Dr. Vishnu joined TDU in June 2014. He has a keen interest in transdisciplinary research and education in the area of ‘Ayurveda-Biology’ and Integrative medicines for human health and wellness. Vishnu’s professional qualifications include degrees in Microbiology (BSc) and Biotechnology (MSc) with a PhD in the area of cell biology and phytochemistry. He has several years of research and teaching experience at various institutes and Universities in India and South Korea. Vishnu is currently leading a team focusing on creating transdisciplinary knowledge framework between Ayurveda and Modern biology for delineating the complex biology of glucose metabolism with special focus on diabetes and obesity.
1. An ‘Ayurveda-Biology’ platform for Integrative Diabetes Management.
The team envisage that effective merger of both holistic and reductionist view of biology is imperative in contemporary health and disease management, particularly in the management of chronic lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity and lever diseases. Holistic philosophy of science recognizes health or disease as a collective expression of several biochemical and physiological events in the body, whereas reductionism deconstructs them into more tractable cellular and molecular components. Both these perspectives are equally important for comprehensively understanding the biological changes happening in health and disease. This is the context where integrative medicine or medical pluralism becomes relevant. Creating a trans-disciplinary knowledge framework between Ayurveda and modern biomedicine could be the paradigm shift in the global healthcare sector to fulfil the contemporary healthcare demands.
2. Gut-centric approach for diabetes management
The human body regulate glucose metabolism through a multi-targeted mechanism with gut playing a central role. Remarkably, in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda, the gut is considered central to disease manifestation and cure. Therefore the plant based therapeutics used in Ayurveda can probably act at different levels on the gut such as digestive enzymes and hormones and exert their biological action. The team is interested to observe the effects of therapeutics on inhibiting carbohydrate digesting enzymes, expression and secretion of gut hormones, pancreatic beta cells proliferation as well as intestinal glucose uptake. Preliminary in vitro studies demonstrate a potential for these therapeutics in the gut centric modulation of postprandial glucose disposal. Further mechanistic insight, in terms of gut hormones, pancreatic function and from animal model studies will advance our understanding not just of traditional medicine but also their application to metabolic diseases.
3. Research approach for Ayurvedic Fumigation: A potential drug delivery strategy.
Fumigation is a well known method of sterilization, wherein fumes produced from a fumigant are used to annihilate harmful micro and macro-organisms in a particular area. The traditional Indian medical practices, particularly Ayurveda, make use of fumigation as one of the drug administration strategies for preventive and curative therapy. Fumigation is described in Ayurveda as Dhoopana (Dhoopa = fumes; Dhoopana = fumigation) or Dhumapana (Dhuma = fume; Dhumapana = inhalation of fume). Besides its use as a sterilization technique, Ayurveda use fumigation as a drug delivery system. The drug delivery through inhalation routes has several advantages including ease of drug administration, higher bioavailability and high potential to penetrate the blood brain barrier. The team is interested in scientifically studying the concept of fumigation in Ayurveda, and understands and validates the efficacy of Ayurvedic fumigation using modern scientific tools.
Research collaboration with Open Source Pharma (Dr. Jaleel UC) for analyzing the retrospective clinical data of diabetic patients