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  :: ‘ICMR Advanced Centre for Genomics of Type 2 Diabetes’ :: IDF Centre for Education
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Molecular Immunology and Transcriptomics
Current activities Research team

The Dept of Transcriptomics and Molecular Immunology (TMI) was started in 2008. Its primary focus is towards understanding of the influence of diabetes and its complication differential gene expressions, inflammation, immunity and infectious diseases.


To carry out research of world class standards on

  1. Inflammation and immunity under co-incidence of diabetes and infectious diseases,
  2. Inflammation and immunity in diabetic complications,
  3. Differential gene expressions in immune cells in diabetes
  4. Immunoinformatics and diabetes

To study the effect of diabetes, on

  • Immuneresponses to other diseases and
  • The status of the immune system at various stages of diabetes and its complications.
  • The status of the immune system at various stages of the complications due to diabetes

Portfolio of Current Activities of the Department


Diabetes (DM) is a major risk factor for tuberculosis. In 1993, WHO announced TB as a “global emergency”. While the consequences of these converging epidemics are likely to be substantial, the “DM-TB nexus” is not well studied. Several studies, indicate that patients with TB who have DM present a higher bacillary load in sputum, delayed mycobacterial clearance, and higher rates of multidrug-resistant infection. These results imply that patients with TB who have DM may be more seriously ill and may pose higher risk for spread of multi drug-resistant M. tb (MDR-TB) in the community. A project has been initiated in the department to address the impact of diabetes on the “protective immune correlates” of TB. These projects are to be executed in collaboration with Dr. S. Subash Babu, MBBS., Ph.D, Senior Scientist, Center for Excellence in Research (NIH), Tuberculosis Research Centre.

Immune system in diabetes and filariasis coexistence

Parasitic infections are endemic throughout India; with the prevalence of hookworm infection ranging between 30% and 62% (in regions around Chennai). The prevalence of Strongyloides and Ascaris is lower, while the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis, a disease caused by the nematode W. bancrofti in southern India, is estimated to be 6–20% on the basis of circulating filarial antigenemia. Infection with systemic helminths, in addition to causing morbidity on their own, may contribute to an increased morbidity from diabetes. Few studies have looked at the coincidence of HIV-filariasis and TB-filariasis. But till date no study has addressed the incidence of filariasis among diabetic subjects even though it is likely to be as high as or even higher than that in the general population. The department has initiated a cross-sectional study to look into active filarial infection among diabetic subjects. This project is executed in joint-collaboration with Dr. S. Subash Babu, MBBS., Ph.D, Senior Scientist, Center for Excellence in Research (NIH), Tuberculosis Research Centre.

In silico prediction and in vitro validation of putative T and B cell epitopes in diabetes associated autoantigens.

The incidence of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in southern region of India has been reported to be 10.5 cases / 100,000 per year. Several studies have now been carried out to determine the relationship between autoantibodies to GAD/IA-2/insulin and T1DM. Approximately 70–80% of newly diagnosed patients have autoantibodies to GAD65, an approximately similar number have autoantibodies to IA-2 and overall, fewer patients have insulin autoantibodies. Further while some patients carry autoantibodies to only one of the major autoantigens others react to all three. Thus identification and characterization of novel autoantigens and an understanding of this variation in autoantibodies is of major importance in T1DM. Another aspect of interest is the utility of the HTL and CTL epitopes in the diagnosis/prognosis of T1DM. The department currently initiated a project that will enable high-through-put bioinformatics based predictions of T and B cell epitopes in the autoantigens.

  Research Team  

Mr. J. Surendar, MSc- Junior Research Fellow
Mr. M. Muralidara Rao, MSc- Research Assistant

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