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Category:
Life Science

Lecturer:
Namasivayam Ganesh Pandian, Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University, Japan

Place:
Mathematikon, Seminar Room A, ground floor, Im Neuenheimer Feld 205

Host:
SFB 873

Description:
Natural epigenetic processes precisely orchestrate the intricate gene network by switching “ON” and “OFF” the genes at the right place and time to regulate cellular homeostasis and phenotype. Chromatin alterations are inherently flexible and can be reversed through pharmacological intervention. Accordingly, several epigenetic enzyme inhibitors modulate gene expression but in a Sequence-independent manner. Taking cues from natural transcription factors (TFs), we develop synthetic TFs that mimic the functional bioefficacy of natural counterparts. Our approach is to construct smart genetic switches containing sequence-specific pyrrole-imidazole polyamides (PIPs) and different functional conjugates. Our smart genetic switches can modulate therapeutically important genes and non-coding RNAs associated with germ cells, stem cells, retinal cells, HIV, autism and obesity. Recently, we also created first-ever PIP-based mitochondrial gene switch. We have also devised synthetic ‘OFF’ switches to inhibit tumor growth factors in cancer cells for tumor suppression. Also, we made a DNA-binding inhibitor that could induce functional cardiomyocytes. Our synthetic approach could be tailored to i) reset therapeutic gene expression and ii) reprogram a cell into a desired cell type. NAMASIVAYAM Ganesh Pandian started his research in 2002 as Project Associate with Prof. Anju Chadha, Department of Biotechnology, IIT-Madras. Ganesh moved to Niigata University with Monbukagakusho (Japanese Government) scholarship and earned his Ph.D (Biotechnology) in 2009 on `Novel Innate Immune System`. He continued his research as Assistant Professor (Research) and relocated as a Research Associate at the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (WPI-iCeMS), Kyoto University in 2010. He got promoted in 2014 and now a tenured Assistant Professor in WPI‐iCeMS.

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