Bangladeshi and British scientists led by Dr. Talat Nasim have proposed a new ‘Checkpoint Model’ that can be used to develop therapies for a wide range of genetic disorders

Dhaka 29, 2018. GNOBB congratulates heartily Dr. Talat Nasim a reputed Bangladeshi expatriate scientist and his associates at the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford for  proposing a new ‘Checkpoint Model’ that can be used to develop therapies for a wide range of genetic disorders including pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, Duchene muscular dystrophy. The research entitled Aminoglycoside-mediated promotion of translation readthrough occurs through a non-stochastic mechanism that competes with translation termination has recently been published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, 27: 373–384. The article has received substantial coverage in editorials in Cystic Fibrosis News Today (British Researchers Develop New Way to Screen for Potential Cystic Fibrosis Therapies); Charcot-Marie-Tooth News (New ‘Checkpoint’ Model Has Potential for Screening Therapeutics for CMT); Muscular Dystrophy News Today (Genetic ‘Checkpoint’ Model Could Lead to New Therapies for DMD, Research Suggests); Technology Networks (New Model Identifies Drug Development Targets for Genetic Disorders); Medindia Health News (New 'checkpoint' Model toDevelop Drugs for Genetic Disorders); Medical Xpress (New ‘Checkpoint’ Model ThatCould Identify Potential Drugs to Treat Genetic Disorders) and University of Bradford News Bulletin ( disorders/).

There are around 2500 genetic disorders which can be caused by ‘nonsense mutation’, a particular type of mutation in DNA. This introduces in a pre-mature ‘stop’ signal and as a result the protein is unable to function normally, or may not even be produced at all. New drugs under development to treat these genetic disorders aim to boost production of these proteins. These drugs work by making the cellular machinery less sensitive to the premature ‘stop’ instructions, with the aim of reducing or eliminating the patient’s symptoms.

Dr. Talat Nasim, leading the research, team explains: ‘our model acts like a simple roadside checkpoint. Compounds which can fulfil certain criteria will enable some proteins to get past the pre-mature stop signal.  Even a small amount of the right proteins would be enough to give some therapeutic protection to reduce the symptoms of the disorder. The model does not support the translational machinery to be re-programmed in such a way that it bypasses all stop signals. This would potentially generate proteins with many more mutated amino acids’.

Dr. Nasim research interests lie within the broader areas of Translational Medicine ranging from target identification to drug discovery. He is the co-discoverer of a few key genes that cause a genetic disorder Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and a blood disorder myodysplastic syndrome. Additionally, he has developed key techniques for studying mammalian gene expression and gene regulation, which are being widely used throughout the world.

Currently Dr. Nasim is an academic at the University of Bradford. In addition, he has been acting as an Executive Member of the Global Network of Bangladeshi Biotechnologists (GNOBB), Bangladesh and an Adviser for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, UK. He is the founder and Chief Adviser of the organization called Centre for Health Agriculture and Socio-economic Advancements (CHASA), Bangladesh.

Dr. Nasim received his Ph.D degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), UK. He received his B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh and subsequently trained in Switzerland, USA and UK. He has been a co-recipient of the Best Scientist Award 2008 of Lalmonirhat Municipality, Bangladesh and has been interviewed by the leading Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Prothom-alo and the CBA News (USA). {Communicated by Dr. Talat Nasim.]

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