Resistance to Antibiotics

mira [Recovered]




Welcome to MIRA Labs! While we understand how DNA based changes contribute to adaptation and evolution, the impact of non-genetic variation has remained controversial. We work with mistranslation, one of the biggest and most widespread contributors to non-genetic variation. In prior work, we found that specific protein changes may be unimportant, instead, stress responses triggered by mistranslated proteins could aid in adaptation. How does mistranslation contribute to survival under stress? Do all cells in population mistranslate to the same degree, what does this mean for adaptation? Can protein-only changes feed back into DNA changes and contribute to evolution? Most assessments of antibiotic resistance explore only genetic resistance. We found that basal resistance to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin requires some amount of mistranslation by the cell. How can we identify non-genetic drivers of resistance and quantify their contribution to the AMR problem? How do translation rate and accuracy impact resistance to antibiotics? Can we design drugs to target non-mutational tolerance? We use a combination of molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, experimental evolution, microscopy and collaborations as needed to address these questions!

profile pic_rock 2023


About the pI

I completed my PhD at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and subsequently worked as a Wellcome Trust/DBT early career fellow at NCBS, Bengaluru, with a short stint at Uppsala University, Sweden. I am excited about understanding the role of non-genetic variation in adaptation: how can non-DNA based variation influence evolutionary outcomes? We focus on mistakes that occur while translating the genetic code: mistranslation. Do cells make ‘useful’ mistakes? If so, when and how? Can we re-code specific portions of the genome and arrive at something novel? Using my prior training in molecular genetics, I am also keen on understanding molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and their interplay with protein mistranslation. Between my PhD and postdoctoral work, I worked freelance as a science writer for one year, writing for popular science magazines like New Scientist, The Scientist, Discover, and in the newspaper (Deccan Herald). Writing and science communication remain close to my heart, and the lab will endeavor to contribute to this area as best as it can. I enjoy reading, in particular old British and Japanese detective fiction, listening to Indian classical music and other genres, and gardening.

 What's New

SMBE regional meeting India (Dehradun, Dec 15th-18th 2023)

The year ended on a wonderful note. Deeply grateful to SMBE for awarding Shraddha Karve and myself a generous grant, leading to the SMBE regional meeting in India at Dehradun this year! Titled ‘Molecular mechanisms in evolution’, we truly enjoyed organizing it and hope the attendees felt the same way. The serene surroundings and great science came together

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We have more funds (Sep-Dec 2023)!

We now have the SERB start-up grant for work that will explore links between mistranslation and AMR- yay! Plus, we are very grateful to Axis bank for supporting our work on AMR: environmental surveillance as well as laboratory based experimental evolution.  

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Molecular evolution meeting

Laasya Samhita and Shraddha Karve are trying to bring together the (too) small community of researchers in India who work at the interface of molecular biology and evolution at Ashoka university in December this year. Updated: NEMO (New Ideas in Molecular Evolution) was much fun, and succeeded in getting together a bunch of (largely) early career biologists straddling

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New clipboard article out in Journal of Biosciences!

Usually, the genetic code is decoded in sets of three nucleotides starting with the start codon. Occasionally, the decoding ribosomes slip and change the ‘reading frame’. For some viruses, changing reading frames is a way of life. Read on to find out more about a particular study that I have covered in this clipboard: https://www.ias.ac.in/describe/article/jbsc/047/0049

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Popular science article

  An old article of Laasya’s on the Handicap principle has been included in the special 75-year e-book of Resonance! Aimed at high school and college students.   https://www.ias.ac.in/Publications/e-Books/Resonance-75-vol1

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Seed funds from TSB


Rockefeller foundation (via APSI: https://data.ccmb.res.in/apsi/about/)


Axis bank 


SERB start-up grant (awarded September 2023, funds awaited)

Reach us

Address: Ashoka University,
Rajiv Gandhi Education city,
Sonipat-131029, Haryana
Homepage picture credit: GFP labelled
E. coli cells growing in a microfluidics device