Molecular & Translational Immunology Laboratory

Our lab works at the interface of Molecular and Translational Immunology during Infectious Diseases. Research in our laboratory focuses mainly on Vaccines, B-cells and Antibodies. We are integrating B cell Immunology with viral, fungal, parasite and bacterial infectious diseases in order to decipher the molecular and cellular basis of protective immune responses.


Currently the lab focuses on fungal and viral infections caused by (i) non-albicans Candida species, (ii) Cryptococcus neoformans (iii) Chikungunya virus and (iv) SARS COV-2 virus. We are evaluating vaccine potential of various vaccine candidates in these four model systems. We use various approaches like Recombinant DNA Technology, Animal Tissue Cell culture, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Mice models, Immunohistochemistry, Fluorescence microscopy, Multi-colour Flow Cytometry, Immunophenotyping and Immunogenetics to investigate the protective immune responses.


Another key focus of our group is Generating and Characterizing mouse and human recombinant Monoclonal Antibodies for use in passive therapy, against the above mentioned Infectious Diseases, i.e Systemic Candidiasis, Cryptococcosis, Chikungunya infection and COVID. We use both (i) Hybridoma approach followed by humanization and (ii) direct isolation of antibody secreting cells from human patients, for generating monoclonal antibodies, for diagnostic, prophylactic and therapeutic use. We use various Computational and Experimental Techniques for studying molecular and functional properties of Antibodies.


Besides the above mentioned projects, we are also engaged in human case-control studies for identifying biomarkers of risk for predicting at-risk individuals who may benefit from vaccination or passive antibody therapy.


Another key research area in our lab is immune repertoire analysis where we use single cell PCRs and deep sequencing techniques for deciphering VDJ rearrangements at genetic level and BCR sequence analysis. We adopt a multidisciplinary approach to address these objectives. We combine various molecular, genetic, immunological, microbiological and biochemical approaches with in vitro and in vivo models for these studies.

Vaccine Research

Development and evaluation of vaccine candidates for use in various Infectious Diseases, namely Systemic Candidiasis, Cryptococcal Disease, Chikungunya virus and COVID infections.

B cell Immunology

Investigation and Analysis of protective B cell and Antibody mediated humoral response during various Infectious Diseases at molecular, cellular and functional level.

Monoclonal Antibody Generation

Development of murine and human mAbs against Infectious Diseases caused by Candida species, Cryptococcus neoformans, Chikungunya virus and SARS COV-2 Corona virus.

Immune Repertoire Analysis

Elucidation of the Immune BCR repertoire and VDJ rearrangements using state-of-the-art technologies like single cell sorting, single cell PCR and deep sequencing.

Immunomodulation

Understanding the role of Immunomodulation in the context of the Damage-Response framework during microbial pathogenesis, for exploring cytokine and antibody combination therapies.

Identifying Disease Biomarkers

Clinical case-control studies involving human samples, followed by genetic studies (SNPs/RFLPs), serological studies, and cellular immunophenotyping for identifying biomarkers to predict risk.

Our Team

Prof. Soma Rohatgi

Department of Biotechnology
IIT Roorkee

Pankaj Chandley

PhD Research Scholar

Priyanka Subba

PhD Research Scholar

Hansraj

M.Sc Scholar

Rohit

M.Sc Scholar

Awards

Publications

SN Year Journal Authors, Title and Page no.
1. 2021 Journal of Fungi Shukla M, Chandley P, Kaur H, Ghosh AK, Shivaprakash MR, and Rohatgi S*. Expression and purification along with evaluation of serological response and diagnostic potential of recombinant Sap2 protein from C. parapsilosis for use in systemic candidiasis. 2021, 7 (12), 999
2. 2021 Vaccines Shukla M, Chandley P, and Rohatgi S*. The role of B cells and antibodies against candidate vaccine antigens in invasive candidiasis. 2021 Vol 9 (10) 1159
3. 2021 International Journal of Biological Macromolecules Kumar D, Kumar S, Kumar S, Rohatgi S and Patit P. Kundu. Synthesis of rifaximin loaded chitosan-alginate core-shell nanoparticles (Rif@CS/Alg-NPs) for antibacterial applications, 2021, 183, 962-971
4. 2020 Infection & Immunity Shukla M, Rohatgi S. Vaccination with Secreted Aspartyl Proteinase 2 Protein from Candida parapsilosis Can Enhance Survival of Mice during C. tropicalis-Mediated Systemic Candidiasis. 2020 Sep 18; 88 (10): e00312-20
5. 2018 Virulence Dufaud C, Rivera J, Rohatgi S, Pirofski LA. Naïve B cells reduce fungal dissemination in Cryptococcus neoformans infected Rag1-/- mice. 2018 Jan 1; 9 (1): 173-184
6. 2017 Open Forum Infectious Diseases Rohatgi S, Nakouzi A, Carreño LJ, Slosar-Cheah M, Kuniholm MH, Wang T, Pappas PG, Pirofski LA. Antibody and B Cell Subset Perturbations in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Uninfected Patients With Cryptococcosis. 2017 Nov 18; 5 (1): ofx255.
7. 2015 Future Microbiology Rohatgi S, Pirofski LA. Host immunity to Cryptococcus neoformans. 2015; 10 (4): 565-81.
8. 2013 mBio Rohatgi S, Gohil S, Kuniholm MH, Schultz H, Dufaud C, Armour KL, Badri S, Mailliard RB, Pirofski LA. Fc gamma receptor 3A polymorphism and risk for HIV-associated cryptococcal disease. 2013 Aug 27; 4 (5): e00573-13.
9. 2012 The Journal of Immunology Rohatgi S, Pirofski LA. Molecular characterization of the early B cell response to pulmonary Cryptococcus neoformans infection. 2012 Dec 15; 189 (12): 5820-30.
10. 2011 Theoretical and Applied Genetics Jagannath A, Sodhi YS, Gupta V, Mukhopadhyay A, Arumugam N, Singh I, Rohatgi S, Burma PK, Pradhan AK, Pental D. Eliminating expression of erucic acid-encoding loci allows the identification of "hidden" QTL contributing to oil quality fractions and oil content in Brassica juncea (Indian mustard). 2011 Apr; 122 (6): 1091-103.
11. 2009 The Journal of Immunology Rohatgi S, Dutta D, Tahir S, Sehgal D. Molecular dissection of antibody responses against pneumococcal surface protein A: evidence for diverse DH-less heavy chain gene usage and avidity maturation. 2009 May 1; 182 (9): 5570-85.
11. 2008 The Journal of Immunological Methods Rohatgi S, Ganju P, Sehgal D. Systematic design and testing of nested (RT-)PCR primers for specific amplification of mouse rearranged/expressed immunoglobulin variable region genes from small number of B cells. 2008 Dec 31; 339 (2) : 205-19.

Gallery

SR Lab at AAI 2015
New Orleans, USA
SR Lab at AAI 2019
San Diego, USA
PhD scholar Manisha presenting Poster at AAI 2019
San Diego, USA
SR Lab with Friends at AAI 2019!!
Meeting More Friends at AAI 2019!!
SR Lab hanging out at The Cheesecake Factory
San Diego: Fun times!
PhD scholar Manisha presenting Poster at IIS 2018, THSTI, Faridabad
SR Lab at Immunocon 2018, THSTI, Faridabad
SR Lab at the original Alma Mater: National Institute of Immunology, Delhi!
With Dr. Liise Anne Pirofski @ Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York
With Dr. Victor Nussenzweig @ NYU Langone Medical Centre, New York
With Dr. Shahid Jameel, Ex CEO Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance
With Dr. GP Talwar, Founder Director, NII and TRF Foundation, New Delhi
With Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Professor & Clinician Scientist, CMC Vellore
With Dr. Deepak Pental, Ex Vice Chancellor Delhi University, South Campus
With Dr. Anuradha Choudhury, Faculty @ VP Chest Institute, Univ of Delhi, Delhi
With Dr. Deepti Jain, Faculty @ RCB, Faridabad
With Dr. Naeha Subramanian, Faculty @ Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, USA
SR Lab in the News!! August 2020
Birthday celebrations with BTech and MSc students!!
PhD scholar Manisha celebrating a Birthday Milestone!!
Yet Another Birthday celebration at SR Lab, Manisha and Aftab!!
Research Interns at SR Lab: Fun and Work go hand in hand!!
Another shining star of SR Lab: Md Azad!!
SR Lab goes on a Train Trip!!
SR Lab chilling at The Big Chill, New Delhi: Fun beyond Work!!
SR Lab discussing Science over Coffee!!

Conferences

SN Year Oral/Poster Conference Details
1. 2021 Conference Convener Virtual Symposium on “Covid-19 Immunology”, 29 th April 2021, at IIT Roorkee
2. 2021 Poster Poster “A role of B-cells and antibodies in generation of protective immune responses against a vaccinating antigen during non-albicans Candida mediated systemic candidiasis” American Association of Immunologists Meeting (AAI, USA) “Virtual Immunology” May, 2021.
3. 2020 Oral “Vaccination with Secreted Aspartyl Proteinase 2 Protein from Candida parapsilosis Can Enhance Survival of Mice during C. tropicalis-Mediated Systemic Candidiasis” at 11th Ramalingaswami Conclave, New Delhi, from 14th Dec to 17th Dec 2020.
4. 2020 Poster “Protective role of secreted aspartyl proteinase in murine systemic candidiasis caused by non-albicans Candida species” at SIHAM, 2020, held at AIIMS Jodhpur, 12th -15th February, 2020.
5. 2019 Oral “Role of B cells and Antibodies during Candida albicans and Chikungunya infections” at Tenth DBT Ramalingaswami Conclave, held at Hyatt Regency, Gurgaon, 28th April to 1st May 2019.
6. 2018 Poster “Investigating the protective potential of candidate vaccine antigens in murine systemic candidiasis caused by non-albicans Candida species” at Immunocon, (IIS) held at THSTI, Faridabad, 1st to 3rd Nov 2018.
7. 2018 Poster “Analysis of host immune responses to recombinant E2 protein, a promising vaccine candidate against Chikungunya virus infection” at Immunocon, (IIS) held at THSTI, Faridabad, 1st to 3rd Nov 2018.
8. 2018 Poster “Elucidating humoral immune response against recombinant E2 protein, a Chikungunya virus vaccine candidate” at Infectious Disease Symposium, held at RCB, Faridabad, from 12th to 14th Nov 2018.
9. 2018 Oral “Role of B cells and Antibodies during Candida albicans and Chikungunya infections” at Eighth Ramalingaswami Conclave, NIPGR, New Delhi, from 15th Feb to 17th Feb 2018.
10. 2015 Poster At American Association of Immunologists (AAI) meeting in New Orleans, USA, from 8th May to 12th May 2015.
11. 2015 Poster At European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Symposium at VP Chest Institute, Delhi, from 20th -21st March 2015.

Recent Activities

Recent Activities by SR Lab

News

SR Lab in the News