Prof. T. S. Keshava Prasad gave an extensive talk on “Proteomics and Proteogenomic Approaches to Investigate Human Diseases” at Amrita School of Biotechnology on 3rd February, 2016.

Dr. T. S. Keshava Prasad, Faculty Scientist from Institute of Bioinformatics, is leading IOB's efforts on the development of the Human Protein Reference Database. Dr. Keshava Prasad, in his talk, emphasized using genomic and proteomic strategies as a discovery platform to investigate biomarkers for infectious diseases including tuberculosis, rabies, chikungunya and malaria. Biomarkers are molecules specifically associated with a biological condition and there are various measures by which we can study them, such as: DNA microarrays, Comparative genomic hybridization arrays (arrayCGH), Quantitative proteomics and DNA sequencing.

In the talk, Dr. Keshava Prasad, introduced the audience to sample processing for mass spectrometry and also identification of Peptides/Proteins and LC elution profile of a complex mixture of peptides. He then dwelt on identification of molecules associated with host responses to infectious diseases, such as chronic meningitis, etc.  We often don’t know the underlying molecular basis or mechanistic insights of how carcinogens act. If carcinogen insult at the molecular level is determined, we could envision biomarker guided trials, he explained.

Dr. Keshava then spoke about Quantitative proteomics, Phosphoproteomics and Proteogenomic approaches aimed towards developing Prognostic and Diagnostic biomarkers for Cancers. He also talked about mechanisms of oncogenesis by carcinogens and how some of the molecules can serve as early detection biomarkers. He then briefed about the development of Pan Cancer Markers and on how studies were undertaken in his lab to validate biomarkers in a high-throughput manner. As an example, Dr. Keshava focused on evaluating the effect of chewing tobacco on human oral keratinocytes. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) was observed to act as a potential therapeutic target in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Studies undertaken on antineoplastic effects of curcumin in HNSCC helped in identifying the signalling pathways modulated therein. 

Dr. Keshava also showcased his publications on using proteogenomic principles, for genome annotation of infectious fungi including species of Candida and Cryptococcus and vector mosquitoes such as Anopheles stephensi and Aedes aegypti. The final highlight of the talk was about Human Proteome Map and mining brain proteome map for potential disease markers.  In summary, the talk was really interesting as it provided insights into the genomic and proteomic strategies one can employ so as to result in research not just serving as a discovery platform, but a move from bench-to-bedside. 

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