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Anjali Kumari Singh

A science enthusiast, who loves to ponder about the fundamentals of biology.

Academic Background

I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology (Honours) from Asutosh College, Calcutta University, in 2018. With a background in infection biology, I joined IISER Tirupati in the integrated Ph.D. programme. I completed Master’s programme at IISER Tirupati with courses spanning across diverse theoretical and applicative fields including Infection Biology, Bioinformatics, Big Data in Biology, Structural Biology, Developmental Biology, Cancer Biology, Biophysical Chemistry and Forensic Science.
My interdisciplinary training at IISER Tirupati helped me realize my interest in the systems-level understanding of host and pathogen biology and motivated me to pursue it as my research problem for my Ph.D.

Research Interests

Repetitive sequences in the genome serve as hotspots for genetic variation. Repeat expansions in the coding regions of the gene could result in single amino acid homorepeat (HR) expansions in the corresponding protein, which has been linked to several neurodegenerative and developmental disorders. Although these hypermutable elements are detrimental, about 15% of the eukaryotic proteins contain homorepeats, indicating that HRs could have physiological functions. Accumulating evidences from various research groups, including ours, suggest that HRs are functionally versatile and might be involved in diverse processes such as gene expression regulation, signalling and cell-cell communication. However, how HRs affect cellular functions in various biological contexts remains unknown.

Accumulation of genetic variation also facilitates rapid adaptation of pathogens to host, leading to evolution of pathogenicity, virulence and drug resistance. HRs contribute to rapid adaptability in two ways (i) genetically, by accelerating accumulation of standing genetic variation and (ii) biochemically, by facilitating molecular interactions across diverse pathways and rewiring molecular networks. While isolated studies link protein HRs with different biological roles in pathogens, a comprehensive systems-wide understanding of the role of HRs in facilitating pathogenicity is lacking.
 

My Ph.D. studies involve and integrate many aspects of biology to obtain a systems-level understanding of the context-dependent physiological roles of eukaryotic HRs in host and pathogen physiology. I will undertake computational and/or experimental studies spanning Molecular and Evolutionary Systems Biology, Comparative Genomics and Molecular Biology.

PMRF assessments

2022-2023

Satisfactory. Continuation of fellowship.

2021-2022

Reccomended with Commendation. Continuation of fellowship.

2020-2021

Satisfactory. Continuation of fellowship.

Publications

Published

2023

5. Singh AK, Amar I, Ramadasan H, Kappagantula KS, Chavali S. Proteins with amino acid repeats constitute rapidly evolvable and human-specific essentialome. Published on Biorxiv (https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.12.29.521938). Under revision in Cell Reports.

4. Chavali PL, Singh AK, Chavali S. Nuclear architecture and transcriptional regulation of microRNAs in MicroRNA in Regenerative Medicine, Second Edition (Ed: Chandan Sen), Elsevier Academic Press 2023.

2022

3. Chutani N, Singh AK, Kadumuri RV, Pakala SB, Chavali S. Structural and functional attributes of Microrchidia family of chromatin  remodelers. Journal of Molecular Biology 2022, vol. 434, issue 14.

2021

2. Gupta S, Kadumuri RV, Singh AK, Chavali S, Dhayalan A. Structure, activity and function of the protein arginine methyltransferase 6. Life 2021; 11(9): 951.

2020

1. Chavali S, Singh AK, Balaji S, Babu MM. Amino acid homorepeats in proteins. Nature Reviews Chemistry 2020; 4: 420-434.

Cover image for Nature Reviews Chemistry, August 2020, vol. 4, no. 8.

Personal Information

Department of Biology

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Tirupati

Karakambadi Road, Tirupati- 517 507, Andhra Pradesh, India            

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