Dr. Pawan Dhar

Dr. Pawan Dhar |Clyto Access

School of Biotechnology, JNU, New Delhi

Keynote Speaker

Expertise: Synthetic Biology


Dr. Pawan Dhar is the Professor and Head, Synthetic Biology group, School of Biotechnology, JNU, New Delhi. Prior to this he held senior scientific positions at Shiv Nadar University, RIKEN Genomics Sciences Centre, Japan, Bioinformatics Institute, Singapore, Keio University and Kyoto University in Japan and Manipal University. He received PhD in 1993 from BHU for his work on Human Genetics. His recent work on making functional genes and proteins from not-coding has received significant global attention. He serves on the external board of referees for European Science Foundation, Advisory Panel of US-European consortium of Synthetic Biology and Task Force of DBT Marine Biotechnology Program. His aim is to establish a strong synthetic biology program in India using high quality training, research and outreach programs.



Title: Presenting a new drug discovery platform


Broadly speaking, three functional categories of DNA sequences exist in a genome: one that encodes proteins, second that encodes only RNA (non-coding DNA) and third that does not transcribe at all (NOT coding DNA). Historically attention has been paid to the protein coding genes leading to the discovery of a large number of functional genomic parts. For the last two decades, non-coding RNA biology has taken the center stage leading to a large body of literature. However, the role of not-coding DNA (the dark matter of genome) is least explored.

We asked a simple question: Why did nature allocate protein coding and RNA coding jobs to a specific set of sequences? Did she sample all possibilities, retained good results, retired not-so-relevant results and left some genome sequences untouched. To address this issue, we developed a novel approach to artificially make proteins from intergenic regions. The success of this experiment emboldened us to look for not-coding regions which, when expressed, would make user defined proteins towards predetermined functional endpoints. Our work has demonstrated a rich and untapped source of not-coding DNA sequences that on expression have potential to make therapeutically important peptides and proteins. In my talk I will describe our work in this direction and point towards future possibilities for the pharma industry.


Related Conferences :

International Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Forum