Pharmacology and Neuroscience
Dr. Lenin Mahimainathan
Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Madras, Chennai, India
M.S. in Biochemistry, Bharathidasan University, Trichirapalli, India
Our current research focuses on 2 main projects:
Role of PDCD4 in Alcohol induced Neurodegeneration - Alcohol abuse resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a costly preventable health and social problem. Research predictions suggest that the future outlook is not favorable with respect to volume and patterns of drinking. Therefore there is an increased need for designing better preventive measures. Advancements in research in identifying better molecular targets for therapy are a prime requirement. The current focus of our laboratory is to explore the molecular mechanism by which ethanol regulates neuronal protein synthesis in vivo and in vitro and determine the role of Programmed Cell Death4 (PDCD4), a translation repressor. Furthermore, the establishment of the signaling events regulated by ethanol involved in PDCD4 regulation will enhance our knowledge on the role of PDCD4 in FASD and aid in sculpting superior strategies to diminish neuronal damage.
Significance of PDCD4 in early neurodevelopment - Our preliminary observations suggest a vital role for PDCD4 during prenatal and postnatal brain development. In line with these observations it is proposed to explore PDCD4’s impact on gliogenesis and neurogenesis using neuronal progenitor cells.
The tools we apply for this research include molecular, cellular and imaging techniques involving both in vitro and in vivo models.