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Department of Life Sciences
Ashish Gupta
Assistant Professor,
Department of Life Sciences,
School of Natural Sciences

Education Details
Ph.D. in Molecular Parasitology Special Centre for Molecular Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
M.Sc. (Biochemistry) - Jiwaji University, Gwalior
B.Sc. - Bundelkhand University, Jhansi
Professional Experience:
2013 - Assistant Professor, Shiv Nadar University, India
20011-2013 - Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular genetics, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, USA
2009-2011 - Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, USA
Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) Grant, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, 2015-2018, (Principal Investigator) (in progress)

Young Scientist Grant, Council of Science & Technology, Department of Science and Technology-UP, Government of UP, 2015-2018 (Principal Investigator) (in progress)

Young Scientist start up grant, Science & Engineering research board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, 2014-2017 (Principal Investigator) (in progress)

US Army Department of Defense (CDMRP) Postdoctoral Award Grant for Breast cancer research, Government of USA, 2011-2013 (Principal Investigator) (Completed)
Research Interests:
To identify and characterize novel molecular targets for anti-malarial chemotherapy

Despite worldwide efforts ongoing to control and eliminate malaria, it still remains one of the deadliest parasitic infectious diseases that cause ~6.6 lakh deaths annually. Our lab works on the deadliest form of the parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Major factors contributing to the severity of this disease are the widespread emergence of anti-malarial drug resistance in P. falciparum and lack of any effective vaccine. Hence, we need a deeper understanding of the basic biological processes of Plasmodium as to understand how Plasmodium regulate its virulence and prevent the establishment of protective immunity. There is an urgent need to characterize novel molecular targets to combat the malarial infection and develop anti-malarial drugs against them. Given the essential role of epigenetics in regulation of gene expression, the goal of our research project is to identify and characterize the molecular machinery involved in bringing epigenetic changes in the parasite genome during different stages of IDC. To gain insight into these mechanisms we are applying functional genomics approaches integrating molecular biology techniques, bioinformatics, whole-genome technologies and biochemistry.

Host-Pathogen interaction
Infectious agents such as bacteria, virus or parasite when infect human host tries to alter the host genomic environment in such a manner that favours their survival and successive proliferation. An important strategy employed by these organisms to ensure their survival and replication is by epigenetic alteration of host genome to change its protein expression profile and inactivation/degradation of proteins related to cell cycle check points and apoptotic pathways.

The major objective of this study is to investigate the role of pathogens in altering the host cellular protein expression profile and its role in pathogen survival and infection. Unravelling these molecular mechanisms is important to develop strategies to prevent infection of these pathogens.
Chromatin modifiers in cancers
Aberrant gene expression and altered epigenomic modifications play an important role in tumour development and progression. The ways in which chromatin modifiers and remodelers impact wide-ranging cellular processes such as gene transcription, DNA replication and DNA damage repair, it is not surprising that their inappropriate activities may be linked to progression of diseases including cancers. Under this project, we are interested in understanding how chromatin microenvironment and chromatin modifiers regulate gene expression while maintaining a stable genome. TIP60 (a histone acetyl transferase) is known to be involved in a wide variety of vital cellular processes such as gene transcription, repair of DNA damage, autophagy etc. TIP60’s role in cancer is complex and it is found to be deregulated in various cancers. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of normal cellular function of TIP60 as well as the aberrant functions is crucial to understand how the undesirable activities of this acetyl transferase might alter the cell proliferation program, leading to cancer.
Selected Publications:
Deshmukh AS, Agarwal M, Mehra P, Gupta A, Gupta N, Doerig CD and Dhar SK (2015) Regulation of Plasmodium falciparum Origin Recognition Complex subunit 1 (PfORC1) function through phosphorylation mediated by CDK-like kinase PK5 Molecular Microbiology, doi:10.1111/mmi.13099

Jha S*, Gupta A*, Dar A and Dutta A (2013) RVBs are required for assembling a functional TIP60 complex. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 33(6):1164-74.* Co first author

Gupta A, Jha S, Engel D, Ornelles D and Dutta A (2013) Tip60 Degradation by Adenovirus Relieves Transcriptional Repression of Viral Transcriptional Activator EIA. Oncogene, 32(42):5017-25.

Deshmukh AS, Srivastava S, Hermann S, Gupta A, Mitra P, Gilberger TW and Dhar SK (2012) The role of N-terminus of Plasmodium falciparum ORC1 in telomeric localization and var gene silencing. Nucleic Acids Research, 40: 5313–533.

Gupta A, Mehra P, Deshmukh A, Dar A, Mitra P, Roy N., and Dhar S.K. (2009) Functional dissection of the catalytic carboxyl- terminal domain of origin recognition complex subunit1 (PfORC1) of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Eukaryotic Cell, 8: 1341-1351.

Gupta A, Mehra P, and Dhar S.K. (2008) Plasmodium falciparum origin recognition complex subunit 5: functional characterization and role in DNA replication foci formation. Molecular Microbiology, 69: 646- 665. (Highlighted by Faculty of 1000)

Prusty D, Mehra P, Srivastava S, Shivange A.V., Gupta A, Roy N, and Dhar, S.K. (2008) Nicotinamide inhibits Plasmodium falciparum Sir2 activity in vitro and parasite growth. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 282: 266-72.

Gupta A, Mehra P, Nitharwal R, Sharma A , Biswas AK and Dhar, S.K. (2006) Analogus expression pattern of Plasmodium falciparum replication initiation proteins PfMCM4 and PfORC1 during the asexual and sexual stages of intraerythrocytic developmental cycle. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 261: 12-18.

Mehra P, Biswas AK, Gupta A, Gaurinath S , Chitnis C and Dhar S.K. (2005) Expression and characterization of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum origin recognition complex subunit1. Biochemical Biophysical Research Communication, 337: 955-966.
Book Chapters:
Ashish Gupta. ‘Developments in Medical Biotechnology: Present and Challenges’; Biotechnology - Progress and Prospects, Studium Press LLC, Texas, US. (2015) ISBN: 1-62699-059-X and ISBN: 978-162699-059-3

Ashish Gupta, Parul Mehra and Suman K. Dhar. ‘Plasmodium falciparum Origin Recognition Complex (ORC): A master regulator of parasite DNA replication and virulence gene expression’. Proceedings of IISc Centenary conference – Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. (2009).
National and International Recognition:
INSA Medal for Young Scientist-2015 by Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. INSA medal is considered to be highest recognition of promise, creativity and excellence in a young scientist.

Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award-2014 by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, New Delhi. IYBA award is given every year to outstanding young scientists in India to pursue innovative research in the frontier areas of biotechnology.

Prof. M.B. Mirza Award-2014 by Indian Society for Parasitology. This award is given for best research work carried out in India in the field of parasitology.

US Army Postdoctoral fellowship Award-2011, USA for work on Breast cancer research.

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India ‘Senior Research Fellowship’

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India ‘Junior Research Fellowship’

Awarded ‘Junior Research Fellowship’ from Indian Council for Medical research (ICMR), India

Qualified Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (Life Sciences)

Best Oral presentation award at Biospark, School of Life Sciences, JNU, New Delhi

2nd rank holder all over University in M.Sc. (Biochemistry)

Major Presentations, Conferences and Workshops:
Ashish Gupta, invited speaker in “Symposium on Current Trends in Drug Discovery Research in India”, Shiv Nadar University, 11th April, 2015.

Ashish Gupta. Sixth Symposium on “Frontiers in Molecular Medicine”. Special Centre for Molecular Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 13-14th February, 2015.

Ashish Gupta. Invited speaker at National conference on ‘Contemporary issues in Biotechnology: Progress & future applications.’ Amity University, Gurgaon. 2nd April 2014.

Ashish Gupta, Sudhakar Jha and Anindya Dutta. Role of RVBs in TIP60 complex. Young investigators Meeting (YIM), Hyderabad, 8-12th February 2014.

Ashish Gupta. National Cancer Institute Workshop on Virus and DNA damage, Bethesda, Washington DC, USA, 11-12th September 2012.

Ashish Gupta. Antimicrobial drug resistance and the development of new antibiotics. Indian National Science Academy & German Academy of Science Leopoldina, INSA, New Delhi, 22-25th November 2007.

Ashish Gupta. International conference on malaria: Laveran to genomics. Organised by Malaria research centre (ICMR), New Delhi, 4-6 November, 2005.

Executive Summary
Dr. Ashish Gupta did his doctorate from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He worked in the area of molecular biology of malaria parasite. Thereafter, he moved to USA for his postdoctoral research in the lab of Prof. Anindya Dutta at the University of Virginia. During his post-doctoral, he worked on the area of mammalian biology, where the focus of his research was on functional analysis of chromatin modifier proteins and their modulation and function during viral infection. He was awarded prestigious US Army postdoctoral fellowship. The findings of his studies are published in reputed international journals. His research will help in better understanding of host-pathogen interactions and may help in drug development.
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