Dr Jishy Varghese
Associate Professor (Biology)
  +91 (0)471 - 2778169

Genetic Regulation of Physiology and Metabolism:

We use the model organism Drosophila to address a fundamental and intriguing question in Biology - "How is physiological homeostasis maintained despite environmental fluctuations in a complex multi-cellular organism?"

Normal functioning of organisms is influenced by their environment, and most life forms survive and function efficiently despite fluctuations in the environment. Animals have a remarkable property to withstand challenges from the external environment such as variations in the availability of nutrients, the main source of energy for various physiological needs. In most cases organisms cope well during such challenges, which they owe to various adaptive responses that aid in maintaining a stable interior milieu. In higher animals this involve complex communication networks that link the brain and various metabolic centers. However, a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved in the maintenance of nutrient and energy homeostasis is still lacking, mainly due to the complex environmental changes and the intricate nature of the internal physiological response systems.

Our lab focuses on the following aspects, which would enable us to understand the maintenance of nutrient and energy homeostasis:

  • neural and endocrine signalling networks that maintain energy? homeostasis
  • cellular and systemic mechanisms that aid in nutrient sensing
  • genetic regulation of developmental maturation, metabolism and ageing
  • neural mechanisms that regulate feeding and motor activity

Drosophila is an excellent in vivo model organism to conduct genome wide screens without the need for a huge resource investment. Our group is trying to identify novel factors involved in the physiological maintenance of nutrient and energy balance using Drosophila. We use various genetic tools, in vivo reporters for signalling pathways, metabolic assays, molecular biology and biochemical techniques, imaging systems, automated activity monitors and behavioral assays to achieve this goal.

Please visit the lab webpage for more details