ESR 7 Lavanya Mahadevan, Ruhr University of Bochum

ESR 7 – Lavanya Mahadevan

Prof. Dr. Ralf Erdmann’s Group,

Department of Systems Biochemistry,

Ruhr University of Bochum, Bochum,  Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ralf Erdmann

I was the assay biologist in one of the integrated drug discovery programs, where we successfully delivered two preclinical candidates for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

I am a biologist with diversified scientific background. I hold a master’s degree in molecular Genetics and Physiology from Linkӧping University (Sweden). I worked on my master’s thesis in a project titled ““Enhanced immunogenicity in mice conferred by the molecular adjuvants, TNFR superfamily members” in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (USA). Soon after my master’s studies, I was associated with Jubilant Drug Discovery Ltd (India) as a Research Associate and carry along few years of experience from a sound industrial setting. I had been a part of several collaborator drug discovery programs in the therapeutic areas of metabolic disorders and immuno-inflammation, wherein my major responsibilities included standardization and validation of biochemical and cellular assays invitro, high throughput screening of novel small molecule inhibitors, data analysis, data management, report preparation and data presentation in the project meetings.

Project title:The role of glycosomal AAA+ ATPases in biogenesis and inter-organelle communication in trypanosomes.

Description:Coordination between various organelles are required to maintain the complex life cycle of trypanosomes. Endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria are involved in peroxisome biogenesis in other organisms. So far, the communication between glycosomes and other organelles has not been investigated.Trypanosoma and Leishmania are protist pathogens, which infect humans and animals causing trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis. Current treatments for these infections are ineffective and vaccines are not available. Identification of new drug targets and development of new therapies is therefore urgently needed. Trypanosomatid parasites harbor peroxisome-related unique organelles called glycosomes, which are essential for the parasite survival. Glycosomes compartmentalize enzymes of the glycolytic and other essential metabolic pathways.

This project mainly aims at the identification and characterization of novel glycosomal membrane contact sites (MCS) and validation of the newly identified MCS components as novel drug targets. Particularly, focus of the study will be to identify interaction partners of Trypanosoma Msp1p/ATAD1 homolog and the establishment of a high-throughput screen to identify small molecule inhibitors.

I am an avid learner and a consistent performer who aspires scientific research and innovation towards novel therapeutic interventions for the benefit of the society.

 When you are strong and happy, you are motivated. My family is my strength and my complete source of motivation. They extend unexpected and unimaginable support all the time and instill confidence in me like I am a champion and a born-to-be achiever.I believe in my father’s words, “Sky is the limit” and I am working towards pushing my limits!I enjoy listening to music. I possess few years of vocational training in Indian Classical Music from my childhood. I feel rejuvenated when I tune to performances by legendary artists such as Aruna Sairam and Sudha Raghunathan.


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grant number 812968