Dipankar Nandi, PhD

Dipankar Nandi was born in Kolkata and did his schooling in Mumbai. He was awarded the PhD degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 after completing his B.Sc. (Microbiology) from the University of Bombay and M.Sc. (Microbiology) from the M. S. University of Baroda. His doctoral study was on tissue associated T cells and his postdoctoral research at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio was on characterization of proteasomes. His diverse training led him to investigate two broad areas as an independent faculty member since 1997 in the Department of Biochemistry, IISc, Bangalore: host encoded immune responses and microbial stress responses. He enjoys pursuing esoteric research leads, teaching and working closely with motivated students.


Title: Living and dying in the thymus, an organ essential for immunity

T cells are critical for cell-mediated immunity and these cells are generated in the thymus. The thymus is a primary lymphoid organ in which T cells rearrange their T cell receptors, undergo selection, differentiate and mature. Post stringent selection, only mature T cells egress into the periphery and are responsible for cellular immunity. This talk will discuss the different types of cells within a thymus and processes that occur that lead to the development of mature T cells. Some key experiments that have led to a better understanding of the cellular and molecular thymic processes will be highlighted. In addition, this talk will present the work done in our laboratory in deciphering the processes that occur during thymic atrophy. Better understanding of the processes involved in thymic atrophy may lead to the development strategies that may boost cellular responses during stress, infections, treatments with anti-cancer drugs etc.

Title: Thymic atrophy

Thymic atrophy, i.e. the loss in the number of thymocytes, occurs during aging, stress and infections. Indeed, thymic atrophy is also observed during infection with viruses, bacteria, fungi etc.; however, the reasons and consequences of thymic atrophy are not well understood. To better understand the molecular and cellular processes involved during thymic atrophy, we standardized a model of infection-induced thymic atrophy using the intracellular bacterial pathogen, Salmonella Typhimurium. I will present the work done in our laboratory in trying to decipher the processes that occur during infection-induced atrophy.