Progress report of Kanchan Garai lab. I have joined TCIS in May

Progress report of Kanchan Garai lab.
I have joined TCIS in May 2014. The goal of my research is to understand the molecular
mechanisms leading to spontaneous self-assembly of proteins and peptides to fibrillar structures,
which are usually 6-10 nm thick and several microns long, commonly known as amyloids. We
are interested in the biophysical characterization of the amyloids that are involved in both
diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and diabetes and functions witnessed in bacterial biofilms.
Finally, we want to prepare novel nanobiomaterials using protein self assembly.
Successful execution of the projects mentioned above requires a biophysics laboratory
equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for characterization of both ensemble and single
molecule properties of the protein molecules. Currently my lab has 7 full-time members, 2
postdoctoral research associates, 2 graduate students and 2 project students and myself. We have
made significant progress on setting up our research lab with the start up money provided to me
by the director, TCIS. We have purchased a fluorometer and the necessary consumables to
perform protein purification and characterization using fluorescence properties. We are now able
to perform kinetic and equilibrium studies of the aggregation of the amyloid-beta peptides.
Additionally we are building a fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) instrument for single
molecule characterization of folded proteins and protein amyloids. In the next 4-6 months we
expect to build a superresolution fluorescence microscope and procure a atomic force
microscope (AFM) for multi-dimensional characterization of the self-assembled structures of the
amyloid proteins at a few nanometer resolution.
In the past seven months I have published one paper (Garai et al, Biochemistry, 2014,
53:6323) in collaboration with Dr. Carl Frieden and submitted one paper (Holehouse et al,
submitted) in collaboration with Dr. Rohit Pappu both at Washington University in St. Louis,
USA. I have applied for a grant from India-USA Collaborative Research Partnerships (CRP) on
Diabetes (D.O. No. 55/5/GACD/2014-NCD-II) in collaboration with Dr. PK Madhu at TCIS and
Dr. Jan Bieschke at Washington University.