Dr Sandhya Ganesan
Assistant Professor Grade I (Biology)
  +91 (0)471 - 2778059
  sandhyag@iisertvm.ac.in

Our lab focuses on understanding mammalian molecular pathways and mechanisms that detect, respond to and control pathogens. Many bacterial pathogens have evolved to replicate robustly inside intracellular organelles of host cells and secrete effector proteins to disarm immune surveillance (Examples: Coxiella, Legionella, Salmonella, Mycobacteria). We aim to use these bacterial pathogens as model systems to understand fundamental principles of cell-intrinsic defense and immune dysregulation that drive pathogenesis. Equipped with a robust training in studying innate immunity and host-pathogen interaction, we aim to identify common and distinct themes in host defense using various infectious disease models and promote the development of host-directed therapies in future. Some short- and long-term goals are to:

1. Define the role of the SNARE protein STX11 in anti-bacterial defense and immune dysregulation

2. Examine how polymorphisms in STX11 lead to the development of the immune disorder FHL-4

3. Identify IFN-gamma-induced host factors that restrict intravacuolar pathogens

4. Study the role of lysosomal biogenesis and mechanisms in controlling bacterial replication

5. Identify the molecular composition of pathogen-containing vacuoles in immune-activated cells