In 2010, Gaurav graduated from Center for Excellence in Genomic Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University (India) with the Master in Genomics. Since 2010, he has been a member of the IGSDHD program.

During the rotation period he made research projects in the groups of:

  • Prof. Sigrun Korsching, project: "To characterize the role of Gi1b in zebrafish olfaction"
  • Prof. Manolis Pasparakis, project: "Elucidating the intimate relationship between IKK Complex and autophagy in primary hepatocytes"

Since March 2011, Gaurav has been working on the PhD project in the laboratory of Prof. Sigrun Korsching.

Project description

Deciphering olfactory information processing in a molecularly defined neuronal circuit

The sense of smell (olfactory sense) plays a vital role in many essential behaviors such as prey detection, predator evasion and reproduction. In the olfactory epithelium of Danio rerio, there are three types of olfactory sensory neurons present: Ciliated, Microvillous and Crypt neurons. Olfactory receptors present on ciliated and microvillous neurons have been studied extensively, but little is known about the receptors, transducing G-protein and further information processing in crypt neurons. Recent work from the lab detected the presence of ora4 receptor on crypt neurons, identified a potential ligand and showed ligand-induced behavior. In my Ph.D. project, I am investigating the signal transduction of this receptor including the identification of the G protein involved and downstream targets. Moreover, sophisticated molecular biological and genetic techniques will be used to unravel the neuronal circuit activated by the ora4 receptor in response to ligand binding. The ultimate goal is to understand the behavior elucidated by ora4 ligands at the molecular and neuronal level.