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Speaker at Pharmaceutical Conference - Madhav Bhatia
University of Otago, New Zealand
Title : Hydrogen sulfide: A novel mediator and therapeutic target for inflammatory disease


Uncontrolled inflammation is responsible for several diseases, which are major health problems. Hydrogen sulfide (H2 S), 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 H2 S, synthesized by Cystathionine-γ-Lyase (CSE), acts as a novel mediator of inflammation. Current research is focused on determining the mechanism by which H2 S contributes to inflammation. Early studies on the mechanism of action of H2 S in inflammation indicate a role of substance P, chemokines, adhesion molecules, MAP kinase ERK, and transcription factor NF-kB. Most of this research involves working with animal models of disease and in vitro systems. In this research, we have used pharmacological inhibition of H2 S synthesis by CSE, CSE gene deletion, and gene silencing of CSE (by siRNA) as experimental approaches. Recent research points to a role of H2 S in clinical inflammatory diseases. These studies point to H2 S as a novel therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases. Takeaway Notes: •The story of H2 S as a novel mediator of inflammation •How multiple and complementary approaches can be used to understand disease mechanisms •Evidence that H2 S can serve as a novel therapeutic target for inflammatory disease


Prof. Madhav Bhatia heads the Inflammation Research Group in the Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science 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 180 contributions to the peer-reviewed literature, given several invited presentations in different countries and is on Editorial Boards of 42 journals. His publications have been cited more than 11000 times, and he has an "h"-index of 56.”