Workshop on Toxoplasma by Brainware University

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The department of Biotechnology, Brainware University organized an online workshop on “Interferon gamma, Toxoplasma, and human fibroblasts: A story of identification of parasite virulence factors to mechanism of parasite clearance” on May 29, 2021. The purpose was to provide the participants with a profound knowledge regarding the mechanisms behind host defense against parasitic diseases. The guest speaker, Dr. Debanjan Mukhopadhyay, Scientist, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani was invited to conduct the session. The workshop was attended by more than 130 participants including members from outside the institution.

After being introduced by the moderators, Dr. Mukhopadhyay took over the session and commenced with an emphasis on the relevance of the workshop. “Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan parasite of global importance that can remarkably infect, survive, and replicate in nearly all mammalian cells. Notably, 110 years after its discovery, Toxoplasmosis is still a neglected parasitic infection,” he explained.

Thereafter, the speaker demonstrated the concept of host immune responses. “T. gondii infection induces a robust IFN-γ-driven immune response that is critical to resolve acute infection and control chronic infection. IFN-γ stimulation induces a vast transcriptional program and genome-wide microarray analysis in human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs) revealed that T. gondii infection blocks up-regulation of all 127 genes that were induced by IFN-γ treatment,” he said.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay elaborated the future prospects of research in this domain and encouraged students with new and innovative project ideas. This was followed by a lively interaction between the speaker and the spectators, concluding with a vote of thanks from the Head of the department.