Ravi is Working Against Obesity at the University of Illinois Chicago

Ravi is Working Against Obesity at the University of Illinois Chicago


“I’m Ravi Ranjan, a Research Assistant Professor
in the Department of Medicine at UIC. This is Dr David Perkins and Patricia Finns Research
Lab. We are working on human micobiome and its role in human health and disease. The microbiome is collection of bacteria,
virus and fungi living in and on us. Our research have shown that the microbiome is essential
for maintaining health and when there is a disbalance in microbial population that results
in diseases like obesity, cancer, gastro-intestinal disorders and many other diseases. So we are
trying to understand those basic mechanisms; what make that microbial population change
and if by introducing some kind of diet-intervention or some kind of other probiotics, can we change
the microbial populations to the good microbial population. So I’m from New Delhi, India and I graduated
from University of Delhi. From high school days, I was inclined towards biology and I
was really interested in biology and from that from that point onwards I decided I wanted
to join a medical profession basically a doctor. At that time I was applying for my medical
colleges as well but then also at that time then I joined a college in University of Delhi.
And from that, and that time I was inclined towards doing the experiments and one of my
professor in college he saw that potential that I had in doing research and doing experiments
so he sugge and from that point onwards for my higher education I did masters and then
finally I earned my PhD degree in 2008. My research interests are to understand how
the microbiome is established in the babies and then also other project that I am working
on is to understand the role of microbiome in obesity. To determine how the microbiome
is established in the babies, what we do is, we collect the samples from the new borns
starting at 0 months and then we collect every 3 months till the age of 3, and then we assess
their microbial composition. Basically we are looking at the gut microbome and we collect
the stool samples because the gut the intestine harbours the majority of microbes . And once
we collect those we isolate the DNA and the RNA and we process in the lab. We sequence
in our own lab and then we compare the microbes from the different time points from the baby
so we know how the microbe is being changed from 0 months to 3 months and so on till the
age of 3. This microbial population is dependent on how the baby is delivered, either it can
be a natural delivery or a C-section and then whether the baby was on breast-fed, breast-milk
or on formula-fed and whether the baby was under any medication like antibiotics. So
this factors modulate the development of the microbiome at essentially after at 3 years
of age, the microbiome is comparable to adult microbiome but however as we develop further
the microbiome is changed and it determines disease complications we may get to. There are lot of challenges in doing research.
Sometimes we pan an experiment we exclude the experiment but then the results don’t
turn out the way we expect and then that is a challenge to again redo the experiments
and find some way how that is how can we improve the experiment how can we how can we address
that question Science and research it is it is quite fun
it is challenging it is rewarding and it is also frustrating so it has all its benefits
and its fun.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *