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Many cancer cells develop resistance to the apoptotic signals and flourish in the system. We are trying to target these defiant cells by inducing an alternative cell death pathway through natural products. One of the non-apoptotic mode of programmed cell death known as “paraptosis” or cytoplasmic vacuolation mediated cell death is one of our areas of interest.
We screen a large number of natural products and synthetic derivatives for anti-cancer activity in collaboration with Professor Asoke Banerji of School of Biotechnology and try to understand their mode of action with respect to cell death. Along with screening for anticancer compounds, we filter natural products that cause parasitic death. We are using C. elegans as an in vivo model system to study anti-parasitic and anti-cancer death mechanism in collaboration with Dr. Sanjay Pal.