The “Genomics and Global Health Report 2004” has identified genomics as “the powerful new wave of health-related life sciences” with tremendous potential to address unresolved health problems, especially in the developing countries. My research mission is to rise to this challenge by harnessing emerging genomics technologies to uncover important and novel information on human health and disease. The emergence of techniques like massively parallel DNA sequencing methods (MPS) has revolutionized our ability to identify causal genomic variants in various human health conditions. Exome and whole genome sequencing based approaches have already been shown to be successful in uncovering the genetic basis of multiple diseases. My aim is to harness emerging technologies like MPS to identify the genetic basis of causality of diseases with special emphasis on maternal and infant health (preterm birth) and cancer. The ultimate purpose of undertaking such work is to discover important genetic information which can be translated into the identification of actionable targets to reduce the public health burden.
I believe in the emanation of scientific knowledge for capacity building in research, in building a partnership with the industry and in engaging with the community at large. Hence, my activities and future plans are geared toward the realization of these goals. I actively participate in the teaching activities and workshops that are hosted for students and clinicians. I also participate in various programs with the industry and in the community programs undertaken by the institute to engage with the general population on biomedical genomics.
Projects: (extramurally funded)
Maternal & Infant Health:
Project Coordinator & Principal Investigator. Grand Challenge India Grant (DBT, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BIRAC & USAID): “Stress outcomes on pregnancy, fetal growth and birth weight Development of methods to identify mothers at risk of preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction resulting from maternal stress.” Collaborators: Dr. Nitya Wadhwa, Pediatric Biology Center, Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI) & Dr. Tushar Kanti Maiti, Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad.
Co – investigator. Grand Challenge Program (DBT): “Inter-institutional program for Maternal, Neonatal and Infant Sciences – A translational approach to studying Preterm Birth.” Principal Investigator (NIBMG): Professor Partha Pratim Majumder. Project Coordinator and Principal Investigator (THSTI): Professor Shinjini Bhatnagar. Collaborators: THSTI, RCB, Civil Hospital Gurgaon, Safderjung Hospital, AIIMS, MAMC.
Co – investigator. Research & Development Grant (DBT): “Molecular Basis of Nutrient Mediated Fetal Programming of Diabesity.” Principal Investigator (NIBMG): Professor Partha Pratim Majumder. Team Leader and Principal Investigator (KEMHRC): Professor Chittaranjan S Yajnik. Collaborators: KEHMRC, CCMB, IISER – Pune, IISc.
Co – investigator. Research & Development Grant (DBT West Bengal Govt.) “A Pilot Study on the Role of Gut Microbiome in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.” Collaborator: Professor Subhankar Chowdhury, IPGMER.
Co-Principal Investigator. DBT Twinning Project: “Identification of Biomarkers of Oropharyngeal Cancer Prevalent in North-Eastern State of India by Whole Genome Methylation and Expression Profiling.” Principal Investigator: Collaborators: Professor Partha Pratim Majumder (NIBMG), Professor Sharmila Sengupta (NIBMG), Dr. Srimoyee Ghosh (NEHU), Dr. Briyan N. Shunyu (NEIGRIHMS).
Co-Principal Investigator. DBT Twinning Project: “Identification of recurrent somatic mutations in Gastric Adenocarcinoma in Mizo population, Northeast India.” Principal Investigator: Collaborators: Dr. Arindam Maitra (NIBMG), Dr. N. Senthil Kumar (Mizoram University, Aizawl, Mizoram), Dr Jeremy L. Pautu (Mizoram State Cancer Institute), Dr John Zomingthanga (Civil Hospital Aizawl, Mizoram).
Co-Principal Investigator. DBT NER – BPMC Training Grant: “Enhancing capacity in genomics-driven research in human health & disease in the north-east region.” Principal Investigator: Professor Sharmila Sengupta.
Palodhi A, Ghosh S, Biswas NK, Basu A, Majumder PP, Maitra A*. Profiling of genomic alterations of mitochondrial DNA in gingivobuccal oral squamous cell carcinoma: Implications for disease progress. Mitochondrion. 2018 Sep 24.pii: S1567-7249(18)30030-8.
Sundar S, Khetrapal-Singh P, Frampton J, Trimble E, Rajaraman P, Mehrotra R, Hariprasad R, Maitra A, Gill P, Suri V, Srinivasan R. Harnessing genomics to improve outcomes for women with cancer in India: key priorities for research. The Lancet Oncology. 2018 Feb 28;19(2):e102-12.
India Project Team of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. Mutational landscape of gingivo-buccal oral squamous cell carcinoma reveals new recurrently-mutated genes and molecular subgroups. Nat Commun. 2013;4:2873.
Maitra A*, Dash D, John S, Sannappa PR, Das AP, Shanker J, Rao VS, Sridhara H, Kakkar VV. A common variant in chromosome 9p21 associated with coronary artery disease in Asian Indians. J Genet. 2009 Apr;88(1):113-8.
Maitra A*, Shanker J, Dash D, John S, Sannappa PR, Rao VS, Ramanna JK, Kakkar VV. Polymorphisms in the IL6 gene in Asian Indian families with premature coronary artery disease--the Indian Atherosclerosis Research Study. Thromb Haemost. 2008 May;99(5):944-50. Editorial Comment in: Thromb Haemost 2008;99:991-992.