Telomere and Telomerase: Their Implications in Human Health and Disease

Abstract: Telomeres are distinctive structures, composed of tandemly repeated DNA sequences and associated proteins that cap the ends of all eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres are essential for maintaining the integrity and stability of eukaryotic genomes. In mammals, the length, structure, and function of telomeres have been believed to contribute to cellular and organismal phenotypes associated with cancer and aging. Telomere length is regulated by telomerase-dependent and telomerase-independent mechanisms. Drugs that directly bind to the telomeres and stabilize secondary DNA structures such as G-quadruplexes are potent inhibitors of telomerase; consequently, these could serve as new targets for cancer therapy. I will discuss what is known about the basis for the links between telomeres, aging and cancer, and some of the known and proposed consequences of telomere dysfunction in normal and cancer cells.

About the Speaker: Prof. Muniyappa is a senior Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Prof. Muniyappa obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Mysore and doctoral degree from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He did research at Yale University School of Medicine, as the American Cancer Society visiting professor at the University of Washington, Seattle and as the Royal Society Scholar at MRC, London. He was also the resident scholar at University of Sydney, Australia and Osaka University, Japan. He is the founding coordinator of the Int. Ph D program in Biol. Sci. at IISc., and the National Research Associateship program (and a similar program for the Northeast region) in Biotechnology and Life Sciences of DBT, New Delhi. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards which includes S. S. Bhatnagar Prize in Biological Sciences, Sir M. Visvesvaraya Award by GoK, Yamagiwa International Cancer Award (Switzerland), Eleanor Roosevelt award of the American Cancer Society (USA) to name a few.

Prof. Muniyappa’s research and professional interests include biochemistry, molecular/ structural biology, genetics & higher education. He has trained over 50 doctoral and postdoctoral students and has published 120 major scientific publications in some of the best-known international journals, which have been widely cited and included in standard textbooks.

( Live Broadcast in Seminar Hall (CSE 219), Transit Campus )