Research Scholar, Deparment of Biotechnology, IIT Guwahati. 2010-ongoing
Lynn Rothschild, a researcher in Synthetic Biology at NASA Ames said that “Normal is passé and extreme is chic”. Enzymes thrive in “normal “or mesophilic conditions and their homologues others are stable at extreme conditions of temperature and pH. The rule governing such stability at extreme is still being explored. I am interested in exploring the parameters which differentiates such enzymes in normal and extreme conditions. My doctoral research is focused on enhancing thermostability of industrially important enzymes. Thermostable proteins are industrial work horses. However a single design strategy to mutate amino acid residues which can render proteins thermostable is still a knowledge gap. Additionally a set of stabilization rules which can lead to a guided path for thermostabilizing proteins is still elusive. My research work intends to use all possible knowledge available with respect to thermostable proteins to develop a ranking model through various statistical and machine learning approaches. The model will be able to prioritize features in relation to thermostability and predict whether point mutations will lead positively to thermostability of proteins. Its novelty lies in its basis of considering all the important intra-protein interactions altogether for developing the rank and this method is attractive due to its potential to consider multiple mutations at one time. Further a model enzyme has been chosen and positive mutations for thermostabilization have been predicted. Such mutations shall be carried out in vitro and the potential of the method justified.