Dr. Shobi Veleri has a B.Sc. in Zoology from Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College, Calicut, University of Calicut and an M.Sc. in Physiology (with First Rank) from the Department of Life Sciences, University of Calicut (Campus), Kerala. He is the recipient of German Research Council (DFG) awarded international doctoral fellowship for Ph.D. research at University of Regensburg, Germany. His thesis focused on analysis of light input pathways into the circadian clock of Drosophila.
His first, first author paper in Ph.D. is with Nobel Laureate (2017) Jefferey C. Hall and titled “A self-sustaining, Light–Entrainable Circadian Oscillator in the Drosophila Brain. (2003).” This article published in Current Biology journal has been cited more than 140 times.
In 2005, he joined Defense Institute of Physiology Allied Sciences, DRDO, Delhi as a scientist. He was involved in analyzing the cognitive impairments of soldier posted at Himalayas high altitude. In 2006, he moved to NIMH, NIH, USA on a visiting fellowship, where he investigated neuronal circuits involved in general anesthesia in Drosophila.
From 2008-2014 he was at NEI, NIH dissecting the function of genes associated with human blindness. His research is published in high impact journals like Nature Communications, PNAS, JCI, Current Biology, DMM, J. Neuroscience. He is the recipient of NIH Merit Award and Director’s Rising Star Award and Performance award from NIH, Bethesda, Washington D.C., USA.
In 2014, his research was one of the highlights of NIH Research. Currently he is a recipient of DBT-Ramalingaswami Fellowship (2015-2020) and a faculty scientist at CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Trivandrum. He continues genetic analysis of human disease causing mutations in genes.
He is the recipient of 1st CNS Oration Award for Basic Scientist organized by Neurological Society of India, Kerala Chapter (2018).
At APPICON 2018, he will be speaking on molecular insights into neurodegenerative disorders.
The fundamental cellular processes are mainly driven by proteins, which are encoded in genes. Cilia are present in almost all cells of human body. Cilia were regarded as vestigial organelles until recently research revealed their essential in human health. Cilia are essential for the development and functioning of multiple organs like brain, sensory organs, liver, kidney etc. The development and functioning of cilia depend on >1000 genes. The mutations in fundamental cilia-genes like Cc2d2a and BBS9 afflict ciliogenesis. This leads to multi-organ disorders called ciliopathies. The null mutation in Cc2d2a is associated with Meckel syndrome, a lethal disorder. On contrary, the missense mutation in C2 domain of Cc2d2a is associated with Joubert syndrome, where patients survive with blindness and mental retardation. How mutations in C2 domain led to these conditions are not known. Similarly, BBS9 is a core gene in BBSome complex, associated with Bardet Biedl syndrome. These patients suffer with mental retardation and blindness. BBS9 is also required in ciliogenesis but its function is not yet clear. We are investigating the function of C2 domain and BBS9 in cells capable of growing cilia by targeted knockdown of the transcripts to mimic the human mutations, using custom made shRNA. The insight obtained will be discussed.
Roopasree O.J. and Shobi Veleri
Biochemistry and Molecular Mechanisms Lab, APTD. AcSIR.
CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695019.
Genetic dissection of cilia genes gives molecular insights into neurodegenerative diseases.