Global award for RGCB scientist for study on pathogens

She has been working on the human pathogens Chlamydia trachomatis. Her research focuses on how these pathogens evade the host immune system

Updated - December 20, 2022 08:49 pm IST

Published - December 20, 2022 08:47 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram  

Dr. Karthika Rajeeve

Dr. Karthika Rajeeve | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

Dr. Karthika Rajeeve, staff scientist at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), has been selected for the Ben Barres Spotlight Award, 2022.

The Ben Barres Spotlight Awards has been instituted by scientific journal eLife to perpetuate the memory of American neurobiologist Dr. Ben Barres, a transgender researcher who advocated equality in science.

Dr. Karthika is one of the 12 scientists from around the world chosen for the prestigious award this year. She has been working on the human pathogens Chlamydia trachomatis. Her research focuses on how these pathogens evade the host immune system.

“The scientific community at RGCB is elated at the international recognition received by Dr. Karthika Rajeeve,” said Professor Chandrabhas Narayana, Director RGCB.

Money for equipment

Dr. Karthika said she would use the award to buy much-needed equipment to take forward her research, besides attending an international conference on Chlamydia biologists to increase the visibility of her work.

Chlamydia trachomatis (Ctr) is a neglected tropical disease and the infection remains asymptomatic as a silent epidemic. The bacteria persist over extended times within their host cell and thereby establish chronic infections.

Persistent and chronic infection can cause potentially fatal ectopic (outside the uterus) pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and sterility.

Her study challenges a long-standing hypothesis and shows that interferon gamma can down regulate c-Myc, the key regulator of metabolism leading to chlamydial persistence.

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