Dr. Megha

Assistant Professor
Centre For Ayurveda Biology and Holistic Nutrition
Mail: megha@tdu.edu.in
Twitter: @meghaphd

Education
2001 MSc Biotechnology, IIT-Bombay
2006 PhD Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Stony Brook University, New York
Work Experience
2008 Senior Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle
2012 Grants and Programme Manager, The Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance, Hyderabad
2019 India Alliance Early Career Fellow, NCBS-TIFR, Bangalore

Expertise/Achievements:

Teaching

  • Graduate and Post-graduate level in subjects such as Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Biology
  • Ayurveda Dietetics
  • Communication in science

Research

  • Fly model for early life malnutrition
  • Program management

Outreach

  • Communication with local communities on food, health and Ayurveda

Current Interests:

Teaching

  • MSc Life Sciences (Ayurveda Biology)
  • Developing Ayurveda Dietetics Program

Research

  • Developing a Fly model for early life malnutrition.
  • Exploring the potential of neuropeptides and digestive enzymes as biomarkers of early life nutritional exposure.
  • Study the ability of dietary interventions to reverse early life malnutrition mediated reprogramming of metabolic and immune systems. Focus on nutraceuticals and Ayurveda-based herbs.

Outreach

  • Engaging effectively with communities to improve public health nutrition outcomes especially for women of reproductive age and infants.
  • Policy issues on capacity building in science education, integrative healthcare and AYUSH-related topics.

Ongoing Research/Education/Outreach Projects:

  • 2019-2021 Sentinel Award (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, administered by BIRAC, India)
    Development of a fly model for Environmental Enteric Dysfunction
  • 2021 – 2023 Start-up Research Grant (DST-SERB), Does exposure to early life malnutrition alter the adaptation of digestive enzymes to later-life dietary excesses? An animal model investigation.

Publications:

  • Surviving nutritional deprivation during development: neuronal intracellular calcium signaling is critical
    Megha, Gaiti Hasan. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 2020 64: 239 – 246
  • Neuropeptides required for Drosophila development under nutritional stress are regulated by the ER-Ca2+ sensor STIM
    Megha*, Christian Wegener and Gaiti Hasan. PLoS One. 2019 Jul 11;14(7):e0219719. *Corresponding author.
  • Control of protein translation by IP3R-mediated Ca2+ release in Drosophila neuroendocrine cells.
    Megha and Gaiti Hasan, Fly, 2017, 11:4;290-296
  • IP3R mediated Ca2+ release regulates protein metabolism in Drosophila neuroendocrine cells: implications for development under nutrient stress
    Megha and Gaiti Hasan, Development 2017 Apr 15;144(8):1484-1489
    (Media coverage in The Hindu and thewire.in)
  • Metabolic labelling to quantify Drosophila neuropeptides and peptide hormones.
    Kunz T, Chen J, Megha, Wegener C.
    Book Chapter in Peptidomics: Methods and Protocol 2018;1719:175-185.
  • Activation of a bacterial virulence protein by the GTPase RhoA.
    Christen M, Coye LH, Hontz JS, LaRock DL, Pfuetzner RA, Megha, Miller SI. Sci Signal. 2009;2(95):ra71 (Selected by Faculty 1000)
  • Preparation and properties of asymmetric vesicles that mimic cell membranes: effect upon lipid raft formation and transmembrane helix orientation.
    Cheng HT, Megha, London E. J Biol Chem. 2009;284(10):6079-92.
  • Effect of ceramide N-acyl chain and polar headgroup structure on the properties of ordered lipid domains (lipid rafts).
    Megha, Sawatzki P, Kolter T, Bittman R, London E. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007;176 8(9):2205-12.
  • Cholesterol precursors stabilize ordinary and ceramide-rich ordered lipid domains (lipid rafts) to different degrees. Implications for the Bloch hypothesis and sterol biosynthesis disorders.
    Megha, Bakht O, London E. J Biol Chem. 2006 4;281(31):21903-13.
  • Ceramide selectively displaces cholesterol from ordered lipid domains (rafts): implications for lipid raft structure and function.
    Megha, London E. J Biol Chem. 2004 Mar 12;279(11):9997-10004. (Selected by Faculty 1000)

Awards:

  • 2013 India Alliance Early Career Fellowship
  • 2019 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Sentinel Award

Membership of Professional Bodies:

  • Indian Society for Developmental Biology (InSDB)

Our Lab Team

Positions Available at our Lab:

  • Our lab welcomes students for dissertation projects and internships (Class 12 onwards). Please email Megha with your CV, duration of the visit and 200 words on why you would like to do a dissertation in our lab. Prior research experience in biology is not necessary.
    Positions are open for PhD students and postdocs. At this time, there are no funded positions. However, for interested applicants, mentoring and sponsorship for funding will be provided. Please send an email with your CV to discuss potential projects. Prior experience in Drosophila is not necessary.
    On-site hostel accommodation is available for all positions.

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