Dr Ananya Gupta

Ph.D

Contact Details

Lecturer (Fixed Term)
Physiology
School of Medicine
NUI Galway

E: ananya.gupta@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

I have been pursuing research in the biomedical field for more than a decade including two years in pharmaceutical industry and two years career break (approved Maternity leave). I received research fellowships from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India to pursue a PhD degree at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, India. Since then I have worked in academic, industrial and translational research environments and I have been closely associated with the ongoing research in molecular mechanisms leading to cancer progression and development of novel therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment. I have developed a strong national and international research profile in the area of cancer, cellular stress and gene regulation (12 scientific communications, including 2 book chapters; 10 peer-reviewed research papers; 15 conference proceedings). My recent work received commendations from across the scientific community and featured in the local and national news. I have ongoing collaborations with established researchers across Ireland and abroad. Since my first postdoctoral appointment at NUI Galway, I have jointly supervised 15 undergraduate students, 4 M.Sc. and 5 Ph.D. students. In addition I have 5 years of formal teaching experience as part-time lecturer in the Department of Microbiology, NUI Galway. I was appointed as a Fixed-Term Lecturer in Physiology in January 2016. Since then I have focused towards developing my own research program. My current research focuses on the detection, prevention and management of neutropenia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Chemotherapy results in an obligate period of neutropenia, which leads to systemic infections resulting in significant morbidity, mortality, treatment failure and poor patient outcome. Also it poses a significant burden to the health services. I have combined my expertise and knowledge in the field of cellular stress responses and cancer with my knowledge of cell biology to develop a multi-disciplinary research program that aims to identify novel strategies of detecting and preventing neutrophil loss. I have set up collaborations with leading researchers in NUI Galway, in the diverse areas of biomedical engineering, stem cell biology and cell manufacturing. The combined knowledge and expertise has lead to the development of new innovative approaches that will make it possible to provide timely intervention to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy- induced neutropenia. The outcome of my research will directly impact the quality of life and treatment success in these patients and significantly reduce hospitalization and burden on the health services. I have received support in the form of intramural funding (≈10,000 euros) to pursue my research. This enabled me to generate preliminary data to support my research goals. I have been successful in obtaining promising results that provides “proof of concept” for my ideas. In addition based on these findings I have submitted an IDF application to the NUIG-TTO. My inter-disciplinary experience has facilitated my development as a professionally mature, independent and collaborative scientist. My multidisciplinary background combined with my collaborative links, my exemplary academic record, my innovative and independent thinking, all ensure that my research program will be carried out to the highest levels of academic excellence and is reflective of my ambition to pursue a research career that aims to translate bench side findings into benefits for the patient. To do this, I will build, and lead, a dynamic and energetic team of scientists at NUI, Galway. 

Research Interests

My current research focuses on the detection, prevention and management of neutropenia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN) is the major dose-limiting toxicity of systemic cancer chemotherapy, and it is associated with substantial morbidity, mortality, and costs. Neutropenia may result in life threatening systemic infections necessitating hospitalization and resulting in dose reductions or treatment delays, which may compromise clinical outcomes. One major obstacle faced is the timely detection of neutropenia and onset of infection. Prophylactic treatment with hematopoietic growth factor reduces the duration and depth of neutropenic nadir but does not reduce the incidence of infection and sepsis. Thus, this complication continues to be a central concern in the delivery of cancer chemotherapy.

The current research aims to develop methods and a related device for the quantification of neutrophils in blood in an inexpensive, non-invasive, near-patient scenario using dielectric spectroscopy. Such a device will enable timely detection of neutropenia and better management or prevention of neutropenic sepsis. In addition the proposal also aims to develop a bioprocess for the ex-vivo expansion and production of transfusion grade neutrophils from cord blood derived CD34+ cells using a nanofiber scaffold. These neutrophils are fully functional and will be instrumental in preventing life threatening infections allowing cancer chemotherapy to be completed successfully improving patient outcome and overall survival. 

I am also interested in studying the role of unfolded signalling pathway in inducing tumour angiogenesis and how it contributes to cancer progression. 

Loss of miRNA biogenesis has been shown to enhance cancer progression. Several components of miRNA biogenesis machinery have been shown to act as haplo-insufficient tumour suppressors. Furthermore, inactivating mutations that impairs miRNA processing and enhances cellular transformation have been reported in XPO5 and TRBP, in primary tumours of colon cancer with microsatellite instability (MSI). MSI is particularly frequent in colon cancer, where it accounts for a combined total of 15% of sporadic and heritable cases. The phenotypic advantages afforded by dysregulated miRNA biogenesis to colon cancer cells and its clinical relevance is not clearly understood. One of my research interest aims to understand the mechanisms by which altered miRNA expression can promote tumorigenesis. Cellular adaptation to tumour microenvironment induced stress occurs through multiple mechanisms, including activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Our preliminary data showing resistance to ER stress-induced apoptosis in colon cancer cell lines with compromised miRNA biogenesis and altered expression of several miRNAs during UPR underscores a role for miRNAs in modulating the ER stress response in colon cancer. miRNA-mRNA pairs whose expression is altered during tumour growth can influence the cellular response to ER stress and may contribute to cancer progression by inhibiting ER stress-induced apoptosis.

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2017) 'Glycosylation-Related Gene Expression in the Mucus-Secreting Gastrointestinal Cell Line HT29-MTX-E12 in Response to Infection by Helicobacter pylori'
Michael T Cairns; Ananya Gupta; Julie A Naughton; Marian Kane; Marguerite Clyne; Lokesh Joshi (2017) 'Glycosylation-Related Gene Expression in the Mucus-Secreting Gastrointestinal Cell Line HT29-MTX-E12 in Response to Infection by Helicobacter pylori'. Plos One, [Details]
(2016) '1. IRE1-XBP1 regulates the expression of NCOA3 in breast cancer'
Ananya Gupta, Mosaraf Hossain, Mark Webber, Nicola Miller, Grace Callagy and Sanjeev Gupta (2016) '1. IRE1-XBP1 regulates the expression of NCOA3 in breast cancer'. Oncogene, [Details]
(2015) 'PERK regulated miR-424-503 cluster fine-tunes activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during Unfolded Protein Response'
Ananya Gupta, Mosaraf Hossain, Danielle Read, Mark Webber and Sanjeev Gupta. (2015) 'PERK regulated miR-424-503 cluster fine-tunes activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during Unfolded Protein Response'. Scientific Reports, [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'Oestrogen-dependent regulation of miRNA biogenesis: many ways to skin the cat'
Gupta A, Caffrey E, Callagy G, Gupta S. (2012) 'Oestrogen-dependent regulation of miRNA biogenesis: many ways to skin the cat'. [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Assays for detecting the unfolded protein response'
Cawley K, Deegan S, Samali A, Gupta S (2011) 'Assays for detecting the unfolded protein response'. Methods Enzymol, 490 :31-51 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Assays for detecting the unfolded protein response'
Cawley K, Deegan S, Samali A, Gupta S. (2011) 'Assays for detecting the unfolded protein response'. Methods Enzymol, 490 :31-51 [Details]
(2014) 'miRNA signature of unfolded protein response in H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts'
Read, DE,Gupta, A,Ladilov, Y,Samali, A,Gupta, S (2014) 'miRNA signature of unfolded protein response in H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts'. Cell And Bioscience, 4 [DOI] [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2015) 'PERK regulated miR-424(322)-503 cluster fine-tunes activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during Unfolded Protein Response'
Gupta, A,Hossain, MM,Read, DE,Hetz, C,Samali, A,Gupta, S (2015) 'PERK regulated miR-424(322)-503 cluster fine-tunes activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during Unfolded Protein Response'. Scientific Reports, 5 [DOI] [Details]
(2014) 'miRNA signature of unfolded protein response in H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts'
Read DE, Gupta A;Ladilov Y;Samali A;Gupta S (2014) 'miRNA signature of unfolded protein response in H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts'. Cell And Bioscience, 4 (1) [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2013) Perk-dependent repression of miR-106b-25 cluster is required for ER stress induced apoptosis
Read, DE,Agostinis, P,Hetz, C,Mott, JL,Samali, A,Gupta, S (2013) Perk-dependent repression of miR-106b-25 cluster is required for ER stress induced apoptosis , pp.117-120 [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2013) Edinburgh Pathology 2013, Joint Meeting with the BDIAP,
H Ingoldsby, E Caffrey, M Webber, D Wall, A Gupta, J Newell, S Gupta, G Callagy (2013) Characterisation of miR-4726 and miR-4728 in breast cancer. [Poster Presentation (Refereed)], Edinburgh Pathology 2013, Joint Meeting with the BDIAP, Edinburgh, UK , 18-JUN-13 - 21-JUN-13. [Details]
(2014) IACR Annual Meeting,
A Gupta, G Callagy, S Gupta. (2014) Regulation of NCOA3/AIB1 expression by the unfolded protein response. [Poster Presentation], IACR Annual Meeting, Galway, Ireland , 27-MAR-14 - 28-MAR-14. [Details]
(2015) IACR Annual Meeting,
A Gupta, MM Hossain, G Callagy, S Gupta (2015) XBP1 regulates the expression of NCOA3/AIB1 during unfolded protein response in breast cancer cells. [Poster Presentation], IACR Annual Meeting, Limerick, Ireland , 26-FEB-15 - 27-FEB-15. [Details]

Reviews

  Year Publication
(2011) ASSAYS FOR DETECTING THE UNFOLDED PROTEIN RESPONSE.
Cawley, K,Deegan, S,Samali, A,Gupta, S (2011) ASSAYS FOR DETECTING THE UNFOLDED PROTEIN RESPONSE. Reviews [DOI] [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2007 Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge Fellow Marie Skłodowska Curie Foundation
1999 Senior Research Fellowship CSIR-UGC India
1997 Junior Research Fellowship CSIR-UGC India

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Physiology Society full Member /
Society of Cell Biologists, India Member /
European Association of Cancer Research Member /
American Association of Cancer Research Member /
Society for General Microbiology, Ireland Member /
Academy of Medical Laboratory Science Full Member /
Indian Biophysical Society, India Member /
Irish Association for Cancer research, Ireland Member /

Patents

  Patent Number Title Granted
miRNA of HSV-LAT and uses thereof

Disclosures

  Title Submitted
Prognostic gene signature of XBP1-NCOA3 co-expression and regulation in Breast Cancer
Use and application of dielectric properties of blood towards detecting and monitoring Neutropenia

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Graduate Research Council Student Advisor /

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
NUI Galway Lecturer (above the bar) 07-JAN-16 /
NUI Galway Postdoctoral researcher 10-FEB-12 / 30-SEP-15
NUI Galway Postdoctoral researcher 07-JUL-09 / 31-AUG-11
NUI Galway Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge Research Fellow 25-SEP-07 / 30-SEP-08
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA Research Associate 04-JAN-04 /
Orchid Pharmaceuticals Ltd. India Senior scientist and Head of Cancer Drug Discovery 01-JUN-06 / 01-AUG-07

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
1995 Presidency College Calcutta India, Calcutta University BSc (Hons) Physiology
2016 CELT, NUI Galway Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
1997 Calcutta university Msc Biophysics and Molecular biology
2005 Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India PhD Lifesciences - Immunology and host pathogen interactions

Languages

  Language
English

Community Engagement

  Title Type From / To
Outreach Teen Tech /
Outreach Cell Exploreres /

Reviews

  Journal Role
Journal Of Cellular And Molecular Medicine Reviewer
Scientific Reports Reviewer
Plos One Reviewer
Journal Of Biological Chemistry Reviewer
Apoptosis Reviewer
Biochem Biophy Res Commun Reviewer
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol Reviewer

Teaching Interests

My Teaching philosophy I believe my role, as teacher, is to bring to students the same interest that I feel for my subject. If this is accomplished then each individual student can achieve to the best of their capability. To achieve this, my first goal is to engage students by presenting the appropriate material for each topic in an interesting and enjoyable lesson, my second is to ensure that students understand the topic being taught, and third is to encourage students to appreciate the inherent connections amongst various topics being taught and lastly to continuously assess level of student understanding. I use different methods of teaching and assessment depending on the resources available, the time available and the number and background of students being taught. To make each particular lesson interesting and topical, I use common biological examples, including recent examples from my own research experiences or colleagues’ work, published literature or from well-known processes or diseases. I provide extra reading and audio-visual material to support what is taught in class. I also try to finish up a topic with a tutorial or problem solving session, where I can gauge the level of comprehension and interest. In order to develop and improve my teaching, I review all the material that I teach regularly. As a teacher I have a responsibility towards students to convey the appropriate knowledge, in an organized manner, in a stimulating environment; to clearly explain what is expected and accurately assess achievements. I use learning outcomes to clearly state what it is that a student will be expected to demonstrate on completion of a particular topic, this not only reassures the student, it helps them learn more effectively. When aligned with teaching/learning activities and assessment methods this provides a transparent, logical framework for defining what needs to be learned, how it will be taught and how it will be assessed. In addition to helping students to learn and appreciate the subject, I feel that we have an obligation to help them with respect to their futures. Many students are not aware of the career options available to them. I like to inform the students about the subject choices and career paths that are open to them, and how best to embark on such paths. 

Recent Postgraduate Students

  Graduation Name Degree Primary Supervisor
2016 Anhar Abdullah Msc Y
2013 Louise Conlon Msc
2014 Siobhan Kenny Msc
2015 Alan O’Dwyer Msc

Modules Taught

  Term/Year Module Title Module Code Subject / Desc
Biomedical Science 3rd Yer Advanced Cardiovascular Physiology SI326
Higher Diploma in Applied Science Applied Microbiology and Immunology AM1
Nursing Year 1 Physiology NU115
Biomedical Science BSc 4th Year Case based Physiology SI4101
MD Year 1 Principles of Physiology MD137
Biomedical Science BSc 2nd Year Respiratory Physiology SI212
Biomedical Science BSc 4th Year Pathophysiology SI432
MD Year 1 Cardiovascular Physiology MD121 module coordinator
PG Diploma in Microbiology Applied Microbiology and Immunology PGM1
Biomedical Science BSc 2nd Year Cardiovascular Physiology SI208
Master of Cancer Biology Molecular and cellular biology of cancer GYT91
BSc Microbiology Year 3 Immunology MI317
Biomedical Science BSc 4th Year Research Project SI435
Nursing Year 3 Physiology NuU306
BSc Microbiology Year 3 Immunology MI330
Higher Diploma in Applied Science (Microbiology) Analytical Microbiology and Quality Management Systems MI504
Master of Science Biotechnology MT1