Sarath Chandra Janga, PhD
I finished my PhD (May 2010) at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Darwin College, University of Cambridge, UK. I have previously worked at the Laboratory of Computational Genomics, Center for Genomic Sciences , UNAM, Cuernavaca, Mexico where I have been involved in understanding bacterial gene regulatory networks in the group of Dr. Julio Collado-Vides, before starting my doctoral work at cambridge in 2007-2008. I was an independent research fellow at the Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, working on applying computational and systems approaches to understanding regulation at various levels and using genome mining techniques for identifying novel antibacterial compounds during my post-doctoral period.
I did my Bachelors and Masters from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, ranked among the best engineering universities in India, from 1998-2003 in Bio-chemical Engineering and Biotechnology focussing on Computational Genomics in my Masters thesis. My research interests span a number of areas due to its interdisciplinary nature although most work revolves around undertanding the Genomics and Gene regulation as well as Drug discovery to combat diseases in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems using computational approaches. Some call it systems biology while others call it computational biology however irrespective of what you like to call it, the open questions are the same and multiple approaches are needed to have a deeper understanding of biological systems- which is central to my research. More precisely though not strictly limited I work in the following areas :
Understanding gene regulatory mechanisms in eukaryotic organisms at distinct levels especially in the context of epigenetics and chromosomal organization.
Evolution, prediction and organization of regulatory apparatus in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.
Understanding gene regulatory networks at transcrptional and post-transcrptional levels and their general topological properties in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
Functional relationships between gene products to improve annotation strategies using genomic context.
Integrating diverse kinds of biological interaction datasets like protein-protein, regulatory and signal transduction pathways to understand systems level aspects of regulation.
Mining genomes for novel antibiotics and to exploit polypharmacological principles to combat mechanisms of drug resistance.
Applying network-based approaches in understanding disease biology and in drug discovery settings.
During my doctoral work, i have used network-based or graph theoretical approaches to understand and dissect the structure and dynamics of transcriptional, post-transcriptional , drug-target as well as functional association networks using a variety of model systems at different levels of resolution (You can download a copy of the thesis from the publications page although it encompasses mostly published work- 10 out of the 20 publications resulting from my PhD work). My thesis advisors during PhD were Dr. M. Madan Babu and Dr. Sarah Teichmann from the Theoretical and Computational Biology group at MRC-LMB. I was supported partially by a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarship along with some funding from MRC during PhD. My post-PhD work has focused largely on unravelling the principles governing post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in eukaryotes and in exploiting small molecule interactions (Drug-target networks) to identify principles for combating drug-resistance and drug-repurposing to widen our horizons on the number of druggable targets as well as in developing alternate methods for small molecule discovery.
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