Saumitra Das

Associate Professor
Microbiology and Cell Biology
Research Areas: 
Hepatitis C, RNA-protein interactions, host-viral interactions, immune suppression
Research Highlights: 

Dr. Das' group has been studying the molecular basis of translational control of viral and cellular mRNAs. Much of his work has focused on internal initiation of translation of Hepatitis C virus and Coxsackievirus B3 RNA and lately extended to cellular RNA using p53 as model system. Dr. Das is coordinating the 'Centre of Excellence for Research on Hepatitis C virus' an interdisciplinary centre of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, involving 8 other laboratories. Dr. Das' lab studies the molecular basis of translational control of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) RNAs. Translations of these viral RNAs are guided by Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES). Ribosome binding to the IRES element is mediated by a number of cellular proteins and cis acting RNA elements. Such RNA-protein interactions that are critical for viral IRES function form a major research area in the lab. In this context, the group has expanded its scope to investigate the mechanistic details of HCV and CVB3 replication, host-viral interactions and related aspects of immunity. Lately, the group has extended their study to non-traditional modes of cellular RNA translation using tumor suppressor p53 RNA as a model system.

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