Dr. Megha

Achievements:

1. Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance Early Career Fellowship (2013-2018)
2. Gates Foundation Sentinel Award (2019-2021)

Areas of Interest:

  • Developing a fly (Drosophila melanogaster) model to study effects of early-life malnutrition.

    Malnutrition continues to be a major issue in our country, with more than 50% of children below 5 being underweight. Intuitively, malnutrition is corrected by providing a balanced, nutritious diet. However malnutrition experienced during development may not entirely be erasable. Studies show that low birth weight babies have a greater risk for acquiring cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. This phenomenon DOHaD (Developmental Origins for Health and Disease) is now well established for humans with the first two years of life, from conception to ~2years, being recognised as crucial for proper development.

    What are the molecular underpinnings of DoHAD? How is early life nutritional loss, both macro and micro, experienced at the organ and cellular level? Why does early life malnutrition increase risks for certain diseases?

    To answer these questions, our lab is using Drosophila melanogaster (vinegar fly) to understand how nutritional loss during early life, reprograms cells in different tissues to ultimately affect both physiology and behaviour. We are starting our explorations with the brain and the gut, two interconnected organs that are major determinants of overall health. A particular focus in going to be on peptide hormones made in these organs by specialised cells: enteroendocrine (gut) and neuroendocrine (brain).

  • Characterising and testing dietary interventions based on local health traditions which can effectively reduce risks associated with early-life malnutrition.
  • Science communication and outreach
  • Policies in the area of nutrition and scientific personnel development.

Some of my important publications:

(* Corresponding Author)

  • ER-Ca2+ sensor STIM regulates neuropeptides required for development under nutrient restriction in Drosophila. Megha*, Wegener C, Hasan G. 2019 Plos One (in press) doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/386649
  • Control of protein translation by IP3R-mediated Ca2+ release in Drosophila neuroendocrine cells. Megha*, Hasan G. 2017 Fly (Austin) doi: 10.1080/19336934.2017.1384103.
  • IP3R-mediated Ca2+ release regulates protein metabolism in Drosophila neuroendocrine cells: implications for development under nutrient stress. Megha*, Hasan G. 2017. Development. doi: 10.1242/dev.145235.

Email: megha@tdu.edu.in

Our lab welcomes dissertation students. 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.

© 2018 TDU, Bengaluru.