Dr. Anjali Jha (Assistant Professor)

After completion of M.Sc. in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Dr. Jha joined Prof. G. Krishnamoorthy's group at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai for Ph.D. Her thesis work was aimed at understanding the mechanism of aggregation of proteins into amyloid fibrils, a phenomenon which is responsible for diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson. During her Ph.D., she developed and used a novel time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy-based method to map the structure of amyloid fibrils. This knowledge is important for the design of drugs for amyloid diseases. Her interest in structural biology and ultrafast fluorescence spectroscopy led to the collaborations with Prof. Jayant B. Udgaonkar at National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore and Prof. Tahei Tahara at RIKEN, Japan. Following her Ph.D., she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Jennifer R. Cochran at Department of Bioengineering Stanford University, USA where she explored different methods to engineer proteins/peptides which could inhibit the growth of cancer cells. She also developed novel fusion proteins which could be used as molecular imaging agents for tumor progression and showed the feasibility of the method in mouse models. After her post-doc she joined Agharkar Research Institute, Pune as a DST-Inspire faculty/ scientist in nanobioscience group. Her interdisciplinary research interest led to productive collaborations with IISER and NCL, Pune. Together, she developed novel therapeutic agents like beta-breaker cyclic peptides, chitosan-PLGA based nanoparticles and ionic liquids as inhibitors for amyloid-beta protein aggregation to target Alzheimer’s disease. Her work has been published in various internationally reputed peer reviewed journals namely ACS Biochemistry, ACS Langmuir, ACS Biomacromolecules, Journal of Molecular biology, RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry etc.