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Dr. Aditi Das's laboratory is investigating the chemical mechanisms and biophysical principles underlying the metabolic reactions catalyzed by membrane-bound enzymes involved in eicosanoid synthesis. The biosynthesis of eicosanoids is an integral part of the inflammatory response that is triggered by the body in many disease conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, allergies, polycystic kidney disease and cancer.
All the proteins involved in the eicosanoid biosynthesis pathway are membrane-bound, yet the role of membrane composition on their mechanism has not been well explored. Most studies on these proteins have been performed in detergent solubilized systems, making it difficult to use many biophysical tools. Her group proposes to use the Nanodisc technology to circumvent this problem, so as to be able to apply sophisticated chemical and biophysical methods to the system.
Another major focus of Dr. Das's research program is the translation of specific biomedical problems involving membrane proteins and membranes into simple diagnostics using nanodetection methodologies. Membrane proteins are the most valuable targets for drug discovery but are technically challenging. Finding a gentle solution that preserves their structure and activity, yet is robust to experimental interrogation has eluded scientists for decades. Previously Aditi's group has shown that membrane proteins in Nanodiscs are compatible with label-free detection technologies such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR), localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), and cantilevers. Their future research will involve further development of the use of nanotechnology in collaboration with various research groups to interrogate membrane protein biochemistry and biophysics. (Source: https://sites.google.com/site/aditidaspro/research)