MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2013
PhD, University of Jadavpur, 2004
MSc, University of Burdwan, 1997
My research is focused on strategies to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to diarrhea. Accordingly, my research is focused in three areas, finding new strategies for improved enteric vaccines and understanding vaccine immunology in protection from disease, delineating the role of the environment and understanding the occurrence and transmission of diarrheal pathogens, develop new diagnostic tools for resource poor settings to better understand disease epidemiology.
I am working on to understand the systemic and mucosal immune responses to different candidate enteric vaccines, including ETEC and Shigella. The key objectives of this work are to find biomarkers for protective immunity using immunoproteome microarray and ELISA, role of memory B cell and T cell in the protective efficacy of a vaccine. My studies also involves developing and evaluating new assays to better understand the immune responses. (Funding: Gates foundation)
Evaluating candidate enteric vaccines in humans: I am involved in evaluation of safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of different candidate enteric vaccines (ACE527 ETEC Vaccine, Fimbrial Tip Adhesin (CfaE) + LTR192G ETEC vaccine, Bioconjugate vaccine against Shigella flexneri 2a, Assessing Rifaximin in preventing campylobacteriosis etc). With collaborators I have developed an experimental challenge model of ETEC in humans. This model facilitates initial evaluation of vaccines thus avoiding the huge expenses and limitations of the efficacy evaluation in the field. (Funding: Gates Foundation, Limmatech Biologics, Henry M Jackson Foundation)
Epidemiology and transmission of diarrhea:
a) Developing Diagnostics for infectious diseases suitable for resource poor settings.
b) Diarrhea surveillance in Bangladesh, Peru, India and Africa.
c) Role of environment in seasonal epidemiology of diarrhea.
In Bangladesh, my project is aimed to understand the influence of environmental factors to drive the seasonal epidemiology of diarrhea in two widely separated areas with different topology. I am also looking at the transmission routs of diarrhea in these areas. (Funding: Global Health Grant)
In Peru, in a birth cohort study, following children till 3 years of their age I am looking at the epidemiology of enterotoxigenic E. coli, immune responses, factors responsible for protection from disease.
(Funding NIH R01)
Role of Zinc as antimicrobial and physiological therapeutics against diarrhea: World Health Organization guidelines recommend antibiotic treatment for clinical dysentery. However, Shigella frequently acquires resistance to antibiotics that were previously effective in reducing disease severity and duration along with pathogen excretion. In this project we are studying to understand the molecular mechanisms of the effect of Zn in inflammatory diarrhea to successfully use Zn in reducing the disease.
In a separate study we are looking at the longitudinal changes in gut microbiome after infection with virulent pathogens and after antibiotic treatment.
Honors and Awards
Women’s Career Development Grant, American Society for Microbiology (ASM), 2008.
UNESCO-MIRCEN fellowship for the year 2000-2001.
Postdoctoral fellowships, Dept of Infectious disease, School of Medicine, Washington University of St. Louis. 2004-2006
Postdoctoral fellowship, Dept of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University. 2006-2008.