism of
cell death and cell survival signals during pathological conditions in the brain. His laboratory
is currently studying the mechanism of cell death and cell survival in the experimental
paradigms of cerebral ischemia and spinal cord injury (stroke), cerebral malaria and
glioblastoma (brain tumors) as well as exploring the therapeutic potential of bone marrow
stem cells in the rats after stroke.

Dr. Jamuna R. Subramaniam is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of


Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Dr.
Subramaniam received her Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from Georgetown University,
Washington DC. She did her postdoctoral training in the Division of Neuropathology, Johns
Hopkins University. She received the Young Investigator award from the Department of
Pathology, Johns Hopkins University. In the postdoctoral work, we showed that copper
bound to SOD1 is not the cause of ALS which was completely opposite to the thinking then.
This appeared in Nature Neuroscience with News and Views and Highlights in Nature
Reviews Neuroscience. Her current research focuses on neural contribution to lifespan
extension and identification and delineation of neuroprotective strategies against
neurodegenerative diseases.

Genomic instability, telomere and aging


Dr. Sagar Sengupta is a Group Leader/Staff Scientist at the National Institute of
Immunology, India. Dr. Sengupta received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science,
India. During his postdoctoral studies at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire
et Cellulaire (IGBMC), Strasbourg, France, he examined the functional interaction between
the tumour suppressor p53 and the glucocorticoid receptor. Subsequently, in the Laboratory
of Human Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA, Dr. Sengupta studied
the inter-regulatory roles of p53 and RecQ helicases. His ongoing research interests involve
the study of the interactions between the members of the eukaryotic signal-transduction
cascade and the DNA-repair and -recombination machinery.

Dr. Jan Karlseder is an Associate Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He
did his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Vienna. Dr. Karlseder’s lab
focuses on the involvement of telomeres in premature aging diseases like the Werner’s
syndrome. Work from his lab has shown that WRN helicase is required for efficient
replication of the telomeric G strand. Patients with Werner’s syndrome lose individual
telomeres (Sister Telomere Loss; STL) and this leads to genomic instability, leading to
development of tumors. His lab is currently looking at the redundancy of the WRN with other
helicases. Dr. Karlseder is the recipient of several awards including the V-Foundation Award
for Developing Scientists (2002), Charles H. Revson Fellowship (1999), Human Frontiers
Science Program Fellowship (1997) and the European Molecular Biology Organization
Fellowship (1993).

Age-related diseases-III
Dr. Subramaniam Ganesh is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at the Indian
Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He obtained his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Prior to joining IIT Kanpur, Dr Ganesh worked as a
staff scientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan. Dr Ganesh has been working on
the genetics and molecular pathologies of neurological disorders to understand the cellular
functions of genes whose defects result in neurological deficits, and also to discover cellular
pathways for developing therapeutic intervention. Dr Ganesh has been awarded with the Birla
Science Prize by the B.M.Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad, the National Bioscience Award
for Career Development by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, and the
SCOPUS Young Scientist Award in Biological Sciences for the year 2008 by Elsevier South
Asia. His research work has been supported by a DAE-SRC Outstanding Research
Investigator Award from the Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India.

Dr. Sarika Gupta is a Staff Scientist in the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi.
She has a Ph.D. degree from Banaras Hindu University. She is interested in studying the role
of protein misassembly in neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease (PD),
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and transthyretin-related amyloidosis. Her lab is also working on
developing new therapeutics for the treatment of osteoporosis as well as predicting fractures
using BMD, bone shape, bone turnover markers and risk factors.

Dr. Bhavana Shivu (previously Dr. Ritu Khurana) is a Visiting Faculty, Indian Institute of
Technology, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Dr. Shivu received her Ph.D. from the Tata Institute of
Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India. She did her postdoctoral work at University of
California, Santa Cruz, California, USA and at University of Chicago, Chicago, USA. She
was a Scientist at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and Central Drug
Research Institute, Lucknow, India and Assistant Professor at Birla Institute of Science and
Technology, Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, India. Dr. Shivu uses various biophysical techniques
to study amyloid deposition in cultured human medullary thyroid carcinoma cells.

Dr. Rolf Bodmer is a Professor and the Program Director of the Development and Aging
Program in the Neuroscience, Aging and Stem Cell Research Center, Sanford-Burnham
Medical Research Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Neurobiology from the
University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. He trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Neurobiology
at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and Molecular Genetics at the
University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Bodmer’s lab is interested in understanding the
molecular mechanism underlying organ formation. He studies Drosophila model to decipher
genetic interactions that determine heart development and function. His lab also focuses on
studying cardiac aging.

Dr. Sanjeev Das is a Staff Scientist at the National Institute of Immunology, India. Dr. Das
received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, India. During doctoral studies, he
investigated the effect of different viral oncogenes on tumor suppressor p53 family member
p73. During his postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard
Medical School, USA, his work provided novel insights into the regulation of p53
transactivation function and how it connects with other cellular regulatory networks. His
ongoing research is in the area of tumor cell metabolism.

Dr. Chinmay K. Mukhopadhyay is a Professor at the Special Centre for Molecular


Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Dr. Mukhopadhyay did his doctoral
studies at the Department of Biochemistry, Calcutta University and received the postdoctoral
training in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, USA. Dr. Mukhopadhyay had been awarded the
Young scientist award from Indian National Science Academy and Elsa Albrecht Award,
USA. He also received an International Senior Research Fellowship from The Wellcome
Trust, UK. Dr. Mukhopadhyay is interested in understanding the influence of iron and
oxygen homeostasis on the development of diseases like insulin resistance-related disorders,
Parkinson disease, as well as, role of iron in infection of intracellular pathogens like
Leishmania and role of iron in drug resistance in Candida.