ಮೊಲೀಕ್ಯೂಲರ್ ನ್ಯೂಟ್ರಿಷನ್ ವಿಭಾಗ
आणविक पोषण के विभाग
The research focus of this new department may be defined under
the following major themes:
Maternal nutrition in health and disease
The nutritional status and environment experienced during gestation and early developmental stages of life plays an important role in the aetiology of several diseases. Evidence suggests that not only growth and development, but onset of diseases like, diabetes, osteoporosis, liver fibrosis, etc., to name a few, are also programmed. In particular, maternal nutrition appears to be important in determining skeletal size and development of lifestyle disorders at maturity. Also, some of the key molecules involved in growth and development of the organism such as glycosaminoglycans undergo remodelling in-utero as a result of maternal diet as well as during various pathophysiological conditions. Here at the Department of Molecular nutrition one of our aims is to understand how maternal diet influences the development of diseases and to dissect the underlying mechanisms governing these, which includes metabolomics and epigenetic mechanisms.
Food derived molecules to prevent and/or cure lifestyle disorders
Food not only provides energy and building blocks for an organism, the bioactive molecules present in the food may help contain diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis, which to a great extent results due to unbalanced diet. It can be prevented and/or ameliorated by food-derived nutraceuticals. Here, our focus is to identify and characterize food derived molecules to prevent/attenuate certain disease conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes and related disorders.
A special focus is on type II diabetes (T2D). Several drugs are available for T2D and the target proteins to which they bind and their mechanisms of action are also known. One of the aims under this theme is to identify molecules from food sources that may regulate these mechanisms positively and lead to lower side effects, lower drug dosage and other positive means to control T2D. Another focus is to also to utilize this knowledge for the development of functional foods that can be supplemented with the drugs being administered to control T2D.
Containing Food spoilage and Foodborne diseases
Microorganisms are the causative agents for two major phenomenon - food spoilage and foodborne diseases, which are of utmost relevance to food science. Food spoilage is one of the major reasons for enormous loss of food during harvesting as well as medium to long-term storage. On the other hand, foodborne diseases are of key concern to public health, especially in developing nations. The microbial contamination of food by a set of microorganisms would change the texture/odor/taste of food, or reduce the shelf life of food or secrete toxins that cause acute food poisoning. In this respect, the mechanisms of food spoilage and food poisoning by microbes demand greater attention and rigorous investigation. Therefore, a major thrust of the department is to gain mechanistic insights into the function of key proteins and pathways, elucidate structure-function relationships and understand molecular details of such proteins, from bacteria that lead to food spoilage/poisoning. This knowledge, generated due to the application of basic research, would pave way for novel/innovative means to arrest the action of such target proteins. By integrating nutraceutical research with approached typical to structure based design of drugs, the thrust is to identify molecules from natural sources that achieve such an inhibition. Overall, our efforts are geared towards translating ideas obtained from basic research towards developing molecules to reduce/prevent food spoilage and thereby extend the shelf life of foods, and/or contain food poisoning for better public health.