Dr. Shankar Prasad Das

Assistant Professor

  • Coordinator, MSc Bioscience program
  • Ph.D.(Science), Bose Institute, Jadavpur University
  • MSc-Biotechnology
  • shandas76@gmail.com

Biological research excites me and the reason I have chosen this career. After my bachelors, I got selected for MSc Biotechnology program. I qualified CSIR NET, GATE and SLET that made me eligible for choosing my research topic and joined Bose Institute. There I worked on yeast genetics and characterized the role of a budding yeast protein in maintaining genome stability. I published my research in peer reviewed journals and moved on to UMASS Medical School, Worcester for my postdoctoral assignment. During this tenure I did equally challenging work of characterizing the role of MCM protein in regulation of replication time. I did extensive biochemical characterization to prove my hypothesis. After a short stint working with the signaling pathway of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells I returned for an industrial assignment working towards scale up of Endolysins. Thereafter I joined Yenepoya and currently working on different problems in Genetics. I am the Coordinator for the MSc Bioscience program of our University which was started in 2018.

PostDoc/Experience

  •  Assistant Professor (Aug 2017-till date) – Yenepoya Research Centre, Yenepoya University, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Scientist II (Mar 2015-Mar 2016) – Startup biotech, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (May 2014-Jan 2015) – Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, U.S.A.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (Jul 2008-Apr 2014) – Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, U.S.A.

Awards/Honors

  • Qualified in the National Eligibility Test twice (NET Dec 2001 and April 2002) for Junior and Senior Research Fellowships awarded by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR, New Delhi)
  • Qualified in the Sixth State Level Eligibility Test (SLET 2001) for Lectureship conducted by the West Bengal College Service Commission (WBCSC, Kolkata)
  • Qualified in the Graduate Aptitude test in Engineering (GATE 2000) conducted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Kharagpur)

Research Interest/Area

DNA replication, DNA damage checkpoints, Genome stability, Early detection of cervical cancer, MCM proteins, DNA replication origins,  Cell cycle, Malassezia genetics and cell biology.

Research

My research specialization has been replication biology and towards understanding how helicases like the MCM proteins are involved in the regulation of replication timing. The process of DNA duplication though heterogeneous at the level of origin firing gets completed at a defined period of time. We have shown biochemically that the number of MCM proteins bound to origin decides replication timing. Early firing origins tend to have more bound MCMs compared to origins that fire later in S-phase. MCMs have diverse role and the process of DNA replication is linked to a number of cellular processes like transcription, chromatin remodeling and repair. I am also interested in the role these minichromosome plays in maintaining genome stability and their interaction with the silent information regulators. Having studied the mechanism of action of these replicative helicase I want to also use it as a tool for the early detection of Cancer. Also I am interested to know regarding the propagation of the human fungus Malassezia, particularly its replication apparatus. Working with Malassezia is a challenge as it is tough yeast, difficult to transform and less explored genetically. Currently, I am investigating its role in Oncogenesis.

Publication

  1. Das S P * and Rhind N. How and Why Multiple MCMs are Loaded at Origins of DNA Replication. Epub BioEssays Volume 38, Issue 7, July 2 2016 (* corresponding author). PMID: 27174869
  2. Das S P, Borrman T, Yang S C, Liu V, Bechhoefer J, Rhind N. Replication timing is regulated by the number of MCMs loaded at origins. Epub Sep 10 Genome Research 2015 Dec;25(12):1886-92. doi: 10.1101/gr.195305.115. PMID: 26359232
  3. Xiao N, Laha S, Das S P, Morlock Kayla, Jesneck J L, Raffel G D. Ott1(Rbm15) regulates Thrombopoietin response in hematopoietic stem cells through alternative splicing of c-Mpl. Blood. 2014 Dec 2. pii: blood-2014-08-593392.                 PMID: 25468569
  4. Laha S, Das S P, Hajra S, Sanyal K, Sinha P. Functional characterization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein Chl1 reveals the role of sister chromatid cohesion in the maintenance of spindle length during S-phase arrest. BMC Genet. 2011 Sep 23:12:83. PMID: 21943249
  5. Laha S, Das S P, Hajra S, Sau S, Sinha P. The budding yeast protein Chl1p is required to preserve genome integrity upon DNA damage in S-phase. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006; 34 (20): 5880-91. ( joint first author) PMID: 17062629

Books/Book Chapters

Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2018 Mar 1;2018(3):pdb.prot092015. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot092015.

Analysis of DNA Replication in Fission Yeast by Combing.  Iyer DR, Das SP, Rhind N.

 

 

 

I am interested in DNA replication, a process by which the cell duplicates it genome and it takes place in a defined period of time in the S-phase of the cell cycle. My ICMR funded project looks into an applied aspect of DNA replication where I am trying to find out if a replication component can be used as a sensitive and specific detection marker for cervical cancer.
In another project which looks into the basic aspect of DNA replication I am interested into understanding the replication machinery of the human fungal pathogen Malassezia furfur and investigate its role in oncogenesis.

PI

  • ICMR funded project, Development towards early detection of Cervical Cancer
  • DHR funded project, Molecular Characterization of the human fungal pathogen Malassezia under GIA scheme