Jamia Hamdard faculty awarded for research in Biomedical & Health Sciences

Dr. Mairaj Ahmed Ansari, an immunologist and molecular virologist by training, Jamia Hamdard, has been  awarded the Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship for five years. The Fellowship recognises outstanding young scientists in the biomedical and health sciences who wish to establish a high-quality innovative research programme in India.

The fellowship aims to improve the biomedical research landscape in India through mechanisms that support exceptional researchers at Indian institutions, and facilitate the recruitment of highly trained and qualified scientists from overseas.

“I am greatly honoured and humbled to be part of such fellowship. This recognition is a testament to all the hard work, creativity and dedication put in by the current and past lab members,” says Dr Ansari who finds it  to be an intriguing opportunity to carry forward the on-going research ideas in his lab to explore the complex host pathogen interaction and open new horizon of research.

Dr Mairaj current research focuses on Herpesviruses. Talking about is research he adds, “Herpesviruses are menace to the society. About 90 population in this world is infected either by one or more Herpesviruses. They can cause disease from less severe like labialis to lymphoma (blood cancer), sarcoma (skin cancer) and other cancers like nasopharyngeal carcinoma. In India North East states are affected by EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) mediated Nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The infectious diseases  caused by these viruses have been inflicting, major population, throughout the world, from ages and also emerging at an unprecedented rate across the globe”.

The basic knowledge about the disease-causing pathogens and their interaction with host would help us in control the worst outcome caused by them.  The pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) could be recognized either on cell membrane or in the cytoplasm. Recently, sensing of PAMPs has been reported by various groups, he adds.

Dr. Ansari’s lab is currently involved in deciphering the molecular events in nucleus that regulates the innate immune responses during Herpesvirus infections. He is looking after various open questions in the field like; how immune system differentiate between viral and host DNA? How, the pathogens survive in host in spite of various level immune onslaught. These studies not only would add to the existing knowledge but also would lead to develop new research horizons.  

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