Founder of Magellan Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Dr. Abhiram Dukkipati, part of a landmark study on GPCRs, published in the March 6th, 2015 issue of the prestigious SCIENCE Journal.
Using "BacMam for Structural Biology: platform pioneered by Dr. Abhiram (2008, Stanford University) scientists from Stanford University have for the very first time captured a 3-dimensional image of a highly complex viral molecule called US28 GPCR. The family of G Protein receptors are responsible for the proper functioning of immune, sensory and biological systems. It is one of the most important families of proteins that determine how we taste, smell, see, hear or for that matter how our bodies react to outside stimuli and threats. The results from this study now provide us with a novel structural paradigm to rationally design and develop effective drugs for many global viral diseases.
Several life threatening viruses like HIV, Ebola etc. have a clever strategy to mimic a human GPCR molecule and fool our bodies into thinking that it is a part of its own immune system, thus compromising our health.
The artificial synthesis of this complex molecule was mainly possible using Dr. Abhiram’s invention of BacMam Platform for Structural Biology. The previous platforms were not sophisticated enough to deliver the quality and quantities of this highly complex molecule. In addition to this study, the BacMam platform has also recently facilitated the 3D structure determination efforts of many therapeutically important molecules involved in neurology, reproductive biology and immunology. This invention now will undoubtedly lift many hurdles paving way for many such ground breaking studies that will have a big impact on understanding the molecular basis for many life threatening diseases such as Cancer, Aids, Ebola etc.
As summed up by the Great War strategist Sun Tzu “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”. There is no situation where this philosophical statement is more applicable than in mankind’s constant battle with ever evolving viruses. As Dr. Abhiram’s states: “This is truly a significant leap forward in our understanding at the molecular level of how some viruses use very clever tricks to fool our bodies so as to ensure their own survival”. He further adds, “It is really encouraging to know that the BacMam platform was a crucial technology in enabling this challenging study. BacMam has now become a state-of-the-art platform, researchers are moving towards”.
Dr. Abhiram has brought back to India this highly sophisticated platform with the vision of creating a state-of-the-art KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) which will focus on providing BacMam services. Magellan Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. will be the ONLY company in Asia to offer the BacMam platform to its industrial partners as well as academic researchers.
Structural basis for chemokine recognition and activation of a viral G protein–coupled receptor
John S. Burg, Jessica R. Ingram, A. J. Venkatakrishnan, Kevin M. Jude, Abhiram Dukkipati, Evan N. Feinberg, Alessandro Angelini, Deepa Waghray, Ron O. Dror, Hidde L. Ploegh, K. Christopher Garcia.