Ashok Aspatwar is a Senior Researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Finland. He studied bioinformatics and molecular biology at the Department of Bioinformatics, Tampere University and graduated in 2010. Subsequently, he continued his studies for a Ph.D. in Prof. Parkkila Group in the Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tampere University. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2014, with a thesis on Function of Carbonic Anhydrases Related Proteins (CARPs) in zebrafish. He studied roles of CARPs VIII, X and XI using morpholino and CRISPR/Cas9 technology to inactivate the CARP genes in zebrafish model during embryonic development.
During his doctoral research, Dr. Aspatwar has developed keen interest on understanding the roles of α-carbonic anhydrases (α-CAs) in humans and β-CAs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis using different model organisms. After obtaining his doctoral degree, he worked in Infection Biology group headed by Dr. Mataleena Parikka at BioMediTech, University of Tampere. In the Infection Biology Group, he learnt to use Mycobacterium marinum a model mycobacterium that is a natural tuberculosis (TB) pathogen of zebrafish. Currently, Dr. Aspatwar uses M. marinum and zebrafish as model organisms to understand precise roles of β-CAs in the pathogenesis of TB and survival of bacterium in the host during latent phase of the disease.
In addition, Ashok Aspatwar is interested in developing novel drugs targeting β-CAs and hitherto unexplored pathways of M. tuberculosis. To achieve the goal, his department has been in collaboration with several national and international research groups who are involved in drug discovery and cell biology studies, eventually helping to get better insights into molecular mechanism of TB disease.