Optical Imaging Lab(Officer In-charge : Dr. Preeti Joshi)
This laboratory is an advanced facility for conducting sophisticated experiments such as real time recording of signalling events in cells and tissue. The laboratory is equipped with confocal microscope, epifluorescence systems for imaging and patch clamp setup for electrical recording from cells. These state of the art techniques are being used by the researchers to unravel the cellular and molecular basis of physiological and pathological signalling in the nervous system. The long term objective of the research is to identify the defective signalling modules and its origin at molecular level (ion channels/receptors etc.) in neuro-psychiatric disorders. This can be translated in to targeted therapy by developing drugs against the identified molecular targets.
Ongoing research activities of the lab;
Researchers in this laboratory are currently focussing on the role of glial cells in epilepsy, intra and inter cellular signaling aberrations in neuropsychiatric disorders and pain sensation. It was found that several metabotropic purinergic receptors in astrocytes are up regulated within 1-2 hrs of status epilepticus. Astrocytes elicit hyper Ca2+ activity independent of neuronal activity. Experiments on neuron-astrocyte cross talk show that activation of P2Y2 receptors in astrocytes significantly enhances the hyperactivity in neurons. To investigated the changes in cellular signaling in dementia patients we have studied the signaling events in lymphoblasts derived from dementia patients carrying different alleles of ApoE gene.
Some of the projects in this lab are in collaboration with department of Neurology and department of Psychiatry. A new project on understanding the mechanisms of neuropathic pain and exploring new therapeutic targets was initiated in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb Company (BMS) USA and Biocon Bristol- Myers Squibb R & D Centre Bangalore. The Research projects for this laboratory are funded by DBT and BMS.
The laboratory currently has 3 ongoing funded projects and 1 non funded project. More than 6 researchers including PhD scholars, SRA, PDF,JRF,MPhil and project assistants are currently using the lab facility. Students/ Researchers from other Institutes also use the facility. In the year 2013-2014, there was one publication from this lab in peer reviewed journal.