Major research interests of the Department includenutritional biochemistry of micronutrients and age-related life-style disorders.
Studies are carried out to evaluate nutritional status of elderly as well people with age-related diseases and to understand the influence of nutrients, particularly micronutrients on molecular signaling mechanisms related to age-related diseases. We also investigate the effect of genotype and nutrition in modulating molecular processes involved in complications of diabetes and obesity.Research is carried out to investigate the impact of functional foods and their bioactive molecules on molecular pathways or processes involved in age-related diseases such as diabetic complications and cancer. Research using animal and cell culture models to understand the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in vitamin D deficiency induced changes in non-classical target tissues such asmuscle, adipose, heart and eye is underway.
We are trying to decipher the underlying molecular mechanisms of intestinal absorption of micronutrients, impact of dietary and pathophysiological factors on such processes using cell culture and animal models. We also assess micronutrient bioavailability using coupled in vitro digestion/caco-2 cell model to rank foods based on bioavailability. The Department also undertakes RCTs and biomarker analysis of nutrients in serum/plasma samples as part of the various national surveys being carried out at NIN and in collaboration with other agencies.
One of the major research programs Department is to investigate the role of protein quality control machinery such as protein aggregation, ER stress, UPS and small heat shock proteins in age-related diseases. Further, modulation of protein quality control systems by dietary and nutritional means is also being addressed.