Specific Disciplines of Interest: Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Biological Inorganic Chemistry, Coordination Chemistry, Drug-Repurposing and Repositioning, Supramolecular Self-assemblies, Biodegradable Polymers, Drug Design and Delivery, Nanomedicine, Bio/Nano Sensors.
Our research involves design, synthesis, and characterization of novel molecules and their conjugates with interesting biological and medicinal properties. The current research projects are mainly focused on utilizing the natural interactions between ion-ion, ion-ligand, etc. to build molecular systems capable of enhancing drug efficacy, with an advantage of reducing the side effects. We also utilize the concept of drug repurposing and drug repositioning to design and synthesize combination therapeutics in order to deal with drug resistance. Ultimately, with nanotechnology as a tool, we merge the basic and translational research to produce newer and better technologies. Based on the specificity of the chemical and biological interactions, we also design and develop new molecular and nano-based bio/chemo-sensors which can be used as effective tools for selective and sensitive detection of biologically important analytes.
The workflow of our research comprises three major components: 1. Synthesis of new molecules; 2. Biological studies; and 3. Nanomedicine and its translational aspects. Synthesis of new molecules is one of the major components of our research work, which involves, development of new and better methodologies encompassing both organic and inorganic chemistry. Selected molecules would be evaluated for their therapeutic potential by conducting various in vitro phenotypic assays. Suitable drug candidates that are to be selected for in vivo application, utilizing different Nanocarriers. The wide range of characterization techniques, including but not limited to UV-Vis Spectroscopy, Fluorescence Spectroscopy, IR Spectroscopy, NMR Spectroscopy, Mass Spectrometry, MALDI, CHNS, Single-crystal XRD, Powdered XRD, ITC, CD Spectroscopy, GPC, DLS, Confocal Microscopy, etc. are used. We also use specific biological and nano-related techniques to characterize and evaluate the potential of newly synthesized molecules and nanoformulations.
In the Pathak Group, we design and develop new molecules and nanomaterials and study their biological and medicinal properties. Our research projects encompass a diverse range of required expertise and interest: organic synthesis, inorganic chemistry, biological inorganic chemistry, cancer biology, and nanotechnology.
Current Research Projects
1. Organic-Inorganic Lipid-Polymer Blended Nanoscale Composites for Drug Delivery
Cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed disease in India. In recent times, India has been ranked as 2nd in terms of high cancer-related mortality to incidence ratio. The exact mechanism for the cellular action of many important anticancer drugs remains unknown. Investigating and understanding the mechanistic aspects of newly designed drug conjugates for targeted action is required for improving the therapeutic regimen for cancer. Metal ions with distinct features, such as multi-valency, biocompatibility, and therapeutic relevance, can be used to develop new drug conjugates as a combination therapeutic regimen. We plan to engineer the individual drugs on to a single metal ion platform in a manner that the drugs stabilize to form a new species designated as metal-drug conjugates (MDCs). These conjugates will be entrapped into stable nanoparticle core for sustained and efficacious delivery.
2. Engineering of Antibody-Drug Conjugates for Targeted Therapy of Cancer
Targeted therapies have lately emerged as an attractive approach to cancer treatment. They hold the promise to deliver potent cytotoxic drugs specifically to the tumor site and reduce the side effect. However, this kind of therapy is still not much explored for the treatment of various cancers. The platinum (Pt) based chemotherapeutic drugs are used as adjuvant therapy for many cancers, including the breast and pancreatic ones. Among Pt-based drugs, cisplatin and oxaliplatin are the most effective chemotherapeutic agents used to treat 50% of all cancers, including breast cancer. However, in recent times, Pt-based agents have faced tremendous challenges of drug resistance, severe toxicity, and side effects. In this scenario, a targeted delivery of platinum drugs using completely biological systems is expected to revolutionize treatment regimens for many solid tumors. Using monoclonal antibodies, Antibody-drug-conjugates (ADCs) can provide an effective molecular means to deliver highly potent drugs to the targeted tissues. In collaboration with cancer biologist and translational research scientist, we aim to develop Pt-based ADCs for better therapeutic outcomes in men and women suffering from cancer.