Dr Anish Kumar an Assistant Professor in School of Bioengineering and Biosciences represented LPU at First International Workshop on Parasitic Nematodes at New York University, Abu Dhabi. He was awarded travel grant award for this workshop which included flight tickets and other expenses and the only Indian to receive this award across the world. He even interacted with some great scientists such as Kris Gunsalus (NYU New York), Oliver Hobert (Columbia University).

Dr Anish Kumar represents LPU at New York University

This prestigious three-day workshop proved a rare opportunity for LPU Scientist as he was the only Indian who received travel grant award, across the world, for participating. Experts, from the ‘free-living nematode C. elegans (Caenorhabditis elegans) and parasite biology communities’ interacted for propagation of research ideas. LPU scientist presented a poster on ”Managing albendazole resistance in parasitic worm infestations utilizing traditional plant sources: Bioinformatics strategy.” His work is mainly focused on the usage of traditional Indian plant “Andrographis paniculata” to treat commonly used drug ‘albendazole’ resistance using computational tools. LPU Chancellor Mr Ashok Mittal congratulated Dr Anish for his innovative research and invoked other scientists at the university to be on the foot-prints of the great bio-researcher at LPU.

Dr Anish shares: “One of the most popular medicinal plants ‘Andrographis paniculata’ commonly known as “ hara chiretta, kal megh” is used traditionally for the treatment of range of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcer, leprosy, bronchitis, skin diseases, flatulence, colic, influenza, dysentery, dyspepsia and malaria for centuries in Asia, America and Africa continents. It possesses several photochemical constituents with unique and interesting biological properties. My findings describe the present state of research on this plant with respect to the required medicinal usage, and to bridge the gap requiring future research opportunities.”

Talking about the commonly used medicine “Albendazole”, he also informed: “It is used to treat a wide range of parasite infections- Elephantiasis, Ascariasis, Trichuriasis, Giardiasis and Onchocerciasis (river blindness). Drug resistance cases have been reported with the usage of albendazole treatment; however, drug resistance in parasite disease is a neglected area.  Using bioinformatics approach, we can save both time and money involved with the drug target findings.”

Sharing his concern, Dr Anish says: “For serious parasitic diseases eradication, resistance to currently used drugs is increasing, yet this largely third-world problem is not a focus for major pharmaceutical companies. With advances in the fields of genomics, host-parasite molecular interactions, and drug screening in model organisms such as C. elegans, research in these interdisciplinary areas is rapidly developing and becoming highly exciting.” Highlighting, the extract and pure compounds of the plant have been noted for anti-microbial, anti-protozoan, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-infective, and toxicity activities.

We congratulate him for his achievements and new learnings.