Professor, university awarded patent

January 29, 2010

An Indiana State University biology professor began the year with a long-awaited recognition and it numbers 7,642,045.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Swapan Ghosh, professor of biology, and the university patent number 7,642,045 for a biomarker that could aid in determining disease.

"The university is very proud of the work of Dr. Ghosh in securing this patent," said Indiana State Provost Jack Maynard. "His research has been focused on this area for a number of years and it is great to see the results of the work so recognized. "

Ghosh and Nisreen Al-Shaibi of Qatar, then a doctoral student, worked on novel biomarkers that would help in tracking stem cells, called myeloid dendritic cells, which originate in bone marrow.

"Those stem cells can give rise to a type of white blood cells important for our immunological defense," said Ghosh, who conducts immunology research.

Working on those stem cells, Ghosh and Al-Shaibi discovered DP58, a previously uncharacterized protein biomarker.

"It could be used to help determine if someone has immunological deficiency of some sort or whether where a vaccine is able to recruit a type of white blood cells of innate immunity to help defend the body," Ghosh said. "In the absence of such biomarkers, it may be difficult to determine if stem cell differentiation has begun in the body in response to danger or other signals." Blood stem cells differentiate into disease-fighting white blood cells.

Ghosh's invention relates to a method of generating and identifying the dendritic cells and a biomarker.

Such biomarkers could be used in fighting inflammation during infection or tumor growth, and so are valuable in medicinal research.

"Although this study was done in mice, the protein exists in most vertebrates, including humans," Ghosh said.

Ghosh filed for the patent in Nov. 18, 2005. He credited the assistance of Edward Lentz of Brazil, who earned a master's degree in life science from ISU, for working as his attorney pro-bono.

"I am grateful to ISU and the Office of Sponsored Programs for their support," he said.

Contact: Swapan Ghosh, Indiana State University, professor of biology, at 812-237-2416 or Swapan.Ghosh@indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or Jennifer.Sicking@indstate.edu

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Ghosh-and-Immunology/51908GoshImmune18/298020423_pViwB-D.jpg

Cutline: Swapan Ghosh, Indiana State University professor of biology.

Story Highlights

The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Swapan Ghosh, professor of biology, and the university patent number 7,642,045 for a biomarker that could aid in determining disease.

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