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Ph.D. Student, CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute


Identification and validation of important drug target for learning and memory

We in our national laboratory at CSIR-CDRI do identification and validation of important receptor targets for learning and memory. My research involved characterization of the G- protein coupled receptor (GPR40) also known as Free fatty acid receptor-1 in diabesity (diabetes and obesity) induced co-morbid psychiatric disorders (cognitive decline). In this study, we for the first time reported that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA commonly known as fish oil) explicitly works through GPR40 in the brain and the beneficial effects of DHA in CNS occurs via GPR40. Through our finding, we also propose that GPR40 agonist (DHA) enhances cognitive performance in mice models of diabesity. Finally, using CNS specific drug delivery, we demonstrated that GPR40 antagonist blocks behavioral and biochemical beneficial effect of DHA.( Neurobiology of Disease , Accepted). Further, we have also found that hypothalamic GPR40 is essential for anti-depressant action of DHA via modulation of the HPA axis. My Research with NMDA antagonist (Dizocilpine), provided a unique mechanism to enhance memory in healthy mice by increasing expression of NMDA receptor. Moreover, this mechanism also increased essential biomarkers of synaptic plasticity. This study was presented at Alzheimer's Association International Conference, 2016 at Toronto and got published in Alzheimer's and Dementia (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2016.06.1449). Additionally, we also do compound screening on GPR40 and 5-HT2C receptor to identify novel chemical entities for anti-obesity and anti-diabetic drug treatment using NFAT-RE assay(Book chapter published 2016). Finally, my lab focuses to identify important drug targets of life style disorders associated psychiatric abnormalities, which could be further useful for pharmaceutical industry to develop drugs for future and cure incurable diseases like Alzheimer's.