Dr Vinod A/L RMT Balasubramaniam

Contact Details

Tel: +603551 46000 (ext-61366)
Fax: +603 5514 6323
Office: Room 4-4-56
Email: vinod.balasubramaniam@monash.edu

Profile Summary

Dr. Vinod Balasubramaniam finished his undergraduate degree in Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology in 2007, majoring in Biotechnology. There, he produced several papers on plant genetic engineering, primarily on genetically engineered orchids which have resistant towards fungus. Following that, in 2008, he was accepted as research assistant under Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sharifah Syed Hassan in her infectious disease laboratory, Monash University (Malaysian campus) which was newly set up that time. He was accepted to do PhD under her supervision the following year and undertook projects specifically emphasizing on regulations of various host cellular genes infected with Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 and their protein-protein interaction with viral genes. He graduated with merit in 2014 and continued as a postdoctoral fellow in the newly established Infection and Immunity cluster in Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences Monash University. During his graduate studies, he won awards such as the best Young Scientist travel award in AOHUPO Conference in Beijing in 2012 and also scholarship award for participation in HKU-PASTEUR Virology course in Hong Kong in 2010.

Dr. Vinod continued his post-doctoral journey working in Prof. Adolfo García-Sastre's lab; one of the leading labs in the world for Influenza research, Mount Sinai hospital New York from 2015 onwards. During his graduate studies until now, he utilised various modern molecular biology and proteomics techniques such yeast two hybrid system, reverse genetics, 2D Gel electrophoresis and lentiviral based screenings to dissect cross-talks between host cellular factors and viruses and also co-authored various high impact publications (Cell Host Microbe, Nature Microbiology, Plos Pathogens) on various aspects of host response towards different types of viruses. Currently, Dr. Vinod is back from his postdoctoral journey and joined Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences Monash University as a Senior Lecturer where it all started.

Qualifications

B.Sc. (Hons) Biotechnology (AIMST), PhD (Molecular Virology)(Monash), Postdoctoral (Mount Sinai, New York)

Research Interests

Host cellular machinery plays a vital role in the survival of viruses. The outcome of infection is determined by complex host-virus interactions with a large number of altered transcriptional and translational rates, and functional kinetics of participating genes. To date, the first-hand information on the molecular changes in the host induced by the virus to promote its replication and also the pathways triggered in the host that result in immunity and or clearance of the viral infection are still lacking. Having insights into the host's responses to viruses would help define targets for therapeutic intervention. I’m particularly interested in cross-talks between host and viral proteins; specifically, how host cells interact and the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiologic process of virus infection. Some of my previous and recent ongoing work include;

  • Regulations of host cellular responses (comparison with various types of Gallus gallus organs) during infection with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus.
  • Protein-protein interaction between host proteins (Gallus gallus lung and brain cDNA libraries) and Influenza A nucleoprotein.
  • Interaction of Aedes aegypti proteins with Dengue serotype 2 Envelope protein.
  • Evasion of Zika virus from Type I Interferon response in human and mouse cells.
  • Using STAT2 knockout mice as disease model for Zika virus pathogenesis.
  • Role of host KSHRP protein in Influenza A lifecycle.

Currently, I’m looking at large scale data mining of interactions between neurotropic Flaviviruses and host proteins to deduce the pathways and mechanisms used by these viruses to replicate.