Design and experimental validation of Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor modulators

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) plays crucial role in maintaining reproductive health of an organism by interacting with its cognate receptor (FSHR). Hence, molecules that can block or mimic this interaction by specifically binding to FSHR can serve as fertility modulators. Several such molecules (peptides, peptidomimetics and small molecules) have been identified using various in silico tools. These molecules are being experimentally validated to establish the potential of these molecules as fertility regulating agents as well as theranostic agents.

Identifying factors affecting ovarian response during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation using an in silico approach: Applications in IVF

The individual ovarian response towards controlled ovarian hyperstimulation during ovarian induction is variable and is difficult to predict. Several endocrine and biochemical parameters such as serum AMH levels, Antral follicle count (AFC), Age, and Basal FSH levels have been studied as predictive markers for ovarian response. Still the percentage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle cancellation is high, which could be due to either poor or hyper ovarian response or ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS). In literature, the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of several genes have also been analyzed to evaluate its eminence as a predictive marker. A knowledgebase of these genes associated with FSH signaling pathways and the key genes associated with ovarian response is being developed.

Studies on antimicrobial peptides

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are evolutionarily conserved integral components of the host defense system. They are widely studied for their potential therapeutic applications as they exhibit broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, reduced toxicity and reduced microbial resistance. The centre focusses on developing databases on AMPs (CAMPR3: http://camp.bicnirrh.res.in/), creation of tools for predicting the antimicrobial activity of user-defined sequences, identification of AMPs based on presence of family-specific sequence conservation (CAMPSign: http://www.campsign.bicnirrh.res.in/) and studying the sequence-function relationship of AMPs using MD simulation studies.

Developing a knowledgebase on infertility

Reproductive disorders leading to infertility are polygenic in nature and have varied phenotypic manifestations. The information on these genes are scattered in literature. A manually curated repository on genes associated with the different reproductive disorders would help researchers in understanding the genetic basis of the disease. This project aims at develop a comprehensive resource with information genes, their associated pathways, gene ontology and disease phenotypes which would aid in deducing the key causal genes associated with infertility.