Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Ion channels
- Circadian rhythms and sleep
I am a neurobiologist interested in studying how genetic mutations in ion channels leads to electrical imbalance in the brain, resulting in brain disorders such as epilepsy. Epilepsy affects about 1% of the world’s population including ~12 lakhs of people in India with active epilepsy. Epilepsy mutations can give rise to diverse clinical phenotypes and there is no cure for the disorder as yet.
I work with genetically amenable Drosophila melanogaster (commonly known as fruit-flies) as a model system to study epilepsy causing mutations. I am interested in understanding the cellular mechanism underlying seizure generation, and behavioral co-morbidities associated with epilepsy such as sleep disorders. The broad aim of my research is to evaluate how mis-firing of neurons causes epileptic seizures and help to develop anti-epileptic therapies.
I graduated with a PhD from JNCASR, Bangalore, studying the role of temperature-sensitive TRPA1 ion channels in synchronizing the circadian clock circuit to external time cues in Drosophila melanogaster. Most recently, I worked as a postdoc research scholar at University of California, Irvine (UCI), USA. I employed brain slice electrophysiology, imaging, and behavior assays to characterize seizure behavior and neuronal firing patterns in CRISPR generated mouse models of genetic epilepsy. I won the Trainee Professional Development Award (TPDA) from Society for Neuroscience (SfN) in Jan 2021, and have been offered membership to American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) via my previous department at School Of Medicine, UCI.
- Das, A.*, Smith, M.A., and O’Dowd, D.K*.(2021). “A Behavioral Screen for Heat-Induced Seizures in Mouse Models of Epilepsy.” Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE, no. 173 (July 12, 2021). https://doi.org/10.3791/62846.
- Das, A., Zhu,B., Xie,Y., Zeng,L., Pham,A.T., Neumann, J.C., Safrina, O., Benavides, D., MacGregor, G.R., Schutte,S.S., Hunt, R.F., and O’Dowd, D.K. (2021, April). Interneuron Dysfunction in a New Mouse Model of SCN1A GEFS. ENeuro, 8(2). 0394−20.2021. https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0394 – 20.2021.
- Das, A., Zhu,B., Xie,Y., Zeng,L., Pham,A.T., Neumann, J.C., MacGregor, G.R., Schutte,S.S., Hunt, R.F., and O’Dowd, D.K. (2019, November 21). Interneuron Dysfunction in a New Knock-in Mouse Model of SCN1A GEFS+. Preprint. Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1101/849240.
- Das, A., Holmes, T.C., and Vasu, Sheeba. (2016, June). DTRPA1 in Non-Circadian Neurons Modulates Temperature-Dependent Rhythmic Activity in Drosophila Melanogaster. Journal of Biological Rhythms 31(3), 272 – 88. https://doi.org/10.1177/0748730415627037.
- Das, A., Holmes, T.C., and Vasu, Sheeba. (2015). “DTRPA1 Modulates Afternoon Peak of Activity of Fruit Flies Drosophila Melanogaster.” PloS One 10(7). e0134213. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134213.
- Das, S., Sen. M., Saha, C., Chakraborty, D., Das, A., Banerjee, M., and Seal, A. (2011, July). “Isolation and Expression Analysis of Partial Sequences of Heavy Metal Transporters from Brassica Juncea by Coupling High Throughput Cloning with a Molecular Fingerprinting Technique.” Planta 234(1), 139 – 56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-011‑1376‑1.
Das, Antara and Vasu, Sheeba. (2017) Temperature Input for Rhythmic Behaviours in Flies: The Role of Temperature-Sensitive Ion Channels. In Kumar V. (eds) Biological Timekeeping: Clocks, Rhythms and Behaviour. Springer, New Delhi. Pages 405 – 424. https://doi.org/10.1007/978 – 81-322‑3688-7_19