DR.VISHWA MOHAN KATOCH
 

 

 

Date of Birth       :     18th February 1953

Secretary to Govt. of India 
Department of Health Research    (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) &
Director General
Indian Council of Medial Research
Ramalingaswami Bhawan,
Ansari Nagar,New Delhi 110029

Phone No:  011-26588204
Fax:  91-11-26588662

E-mail: secydhr@icmr.org.in , dg@icmr.org.in , vishwamohan_katoch@yahoo.co.in

 

 

 

Academic Qualifications

Sl.No.

Name of examination

University

Year

Division

Merit

1.

Higher Secondary

Part-I

Punjab University , Chandigarh

1968

First

Placed in Merit 1

2.

Higher Secondary

Part-II

Punjab University , Chandigarh

1969

First

Awarded National Scholarship

3.

Pre-Medical

Punjab University , Chandigarh

1970

First

First in Himachal Pradesh

4.

M.B.B.S.

Himachal Pradesh University , Shimla

1974

First

1st in Gynae.& Obst, 2nd in the University

5.

M.D. (Medical Microbiology)

A.I.I.M.S., New Delhi

1978

 

Passed in first attempt

 

Previous Position                                                

Director 
National JALMA Institute for Leprosy &  Other Mycobacterial Diseases (ICMR)
Tajganj, 
AGRA-282 001 (U.P.) India

 

Professional Memberships                                    

1)  Fellow of National Academy of Science (FNASc), India 

2)  Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (FNAMS), India 

3)  Fellow of Indian Academy  of Science, Bangalore (FASc)

4)  Fellow of Indian National Science Academy ( FNA)

 

Awards/Prizes              

1.       Ranbaxy Science Foundation Award 2003 for Medical Research

2.       Major Gen Sahib Singh Sokhey Oration 2009

3.       Sir Mellanby Memorial Oration  2009

4.       Dr. Vishwanathan Oration 2009

5.       Life Time Achievement Award (UP, IAMM)

6.       Dr.CGS Iyer Oration Award (ICMR),1990.

7.       Sher-I-Kashmir Sheikh Mohd. Abdulla Memorial Oration Award, 1989.

8.       IAMM Endowment Award 2003

9.       YS Sharma Gold Medal for Senior Scientist 2004 by SBAM

10.   Dr. S.C. Agarwal Oration Award (IAMM), 1994.

11.   Manu Patel Memorial Prize (IADVL), 1998

12.   8th Erwin Stindl Memorial Oration Award, 1991

13.   JALMA Trust Fund Oration Award (ICMR), 1999

14.   Young Scientist Award for best paper, Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists, Varanasi , 1985.

                                                                                 

Conferences attended 


Delivered several Orations, Award Lectures and over 150 Invited lectures in prestigious institutions and conferences in India and abroad such IISC, PGI, CDFD, NII, JNU, Int Lepr Congr, Int Work Group Myco, several other  conferences/ workshops/ symposia  on TB, leprosy, genomics  etc.

 

 

Research / Teaching Experience : Total Research Experience = 33 years (Till January, 2009)

 

Sl.No.

Duration

Institution

Particulars of work done

1.

1976-78

ICMR  
New Delhi

Worked as a Talent Search Scheme Fellow and underwent various short-term research training courses in various disciplines mentioned (S.No.4), was posted by ICMR at Safdarjung Hospital , New Delhi for one year (1976) and at AIIMS, New Delhi for 2 years (1977-78). While working as a Jr.Resident worked on various Research Projects as mentioned in Sl.No.2 & 3.

2.

1976

Safdarjung Hospital New Delhi

Jr.Resident in the Department of Gynae. & Obs. Medicine. The nature of work included clinical work and research. Carried out a research project “Effect of Verapamil on cardiac tachyrrythmias”.

3.

1977-78

A.I.I.M.S.
New Delhi

Jr.Resident in the Department. of Microbiology. The nature of work included routine work, microbiology research, teaching of undergraduates. Carried out a research project, “Transferable drug resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa”.

  4.   Short-term training courses as Talent Search Scheme Fellow:

10-14 days National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad Biochemistry andInstrumentation
10-14 days Tuberculosis Research Centre, Chennai Biostatistics
10-14 days Indian Institute of Science, Banglore Cell Biology and Cytogenetics
10-14 days AIIMS, New Delhi Immunological Techniques

5.

Jan 1981-Jan 1982

Tuberculosis Research Laboratory, V.A. Medical Centre, Long Beach California-90822 ( USA )

Worked as International Tropical Disease Research Follow and gained considerable experience on metabolic and taxonomic aspects of mycobacterial biology

6.

Jan 1979-Dec. 1982

Central JALMA Institute of Leprosy , Agra  

Worked as Research Officer and Founder/Head, Department of Microbiology, Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy, Tajganj, Agra

7.

Jan 1983-June 1987

Central JALMA Institute of Leprosy , Agra  

Worked as Senior Research Officer & Head Deptt. of Microbiology. During the work at the institute, organized, carried out research work on metabolic, taxonomic, in-vitro methods and molecular biology of mycobacteria with reference to M.leprae. Laboratory had been developed as a self-sufficient collection and typing center for mycobacteria. Established Molecular Biology unit in 1985.

8.

Nov 1984- Feb 1985

National Instt. for Medical Research, London U.K.

Worked on application of genetic recombination techniques to mycobacterial research under Indo- U.K. exchange programme.

9.

July 1987-July 1992

Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy, Agra

Assistant Director & Head, Deptt. of Microbiology, continued with above programmes (column 7)

10.

July 1992-June 1997

Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy, Agra

Deputy Director & Head, Deptt. of Microbiology, continued with the programmes on Molecular Biology of mycobacteria, viability, metabolism & other applied aspects.

11.

July 1997-Dec. 2001

Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy, Agra

Deputy Director (Sr. Grade) and head, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology. (Responsibility as above).

12.

31 Dec 2001-Nov. 2008

National JALMA Institute for Leprosy & Other Mycobacterial Diseases, Agra

Director

1.      Planning, coordination and direction to programmes of the Institute.

2.      In addition, coordinating programmes of Microbiology and Molecular Biology as above.

3.      Established Microarray Facility, Proteomics Facility & expansion/ upgradation of field programmes into  a Model Rural Health Research Unit

  13.

18 Nov 08 - Contd DHR & ICMR

Director

1.   Planning, coordination and direction to programmes of the Institute.

2.   In addition, coordinating programmes of Microbiology and Molecular Biology as above.

3.   Established Microarray Facility, Proteomics Facility & expansion/ upgradation of field programmes into  a Model Rural Health Research Unit

 

Secretary, Dept of Health Res (DHR), GOI and Director-General, ICMR

 

 

Publications:

Over 225 in prestigious journals such as Int.J. Lepr.; Appl. Env. Microb.; J. Inf. Dis.; Vaccine; P.N.A.S (USA); J. Clin. Microbiol.;Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.; Tuberculosis, Infect.
Genet. Evol. ;J. Antimicro. Chemother., Emerg Infect Dis  etc.  

List of Publications

 
Paper Published in Research Bulletins etc.

 

1.      Genomic analysis of variation in pathogenic mycobacteria by amplified ribosomal DNA fingerprinting techniques.

D.Parashar, D.S.Chauhan, V.D.Sharma, R.Das, H.B.Singh, A.Chauhan and V.M.Katoch

Proc Nat Symp Biochem Sc – Health and Environmental Aspects, S.Parkash and others (Eds), DEI, Dyalbagh publication, Allied Publishers, New Delhi and other cities , 2003, pp 441-442.

 

2.      DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis  strains isolated from Northern parts of India using IS 6110 probe.

D.S.Chauhan, V.D.Sharma, H.B.Singh, R.Das, D.Parashar, A. Chauhan and V.M.Katoch

Proc Nat Symp Biochem Sc – Health and Environmental Aspects, S.Parkash and others (Eds), DEI, Dyalbagh publication, Allied Publishers, New Delhi and other cities, 2003, pp 429-430.

 

3.      Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM).

P.Gupta, U.D.Gupta and V.M.Katoch

CJIL Quart Bull XXI-3 (2001):  1-7.

 

4.      Impact of advances in molecular biology on understanding of immunology and immunopathology of mycobacterial diseases.

V.M.Katoch

In: Advances in immunology and immunopathology. RS Chauhan, GK Singh, GK Agarwal (eds). GB Pant University, Pantnagar, 2001: pp 134-139.

 

5.      Relevance of advances in genetic engineering techniques in leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch

         In:  CME series of IADVL (2001).

 

6.      Atypical mycobacterial infections.

         V.M.Katoch and Mohan Kumar.

         In: Textbook of tuberculosis:   S.K.Sharma & A Mohan (Eds), Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd, New Delhi , 2000: pp 439-454.

 

7.      Vaccines against mycobacterial diseases.

         V.M.Katoch

         Punjab Univ Res Bull 15 (2000):  1-13.

 

8.      Microbiology of leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch

         In: IADVL Text Book and Atlas of Dermatology, R.G.Valia (Ed), 2nd Edition, Bhalani Publishing House, Chapter 66 (2000): pp 1553-1559.

 

9.      Molecular biology

         V.M.Katoch

         In: Leprosy, Techn Series (API), 2000.

 

10.    MDR: Its impact on treatment of AIDS and tuberculosis.

         N.K.Ganguly and V.M.Katoch.

         In: Multiple drug resistance in emerging and re-emerging diseases:  R.C.Mahajan & A.Therwath (Eds), Narosa Publishing House, New Delhi , 1999, pp 15-22.

 

11.    New DNA fingerprinting techniques for tuberculosis – relevance in control.

         V.M.Katoch, D.Singh, D.S.Chauhan, V.D.Sharma, H.B.Singh, R.Das and K.Srivastava.

         In: Multiple drug resistance in emerging and re-emerging diseases; R.C.Mahajan & A.Therwath (Eds), Narosa Publishing House, New Delhi, 1999, pp 87-98.

 

12.    Current status of research on “Mycobacterium” in India .

         V.M.Katoch

         Proc. International Union of Microbiol Soc, INSA, New Delhi , 1999, pp 247-254.

 

13.    PCR techniques for leprosy.

         H.B.Singh, V.D.Sharma and V.M.Katoch

         CJIL Quarterly Bull XVIII (1998), No.1:   1-5.

 

14.    Standardization of immunodiagnostic techniques for mycobactrial diseases.

         V.M.Katoch

         In: Proc. 10th Internat Congr.Immunol ; GP Talwar, Indira Nath, N.K.Ganguly, KVS Rao (Eds), held at New Delhi, 1-6 Nov, 1998, Publ: Monduzi Editore, Italy, pp 1297-1302.

 

15.    Molecular biology of tuberculosis: global perspective.

         V.M.Katoch

         In: Proc. joint workshop (ICMR/DST/UK/DFID/EC) on “Tuberculosis research into 21st century”, Chennai, 3-5 February, 1998, pp43-47.

 

16.    Leishmaniasis: Mapping of drug resistance in Bihar .

         V.M.Katoch

         In: Proc. Vth Round Table conference, S.Gupta & O.P.Sood (Eds), Ranbaxy Science Foundation, Gurgaon, 1998, pp 47-53.

 

17.    Newer investigative techniques in leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch.

         In:  Dermatology- an update; R.G.Valia, Ed.(1998): pp. 165-174.

 

18.    Newer techniques for field application in leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch

         NLO Bulletin (1998).

 

19.    Improving the therapy of leprosy using newer drugs and newer technologies.

         V.M.Katoch.

         In: CME series of IADVL (Kerala), 1998.

 

20.    Advances in the molecular biology of mycobacteria: Veterinary importance

         V.M.Katoch.

         In: Prospects of livestock and poultry development in the 21st century, R.Verma, D.C.Johri and D.Sharma (Eds), an IAVR publication, Bareilly , (1996), pp 184-190.

 

21.    PCR technology for infectious diseases.

         V.M.Katoch

         In:  Proc. CEP Course on “Fundamentals of Biotechnology”, DRDE, Gwalior .

 

22.    Relevance of laboratory methods in the fixed duration treatment in leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch.

         CJIL Quart Bull XVI (1996) - 2: 1-6.

 

23.    Contemporary techniques in the diagnosis of mycobacterial infection in diseases.

         V.M.Katoch

         In: Proc. Of Indo-US CME “Current concepts of microbial infection in immunocompromised host Lucknow , December 28 & 29, (1996), pp 31-34.

 

24.    Recombinant DNA technology.

         V.M.Katoch

         In Leprosy – Etiobiology of manifestations, treatment and control. B.R.Chatterjee (ed).

         Statesman Commercial Press, Calcutta . (1995): pp. 569 – 580.

 

25.    Modern methods for diagnosis of leprosy

         V.M.Katoch and V.P.Bharadwaj

         In: IADVL CME Series, K.Pavithran (Ed), (1994): pp12-25.

 

26.    Evolution of Polymerase chain reaction technology: Relevance to medical and leprosy research.

         V.M.Katoch and C.T.Shivannavar

         CJIL Quart Bull XIII-3 (1994):  1-7.

 

27.    Progress in developing ribosomal RNA and rRNA gene (s) based probes for diagnosis and epidemiology of infectious disease specially leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch, G.V.Kanaujia, C.T.Shivannavar, Kiran Katoch, V.D.Sharma, M.A.Patil and V.P.Bharadwaj.

         In: Tropical Disease – Molecular Biology & Control Strategies”. Sushil Kumar, A.K.Sen, G.P.Dutta and R.N.Sharma (Eds), A CSIR Publication. 1994: 580 – 587.

 

28.    Towards production of immunodiagnostic/immunoprophylactic reagents for leprosy by recombinant DNA techniques.

         V.M.Katoch

         CJIL Quarterly Bulletin (1993) Vol.XII (1), 1-8.

 

29.    Gene probes and gene amplification techniques for diagnosis and epidemiology of mycobacterial infections especially leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch.

Proc. of National Seminar on “Biotechnology with special reference to Health, Agriculture” held at Cuttack on 8.2.1992 & 9.2.1992, G.P.Mohanty (ed) , One World Foundation.

 

30.    Application of gene probes/gene amplification techniques for differentiation of relapses/reactions after MDT.

         V.M.Katoch

         Proc. of IAL co-sponsored International Workshop on “Reversal reactions/ relapses after MDT held at Hyderabad on 9.12.1991 & 10.12.1991. John Stanley (ed).

 

31.    The present status of immunodiagnostic techniques and future perspective in the study of epidemiology of leprosy.

         V.P.Bharadwaj, K.Katoch and V.M.Katoch.

         In Perspectives in Immunology & Reproduction, S.K.Gupta (ed), Oxford / IBH, New Delhi , 1991: pp. 363 – 370.

 

32.    Progress in understanding the leprosy bacillus with special reference to patient care in leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch.

         Erwin Stindl Memorial Oration 1991, A German Leprosy Relief Organization/ GRECALTES, Calcutta Publication.

 

33.    Ribosomal RNA and rRNA gene(s) based probes for diagnosis and epidemiology of infectious disease.

         V.M.Katoch

         Pers Immunol Repr. IBH/Oxford Press, New Delhi . (1991): pp. 357-362.

 

34.    Development of Ribosomal RNA and rRNA gene (s) based probes for diagnosis and epidemiology of mycobacterial diseases.

         V.M.Katoch, G.V.Kanaujia and C.T.Shivannavar.

         Proc. Indo-U.S. Workshop on “Major Advances in Tuberculosis Research”, Madras (1989):  85-89.

 

35.    Progress in understanding the ATP synthesis and decay in Mycobacterium leprae.

         V.M.Katoch and V.P.Bharadwaj

         CJIL Quarterly Bulletin VII No.2 (1989) 1-4.

 

36.    Role of Molecular Biology in Early Diagnosis of Leprosy.

         V.M.Katoch

         Lepr Res Rev. Proceedings of Indo-U.K. Workshop on leprosy research, C.J.I.L. Publication, Coronation Press, Agra , India (1989) 51-55.

 

37.    Search for in-vitro methods for determination of viability of mycobacteria: Correlation of ATP contents, bacterial indices and FDA-EB fluorescence staining in M.leprae.

         V.M.Katoch, V.D.Sharma, K.Katoch, G.Ramu, A.K.Datta and C.T.Shivannavar

         Proceedings of Indo-U.K.Symposium on leprosy held at Agra , April 7-10, 1986 , (V.M.Katoch, ed). A CJIL Publication, Coronation Press, Agra , India , 1987, pp: 329-336.

 

38.    Analysis of ribosomal RNA genes of mycobacteria.

         V.M.Katoch and R.A.Cox.

         Proceedings of Indo-U.K.Symposium on Leprosy held at Agra , April 7-10, 1986 (V.M.Katoch, ed). A CJIL Publication, Coronation Press, Agra , India , 1987, pp:   260-269.

 

39.    Immunological relatedness of superoxide dismutases of mycobacteria: A new parameter for taxonomic identification and classification.

         V.M.Katoch, C.T.Shivannavar, A.K.Datta and V.D.Sharma.

         Proceedings of Indo-U.K.Symposium on Leprosy held at Agra , India , 1987, pp 219-226.

 

40.    Studies on metabolism of mycobacteria with special reference to M.leprae.

         V.P.Bharadwaj, V.M.Katoch, K.B.Kannan, V.D.Sharma, A.K.Datta and C.T.Shivannavar.

         Proceedings of Indo-U.K. Symposium on leprosy held at Agra , April 7-10, 1986 (V.M.Katoch, ed). A CJIL Publication, Coronation Press, Agra , India , 1987 pp 182-194.

 

41.    Studies on mycobacterial lipids with special reference to M.leprae.

         K.Venkatesan, A.K.Datta, V.M.Katoch, G.Ramu, V.P.Bharadwaj and D.E.Minnikin.

         Proceedings of Indo-UK symposium on leprosy  held at Agra , April 7-10, 1986 (V.M.Katoch, ed). A CJIL Publication, Coronation Press, Agra , India . (1987) pp: 140-149.

 

42.    Electrophoretic separation of isoenzymes of mycobacteria: Their role in taxonomy of mycobacteria with special reference to M.leprae.

         V.D.Sharma, V.M.Katoch, A.K.Datta, C.T.Shivannavar, K.Katoch, K.B.Kannan and V.P.Bharadwaj.

         Proceedings of Indo-U.K. Symposium on Leprosy held at Agra , April 7-10, 1986 . (V.M.Katoch, ed). A CJIL Publication, Coronation Press, Agra , India (1987): pp. 219-226.

 

43.    Application of recombinant DNA technology to mycobacterial research.

         V.M.Katoch

         CJIL Bulletin V (1986):  1-4 and also in ICMR Bulletin, December,1986.

 

44.    Effect of pyridine extraction on the acid-fastness of Mycobacterium leprae. Its possible mechanism.

         A.K.Dutta, V.M.Katoch. V.D.Sharma and K.Katoch.

         Proceedings of International Leprosy Congress (XIIth), New Delhi , 20-25th February, 1984 . K.V.Desikan (ed) pp.346-348.

 

45.    Identification of Mycobacterium leprae using thin-layer chromatographic patterns of its methyl-mycolates.

         A.K.Datta, V.M.Katoch, V.D.Sharma and K. Katoch.

         Proceedings Indian Science Congress Association (71st), held at Ranchi , 3-8 January, 1984.  

 

46.    Serological approaches to characterization of catalase in tissue derived mycobacteria.

         V.M.Katoch

         CJIL Bulletin 1 (1982):  1-3.

 

 

Major Contributions and Achievements

Important milestones in the career as  a scientist and science manager are :

a)  1981 : Development of a micro-imunoprepitation assay targeting catalase enzyme for identification of host derived mycobacterium as well as other  difficult of grow mycobacteria

b)  1984-87 : Newer insight into metabolic pathways and energy metabolism of  M.leprae and other mycobacteria

c)  1986- 1989: Development of bioluminescence based methods for  monitoring of       treatment in leprosy and drug susceptibility screening

d)   1986 : Development of a stepwise method for isolation and fractionation of different types of nucleic acids from mycobacteria

e)   1986- 1989 : Development of a ribosomal DNA fingerprinting method for mycobacteria and ribotyping schemes for mycobacteria.

f)   1992-94 : Development of rRNA targeting probes for M.leprae

g)   1997: Development of a rRNA based hybridization quantitative assay for monitoring treatment in leprosy.

h)  1996 : Development of a new technique for taxonomy of mycobacteria based on immunological relatedness of superoxide dismutases 

i)    1995 till date : Establishment of networks with other medical Institutions to create a  Mycobacterial Repository (38 medical institutions); multicentric studies with Institutes like CDFD/ AIIMS/ NDTBC / other medical colleges at Agra/ Jaipur etc/ 5 ICMR Institutes. This network continues to be used till date   for the evaluation of molecular diagnostics, studies on drug resistance and  molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis.  

j)    1997-2000 : PCR-RFLP assays targeting 16S and 16-23 S spacer plus flanking region which have been found to be directly applicable to clinical specimens (Indian patent application No. 2418/DEL/2006).

k)   2001-2005 : Contributing new knowledge about genetic basis of drug resistance in TB,  development a new system for detection of rifampicin resistance

l)    2003-2006 : Development of indigenous DNA chips for M.tuberculosis and M.leprae – identification of novel targets with potential application in therapeutics/ diagnostics

m)  2005 : Development of a PCR-RFLP assay for identification of Leishmania isolates

n)   Contributions towards creation of modern laboratories and also in taking the technology to people by establishing a Model Rural Health Research Unit.

 

A.  Scientific Contributions:

With the objectives of developing techniques for

1)    early diagnosis & epidemiology of mycobacterial diseases (TB , leprosy etc);

2)    determination of viability & drug susceptibility testing for  mycobacteria and

3)    molecular epidemiology of mycobacterial diseases, 

I and my colleagues have carried out  basic and applied research on the following aspects: 

1)  Molecular biology: Diagnostics, drug resistance and molecular Epidemiology  of TB & leprosy by using conventional molecular and newer structural and functional genomic approaches.

2)  Development of newer taxonomical parameters/schemes for identification and typing of mycobacteria.

3)  Metabolism, attempts at cultivation and development of in-vitro methods for determination of viability of Mycobacterium leprae for drug screening and monitoring the therapy.

Projects : I have  been the  Principle Investigator of 25 extramural (ICMR/ DST/ DBT/ WHO) projects and a large number of intramural projects  on the above aspects.

 

Highlights of Important Scientific Achievements:   

Several studies on tuberculosis and leprosy pursued by our group locally at JALMA and with collaborators from other institutes, universities and medical colleges have led to important new findings and  new technologies such as  enzyme based methods in 1980s, molecular biology based techniques in 1990s and genomics based methods in the new millennium.  These studies  have resulted in identification of new genotypes, new diagnostic techniques / molecules for better understanding of molecular basis of drug resistance and  mechanisms of pathogenesis of TB, leprosy and other  mycobacterial infections.

1.     Molecular biology of mycobacteria

1.1. Stepwise isolation of nucleic acids:

Developed a new technique for stepwise isolation of poly(A) + rRNA and DNA from mycobacteria. This method and finding of Poly A+ opened a new route for gene cloning i.e. cDNA cloning in mycobacteria and preparation of probes based on rRNA gene analysis.  Further, this new method is very economical and specially suited for pathogens like M.leprae which are available in limited quantities.  The techniques developed in these studies have been found to be applicable to M.leprae and other pathogenic mycobacteria.  

1.2. Ribotyping methods:

Studies carried out by our team have shown that by using the rRNA probes and Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) of ribosomal RNA genes, M.leprae, M.tuberculosis and other pathogenic mycobacteria can be rapidly identified and characterized. By using these techniques, rRNA gene fragments comprising of homologous and specific sequences in M.leprae, M.tuberculosis and some other mycobacteria have been identified.  These fragments were further cloned and have been sequenced to identify species and strain specific sequences for preparation of probes for diagnosis, monitoring of progress of disease and molecular epidemiology of the disease. These studies have led to the development of PCR-RFLP assays targeting 16S and 16-23 S spacer plus flanking region which have been found to be directly applicable to clinical specimens (Indian patent application No. 2418/DEL/2006). The technique targeting spacer region has already been transferred to selected end-users in medical institutions.

1.3. rRNA probes for diagnosis of leprosy:

Based on sequence data generated in our laboratory, two M.leprae specific probes have been developed. These probes have been later converted into semi quantitative methods of application. These have also been developed into in-situ approaches for characterization of specimens with nonspecific histology and have been found to be useful for improving diagnosis.

1.4. Mechanisms of host-parasite interactions, Persistence and dormancy:

With a view to understand the mechanism(s) of host-parasite interactions in TB and leprosy and situations / phenomenon like dormancy/persister stage,  studies are being carried out by our group.  These studies aim at identifying gene(s) involved in such phenomenon as well as understanding their regulation.  Preliminary studies were carried out to identify unique antigens/enzymes (and the genes coding them) which are predominantly/exclusively expressed in dormant mycobacteria. Based on these studies new initiatives have been planned using genomic approaches. DNA chip to study these mechanisms has been recently developed by our group and more than a dozen new targets have been identified which are being studied further.

1.5. Drug resistance:

During the last 10 years, studies have been carried out by our laboratory and our collaborators to investigate the occurrence and mechanism(s) of multiple drug resistance in M.tuberculosis and other pathogenic mycobacteria. These multicentric studies involving JALMA, CDFD, AIIMS, NDTBC etc. have led to identification of novel mutations in rpoB gene region of Indian isolates of M.tuberculosis as well as other prevalent mutations responsible for INH, quinolone resistance. Based on these advances a new rapid method for detection of drug resistance / drug susceptibility testing (DST) has been developed. In addition, new information about relationship between efflux pumps and drug resistance has been generated in these studies. Further unknown mechanisms of drug resistance are being unraveled by using structural and functional genomic approaches. In addition to the search for the novel targets, different methods for DST are being assessed for clinical relevance.

1.5.1.     Studies on Drug resistance in mycobacteria using DNA Chips:

By successfully establishing DNA Chip/ Microarray technology, indigenously developed chips for drug resistance related genes of M.tuberculosis  have been prepared at JALMA. Eight pumps (three not earlier known) have been identified to be associated with MDR in a section of mycobacterial isolates. Patents have been filed.  Data is being readied for publication and application value is being investigated.

1.5.2.     Spread of Multi-drug resistant TB :

Recent work by this group shows that MDR strains can spread by aerosol route. 

1.6. Leprosy genomics:

 

Studies using Microarray technology  have been carried out by Dr. Katoch and his colleagues  to understand the diversity among strains of leprosy bacillus and to identify genes, which are differentially expressed during disease processes specially  during dormancy and reactions.

1.6.1.     New DNA Chip for Mycobacterium leprae: 

New DNA chips encoding key enzymes of metabolic pathways, stress proteins, secretory proteins etc have been designed and developed by Dr.Katoch’s group at JALMA. Using this indigenously developed chip, some key enzymes and other important proteins over-expressed by M.leprae during the disease process in humans have been identified. All these are likely to have far reaching implications in understanding the pathogenicity mechanisms of mycobacteria in general and Mycobacterium leprae in particular. Keeping in view the importance of some of these proteins as targets for diagnostics and vaccines, patents have been filed (Indian Patent Application Nos- 2012/DEL/2006, 884/DEL/2007).

1.7. Novel antigens:

The collaborative studies with the group of Dr. Hasnain at CDFD have led to identification of novel antigens with potential diagnostic importance in tuberculosis. While these candidates were identified by using chip developed by Dr. Hasnain and his group, the main contribution has been as a clinical collaborator  to test these antigens for their role in disease in humans

1.8. Bovine tuberculosis: 

Our group at JALMA has contributed towards the application of an indigenous molecular assay by AIIMS which appears to be useful in differentiation of M.bovis and M.tuberculosis strains. Widespread presence of tuberculous infection in some cattle farms has been observed in these studies.

2.     Development of newer taxonomical parameters for identification and typing of mycobacteria

2.1. Isoenzyme patterns and protein electrophoregrams:

These studies carried out in 1980s have revealed that LDH zymograms are useful for screening at species level whereas esterase zymograms are useful for typing of strains of different mycobacterial species.  Using these patterns for the first time, the possibility of identifying different strains of M.leprae by phenotypic markers was indicated. A scheme for rapid identification of various pathogenic mycobacteria using their protein electrophoregrams and zymodemes has been proposed by us.  This approach has also been found to be useful for analysis of isolates of M.bovis as well as non-tuberculous mycobacteria.

2.2. Immunological relatedness of enzymes     

Developer of a microimmuno-precipitation technique which has been found to be useful for the study of immunological relatedness of enzymes possible in host grown microbes.  Applications of these techniques to M.lepraemurium have established that this organism has a ‘T’ catalase enzyme which is closely related to M.avium yet distinct from it. These techniques also established that M.leprae does not have significant levels of T- and M-catalase in it.

2.3. Taxonomical System

A new reference taxonomical system based on measurement of immunological relatedness of superoxide dismutase of mycobacteria has been established at our laboratory.

2.4. Analysis of Mycobacterial Lipids

I have  been a co-investigator in studies on characterization of M.leprae and mycobacteria based on analysis of mycobacterial lipids.  These  findings have shown that mycolic acids are useful only upto species or group level classification  whereas glycolipids and phospholipids can be further used for further characterization of pathogenic mycobacteria. As these have been observed to be influenced by physiochemical environment and should be used catiously.

2.5. Molecular Epidemiology of Tuberculosis

Have been participating in studies on molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis using known markers such as RFLP based on insertion sequences, RAPD,  FAFLP ( in collaboration with CDFD) and MIRU-VNTR (Indo-French Project). Using these markers newer information about genotypes of M.tuberculosis prevalent in India has been generated and evolution traced to some extent.

These multicentric and international collaborative studies have helped in understanding the evolution of M.tuberculosis strains in India . Data shows that indigenous/ old lineage strains still dominate the Indian scenario. While some publications in collaboration with CDFD and other collaborators have been published

2.6. Molecular epidemiology of leprosy :

In the area of leprosy also using new molecular markers like ttc repeats, new genotypes have been identified which could be relevant for investigating the transmission of disease. Our laboratory  has established other markers for tracing the transmission of leprosy in pockets of high endemicity.

2.7. Environmental mycobacteria:

Studies on characterization of mycobacteria have importance from point of view of epidemiology and also understanding the mechanism of protection by vaccines. Studies carried out carried out in our laboratory have led to development of improved procedure for isolation of such mycobacteria from Indian environment (Publication: 2a; 10) and better understanding of dynamics of distribution of these mycobacteria in our settings. Recent studies by our research group have shown the pre-dominance of some rapid growing mycobacteria in the environment where leprosy and TB  have high prevalence rates.

3.     Studies on metabolism, attempts at cultivation and development of in vitro viability methods

3.1. Metabolic studies of leprosy bacillus: 

Have been the Principal Investigator of an ICMR project on “Metabolic studies on mycobacteria with special reference to M.leprae”.  These studies showed that M.leprae has the enzymes of TCA cycle and glyoxylate bypass. The demonstration of steps of TCA cycle has become the basis of our ongoing in vitro energy synthesis studies using different substrates.  In these studies we have already established conditions which favour limited in-vitro growth of M.leprae.  The presence of glyoxylate bypass has important implications in the understanding of ‘persister stage’ and may help in identifying drugs which could attack this site preferentially.

3.2. In-vitro viability methods: development of bioluminescence and molecular techniques.

Contributions on this aspect are summarized below:

3.2.1.     ATP bioluminescence based methods:

As M.leprae is not cultivable in in-vitro conditions & the mouse foot pad is expensive, time consuming and insensitive model, there has been a felt need to develop alternative in-vitro methods for determination of viability of M.leprae.  While scientists at AIIMS and FMR concentrated on viability methods based on macrophage cultures Our team has  focused on ATP bioluminescence and molecular markers such as rRNA targeting probes and PCR.

We have developed an  easy, rapid viability determination method based on measurement of bioluminescence (ATP) for M.leprae and other mycobacteria.  The earlier known approaches for measurements ATP were investigated and optimum procedure for extraction and assay of ATP of M.leprae was standardized in this laboratory.  This highly sensitive method developed by our group can detect even less than 100 viable cultivable mycobacteria.  This method has been compared with some other earlier described techniques and has been found to almost as sensitive but relatively inexpensive compared with models like nude mice & thymectomized rats.

3.2.2.     rRNA based probes and methods:

As described in the molecular biology section, we have designed rRNA targetting probes for identification of M.leprae specific sequences.  These probes have been found to be useful to confirm the diagnosis, are sensitive upto 100-1000 organisms and have been shown to correlate with viability.  These have been developed by us into a quantitative assay (microdensitometric).

3.2.3.     In-vitro drug screening methods:

Based on the knowledge acquired about metabolism and energy synthesis of M.leprae, we have already established a Modified Dubos medium system in which limited ATP increase and multiplication of M.leprae can be achieved.  Based on this system, an ATP decay drug screening system for clinical isolates has been established at this laboratory. Using this assay  trifluoperazines were found to be active against leprosy bacillus for the first time.

These techniques developed by us  are likely to be useful in clinical and therapeutic leprosy research and also in the management of disease.  These techniques and other methods developed in India and abroad, offer the users the choice to select a suitable technique(s) depending upon their needs. 

4.     Development of probes for Leishmaniasis:  

Based on knowledge and expertise about ribosomal gene region targetting techniques, our laboratory collaborated with RMRIMS, Patna to develop probes and a PCR-RFLP technique for studying the transmission of kala-azar.  These techniques have been further tested in specimens from cutaneous leishmaniasis from Himachal Pradesh and have been found to be very useful in identifying a new focus of leishmaniasis by L.donovani in that area.

5.     Other studies :

I have  been playing a supportive  role in promoting  studies on HIV which deal with both prevalence/ incidence of this infection in different risk groups as well as studies on possible dichotomous relationship between HIV & TB on one hand and leprosy on the other hand

 

B.  Contributions as Scientific Organizer:

These contributions are towards the  growth of parent department, Institute, collaborations with medical colleges/ other prominent Institutes, end users in public health, other universities etc.

Contributions to growth of parent Department and  Institute

·         Founded the Department of Microbiology at Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy, Tajganj, Agra in 1979 and organized various programmes. Over the years this laboratory has now been developed into one of the well established mycobacterial research laboratories with strong capability in molecular biology and a BSL-III Lab.

·         Mycobacterial Repository Centre :  This facility was built from the scratch with support from the  Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India and has been serving as a National facility (now under ICMR). This facility has a collection of 4000 mycobacteria (including the difficult to characterize strains), it supplies  reference strains & other mycobacteria and helps various Institutions in  characterization of difficult to identify mycobacterial strains. Beginning with partnership of only 5 labs in 1995, by 2001 38 laboratories (mostly medical colleges) from different parts of the country were networked to this repository. This networking has been utilized to undertake studies on molecular epidemiology of mycobacterial infections (tuberculosis, leprosy and other mycobacterial infections). Further as a part of programmes of this Repository doctors, scientists and technicians  etc from other laboratories have been trained in molecular and other newer methods over the years.

·         Microarray laboratory : While in my  parent department at Agra a   molecular biology laboratory was developed  25 years ago , a Microarray facility was established in the department in April 2003.

·         As the director of Institute ( 2002-2008) I   planned major expansion of  infrastructure and scope of Institute – The programmes of Institute have been expanded and modified in a manner so as to place it as one of key players in tuberculosis research ( recognized as 4th National Reference Lab for Tuberculosis, by Gvt of India) while continuing with its role as referral Institute for leprosy.

(i)     Infrastructure has been strengthened by developing a New BSL-3 Lab for Animal experiments, Microarray Lab; Proteomics Lab; Bioinformatics Facility  etc.

(ii)   For bringing latest technology to end users in the field, special emphasis on strengthening of the field programmes has been done this period.  Establishing a Model Rural Health Research Unit in co-ordination and collaboration   with the State Health programmes and services at Ghatampur, Kanpur is the most recent programme which is being implemented. This will expect as a model of generating new knowledge for developing evidence based health policy by taking the technology to people in a comprehensive manner.

 

Contributions towards ICMR

I have  contributed/ continue to contribute  towards various programmes/ activities of ICMR and its Institutes/ Centres:  

(i)    Served/ Serving as a member of various Expert Panels in ICMR

(ii)  Member of Task Force on Leprosy

(iii) Member of SACs of various Institute/ Centres such as DMRC, Jodhpur ; RMRC Port Blair; TRC Chennai; NIE, Chennai and IOP New Delhi etc

(iv)  As Chairman / Member of several administrative committees providing a major input  in improving the service conditions of ICMR staff- removing anomalies, improving / developing recruitment rules for different groups of ICMR staff including scientists , new promotion schemes etc

(v)  Collaboration with 5 ICMR Institute/ Centres in TB research : partnership with TRC and collaborative support to 4 Regional Institutes on various aspects of TB research.

(vi)  In my present position as Secretary, DHR and DG, ICMR  I continue to work to make ICMR as fulcrum of new Department of Health Research with special focus on translation of innovations into clinically useful products and processes that may have public health importance.

Fostering Partnerships with other Medical Colleges , Institutes, Universities

Have tried to  contribute to the  growth of science in the country and our Institute has emerged as a leader in TB, leprosy and genomics by establishing modern technologies. We have contributed towards modernization of science by  providing  collaborative support to  medical colleges & other institutions to establish these technologies. I have taken as first major thrust of  programmes of DHR.

Have played key role in establishment of vital links with others for example  since 1990s has been participating and acting as a coordinator of  various multicentric projects leprosy as well as tuberculosis on aspects such as on multiple drug resistance, molecular epidemiology, surveillance and evaluation of PCR diagnostics for tuberculosis (20/25 extramural projects carried out/ being carried out by me / my group have been multi-centric studies); established strong partnerships/networks with important Institute like CDFD/ AIIMS/ etc; Other ICMR Institutes/ centres/ medical colleges; universities.

Member/ chairman of Committees of various National/ International agencies :  Have served as a member / Chairman of important committees of various national ( DBT/ DST/ CSIR/ICMR/DRDO and others) and international organizations like WHO/ The Leprosy Mission International (TLM) etc. :

Department of Biotechnology :

·         Member of the Task Force on Medical Biotechnology, Immunodiagnostics and Vaccines (earlier);  SBIRI; Taskforce on Vaccines and Diagnostics.

·         Member of the Apex Committee on “New programme support in high priority area of biology during 2002-2007 (IISc, Bangalore ).

·         Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to monitor the progress of Phase-II programme support for high priority areas at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Thiruvananthapuram.

·         Member of Sub-Committee on “Tuberculosis vaccines” under the National Jai Vigyan Science Technology Mission on the Development of New Generation Vaccines” of Department of Biotechnology.

DRDO

·        Member of Specialist panel on “Infectious Diseases” of Life Sciences Research Board of DRDO.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):

·      Member of Special Committee to monitor NMITLI Programmes on Mycobacteria.

Govt of India :

·      Member of Programme Advisory Committee on NLEP of Ministry of Health, GOI.

The Leprosy Mission , International (TLM)

·      Chairman of the TLM South Asia Research Committee (TSARC)

WHO

·      Member of Regional Technical Advisory Group (RTAG) for Leprosy Elimination for South East Asia , WHO.

·      Member of Working Group on Leprosy of WHO.

Bilateral international Cooperative programmes

·         Member of JWG of ICMR-INSERM, several other programmes

Scientific Advisory Committees :

·         Member of Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad

·         Member of Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of CLTRI, Chengalpet and other RLTRIs.

·         Member, Hinduja Hospital Research Council.

·         Member of SACs of various Institute/ Centres such as DMRC, Jodhpur ; RMRC Port Blair; TRC Chennai; NIE, Chennai and  IOP New Delhi

Professional Bodies

·         President of Society of Immunology and Immunopathology ; President of Indian Association of Leprologists

 

C.  Contributions towards Human Resource Development 

 

Postgraduate teacher in Life Sciences (Microbiology/ Biotechnology/ Biochemistry)- Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University, Agra ; Guide/ Co-guide for PhD/MD of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University ( Agra University ); other institutes/universities;

 

1999-2000

2001

2002

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

MD

10

(7)*

6

(3)*

6

(2)*

9

(2)*

9

(6)*

8

8

PhD

8

8

8

16

(1)*

21, Guide for 8

(1)*

30, Guide for 8

30, Guide for 8 (*7)

MSc Dissertation

31

45

45

60

64

72

100

Specialized Training

27

16

13

11

05

6

6

         * Completed their thesis work

 

Besides above contributions,  I have tried to augment the participation of Institute in several teaching and training programmes: Postgraduate programmes for students of Biotechnology, microbiology, immunology and biochemistry; short-term   re-orientation on leprosy , with the RNTCP for training of health personnel as well as managers of the programme.  

D.  Other Contributions

Past:

·         Editor of CJIL Quarterly Bulletin for 20 years and have also served as an Associate Editor of Indian Journal of Leprosy

·         Hon. Secretary of Indian Association of Leprologists (1989-91).

·         Vice President of Society of Basic and Applied Microbiologists etc (1990-1991).

·         Has served as a member of RAP/SAC of National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi for 3 years.

·         Member of Central Council of Indian Association of Leprologists (1991-1993).

·         Member of the Central Council of Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists (1992-1995).

·         President of Indian Association of Leprologists (2005-07).

 

Current:

·         Editor, Indian Journal of Leprosy.

·         Member of the editorial board of Indian Journal of Tuberculosis, Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology, Journal of Laboratory Medicine, Research Bulletin of Panjab University  etc.

·         Member of the Academic Council, Seedling Academy of Design technology and management, Gwalior .

·         Member of advisory and selection committees of various organizations and institutions.

·         Guide/ Co-guide for PhD/MD of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University ( Agra University ); other institutes/universities.

 

 

Home Page