Dinkar Sahal was born in Udaipur, India. He obtained his M.S. degree in biochemistry from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, and his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from AIIMS, New Delhi, India. He did his postdoctoral researches at the Molecular Biophysics Unit, IISc, Bangalore, India, and at the Department of Molecular Genetics, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Calif, USA. Formerly, he was an Assistant Professor of biophysics at the University of Delhi. Currently, Dr. Sahal is a Staff Research Scientist at the ICGEB, New Delhi. His interests include physics, chemistry, and biology of peptides and proteins. One focus of his current research is designing peptides for structure and antibiotic action. His other focus is discovering and designing novel antimalarial drugs. Studies relating structure to function have led his laboratory to identify elements such as lysine-branched dimerization, aromaticity, and helicity that determine MIC, MBC, Kill kinetics, and spectrum of action of antimicrobial peptides. A reverse engineering approach has enabled his group to the discovery of new axioms of antibiotic peptide action. These are the following: antibiotic potency improves with charge and helicity; inner membrane permeabilization may not be essential for antibacterial activity; charge determines degree while helicity governs the rate of outer membrane permeabilization; in the background of constant charge, increment in helicity broadens the spectrum of action and enhances the kinetics of killing. His laboratory uses SYBR Green fluorescence-based screen to find the potency of crude biological extracts and purified molecules against Plasmodium falciparum growing in human red cells. While nature‘s molecules that have evolved rubbing shoulders with cellular milieus are better equipped to eventually become drugs, molecules synthesized by creative chemists may also have a great opportunity to provide potent, safe, and affordable antimalarials. With this perspective, his laboratory in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr.Arun Sinha at IHBT, Palampur, has examined antiplasmodial potencies of several chalcones, stilbenes, and chalcone-stilbene (C-S) hybrids. Two C-S hybrids have been found to be potent antiplasmodials and microscopic studies showing chromatin condensation and loss of mitochondrial potential have indicated that they kill the parasite by triggering the apoptotic path.
Biography Updated on 9 May 2012