Dr. Geetha Kumar

  • Amrita School of Biotechnology, India
Title of the talk​

Resisting Resistance: Renewed Strategies to Combat AMR

Dr. Geetha Kumar obtained her Ph.D from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, USA, where she elucidated the structure-function activity of FadL, a bacterial Long Chain Fatty Acid binding protein. Following her Ph.D, Dr.Kumar did her post-doctoral studies under Dr. Neil Nathanson, at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, on the regulation of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor (mAChR). She was subsequently associated with Ceptyr Inc., a Biotech company where she worked in the High Throughput Screening (HTS) division that focused on developing drugs against Diabetes. Dr. Kumar is currently a Professor at the School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, where she heads the Microbial Active Genetics lab. that is focused on studying the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in nosocomial gram-negative pathogens, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosaKlebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii. Another area of related interest is the use phage biology and active genetics, to target the multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria in order to revert antibiotic resistant to antibiotic sensitive phenotypes.

The primary research focus of the lab is on combating Antimicrobial Resistance using multiple approaches:

    • Screening Natural Products that can function as anti-quorum sensing agents and elucidating their mechanism of action
    • Isolation, characterization and application of bacteriophages or cocktails of phages for environmental as well as potential clinical use – phage therapy
    • Mutational analysis of the AMR genes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    • Phage-mediated gene drive using CRISPR-Cas9 to target the AMR genes of pathogens
    • Understanding Persistence and its role in antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
    • Studying the inter-relationship between virulence and antimicrobial resistance