Department of Food Science and Technology
I have been working on the development of (1) anti-infective molecules to contain pathogenic biofilm in packed foods and food processing environments and (2) understanding human microbiome responses to various diets and food system microbiome. Demonstrated antibiofilm strategies using biosurfactants, poly-hydroxy butyrates and melanin produced by marine bacteria. The research progress on the development of anti-infectives from marine bacteria was highlighted in the cover page of Bioengineered (2014). My publications are pioneered on the production of biosurfactants from marine bacteria. I demonstrated the antibiobiofilm effect of biosurfactants (Kiran et al. 2010 in FEMS Medical Microbiology and Immunology), PHB (Kiran et al. 2014 in Frontiers in Microbiology) and melanin. The biosurfactants developed from the marine actinobacteria found have antimicrobial activity, biofilm disruption potential and stabilization/synthesis of nanoparticles (Kiran et al. 2010 in Journal of Biotechnology). Demonstrated poly-hydroxy butyrate (PHB) polymer that can limit the pathogenesis of Vibrio bacteria could prove useful in containing outbreaks in aquatic systems (Kiran et al. 2016 in NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes). A Nm-PHB nanocomposite film developed to contain biofilm infections in food packaging materials (Kiran et al. 2017 in Scientific Reports). My current research is progressing on the exploration and exploitation of food system microbiomes. I am Indian Partner on the ongoing European Union funded Horizon 2020 project on Microbiome Support. The definition Microbiome was revisited (Microbiome, 2020) and biobanking of microbiome was published in Trends in Microbiology (2020). I am a recipient of National Academy of Science (India), NASI-Platinum Jubilee Young Scientist medal 2013. I have been awarded EMBO fellowship in 2011 and ICMR International Fellowship 2015 for my post-doctoral research in University College Cork, Ireland. Now I am planning to apply synthetic biology and genome engineering approaches to exploit industrial products (Biosurfactants and PHB) and biofuels from microbiome. Recipient of Senior Research Fellowship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (2008-2010), (DST-Young Scientist (2010-2013) & Best paper award (first prize) at International Conference on Advances in Biological Sciences” during March 15- 17, 2012 at Kannur, Kerala. I am a recipient of the prestigious DST-Women Excellence award (2017).