The “Universal Primer Technology” invented by us in the past became a milestone in the area of Wildlife Forensics, in particular the DNA based Identification of species to satisfy legal evidence requirements in a court of law. This technology is indeed the base for any of the DNA based identification system world-wide and it is being used in India since last 16 years on a regular basis by various courts, judiciary, police and wildlife departments in cases pertaining to wildlife crime. This invention has been stated in our parliament, duly earned recognition by various national awards and international acclaim in various forms and has been used in more than 1300 cases in India. My lab has played a major role in establishing this area at national and international level and it was recently covered as a ‘National Success Story’ in “India Perspectives” the flagship magazine of Ministry of External Affairs of Government of India.
Currently, we are involved in extending this work to establish the identity of endangered and threaded medicinal plants species of India which are in illegal trade. These landmark studies will strengthen India‘s leadership in the area of “Wild Flora Forensics”.
Other than this, my lab has also contributed in the area of signal transduction in human health and disease. We were the first to show a previously unknown link between tumour suppressor RASSF1A and small G Protein Rap1A, suggesting that RASSF1A interacts with Rap1A in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and Interaction with Rap1A influences the effect of RASSF1A on microtubules. Further, we have shown that RASSF1A is a novel substrate of Protein Kinase C (PKC) and that the PKC upstream control confers a peculiar constraint on some of the cellular functions of RASSF1A such as modulation of the microtubule network dynamics and vimentin filaments. These studies have helped understand some of the previously unknown downstream pathways of small G protein Rap1A.
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- A Revolution in Wildlife Forensics. India Perspectives, 2015, Vol.29, Issue 4, pp 74-75. (A cover “Success Story” by Ministry of External Affairs Govt. of India, published in 16 languages and distributed in 170 countries).
- Verma S. K., Sarkar M. K. (2015). Decalepis arayalpathra (J. Joseph & V. Chandras.) Venter, an endemic and endangered ethno medicinal plant from Western Ghats, India. Nat Prod Res., 29, 394-395.
- Verma, S. K., Goswami G. K. (2014). DNA evidence: Current perspective and future challenges in India. Forensic Sci Int., 241, 183-189.
- Verma, S. K., Ganesan, T. S., Kishore, U., Parker, P. J. (2011). The tumour suppressor RASSF1A is a novel effector of small G protein Rap1A. Protein Cell, 2, 237-249.
- Verma, S. K., Ganesan, T. S. and Parker, P. J. (2008). The tumour suppressor RASSF1A is a novel substrate of PKC. FEBS Letters 582, 2270-2276. (Published as cover article).
- Funk, S. M., Verma, S. K., Larson, G., Prasad, K., Singh, L., Narayan, G. and Fa, J. E. (2007). The pygmy hog is a uniquegenus: 19th century taxonomists got it right first time round. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution45, 427-436.