Hello Everyone! We are the IISER Pune iGEM team of 2020. Our team is composed of 15 undergraduate students from various fields including molecular biology, bioinformatics, systems biology, theoretical physics, and mathematics. This is the 4th iGEM team from our university and we are looking forward to this edition with bated breath. Our goal is to create awareness about iGEM and synthetic biology, the myriad innovative solutions it proposes, and revolutionize the way we approach problems in the future.
Last year, we worked on developing an efficient lead-biosensor and helped cleanse the Mula Mutha river in Pune. This year, we are focussing our attention on a disease that has haunted mankind from ancient times, Malaria. Our project aims to develop a novel orally available peptide drug library to combat Malaria. We chose this project primarily because of the disastrous consequences the disease has in our particular geographical region. Despite the various available treatments on the market, this deadly disease takes hundreds of thousands of lives each year with India alone contributing to 77% of malaria cases in Southeast Asia. We aim to bridge that gap and provide a solution that is effective, efficient, and accessible.
Our work amidst the pandemic has been limited and constrained to remote forms of communication, brainstorming, and mathematical and structural modeling to streamline the possible experiments that we will carry out once we get access to our functioning laboratory. The team has stuck to its mission with everyone having each other's back. Constantly motivated by our mentors and the project’s purpose, we have hosted numerous video calls to discuss and update our overall progress. Our preliminary bioinformatic analysis has uncovered potential parasite drug targets which may be inhibited by our proposed peptide drugs. This plays a critical role in preventing Cerebral Malaria!
We aim to design and develop a series of potential peptide inhibitors against essential Plasmodium-Human protein-protein interactions and deliver it orally. Our system uses cyclotides, a class of plant-based circular proteins known for their stability and cell-membrane permeability. Using cyclotides as protein scaffolds, we envision revolutionizing the way we deal with and treat malaria.
Our project in it’s larger worldwide context, may help in providing a solution to malaria with the hopes of reducing mortality rates and help to alleviate the effects of the disease on a global scale, humanely, economically, and socially. Our project is of great significance since Malarial parasites (Plasmodia) are constantly evolving resistance to tried and tested drugs and, without any efficient vaccine, there is a high chance of the next Malaria epidemic. Coupled with efficient human practices for creating global awareness, our project offers comprehensive protection against the spread and aids in the abatement of Malaria.
With a highly motivated and capable team, we ask for your support here!
You can follow our work on our Social Media pages and contact us with any queries/suggestions on the given email. Let us together make the world a safer, scientific place with SYNBIO and some SUPPORT.
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