Nagasuma Chandra

IISc, Bengaluru

Nagasuma Chandra is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, IISc, Bengaluru and is additionally affiliated with Bioengineering and Mathematical Biology initiatives at the institute. She received her PhD from the University of Bristol in 1992. She works on modelling complex biological processes and applying them to study human health and disease with particular focus on tuberculosis. She is the recipient of the DST-National Bioscience Award for Career Development (2008). She was elected a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 2018.

Nagasuma Chandra


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Identification of a host biomarker signature for detecting tuberculosis through a blood test

Efficient diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) is met with multiple challenges, calling for a shift of focus from pathogen-centric diagnostics towards the identification of host-based multimarker signatures. Transcriptomics offer a list of differentially expressed genes, but cannot by itself identify the most influential contributors to the disease phenotype. The speaker will discuss a computational pipeline that adopts an unbiased approach to investigate host factors that are altered significantly due to TB to identify a biomarker signature. The pipeline is based on the integration of various techniques including network-mapping of RNA-Seq data of TB patients, systemic identification of variations in healthy and TB samples, sensitive network mining to shortlist gene candidates central to disease alterations, and application of a series of filters. The study has resulted in the identification of a signature comprising 10 genes that can discriminate between TB and healthy controls as well as distinguish TB from latent tuberculosis and HIV in most cases. The potential of this signature as a diagnostic marker of TB will be discussed.

© 2018 Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru.