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Active Evolvable Matter Lab Receives HFSP 2018 Young Investigator Research Grant

Prof. Shashi Thutupalli, head of the Active Evolvable Matter Laboratory at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore has received a 2018 Young Investigator Research Grant from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).

The prestigious three-year funding is intended to establish new collaborative ties with scientists around the world and empower these teams to combine their expertise in addressing fundamental questions.

Prof. Shashi Thutupalli received the Young Investigator Research Grant for a proposal titled, "Active morphological colloids for probing and tailoring intracellular antigen processing," (jointly with Prof. Geert van den Bogaart from Nijmegen, Netherlands, and Prof. Stefano Sacanna from New York, USA). The research in the Thutupalli lab is focused on the physics of active matter, cellular biophysics, and non-equilibrium transport processes.

The idea for work funded by the HFSP originated with an accidental observation in the Bogaart lab where it was seen that host cells can ingest large glass splinters, leading the scientists to suspect pathogen morphology as a cue to host responses. The proposal is an amalgamation of colloid chemistry, immune cell biology and biophysics. One of the aims of the proposed research is to identify the extent to which shape and motility of pathogens influence host immune defences in a process known as antigen presentation. Prof. Thutupalli’s team will utilise advanced microscopy tools and various biophysics techniques to address these issues.  

Prof. Thutupalli, has previously been an HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow at Princeton University, USA.


The Human Frontier Science Program is an international program of research support, funding frontier research on the complex mechanisms of living organisms. HFSP Research Grants provide 3 years of support for international teams involving at least two countries.