Nithya on target

DIRI PhD candidate wins travel grant.

Nithya Subramanian (far right) at the World Congress on Biotechnology 2012 held in Hyderabad in India.
Nithya Subramanian (far right) at the World Congress on Biotechnology 2012 held in Hyderabad in India.

Deakin India Research Initiative PhD candidate Nithya Subramanian has been honoured with a travel grant to give an oral presentation at the Asia-ARVO conference in New Delhi.

ARVO is The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, an organisation set up in 1928 to encourage and assist research, training and publication and the dissemination of knowledge in vision and opthamology.

It now has more than 12,000 members from 80 nations around the globe.

“This is a real honour for Nithya,” said Dr Rupinder Kanwar, who along with Professor Jagat Kanwar, supervises Nithya in Australia.

Nithya also has an Indian supervisor, Dr S. Krishnakumar, an international expert in eye cancer and Deputy Director of Vision Research Foundation in Chennai.

Under the DIRI model - a partnership between Deakin and a number of leading Indian organisations - higher degree by research candidates are based at an Indian research institution with day-to-day supervision provided by a local researcher.

A Deakin academic staff member serves as principal supervisor for the project.

A visit to Australia by the candidate for a period of approximately six months to conduct research is an important component of the scheme.

Nithya’s PhD project is titled: “Targeted delivery approaches using oligonucleotides to cancer cells.”

Through Professor Kanwar’s ongoing research initiatives at Nanomedicine Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research, Deakin university has become a world leader in research to target and kill cancer stem cells as well as cancer cells while sparing normal/ healthy body cells.

Last year she has presented her research work on targeted delivery work at the World Congress on Biotechnology 2012 held in Hyderabad in India and won first prize for in the Best Poster competition.

She also published an article on delivering anticancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox) chimerizedchimeric with RNA aptamer against cancer stem cell marker, epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) for in cells for specific delivery to retinoblastoma (RB) cancer cells specifically targeting cancer cells. This work was published in Molecular Vision journal in 2012.

Her research has additionally elucidated the role of a tumor metastasis and invasion protein (Tiam1) in Retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma is the childhood eye cancer. Understanding the molecular regulation of tumor cell invasion and cell death is important in identifying new therapeutic targets. This work was published in PLOS One journal in 2013.

She is additionally working on polymer based nanoparticles for cell specific delivery of the siRNA.

Also this year, she was also selected for an oral presentation at the 4th Sydney International Conference on Nanomedicine held in Sydney.

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