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  Dr. M. Balasubramanyam
   
 

Qualifications :
MSc., M.Phil., PhD

Specialization:
Cell Signaling in health and disease & Molecular Medicine with special reference to molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications; Insulin signaling & Proteomics – Epigenetics aspects of diabetes, Unraveling mechanisms of hyperglycemic memory, Redox signaling, Oxidative stress and biomarkers identification; Bioprospecting herbal molecules.

Positions held in chronological order:
1. 2007 to till date: Assistant Director & Senior Scientist, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, India
2. 1999 to August 2007: Senior Scientist, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai
3. 1996-1999: Faculty, Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai
4. 1993-1996: Post Doctoral Fellow, American Heart Association Affiliate, New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey, USA
5. 1991-1993: Post Doctoral Fellow, Government of India-Scholarship Award, New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey, USA
6. 1988-1991: Research Associate (CSIR), S.V.University, Tirupati
7. 1986-1988: Senior Research Fellow (CSIR), S.V.University, Tirupati
8. 1984-1986: Junior Research Fellow, S.V.University, Tirupati.

Additional Responsibilities:
1. 1999-till date: Member, Institutional Ethics Committee, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation
2. 1999-till date: Academic Coordinator, MDRF (Training programmes for BSc/BTech; MSc/MTech students; short-term exposure training and end-semester project training)
3. 2008-till date: Member Secretary, Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, MDRF

Research Experience:
Possessing > 25 years of post-MSc research experience since 1983. This includes an extensive Post Doctoral Fellow (PDF) training program (1991-95) at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey, USA, on the subject: “Biochemical machinery and Signal transduction in physiology and pathophysiology”.
Training at the University of San Diego, USA on human skeletal muscle/adipose biopsy and insulin signaling profiling.

Teaching experience:
20 years of total teaching experience which include teaching assignments at
a) Department of Zoology, S.V.University, Tirupati (1983-1991),
b) Centre of Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai (1995-1999)
c) MDRF (1999 -till-to-date).

Research Grants:
1. 1993-1995 American Heart Association Fellowship grant (PI)
2. 1996-1997 Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Italy - Research Grant (PI)
3. 2002-2005 Department of Science & Technology (DST), New Delhi (PI)
4. 2002-2007 FIST-DST Grant (Programme Coordinator)
5. 2003-2006 Department of Biotechnology (DBT) (Co-Investigator)
6. 2006-2010 Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) (Co-Investigator)
7. 2003-2006 Department of Science & Technology (DST), New Delhi (Co-PI).
8. 2007-2010 Department of Biotechnbology (DBT), New Delhi (PI).

PhD students under my supervision at the Cell and Molecular Biology Department of MDRF (affiliated to the University of Madras) completed/working on the following topics:

  1. Altered signaling in diabetes and its complications with special reference to ion transport, redox imbalance and advanced glycation aspects (Thesis awarded).
  2. Biochemical markers and molecular mechanisms of Oxidative Stress in Diabetes and its Complications (Thesis awarded).
  3. Molecular convergence of hexosamine biosynthetic pathway and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in insulin resistance (Thesis awarded)
  4. Biochemical and intracellular studies on cardiovascular risk factors in relation to glucose intolerance (Thesis awarded)
  5. Glucolipotoxicity induced molecular alterations in insulin secretion and insulin resistance: Role of Gallic acid (Thesis submitted)
  6. Clinical significance of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in diabetic patients and fatty-acid induced molecular perturbations in hepatocytes and adipocytes (PhD synopsis submitted)
  7. Does oxidation/inflammation impose accelerated cellular senescence in adipocytes and modify their secretory profile and function? (Persuing)
  8. Exploring novel mechanisms of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes using miRNA and RNAi technologies (Persuing)
  9. Epigenetics and Type 2 diabetes (Persuing)
  10. Molecular intricacies of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in diabetes (Persuing)

Summer training & End-semster project training to students:
So far, >200 summer students trained and above 35 students were directly supervised and guided for their end-semster project work.

Nominated & Served as PhD examiner for students outside the MDRF:
Conducted PhD viva-voce examination and served as examiner for students from:
1. University of Madras
2. Tuberculosis Research Centre,
3. Department of Biotechnology, CLRI
4. Central University Hyderabad
5. National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER)
6. Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University

Professional Recognition(s):

1. Served as Guest-Editor for a special issue on Diabetes Mellitus in “Current Science” (2002, Vol: 83(12).
2. Co-organizer of the meetings organized by MDRF including
a) Brain Storming session on “Cell transplantation” sponsored by Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt of India, 2002 at MDRF, Chennai
Scientific Organising Secretary for
b) MDRF-ADA Post-graduate Course in Diabetology 2002
c) MDRF –ADA Post-graduate Course in Diabetology 2004
d) MDRF –ADA Post-graduate Course in Diabetology 2006
3. Organising Secretary – Indo-Swedish Symposium on Genomics and Proteomics of Diabetes (April 1-2, 2006)
4. Served as Guest-Editor for a special issue on Diabetes Research in “Indian Journal of Medical Research” (Vol 125) 2007.

Referee for various journals including:
1. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
2. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology
3. Current Science
4. Indian Journal of Medical Research
5. European Journal of Biology
6. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics
7. BMC Endorcine disorders
8. DRCP, JCMM, IJEB, Diabetes Care

Scientific Services:
1. Member - Task Force committee on Cardio-vascular diseases (CVD) in Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India
2. Member – Expert Committee on Clinical Proteomics, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India
3. Member – Life Sciences Research Board (LSRB) under DRDO, New Delhi.
4. Member – Board of Studies, Biotechnology, Loyola College, Chennai
5. Editorial Board Member: Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics

Memberships & Research Awards:

  • 2008 Elected Member – Madras Science Foundation (MSF), Chennai.
  • Elected Member - Asia Pacific International Molecular Biology Network (A-IMBN), 2001.
  • International Diabetes Society grant to attend 5th IDS Congress, Chennai, 1999.
  • MABMS award - Membership of the Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists 1999.
  • Fellow - Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists, 1998.
  • ICSU/INSA award to attend XIII International Biophysics Congress, New Delhi -2000.
  • Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS, Italy) Associateship award, 1998.
  • Young Physiologist Foreign Guest at the Physiological Society meetings, Dublin (Ireland) March 23-26, 1997.
  • The Welcome Trust (UK) award for subsistence at the EC School/Conference on Calcium and Signal Transduction (Liverpool, UK, 14-20, March 1997).
  • Research Grant award from Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Italy (Principal Investigator), 1996.
  • International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB, Germany), Young Scientist Travel Fellowship Award for participation in IUBMB Congress 1994, New Delhi, India.
  • Junior Scientist Award from the Association of Scientists of India Origin in America Inc., (ASIOA), Mississippi, USA, 1993.
  • American Heart Association (AHA, USA), New Jersey affiliate, Post-doctoral Fellowship Grant (Principal Investigator) (Diabetes Work), 1993-1995.
  • Government of India sponsored Study abroad PDF scholarship award for Specialized Post doctoral training - New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, USA, 1991-1992.
  • Young Scientist Travel award for participation in the Fifth International Theriological Congress, Rome, Italy - Financed by DST, New Delhi, INDIA & V-ITC, Rome, ITALY, 1989.

Membership of Academies/Research Societies:

1. Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network (A-IMBN)
2. Member- Madras Science Foundation (MSF)
3. Member Indian Biophysics Society (IBS)
4. Life member Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists (IABMS)
5. Life member Indian Society of Cell Biology (ISCB)
6. Life member-European Calcium Society (ECS, Germany)
7. Member Alliance for Cell Signaling (AFCS, USA)
8. Member Society of Biological Chemists (India) (SBC)
9. Member Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)
10. Member Inter Academy of Biomedical Forum – (IABF)

Research publications in accredited journals:

  • Sameermahmood Z, Raji, L, Saravanan T, Vaidya A, Mohan V, Balasubramanyam M. Gallic acid protects RINm5F ß- cells from glucolipotoxicity by its antiapoptotic and insulin-secretagogue actions. Phytotherapy Research (accepted).
  • Srinivasan V, Tatu U, Mohan V, Balasubramanyam M. Molecular convergence of Hexosamine Biosynthetic Pathway (HBP) and ER stress leading to insulin resistance in L6 skeletal muscle cells. Mol.Cell. Biochem. 2009 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Surendar J, Anuradha S, Berty Ashley, Balasubramanyam M, Aravindhan V, Rema M , Mohan V.  Cystatin C and Cystatin GFR as markers of early renal disease in Asian Indian subjects with glucose intolerance (CURES-64).Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2009 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Gokulakrishnan K, Mohanavalli KT, Monickaraj F, Mohan V, Balasubramanyam M. Subclinical inflammation/oxidation as revealed by altered gene expression profiles in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance and Type 2 diabetes patients. Mol Cell Biochem. 2009 324(1-2):173-81
  • K Gokulakrishnan, R Deepa, R Sampathkumar, M Balasubramanyam, V MohanAssociation of Leukocyte Count and hsCRP with Metabolic Abnormalities in Subjects with Normal Glucose Tolerance (CURES – 64) Journal of Association of Physicians of India.  56; 27-32, 2009 
  • K Gokulakrishnan, R Deepa, R Sampathkumar, M Balasubramanyam, V MohanAssociation of Leukocyte count with varying degrees of glucose intolerance in Asian Indians - the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES-26). Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2009 March 14 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Balasubramanyam, M., Adaikalakoteswari, A., sameermahmood, Z. & Mohan, V. Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress: Methods and Measures of Oxidative DNA Damage (COMET Assay) and Telomere Shortening. In: Free Radicals and Antioxidant Protocols (Second Edition, Eds. Rao, M. et al) in the series of Methods in Molecular Biology, The Humana Press Inc. 2009 (In press).
  • Sameermahmood Z., Balasubramanyam, M., Saravanan, T. & Rema, M. Curcumin modulates SDF-1a/CXCR4-induced migration of human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs). Investig. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci., 49(8):3305-11, 2008.
  • Anitha B, Sampathkumar R, Balasubramanyam M & Rema, M. Advanced glycation index and its association with severity of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetic subjects. J. Diabetes and its Complications, 22(4):261-6, 2008.
  • Balasubramanyam, M. One more reason for breast-feeding – Prevention of Diabetes! Current Science, 95:1116-7, 2008
  • Balasubramanyam, M. TCF7L2 and Diabetes: a transcription gene with prescription hope? Current Science, 93:613-5, 2007.
  • Srinivasan V, Sandhya N, Sampathkumar R, Farooq S, Mohan V & Balasubramanyam, M. Glutamine Fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (GFAT) gene expression and activity in patients with Type 2 diabetes: inter-relationships with hyperglycemia and oxidative stress. Clinical Biochemistry, 40:952-7, 2007.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Mohan, V. Diabetes in 2007 – What are the promises & challenges? Indian Journal of Medical Res. 125:195-199, 2007.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Adaikalakoteswari, A, Finnymonickaraj, S. Mohan, V. Telomere shortening and metabolic/vascular diseases. Indian Journal of Medical Res. 125: 441-450, 2007.
  • Sundarajan S, Srinivasan, V, Balasubramanyam M, Tatu, U. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and diabetes. Indian Journal of Medical Research. 125: 411-424, 2007.
  • Adaikalakoteswari A, Rema, M, Mohan, V. and M. Balasubramanyam. Oxidative DNA damage and augmentation of Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase/Nuclear Factor-kappa B signaling in patients with Type 2 diabetes and microangiopathy. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 39:1673-84, 2007.
  • Adaikalakoteswari A, M. Balasubramanyam, M, Ravikumar, R, Deepa. R. and Mohan, V. Association of telomere shortening with impaired glucose tolerance and diabetic macroangiopathy. Atherosclerosis, 195:83-9, 2007.
  • Sameer, M, Balasubramanyam, M. And Mohan, V. Stem cells and diabetes. Current Science, 91(9):1158-1165, 2006
  • Balasubramanyam, M, Adaikalakoteswari A, Sampathkumar, R and V. Mohan. Oxidative stress in Asian Indians with Type 2 diabetes. In: Type 2 diabetes in South Asians: Epidemiology, Risk Factors and Prevention. Jaypee Brothers, Medical Publishers (P) Ltd., New Delhi, pp 164-172, 2006.
  • Adaikalakoteswari A, M. Balasubramanyam, M. Rema and V. Mohan. Differential gene expression of NADPH oxidase (p22phox) and hemoxygenase-1 in patients with type 2 diabetes and microangiopathy. Diabetic Medicine 23:666-674, 2006.
  • Balasubramanyam M. Antioxidants and cardiovascular disease- Where do we stand? The Asian Journal of Diabetology, 8(1): 1-5, 2006.
  • Premanand C, Rema M, Sameer Mahmood Z, Sujatha M, Balasubramanyam M. Effect of curcumin on proliferation of human retinal endothelial cells under invitro conditions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 47:2179–2184, 2006.
  • Sampathkumar R, Balasubramanaym M, C.Tara, M.Rema, V.Mohan. Association of hypoglutathionemia with reduced Na+/K+ ATPase activity in type 2 diabetes and microangiopathy. Mol. Cell. Biochem, 282 (1-2):169-76, 2006.
  • Sampathkumar R, Balasubramanyam M, Sudarslal S, Rema M, Mohan V and Balaram P. Increased glutathionylated hemoglobin (HbSSG) in type 2 diabetes subjects with microangiopathy. Clinical Biochemistry, 38(10):892-9, 2005.
  • Adaikalakoteswari A, Balasubramanyam M and Mohan V. Telomere shortening in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine, 22, 1151–1156, 2005.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Sampathkumar R and Mohan V. (2005) Is insulin signaling molecules misguided in diabetes for ubiquitin-proteasome degradation? Mol. Cell. Biochem, 275: 117–125, 2005.
  • Balasubramanyam M Transforming ‘traditional anecdotes’ to ‘evidence-based medicine’ and its relation to diabetes. Current Science, 89(3); 428, 2005.
  • Mohan V, Balasubramanyam M, Radha V. Genomics and Proteomics of Type 2 Diabetes in Indians. J Assoc Physicians India, 53: 505-509, 2005.
  • Sampathkumar R, Balasubramayam M, Rema M, et al. A novel advanced glycation index (AGI) and its association with diabetes and microangiopathy. Metabolism, 58: 1004-1007, 2005.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Adaikalakoteswari A & Mohan V. Telomere shortening: A marker of atherosclerosis? Current Science, 87, 422-24, 2004.
  • Balasubramanyam M and Mohan V. (2004) Insulin signaling in Diabetes: Cascades and Complexities. Advanced Biotech. 2: 24-27, 2004.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Adaikalakoteswari A, Sampathkumar R et al. Curcumin-induced inhibition of cellular Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) generation: Novel therapeutic implications. J. Biosci, 28: 715-721, 2003.
  • BrijendraKumar S, Balasubramanyam M & Mohan V. Scientific highlights of the MDRF-ADA post-graduate course in Diabetology. Int J Diab Dev Countries, 23:135-144, 2003.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Rema M & Premanand C. Biochemical and Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic retinopathy. Current Science, 83: 1506 -14, 2002.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Premanand C & Mohan V. Lymphocytes as a cellular model to study insights into the pathophysiology of diabetes and its complications. ANYAS - Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, 958:399-402, 2002.
  • Balasubramanyam M & Mohan V. The need for high throughput screening of herbal medicine with special reference to diabetes mellitus. In: Biodiversity (monitoring, management, conservation and enhancement) Ramamurthy, R. & Bali, G (Eds), pp. 57-74, 2002.
  • Balasubramanyam M & Mohan V. Orally active insulin mimics: where do we stand now? J. Biosciences, 26:383-390, 2001.
  • Mohan, V & Balasubramanyam, M, (2001) Fenugreek and insulin resistance. J. Assoc. Phys. India, 49: 1055-6.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Balaji RA, Subashini B & Mohan V. Evidence for mechanistic alterations of Ca2+ homeostasis in Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int. J. Experimental Diab Res, 1: 275-287, 2001.
  • Balasubramanyam M & Mohan V. Current concepts of PPAR-g signaling in Diabetes mellitus. Current Science, 79:1440-1446, 2000.
  • Balasubramanyam M & Mohan V. Signal transduction during cardiac hypertrophy: New insights. Indian Heart J, 52:226-232, 2000.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Miranda P & Mohan V. Carbohydrate metabolism and diabetes: Links to etiology of diabetic complications and therapy. VI Volume of "The Trends in Carbohydrate Chemistry" , 2000.
  • Balasubramanyam M. Calcium and Signal transduction. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 35:1138-1139, 1997.
  • Cho JH, Balasubramanyam M, Chernaya G, Gardner et al. Oligomycin inhibits store-dependent calcium influx in chinese hamster ovary cells and Jurkat T-cells. Biochemical Journal, 324:971-980, 1997.
  • Gardner JP, Balasubramanyam M & Studzinski GP. Up-regulation of Ca2+ influx mediated by store-operated channels in HL60 cells induced to differentiate by 1_, 25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 172:284-295, 1997.
  • Gardner JP & Balasubramanyam M. Na+/Ca2+ exchange in circulating blood cells. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, 779:502-514, 1996.
  • Dang AM, Balasubramanyam M, Zenaida Garcia, Raveche ES & Gardner JP. Altered signal transduction in B-1 malignant clones. Immunology and Cell Biology, 73:511-520, 1995.
  • Balasubramanyam M & Gardner JP. Protein kinase C modulates cytosolic free calcium by stimulating calcium pump activity in Jurkat T cells. Cell Calcium, 18:526-541, 1995.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Rohowsky-Cochan C, Reeves JP and Gardner JP. Na+/Ca2+ exchange-mediated calcium entry in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 94:2002-2008, 1994.
  • Balasubramanyam M, Kimura M, Aviv A & Gardner, JP. Kinetics of calcium transport across the lymphocyte plasma membrane. American Journal of Physiology, 265:C321-C327, 1993.
  • Mohana Rao, A.M.K. and Balasubramanyam, M.  (1992).  Chapter 11. The Mice, Mus spp.  In: Rodents in Indian Agriculture, Vol.1 (Eds. Ishwar Prakash and P.K. Ghosh) Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, India  pp 147-164. (book chapter).
  • Balasubramanyam, M., Maddaiah, G.P. and Ramamurthi, R.  (1991).  Minimal baiting and control of rats in storages using new generation anticoagulant rodenticides.  In Proc: Fifth International Working Conference on Stored-product Protection, Volume III (Eds. Fleurat-Lessard and P. Ducom) Bordeaux, France, September 9-14, 1990.  Published by Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, Paris, France) pp 1481-1488.
  • Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1988). Anticoagulant rodenticides - current development and trends. Ind. Review of Life Sci.  8:205-232. (Review)
  • Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1988).  The susceptibility of the Indian field mouse, Mus booduga Gray to anticoagulant rodenticidal baits.  Pesticide Sci.  23:209-213.
  • Balasubramanyam, M., Shobarani, D., Maddaiah,G.P. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1988).  Responses to warfarin by the Indian gerbil. Tatera indica from Tirupati, India.  Ind. J. of Exp. Biol.  26:694-696.
  • Maddaiah, G.P., Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1988).  Bromadiolone - a potent anticoagulant rodenticide against the house rat, Rattus rattus.  Pesticides  22:28-33.
  • Balasubramanyam, M., Maddaiah, G.P. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1988).  Laboratory evaluation of anticoagulant wax blocks to control Indian field mouse, Mus booduga.  Ind. J. of Agric. Sci.  58:330-332.
  • Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1987).  Comparative effect of three rodenticides warfarin, bromadiolone and brodifacoum on the Indian field mouse, Mus booduga Gray. International Biodeterioration  23:307-314.
  • Maddaiah, G.P., Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1987).  Field evaluation of bromadiolone in two rat infested areas.  Tropical Pest Mgmt. 33:230-233.
  • Balasubramanyam, M., Christopher, M.J. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1985).  Field evaluation of three anticoagulant rodenticides against rodent pests in paddy fields.  Tropical Pest Mgmt.  31:299-301.
  • Balasubramanyam, M., Christopher, M.J. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1985).  Laboratory evaluation of anticoagulant treated baits against Indian field mouse, Mus booduga.  Proc. Indian Acad. Sci.  94:93-97.
  • Christopher, M.J., Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1984).  Evaluation of bromadiolone in paddy fields. Rodent Newsletter  Jan-Dec, p 7.
  • Christopher, M.J., Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1984).  Fight rats in your farms.  Poultry punch  1:47-50.
  • Christopher, M.J., Balasubramanyam, M.  and Purushotham, K.R.  (1984).  Rodent problem in poultry farms of Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.  Poultry guide  xxi:21-26.
  • Christopher, M.J.,  Balasubramanyam, M. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1984).  Toxicity of three anticoagulant rodenticides to male hybrid leghorns.  Zeit. fur Angew. Zool. 71:275-282.
  • Balasubramanyam, M., Christopher, M.J. and Purushotham, K.R.  (1984).  Laboratory evaluation of three anticoagulant rodenticides for use against the Indian field mouse, Mus booduga Gray.  Journal of Hygiene  93:575-578.

Talks delivered (2005-2009) by Dr.M.Balasubramanyam
Asst. Director & Senior Scientist, MDRF

“Palmitate causes insulin resistance by inducing epigenetic alterations in hepatocytes and adipocytes” - 13th ADNAT Convention, International Symposium on Epigenetic Modifications of the Genome: Mechanisms and Implications, at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad during February 23-24, 2009.

“Molecular pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes: Technological struggle and the Gordian Knot” – MDRF-ICMR Workshop on Techniques in Genomics in relation to diabetes and related disorders, MDRF, Chennai, 9th January 2009.

“Molecular intricacies of oxytosis and apoptosis in Type 2 diabetes” – 77th Annual Meeting of the Society of Biological Chemists, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, 18-20 December 2008.

“Prevention is better than cure – Molecular perspective on how this ancient adage is appropriate for diabetes” – State level Symposium on Pre-emptive prevention of human diseases, Loyola College, Chennai, 18th December 2008.

“Phytochemicals for diabetes – Time tested or Time to Test?”- International Conference Natural Products in Health" and "21st Annual Conference of the Indian Society for Atherosclerosis Research", Annamalai University, Chidambaram, 8th December 2008.

“Functional foods and their molecular mechanisms in relation to diabetes”. 36th Annual meeting of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), Hyderabad, 23rd November 2008.

“Stem cells for diabetes – Where do we stand now?” First International Stem Cell Summit India -2008, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, 14th November 2008.

“Oxidative damage and altered HO-1 signaling in Type 2 diabetes” at the Soongsan Biomedical Symposium, Wonkwang University, Korea, 13th October 2008.

“Traditional medicine & Diabetes: New molecular insights” at the Workshop on “Opportunities for collaboration through e-IMBL, 11th annual meeting of the A-IMBN Conference, Seoul Korea, 8-9th October 2008.

“New insights of translational research opportunities in diabetes”. 11th annual meeting of the A-IMBN Conference, Seoul, Korea, 8-9th October 2008.

“Stress Wars” in Diabetes: Patholgoical insights and new therapeutic concepts”. International Congress on Cell Biology, Seoul, Korea, 7-10th October 2008.

“Harnessing the benefits of Biotechnology for better diabetes care”. Talk delivered at the Kumararani Meena Muthiah College of Arts and Science, Chennai on 12th September 2008.

“Vision care in diabetes: Visualizing beyond glucose control”. KNBIRVO Conference, Chennai, 5th September 2008.

“Phytomedicine & Diabetes: New molecular insights” 1st International Euro-India Conference on Holistic Medicine (ICHM-2008), Institute of Holistic Medical Sciences, Kottayam, 21-23 August, 2008.

“Diabetic retinopathy: seeing beyond glucose control” 56th TNOA Conference:Research and Ophthalmology/Organizing Research at the Regional Ophthalmic Institute and Govt Ophthalmic Hospital, Chennai, 9th August, 2008.

Participated at the International discussion meeting on “Cell replacement therapy for diabetes” (DBT/NCCS), National Centre for Cell Science, Pune, 15-16 July 2008.

“Diabetes – in search of an integrated management and interdisciplinary research” at the International Biomedical Modeling School and Workshop, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore, Feb 27- March 2, 2008.

“Recent trends in Biotechnology and Healthcare with special reference to diabetes”. Talk by Video Conference, Biotechcellence-2008. Center for Biotechnology, Chennai, 25th February 2008.

“Stress wars in diabetes” – role of oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress – at the 95th Indian Science Congress, Visakhapatnam, 3-7th January 2008.

“Stem Cell Therapy: applications, obstacles and opportunities” – Plenary talk delivered at the State Level Seminar on Emerging Operandum in Stem Cell Biology & Nanotechnology – Chennai, 29th December 2007.

“Molecular divergence of O-linked N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase (OGT) silencing, ER stress and Insulin resistance in L6 skeletal muscle cells” – Indo-French Conference on: RNAi in Genome Control, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, December 12 -14, 2007.

“Stem cells, diabetes and regenerative medicine” – Frontier Conclave 2007 – International Conference on Stem Cell, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. Frontier Lifeline, Chennai, November 30th – December 2nd 2007.

“Metabolic Memory and Oxidative Stress – New Insights From Interventional and Epidemiological Studies” talk at the 35th Annual Conference of RSSDI, Kolkatta, 23-25th November 2007.

“Molecular understanding of Type 2 diabetes – Triumphs and Trials” talk at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, 12th November 2007.

“Exploring novel mechanisms of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes using miRNA and RNAi technologies”- presentation at the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India, 26th September 2007.

“Multiple diabetes drug targets – A blessing in disguise for Pharma” invited talk given at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Chandigarh, 11th  August 2007.

“Research needs – Chronic Disease Biology & Diabetes”. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) meeting on Chronic Disease Biology, Trivandrum 7-9th August 2007.

“Insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes: New insights in to the molecular mechanisms” Guest Lecture at the Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Central University, Hyderabad on 30th July 2007.

“Oxidative stress, Metabolic memory and Diabetic retinopathy” at the 16th Annual Meeting of Indian Eye Research Group (IERG), L.V.Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad during 28 –29th July 2007.

“Molecular pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes-Cell and Organellar Insights” at the School of Life Sciences, MDIS, Singapore on 3rd July 2007.

Methods in Calcium homeostasis and Redox signaling at the School of Life Sciences, MDIS, Singapore on 29th June 2007.

“Pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes – Technology struggles and the Gordian Knot” at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore on 3rd July 2007.

“Molecular pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes – Tissues, Issues and Microarray applications” at the “Workshop on advanced microarray techniques”, Genotypic Technology, Bangalore, 3 - 4th May 2007.

“Type 2 diabetes – Emerging drug targets and exciting challenges” Talk given at BIOCON, Bangalore on 28th March 2007.

Stem cells, diabetes and bioengineering enterprise”, Guest lecture on Tissue Engineering at the Department of Biotechnology, University of Madras, Chennai, 6th March, 2007.

“Molecular pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes-Cell and Organellar Insights” at the 30th All India Cell Biology Conference (AICBC), Theme: Molecules to Compartments; Corss-talks and Networks. Delhi University, Delhi, 2-4 February, 2007.

Diabetes – What medicinal plants can offer? at the National Conference on “Recent Trends in Medicinal Plants Research”, University of Madras, Chennai, 24-25 January, 2007.

“Phytochemicals and fight against diabetes mellitus” at the XXIII Annual conference of the Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists, TamilNadu, Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai, 27th December 2006.

“Telomere shortening at the cross-road of oxidative stress and atherosclerosis” at the 19th Annual Conference of the Indian Society for Atherosclerosis Research (ISARCON-2006), University of Madras, Chennai, December 16-17th , 2006.

“Herbal medicine and diabetes mellitus: Where do we stand now?” at the Natioanal symposium on Current trends in the development of herbal drugs & 27th Annual Conference of Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists, Trivandrum 25-27th November, 2006.

“Screening techniques on herbals for insulin secretagogue and insulin sensitizing actions” at the IABMS (Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists) Workshop on “Basic tools and techniques in herbal drug research”, Trivandrum 25-27th November, 2006.

“Changing trends and translational approaches in studying the molecular pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes” at the 9th A-IMBN (Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network) Conference & 16th MSMBB Scientific Meeting, Theme: From Genomics and Proteomics to Translational Initiatives, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during 3rd to 5th September 2006.

“Does oxidation/inflammation impose accelerated cellular senescence in adipocytes and modify their secretory profile and function?” – Presentation at the Department of Biotechnlogy (DBT), Govt. of India, 28th August 2006.

“War against diabetes mellitus: Phytochemicals revisited?” at the AVT Institute of Advanced Research (AVTAR), Coimbatore on 7th July 2006.

“Proteomics and post-translational modifications-Type 2 diabetes context” at the Indo-Swedish Symposium on Genomics and Proteomics of Diabetes held in Chennai during April 1-2, 2006.

“Changing trends in studying the molecular pathogenesis of diabetes” at the National Seminar on Molecular basis of diseases – current perspectives and new frontiers, held at the University of Madras, Chennai during 13-14 March 2006.

“Time for a translational approach in diabetes research” at the Seminar on ‘Emerging trends in biomedical sciences and their translational applications’ at the Loyola College, Chennai, 1st March 2006.

“New insights into the pathogenesis of diabetes and the role of phytochemicals” at the Workshop cum Symposium on “Recent trends in Biochemistry & Biotechnology” at the Annamalai University, Chidambaram, on 26th February, 2006.

“Differential regulation of Ca2+ & Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers during induction of insulin resistance by glucosamine in L6 muscle cells”, at the10th ADNAT convention on: “RNAi & microRNA in development and health”, Center for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, during 23-24th February, 2006.

“Insulin signaling, diabetes pathogenesis and proteomics aspects” at the National Symposium & Workshop on Genomics, proteomics and computational biology – Today and Tomorrow, in Chennai during 15-17 February, 2006.

“Antioxidatns & Metabolic/Vascular diseases – Where do we stand now” at the Joint Annual Meeting of the International Society of Heart Research & International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences, held at the Madras Medical Mission, Chennai during 12-14th January, 2006.

“Oxidative stress and diabetes – New insights for therapeutic intervention” at the 38th Annual Conference of the Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS), Chennai, 29th December 2005.

“Diabetes & New Horizons in Drug Development” at the National Conference on “Path to Health – Biotechnology Revolution in India” held at the Anna University, Chennai, 25th November 2005.

“Clinical Proteomics and diabetes: Expectations and Emerging Opportunities” at the Expert Committee Meeting of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) held in Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, 7th November 2005.

“Herbal medicine, diabetes and oxidative stress as a therapeutic target” at the “International Conference on Drug Development from Medicinal Plants- Issues and Problems” held at CLRI, Chennai on 21st October 2005.

Brief Profile:

Dr.M.Balasubramanyam is Assistant Director & Senior Scientist at the Cell and Molecular Biology department of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF). He is a member of the Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network (A-IMBN) and had an extensive post-doctoral training (1991-95) at the Hypertension Research Centre, New Jersey Medical School, USA, in the areas of signal transduction in health and metabolic diseases with special reference to molecular pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes and vascular biology. Having worked as a faculty at the Center for Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai for 3 years (1996-99) he has joined MDRF in 1999. He is instrumental in setting up the basic infrastructural facilities at MDRF and coordinates various research programmes and educational activities from time-to-time.

Mission & Vision: Dr.Balu’s laboratory is involved in studying cell and molecular signatures with special reference to insulin secretion, insulin action and vascular function. Our research integrates physiological and pharmacological approaches with biochemical, molecular biological and proteomics techniques to study mechanisms underlying development and progression of diabetes, its complications and cardiovascular diseases. This challenging multi-disciplinary research specialization dwells around the following themes:

  • Insights into biochemistry and molecular biology of diabetes and its vascular complications by studying nutrient-sensing pathways, redox signaling, advanced glycation end products, calcium signaling and epigenetic mechanisms.
  • Investigating the role of organellar dysfunction (Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and mitochondrial mess) in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes utilizing the target tissue specific (skeletal muscle, adipose, β-cell) microarray, proteomics, siRNA and epigenetics studies.
  • Bio-prospecting biomarker(s) potential in body fluids and tissue biopsies (human skeletal muscle and adipocytes) adapting to proteomic tools and identification of prediabetes/diabetes/diabetic complications-specific molecular fingerprints and protein post-translational modifications.
  • Studying telomere biology and test whether shortening of telomeres are related to inter-individual differences in biological ageing that predisposes one to ‘lifestyle diseases’ and serve as a long-term biomarker.
  • Demonstration of oxidative stress as a therapeutic target, testing natural products (herbals, marine resources) from the Indian biodiversity for their molecular actions beyond antioxidant property and validation of their utility as novel insulin secretatgogues/insulin sensitizers/vascular protectants.

The department now serves as an excellent 'interface' for biomedical/biotechnology/biopharmaceutical work with translational applications. The goal of the department is set to evolve as a ‘Centre for Cellular and Molecular Medicine’ (CCMM) with state-of-the-art facilities for preclinical research, biomarker(s)
identification, high-throughput cell-based assay systems, and to offer world-class contract research and consultancy work in the areas of specialization.

Research Highlights
One of the thrust areas of research at the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) is to use the biochemical and proteomic technologies for identifying novel biomarkers and drug targets in the development and progression of diabetes and its associated complications. In the sub-set of subjects from CURES, we have shown elevated oxidative reactions (Sampathkumar et al 2005) and increased advanced glycation end products (AGEs) (Sampathkumar et al 2004) in patients with Type 2 diabetes and its vascular complications. Related to oxidative damage, our pilot observations indicated that there was increased lipid and protein oxidation as early in the stage of impaired glucose tolerance (prediabetes). In addition, we have seen telomere shortening in prediabetes subjects and patients with Type 2 diabetes (Adaikalakoteswari et al 2005; Adaikalakoteswari et al 2007), arising either from a cumulative burden of oxidative stress and/or other phosphorylation or epigenetic post-translational mechanisms. Another study (Adaikalakoteswari et al 2007) has demonstrated an association of oxidative DNA damage with PARP and NFkB activation, indicating a role for poly (ADP)-ribosylation in the pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, a role for oxidative stress in diabetes patients was also substantiated with differential expression of NADPH oxidase and hemoxygenase gene (Adaikalakoteswari et al 2006). While these effects have been studied by classic biochemical and molecular biology methods, the recent onset of proteomics methods are expected to allow studying oxidative stress responses on a much wider scale with more emphasis and focus on identification of biomarkers. In this direction, in collaboration with Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, we have recently identified increased positivity for glutathionylated hemoglobin (HbSSG) as a specific biomarker in diabetic patients with microangiopathy (Sampathkumar et al 2005b). As a prerequisite to study the proteomics & genomics of Type 2 diabetes, we have standardized in-house, the culturing of human skeletal muscle cells (HSMCs). Since insulin resistance of skeletal muscle primarily results from impaired glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis, these two metabolic read-out assays were first standardized in HSMCs (Balasubramanyam, 2006). The fact that defects in these metabolic read-outs are persisted in culture conditions of HSMCs obtained from patients with Type 2 diabetes, indicates that these cells are an excellent model system to study the proteomics & genomics of Type 2 diabetes. From the clinical proteomics view, our pilot studies also indicated protein spots with region-specific differences in plasma samples of subjects exhibiting varying degrees glucose tolerance. Other interesting studies which yielded preliminary data include: convergence of ER stress and insulin resistance in L6 skeletal muscle cells, palmitate-inudced impairment of multimerization of adiponectin in 3T3 adipocytes, characterization of a novel PTP inhibiting activity in prodigiosin, etc. As a part of the NMITLI diabetes project on herbal medicine, both curcumin and gallic acid have been extensively studied and scientifically documented for their specific molecular actions. Gallic acid has been shown to possess novel (hitherto unknown) actions at the interface of transcription factors, membrane transport, down regulation of oxidants and upregulation of antioxidant enzymes etc.  

Specialized training: Dr.M.Balasubramanyam is a member of the Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network (A-IMBN) and had an extensive post-doctoral training (1991-95) at the Hypertension Research Centre, New Jersey Medical School, USA, in the areas of signal transduction in health and metabolic diseases with special reference to molecular pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes and vascular biology. Under the Scientific Investigator training programme at AIIMS, New delhi, he has learned both basic and advanced applications of Electron Microscopy techniques. He is well-versed with transport assays, fluorescence imaging techniques and flowcytometry applications. In the year 2003, he has visited the University of San Diego and learned techniques related to human skeletal muscle and adipose tissue culturing, differentiation protocols, and he is well-versed with the insulin signaling assays such as, glucose uptake, lipolysis, tyrosine phosphorylation, PTP inhibition, glycogen synthase activity, lipid accumulation, palmitate oxidation etc. He has participated in several training programmes of frontier technologies including microarray, siRNA, 2-Dgel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry and his team is actively collaborating with Indian Institute of Science (Prof.P.Balaram & Dr.Utpal Tatu) on body fluid and tissue proteomics profiling and JNCASR (Dr.Tapas Kundu) on epigenetic analysis. He is instrumental in setting up the basic science infrastructure in MDRF and with his efforts the tissue culture facility at MDRF is now fully tuned to conduct research on target-specific cells such as human skeletal muscle cells, human retinal endothelial cells, 3T3-L1 adipocytes, L6 muscle cells, THP-1 monocytes and b-cells. He is also instrumental in establishing the animal laboratory at MDRF. The training offered at this department is considered unique in that it is tailor-made for the students of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.

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