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Shashi Kumar Gupta, Ph. D.


Cardiovascular Diseases, RNA Biology, Viral Gene Therapy

RNA – The future of medicine:

Dysregulated gene expression and function is one of the major cause of various diseases including cardiovascular diseases. Gene expression can be regulated at transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and non-coding RNAs are one of the major mediators of post-transcriptional regulation. Our lab at CSIR-CDRI, is focused on investigating the role of RBPs and circular RNAs, a class of non-coding RNA, in mediating pathological cardiac remodeling.

Despite the availability of heart-failure therapies, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality in India as well as globally. In India itself, cardiovascular diseases contributed to more than twenty-six percent of deaths in 2017. Therefore, there is an unmet need to better understand the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases and identify novel druggable targets which would reduce the mortality burden. Pathological changes induced in the diseased heart from initiation to eventual heart failure are collectively termed as cardiac remodeling. Morphologically, cardiac remodeling involves cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, apoptosis, deregulated autophagy and interstitial fibrosis. Our lab aims to investigate novel molecular pathways causing cardiac remodeling and identify potential druggable targets for cardiovascular diseases.

We use state-of-the-art lentiviral and adeno-associated viral (AAV) based approaches for inhibition or overexpression of candidate genes in vitro and in vivo and furthermore, different mouse models of cardiovascular diseases are also utilized.