|Born||1965 (age 53–54)|
|Alma mater|| Princeton University |
Imperial College London
|Awards|| Rosalind Franklin Award |
Sahitya Akademi Award
|Institutions||University of Oxford|
|Thesis||Heterogeneity and the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases (1992)|
Sunetra Gupta (born 15 March 1965)is a novelist, and Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford with an interest in infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, HIV, influenza and bacterial meningitis. She is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award.
Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution, patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations.
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation after the University of Bologna. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two ancient universities are frequently jointly called Oxbridge. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.
Gupta was born in Calcutta, India to Dhruba and Minati Gupta. She trained in biology, holding a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a Ph.D.from Imperial College London.
India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London. In 1851, Prince Albert built his vision for a cultural area composed of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Colleges, and the Imperial Institute. In 1907, Imperial College was established by Royal Charter, bringing together the Royal College of Science, Royal School of Mines, and City and Guilds College. In 1988, the Imperial College School of Medicine was formed through a merger with St Mary's Hospital Medical School. In 2004, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Imperial College Business School.
Gupta is currently[ when? ] Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. She sits on the European Advisory Board of Princeton University Press.
Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections to Princeton University. Its mission is to disseminate scholarship within academia and society at large.
She has been awarded the Scientific Medal by the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific research.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. It was founded in 1826.
The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.
The Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award was established in 2003 and is awarded annually by the Royal Society to a woman for an outstanding work in any field of Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It is named in honour of Rosalind Franklin and initially funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and subsequently the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) as part of its efforts to promote women in STEM. Women are a significantly underrepresented group in STEM making up less than 9% of the United Kingdom's full-time and part-time Professors in Science. The award consists of a medal and a grant of £30,000, and the recipient delivers a lecture as part of the Society's public lecture series, some of which are available on YouTube.
Gupta's portrait was on display during the prestigious Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition along with leading female scientist such as Madame Curie in July 2013.
Gupta wrote her first works of fiction in Bengali. She was the translator of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. She has published several novels in English. In October 2012 her fifth novel, So Good in Black was longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
Rabindranath Tagore, and also known by his sobriquets Gurudev, Kabiguru, and Biswakabi, was a polymath, poet, musician, and artist from the Indian subcontinent. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal".
Her novels have been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, shortlisted for the Crossword Award, and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her novels include:
DNA vaccination is a technique for protecting against disease by injection with genetically engineered DNA so cells directly produce an antigen, producing a protective immunological response. DNA vaccines have potential advantages over conventional vaccines, including the ability to induce a wider range of immune response types.
Streptococcus pyogenes is a species of Gram-positive, aerotolerant bacterium in the genus Streptococcus. These bacteria are extracellular, and made up of non-motile and non-sporing cocci. It is clinically important for humans. It is an infrequent, but usually pathogenic, part of the skin microbiota. It is the predominant species harboring the Lancefield group A antigen, and is often called group A streptococcus (GAS). However, both Streptococcus dysgalactiae and the Streptococcus anginosus group can possess group A antigen. Group A streptococci when grown on blood agar typically produces small zones of beta-hemolysis, a complete destruction of red blood cells. It is thus also called group A (beta-hemolytic) streptococcus (GABHS), and can make colonies greater than 5 mm in size.
Orthomyxoviridae is a family of RNA viruses. It includes seven genera: Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, Influenzavirus C, Influenzavirus D, Isavirus, Thogotovirus, and Quaranjavirus. The first four genera contain viruses that cause influenza in vertebrates, including birds, humans, and other mammals. Isaviruses infect salmon; the thogotoviruses are arboviruses, infecting vertebrates and invertebrates, such as ticks and mosquitoes.
Antigenic drift is a mechanism for variation in viruses that involves the accumulation of mutations within the genes that code for antibody-binding sites. This results in a new strain of virus particles which cannot be inhibited as effectively by the antibodies that were originally targeted against previous strains, making it easier for the virus to spread throughout a partially immune population. Antigenic drift occurs in both influenza A and influenza B viruses.
Plasmodium falciparum is a unicellular protozoan parasite of humans, and the deadliest species of Plasmodium that cause malaria in humans. It is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. It is responsible for roughly 50% of all malaria cases. It causes the disease's most dangerous form called falciparum malaria. It is therefore regarded as the deadliest parasite in humans, causing 435,000 deaths in 2017. It is also associated with the development of blood cancer and is classified as Group 2A carcinogen.
An opsonin is any molecule that enhances phagocytosis by marking an antigen for an immune response or marking dead cells for recycling. Opson in ancient Greece referred to the delicious side-dish of any meal, versus the sitos, or the staple of the meal.
In molecular biology, CD4 is a glycoprotein found on the surface of immune cells such as T helper cells, monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. It was discovered in the late 1970s and was originally known as leu-3 and T4 before being named CD4 in 1984. In humans, the CD4 protein is encoded by the CD4 gene.
Antigenic variation or antigenic alteration refers to the mechanism by which an infectious agent such as a protozoan, bacterium or virus alters the proteins or carbohydrates on its surface and thus avoids a host immune response. It is related to phase variation. Antigenic variation not only enables the pathogen to avoid the immune response in its current host, but also allows re-infection of previously infected hosts. Immunity to re-infection is based on recognition of the antigens carried by the pathogen, which are "remembered" by the acquired immune response. If the pathogen's dominant antigen can be altered, the pathogen can then evade the host's acquired immune system. Antigenic variation can occur by altering a variety of surface molecules including proteins and carbohydrates. Antigenic variation can result from gene conversion, site-specific DNA inversions, hypermutation, or recombination of sequence cassettes. The result is that even a clonal population of pathogens expresses a heterogeneous phenotype. Many of the proteins known to show antigenic or phase variation are related to virulence.
A blocking antibody is an antibody that does not have a reaction when combined with an antigen, but prevents other antibodies from combining with that antigen. This function of blocking antibodies has had a variety of clinical and experimental uses.
Malaria vaccine is a vaccine that is used to prevent malaria. The only approved vaccine as of 2015 is RTS,S, known by the trade name Mosquirix. It requires four injections, and has a relatively low efficacy. Due to this low efficacy, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the routine use of the RTS,S vaccine in babies between 6 and 12 weeks of age.
The evolution of biological complexity is one important outcome of the process of evolution. Evolution has produced some remarkably complex organisms - although the actual level of complexity is very hard to define or measure accurately in biology, with properties such as gene content, the number of cell types or morphology all proposed as possible metrics.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, sneezing, and feeling tired. These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks. In children, there may be diarrhea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults. Diarrhea and vomiting occur more commonly in gastroenteritis, which is an unrelated disease and sometimes inaccurately referred to as "stomach flu" or the "24-hour flu". Complications of influenza may include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, and worsening of previous health problems such as asthma or heart failure.
Nonstructural protein 2 (NS2) is a viral protein found in the hepatitis C virus. It is also produced by influenza viruses, and is alternatively known as the nuclear export protein (NEP).
The virus causing influenza is one of the best known pathogens found in various species. In particular, the virus is found in birds as well as mammals including horses, pigs, and humans. The phylogeny, or the evolutionary history of a particular species, is an important component when analyzing the evolution of influenza. Phylogenetic trees are graphical models of the relationships between various species. They can be used to trace the virus back to particular species and show how organisms that look so different may be so closely related.
Human genetic resistance to malaria refers to inherited changes in the DNA of humans which increase resistance to malaria and result in increased survival of individuals with those genetic changes. The existence of these genotypes is likely due to evolutionary pressure exerted by parasites of the genus Plasmodium which cause malaria. Since malaria infects red blood cells, these genetic changes are most commonly alterations to molecules essential for red blood cell function, such as hemoglobin or other cellular proteins or enzymes of red blood cells. These alterations generally protect red blood cells from invasion by Plasmodium parasites or replication of parasites within the red blood cell.
Enzo Paoletti was an Italian-American virologist who developed the technology to express foreign antigens in vaccinia and other poxviruses. This advance led to the development of vaccines against multiple disease-causing pathogens.
A negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus is a virus that uses negative sense, single-stranded RNA as its genetic material. Single stranded RNA viruses are classified as positive or negative depending on the sense or polarity of the RNA. The negative viral RNA is complementary to the mRNA and must be converted to a positive RNA by RNA polymerase before translation. Therefore, the purified RNA of a negative sense virus is not infectious by itself, as it needs to be converted to a positive sense RNA for replication. These viruses belong to Group V on the Baltimore classification.
Sean Nee is an evolutionary biologist and theoretical ecologist. He has been a Lecturer at Oxford University and Professor at the University of Edinburgh. He has published scientific research papers with ecologist Robert May, theoretical biologist John Maynard Smith and epidemiologist and novelist Sunetra Gupta.
Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is a family of proteins present on the membrane surface of red blood cells that are infected by the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. PfEMP1 is synthesized during the parasite's blood stage inside the RBC, during which the clinical symptoms of falciparum malaria are manifested. Acting as both an antigen and adhesion protein, it is thought to play a key role in the high level of virulence associated with P. falciparum. It was discovered in 1984 when it was reported that infected RBCs had unusually large-sized cell membrane proteins, and these proteins had antibody-binding (antigenic) properties. An elusive protein, its chemical structure and molecular properties were revealed only after a decade, in 1995. It is now established that there is not one but a large family of PfEMP1 proteins, genetically regulated (encoded) by a group of about 60 genes called var. Each P. falciparum is able to switch on and off specific var genes to produce a functionally different protein, rendering evasion from the host's immune system. RBCs carrying PfEMP1 on their surface stick to endothelial cells, which facilitates further binding with uninfected RBCs, ultimately helping the parasite to both spread to other RBCs as well as bringing about the fatal symptoms of P. falciparum malaria.
Memories of Rain is an English-language book written by Sunetra Gupta. This was Gupta's debut novel and was first published in 1992. The book was awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996.