Giriraj Chandak, an MD, PhD is the former director of the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics and is currently a Group Leader at the CSIR - Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. His research interests include understanding complex disorders' genetic and epigenetic basis and associated intermediate traits like obesity and insulin resistance, focusing on the fetal origins of common adult diseases. His group has identified novel genes associated with chronic pancreatitis and showed a difference in Indians than in Europeans. His research suggests that genetic susceptibility to T2D and associated intermediate traits may be epigenetically regulated, related to their micronutrient status. He has published over 130 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including <i>Nature, Nature Genetics, Lancet, Gut, Diabetes, Diabetologia,</i> etc., and authored book chapters on diverse topics. He is a J C Bose Fellow and a Fellow of all three National Academies in India (IASc in 2020).
Lectures by Fellows/Associates
G V Anand, Dayanand Sagar University, Bengaluru
Early life exposure and future risk of non-communicable diseases: Relevance in the Indian Context
The Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases (DOHaD) hypothesis suggests that early life exposure, including maternal nutrition and phenotype, can predict the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Our group has been working on dissecting the gene-gene and gene-environment interaction that can predict the future risk of NCDs. The major thrust has been on diabetes (and its subtypes), focusing on understanding from Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases (DOHaD) so that early intervention can attenuate the risk. We combine both Nutrient- and Fuel-mediated Teratogenesis models of the DOHaD paradigm and apply a combination of genetic, epigenetic, and other molecular tools on well-characterized observational, longitudinal, birth, and intervention cohorts to achieve the above objectives. We have investigated how early life exposures influence the genetic susceptibility associated with various intermediate traits related to NCD through epigenetic mechanisms, especially DNA methylation, taking specific examples of different players in one-carbon metabolism, especially vitamins B12 and folates. An essential point arises from our study: early life provides a critical window during which appropriate intervention can modify the future risk of various non-communicable disorders. This presentation will present a glimpse of the above observations and attempt to convince the point that “Maternal nutrition may be equally if not more important than individual nutrition in preventing NCDs.”