Prof. Madhav Bhatia heads the Inflammation Research Group in the Department of Pathology at the University of Otago, Christchurch. Research in his laboratory has shown hydrogen sulfide and substance P as mediators of inflammation and potential therapeutic targets for inflammatory diseases such as acute pancreatitis, sepsis, burn injuries, and joint inflammation. He has received numerous grants, has authored more than 170 contributions to the peer-reviewed literature, given several invited presentations in different countries and is on Editorial Boards of 34 journals. His publications have been cited more than 8000 times, and he has an "h"-index of 47.
Uncontrolled inflammation is responsible for several diseases, which are major health problems. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gas with the characteristic odour of rotten eggs, has been recognized as an important endogenous gaseous signalling molecule. Our group is the first in the world to show that endogenously produced H2S, synthesized by cystathionine--lyase (CSE), acts as a novel mediator of inflammation. Current research is focused on determining the mechanism by which H2S contributes to inflammation. Early studies on the mechanism of action of H2S in inflammation indicate a role of substance P, chemokines, adhesion molecules, MAP kinase ERK, and transcription factor NF-B. Most of this research involves working with animal models of disease and in vitro systems. In this research, we have used pharmacological inhibition of H2S synthesis by CSE, CSE gene deletion, and gene silencing of CSE (by siRNA) as experimental approaches. Recent research points to a role of H2S in clinical inflammatory diseases. These studies point to H2S as a novel therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases.
Audience will learn:
•The story of H2S as a novel mediator of inflammation
•How multiple and complementary approaches can be used to understand disease mechanisms
•Evidence that H2S can serve as a novel therapeutic target for inflammatory disease