Ms Priyanka Srinivasan

MSc Microbiology
PhD Scholar, ANU School of Medicine and Psychology

Priyanka Srinivasan is currently pursuing her PhD degree at the ANU. Priyanka completed her Bachelor degree in Microbiology and Masters degree in Applied Microbiology from M.G.R College, Periyar University, India. Her area of interest is virology.

She has worked at different research establishments before starting her studies at ANU. During her Masters, she worked on Antimicrobial activity of different plant extracts against antibiotic resistant bacteria (ESBLs producing E.coli and MRSA). She moved to Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research, India for her internship and completed her master thesis. Later, she joined as a Junior Research Fellow under the supervision of Prof. Saumitra Das in Indian Institute of Science. Her work involved identification of a candidate vaccine against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and testing the efficacy of small inhibitor molecules obtained from natural sources and derived synthetic molecules against HCV infection. She later joined as a Senior Research Fellow, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, and worked in an Indian Council of Medical Research funded project on responsiveness of aspirin in ischemic stroke patients using Light transmission aggregometry.

Priyanka was awarded the ANU Postgraduate Scholarship for her PhD studies. Her research focuses on developing diagnostic techniques for Hepatitis B virus and gut permeability. She works under the supervision of Dr Purnima Bhat from ANU Medical School and Associate Professor David Anderson from University of Melbourne.

Research interests

Liver plays a vital role in maintaining the major functions, which makes the diagnosis and treatment an active area of research. The intestinal tract and the liver are anatomically and physiologically connected and the disruption of the intestinal epithelial barrier leads to several systemic diseases. However, the current tests to measure leaky gut are tedious, time consuming and are also expensive. In view of this, a simple assay to measure gut permeability is needed. The process involves initially establishing a colitis and cirrhotic mice model to understand the overall system and then implement it for the human diagnosis. Other causes for the liver diseases also include Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), which causes over 50% of the infected to develop cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Timely treatment can reduce the disease burden, but the available PCR and ELISA tests are very expensive. Therefore developing a cheaper Point-of-Care Testing for detection and quantification of HBV can be very useful in resource constrained environments. In addition to the above, understanding the liver-gut axis in the pathogenesis of HBV is also vital. This helps to answer some important questions such as cause effect analysis of cirrhosis on gut barrier function and gut barrier function on cirrhosis.

  • Reddy, B.U., Mullick, R., Kumar, A., Sharma, G., Bag, P., Roy, C.L., Sudha, G., Tandon, H., Dave, P., Shukla, A., Srinivasan, P., Nandhitha, M., Srinivasan, N., Das, S.,. ”A natural small molecule inhibitor corilagin blocks HCV replication and modulates oxidative stress to reduce liver damage”, Antiviral Research, 2018, vol: 150, p: 47-59 .
  • Priyanka, S., Mary Shobana Rani I, Nandini HS, Kutty AVM, Kiranmayee P. ”A pilot study on sun protection factor of plant extracts: an observational study”, Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 2018, vol: 11, no: 4, pp: 67-71.