Research scholars from TIGS train with various labs in the University of California campuses. After spending a few years at a UC campus, they return to continue their research work at the India campus.
Arunachalam Ramaiah’s research in the Emerson lab at UC Irvine focuses on studying genome and associated structural variation in Drosophila and Anopheles using omics, bioinformatics and advanced tools in genetics. He is also studying the nature of the interactions of these arthropod vectors with the pathogens they transmit and the symbionts they harbor. His investigation provides new avenues for the control of mosquitoes and the reduction of public health and economic burdens in India and around the world.
Jyotheeswara Reddy Edula
Jyotheeswara R. Edula’s research in the Akbari lab at UC San Diego focuses on developing novel technologies to suppress or replace Aedes aegypti populations, such as CRISPR-mediated genetic tools and precision-guided Sterile Insect Technique (pgSIT), to limit the spread of vector-borne diseases (Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever).
Jay Prakash Shukla
Jay Prakash Shukla aims to devise a mechanism to detect the presence of the malaria parasite in Anopheles mosquitoes using cell signaling mechanisms and, subsequently, trigger the response to selectively kill parasite-infected mosquitoes. He works in the Bier lab at UC San Diego.
Mansi Malik works with gene construct and effector groups to achieve a perfect gene construct to assess various antimalarial proteins. Her main area of focus in the Bier lab at UC San Diego is on evaluating the evolution of the malaria parasite in response to its interaction with the antimalarial effector proteins present in these constructs.
Bhagyashree Kaduskar is working on the application of allelic drive mechanisms for the reversal of insecticide resistance in Drosophila and mosquitoes. She is also trying to understand behavioral costs associated with insecticide resistant mutations. She is working in the Bier lab at UC San Diego.
Sabyasachi Pradhan is working towards identifying antimalarial effector molecules that can eliminate malaria parasites from within the mosquito host. In the Vinetz lab at UC San Diego, he uses an in vitro parasite-vector interaction system to determine the efficacy of the antimalarial effector molecules in the presence of the parasite within the mosquito host. This would enable the selection of the best effector molecules that can be introduced in the mosquitoes through genetic technologies for sustainable elimination of the disease.
Harvinder Khera’s research is aimed at generating new efficient parasite-blocking effectors (single-chain antibodies/nanobodies) for two major species of Plasmodium prevalent in India: P. falciparum and P. vivax. These effectors would be used to develop population-modifying elements with the long-term goal of malaria eradication. She works in the Bier lab at UC San Diego.
Rambabu Ratnala’s research studies at the Zhao lab in UC San Diego focuses on implementing and developing new gene editing technologies in rice. He is working on applying the technology to propagate desired traits, especially against biotic and abiotic stresses, for the improvement of agricultural crops.
Sanjay Lamba studies the mathematical and computational aspects of new genetic technologies in mosquito vectors of malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. At the Marshall lab in UC Berkeley, he is involved in creating a modeling framework, adapting the framework to accurately reflect the ecology of mosquito vectors in India, characterizing the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases in India, collaborating with molecular biologists to model genetic constructs, using genomics data to characterize mosquito movement patterns and using machine learning alongside satellite and drone images to predict the spatial distribution of productive mosquito habitats.
Saveetha Meganathan is working towards creating a rigorous and robust practice of bioethics in the context of India and exploring the dissemination of scientific knowledge among differently literate communities. Her work predominantly entails research on the process of seeking consent from communities to run crucially benefitting scientific research programs, thereby attaining social inclusion to scientific advancements. She works in the Institute for Practice Ethics at UC San Diego.
Iliyas Rashid’s research in the Lanzaro lab at UC Davis focuses on population genomics and marker associated studies in Anopheles mosquitoes using computational genomics and bioinformatics applications. He also studies Kinship analysis and evaluates spontaneous mutation rates in the malaria vector.