Aravindhan Vivekanandhan Ph.D. Aravindhan Vivekanandhan  
US Training at Einstein: Feb. - Aug. 2002
Position: Visiting Fellow
Home Country: India
Past Position: Graduate Student, Tuberculosis Research Centre, Chennai, India
India Mentor: Dr. P. R. Narayanan
US Host Lab Mentor: Dr. Vinayaka Prasad & Dr. William R. Jacobs, Jr.
Current Position: Scientist, Madras Diabetes Research Centre, India

Mr. Vivekanandhan's research project was aimed at "Constructing a recombinant BCG based HIV-1 epitope delivery system". It was a collaborative project involving two mentors from AECOM (Dr.Prasad and Dr.Jacobs) and one from India (Dr.P.R.Narayanan). During his stay in AECOM he constructed a BCG based novel vector system (epitope-trap vector) which can be used to express foreign epitopes in recombinant BCG. As a sub-project a new M.tb heat shock promoter (groE) was also identified and characterized. The epitope trap vector is now being used to express M.tb specific epitopes (indentified by immunoinformatics approach) in BCG as an attempt to enhance the immunogenicity and vaccine potential of BCG, at his home institute. The collaborative project led to 3 publications. Subsequent to defending his thesis, Dr. Vivekanandhan returned to US and joined Dr. Dennis Klinman's laboratory (NIH) as a post-doctoral fellow to get training in microarray analysis. After completing three years of his post- doctoral training at NIH, he has returned back to India to establish his own immunology unit. Currently, Dr. Vivekanandhan is working as a scientist at Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) a non-profit organization and is heading the Dept of Trascriptomics and Molecular Immunology (TMI). His current focus of research is to study the interface between diabetes and TB with emphasis on Immunology. In future, he also plans to incorporate AIDS as part of this disease dynamics program.

Meeting Preseatations:
  1. Construction of Recombinant BCG based HIV-1 epitope deliver system. 8th International Conference on Vaccine Research (NIAID), 2005, Baltimore, USA.
  2. Identification and characterization of groE promoter of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 47th Indian Immunology Society Meeting, 2004, Chennai, India.
Publications from AITRP research:
  1. Aravindhan V., Narayanan S., Gautham N., Prasad V., Kannan P., Jacobs WR Jr. and Narayanan PR. Th-2 immunity and CD3+CD45RBlow-activated T cells in mice immunized with recombinant bacillus Calmette-Guerin expressing HIV-1 principal neutralizing determinant epitope. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2006 Jun; 47(1):45-55.
  2. Aravindhan V., Sulochana S., Narayanan S. Paramasivam, C.N. and Narayanan PR. Identification and differentiation of M. avium and M. intracellulare by PCR- RFLP analysis of the groES gene. Indian J Med Res. 2007 Dec;126:575-9.
  3. Aravindhan V, Christy AJ, Roy S, Ajitkumar P, Narayanan PR, Narayanan S. Mycobacterium tuberculosis groE promoter controls the expression of the bicistronic groESL1 operon and shows differential regulation under stress conditions. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2009 Mar; 292(1):42-9.

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