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Illuminating Dark Metabolome Using Artificial Intelligence

Colloquium | Dr. Gaurav Ahuja | Sep 8, 2023 (Friday)

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 The Dark Metabolome represents a multitude of uncharacterized metabolites within biological systems and presents a vast untapped resource holding significant potential for understanding health, disease, and drug discovery. Our laboratory at IIIT-Delhi fully exploits the power of Artificial Intelligence algorithms, high-throughput biochemical assays, omics techniques, and genetic screenings to decipher novel/alternative biological functions of cellular metabolites. This talk will focus on some of the successful cases in which state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence algorithms, coupled with high-throughput assays, assisted in illuminating the Dark Metabolome and unveiled their novel functions as endogenous carcinogenic threats, intracellular direct modulators of GPCR activity, and in anti-aging response.


About the speaker: 

Gaurav is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computational Biology at IIIT-Delhi. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cologne, Germany, with a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences. He is a Chemical Biologist with vast experience in Cheminformatics and High-throughput screening assays. Gaurav carried out his Post Doctoral work at several renowned institutes, including the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, the Max Planck Institute for Ageing, and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore. His lab at IIIT-Delhi utilizes a hybrid and interdisciplinary approach combining Artificial Intelligence (AI), Chemistry, and Biology. Further, his laboratory also develops high-throughput in vivo assays for the functional validation of the AI-predictions. The ultimate goal of his laboratory is to uncover the functional importance of endogenous metabolites, in development, health, and diseases. Within a few years of its inception, his laboratory contributed to establishing the functional link between the chemical and biological world of the cell. Gaurav is a recipient of the prestigious Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship from DBT, Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Young scientist Award, and Discovery Track Investigator (IIITD). He is also a member of the International Chemical Biology Society.

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