India currently faces an uncertain future in relation to the potential burden that diabetes may impose upon the country. And with over 62 million diabetic individuals currently diagnosed with the disease, it is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic. The etiology of diabetes in India is multifactorial and includes genetic factors coupled with environmental influences such as obesity associated with rising living standards, steady urban migration, and lifestyle changes.

In 2000, India (31.7 million) topped the world with the highest number of people with diabetes mellitus followed by China (20.8 million) with the United States (17.7 million) in second and third place respectively. These numbers are projected to double globally from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030 with a maximum increase in India.

While scientists within the country and outside alike are toiling away in their labs, an NCL scientist, Dr. Srinivasa Reddy has now been able to produce exciting results in the field of study.

Dr. Reddy and the team have been successful in synthesizing a molecule with the help of which they were able to control diabetes in mouse models.

The clinical trials have been successful,” he said while talking to Sakal Times. “We have identified a molecule which can keep the sugar levels in the permissible limits. We have successfully conducted a few trials on mice. For this diabetes trial, we had collaborated with Shantani Proteomics. We have to collaborate with biologists for trials on animals. The data so far collected from the research is interesting and we are further developing it.

I am working in the area of total synthesis of biologically active natural products and medicinal chemistry using ‘silicon incorporation approach’. Macrocyclic natural compounds and silicon incorporation in known drug scaffolds with an ultimate aim of discovering drugs are the special interests.

A well-experienced intellect, Dr. Reddy, spearheaded the group which has now synthesized over 25 natural products that retain their native biological function. A few recent achievements of his include the identification of potential leads in an antibiotic compound based on a hunanamycin natural product for treating food infections, an anti-diabetic molecule in collaboration with an industry partner and anti-TB compound using a strategy called ‘repurposing of a drug scaffold’.