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Our Team & Its Work

suvroDr.Suvro Chatterjee is a senior scientist who coordinates the Life Sciences Division at the AU-KBC Research Centre. He leads a group focused on vascular biology research through cell biology platforms. His core strength in using various cell based models has been revealed through a large number of publications –http://bio.au-kbc.org/faculty/suvro/liver-mainpage.html. His lab focuses on providing experimental platform for testing novel antifibrotic drugs. The lab possesses an activated hepatic stellate cell model – activated HSC in which newer drugs can be tested for its effectiveness and potential for treating liver fibrosis. A number of tests can be done using our activated HSC model. Basically, the drug under screening is being evaluated for its effect on HSC viability and its potential to induce apoptosis in HSCs. Further, the activation status of HSCs is directly associated with the contraction property of the cells. Thus, the contraction of activated HSC monolayer upon drug treatment is being measured. Various functional properties of activated HSC cells, such as collagen formation, chemokinesis and chemotaxis are being tested under the treatment of various drugs, pharmacological reagents and herbal products.
Dr. Chatterjee initiated his research career as a cell biologist, and got trained in using liver models for basic vascular biology studies. After completing his postdoctoral trainings in the McGill University and Mayo Clinic, Rochester respectively, he established research studying hepatic stellate cells and its implications in liver pathologies in India. The core activities around hepatic stellate cells rolled into industrial applications as well. A brief description of the sojourn in liver research by Chatterjee group is given below.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Dr. Chatterjee was trained as a postdoctoral research fellow in Gastro-Intestinal Research Unit, specifically in the field of Hepatology in Prof. Vijay Shah’s laboratory, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA from 2000 to 2004. During this period, he worked on molecular regulation of eNOS and mechanisms of eNOS regulation in portal hypertension liver models.
Dr. Chatterjee works in collaboration with Prof. J. F. Dufour, a clinician–scientist, head of Hepatology at the University of Bern, Switzerland since 2008 on a number of projects under Indo-Swiss Collaboration Program. Details are as follows:
University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland: AU – KBC collaborations
Prof. J. F. Dufour established a specialized outpatient clinic for patients with HCC. He is the chairman of the Bern HCC cohort, which included already more than 200 patients. His research is focused on metabolism, angiogenesis and HCC. His unit is taking part in multiple international clinical trials. He is well positioned to perform translational biomedical research. He is one of the co-founder of the metabolomics facility of the Inselspital. On the other hand Prof. Chatterjee’s research interests revolve around reversing liver fibrosis, nitric oxide signaling in endothelial bed and vascular remodeling. The goal of his lab group is to understand the role of NO• signaling pathways in cellular migration, permeability and angiogenesis. He contributed significantly to understanding of NO implications in vascular patterning and angiogenesis.
Exchanges of students and staffs: Ten visits by research personnel were undertaken; 6 from India and 4 from Switzerland, under this project.
1) Dr. Suvro Chatterjee, Faculty Scientist, AU-KBC Research Centre and Prof. J.F. Dufour, Hepatology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, visited each other lab for two times each during the project period.
2) Dr. S. Majumdar, AU-KBC Research Centre, Anna University visited the lab of Prof. J.F. Dufour, Hepatology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern.
3) Dr. Anne-Christine Piguet, Postdoctoral fellow, Hepatology, Department of Clinical Research visited the laboratory of Dr. Suvro Chatterjee, Faculty Scientist, AU-KBC Research Centre.
4) Prof.J.F.Dufour, Hepatology, Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern visited the lab of Dr.Suvro Chatterjee, Faculty Scientist, AU-KBC Research Centre three times during 1st international conference on angiogenesis, International workshop on Wound healing & Angiogenesis and 3rd international conference on angiogenesis.
5) Mr.Pavitra Kumar, a graduate student will be visiting Prof. J.F.Dufour’s lab during May-July 2016.
6) Dr.P.Gajalakshmi will be undertaking a visit to Prof.J.F. Dufour’s lab during June-Aug 2017.
Orchid Pharma
The aim of the projects with Orchid Pharma was to study antifibrogenic activity of the given drug candidates on hepatic stellate cells. In chronic liver injury, activated stellate cells are the major source of the collagens that comprise fibrosis and cirrhosis. Drugs targeting the pathophysiology of activated stellate cells can be potential candidates for liver fibrosis. To study the therapeutic potential of the drug candidates on attenuating the pathological features of hepatic stellate cells, we have previously performed various fibrosis specific assays. We have tested collagen inhibitory activities of two anti-fibrogenesis drugs and compared with the effects of known anti-fibrogenesis drug using activated human hepatic stellate cell line.
AU-KBC Liver Publications
1) Everolimus is a potent inhibitor of activated hepatic stellate cell functions in vitro and in vivo while demonstrating anti-angiogenic activities. (2013) Piguet A, Majumder S, Balaguru UM, Manjunathan R, Saran R, Chatterjee S, Dufour JF . Clinical Science. 126(11):775-84.
2) Study of the Cellular Mechanism of Sunitinib Mediated Inactivation of Activated Hepatic Stellate Cells and Its Implications in Angiogenesis (2013) Majumder S, Piguet A, Dufour JF, Chatterjee S. European Journal of Pharmacology. 705(1-3):86-95.
3) Defects in cGMP-PKG pathway contribute to impaired NO dependent relaxation in activated hepatic stellate cells (2006). Perri R, Langer DA, Chatterjee S, Gibbons SJ, Gadgil J, Farrugia G, Shah V (Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 290(3):G535-42.
4) Mechanisms of nitric oxide interplay with Rho GTPase family members in modulation of actin membrane dynamics in pericytes and fibroblasts. (2005) Lee J.S., Decker NK, Chatterjee S, Yao J, Friedman S, Shah V Am J. Pathol. 166:1861-1870.
5) Influence of caveolin on a constitutively activated form of recombinant eNOS: Insights into eNOS dysfunction in the bile duct ligated liver. (2003) Hendrickson H, Chatterjee S, Cao M, Morales Ruiz M, Sessa WC, Shah V Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 285:652-660.
6) Reversal of vasohibin driven negative feedback loop of VEGF-angiogenesis axis promises a novel anti-fibrotic therapeutic strategy for liver diseases (2014) Chatterjee S. Hepatology 60(2):458-60.
7) Simulated microgravity promoted differentiation of bipotential murine oval liver stem cells by modulating BMP4/Notch1 signaling. Majumder S, Siamwala JH, Srinivasan S, Sinha S, Sridhara SR, Soundararajan G, Seerapu HR, Chatterjee S. J Cell Biochem. 2011 Jul;112(7):1898-908.
8) Activated pericyte attenuates endothelial functions: Nitric oxide cGMP rescues activated pericyte associated endothelial dysfunctions. (2007) Majumder S, Tamilarasan KP, Kolluru GK, Muley A, Nair C M, Omanakuttan A, Murty KVGK and Chatterjee S. Biochem Cell Biol. 85 (6):709-20.

AUKBC Liver Research Projects:1) Study of the Cellular Mechanism of Sunitinib Mediated Inactivation of Activated Hepatic Stellate Cells and Its Implications in Angiogenesis DST Number: INT/SWISS/P-30/2009 Duration: 1st April 2009 till 31st March 2012.

2) Development and validation of a Cell-tissue co-culture model for aiding liver specific studies and drug discovery applications (Department of Biotechnology DBT 2012-2015)

3) Nitric oxide in hepatocellular carcinoma: mechanisms and therapeutic implications (DST 2015-2018). Indo-Swiss Joint Project.

4) Use of nitric oxide in reversing pathologic fibrogenesis in liver: A cell biology approach to cure liver cirrhosis (The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World – TWAS).

5) Antifibrotic effects of BACTIVATED HSC1015 and BACTIVATED HSC1237 on activated hepatic stellate cells. Orchid Pharma (2010-2011).

6) Targeting of antifibrogenic agents to hepatic stellate cells (HSC): A pilot consultancy project involving two drug candidates. Orchid Pharma (2010).

Conferences and Workshops Organized

1) International Conference on Molecular Signalling: 11-13 January 2017 Chennai

2) 1st Angiogenesis India: 1st International Conference on Angiogenesis
A strongly networked initiative in angiogenesis and microenvironment in India culminated in the highly successful event “International Conference on Angiogenesis: Basics and Applications” Chennai, 1-3 March 2012, was the first ever conference in the field of Angiogenesis to be held in the Asian region.

3) 2nd Angiogenesis India
Worked actively with NCCS, Pune and KIIT, Bhubaneshwar to host the 2nd Angiogenesis Conference at KIIT in February 2014.

4) 3rd Angiogenesis India
Worked actively with Sastra University to host 3rd Angiogenesis Conference at Sastra University 26-28 September 2015.

5) International Workshop
Hosted Workshop on “Angiogenesis and Wound Healing” in Chennai during 14-15 December 2013 under European Union- Mari curie PEOPLE FP7 program.

6) India-UK Angiogenesis Meeting
Worked as co-convener with Aston University, Birmingham to host 1st India-UK Angiogenesis Meeting at Birmingham UK in December 2014.

7) Nitric Oxide Society of India
Dr. Chatterjee is also the founder member of the Society for Nitric Oxide and Allied Radicals and is involved in formulating the strategy, plan and activities of the Society.

Working with International Consortium and Networks

1)  The RUBICON Network: Training network for Research on molecUlar and Biomechanical Interactions in CONnective tissue disorders (RUBICON)
The Chatterjee Group has joined a worldwide network called RUBICON, funded by the European Commission (EC), for studying the pathology of tendons, cartilage, bone and blood vessels. The RUBICON Network project has nine other institutions from four continents as participants under the EC’s Horizon 2020 program, coordinated by the University of L’Aquila, Italy. The project involves 5 European institutions (the Universities of L’Aquila, Italy, Newcastle and Manchester, UK and Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, Copenhagen, Denmark) and 5 non-European (the University of Cape Town, South Africa, ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA, Anna University, Chennai, India and the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and the Australian Murdoch Children’s Research Institute). The RUBICON Network (Rubicon-network.org), presently envisaged for four years, will work to enhance understanding the pathology of connective tissue diseases and to identify new therapies. There will be exchanges of faculty and young researchers among the participating institutions to improve their interdisciplinary training so they develop an innovative research culture and create strong global partnerships and skill transfer mechanisms.

2) European Union – Marie Curie FP7 Project (2012-2015)
http://www.interbone.org/

The interplay among bone cells, matrices and systems (INTERBONE) FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES; Grant No 295181.
A group of six laboratories from six nations across the globe participated in this research initiative. The objective of the project was to investigate into the cross talk among bone cells, matrices and other physiological components. Several exchanges of scholars happened under this program and the results of the research work done under this program are under publication process.

The following link shows Dr.Chatterjee’s publications.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=suvro+chatterjee

kajalakshmiDr. Gajalakshmi is a Scientist in the Life Sciences Division at AU-KBC Centre. She has studied the potential and mechanism of liver stem cells in attenuating the growth of hepatic stellate cells. Her work revealed that Interleukin – 6 mediated activation of NF-κB-iNOS-NO-ROS signaling in activated HSCs plays a critical role in BMOL cell mediated apoptosis of activated hepatic stellate cells and this work is under review for publication. Also, she works in the area of cardio-oncology. She is studying the oxidative and nitrosative stress under the regime of chemotherapy drugs in breast cancer.
akilaDr. Akila is a graduate fellow in the Life Sciences Division at AU-KBC Centre with expertise in handling human HSCs, technically good at performing proliferation, contraction, chemokinesis and chemotaxis assays. Besides, she is an expert in carrying out vascular functional assays such as wound healing, angiogenesis, and vasodilation. She is also involved in studying the mechanisms to attenuate liver fibrosis using cell culture models and conditioned medium approaches.
The team is supported by a number of postdoctoral, doctoral scholars and students.
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