G K Suraishkumar

G K Suraishkumar

PhD, Drexel University, Philadelphia,

B.Tech, Chemical Eng., IIT Madras


Office : BT 203 Block -1


Lab : BT216 Block:1

Research Interests

In the Biotechnology domain:

We work in the general area of better understanding and manipulation of biological systems. We have chosen to contribute to the area of reactive species (RS), which we believe are the molecular mediators of cellular stress, and we work to better understand RS effects on biological systems with a view to manipulate them toward desirable ends. The current applications are

  • Cancer treatment and management

  • Nanoparticle toxicology

Our earlier work in the above area has resulted in contributions to improve

  • Bioreactor operation

  • Biofuels from microalgae

We have made fundamental, novel contributions in the above areas.

In addition, we have made the following contributions

  • Devised a generalized strategy for oxygen supply to bioreactors without aeration (LPOS)

  • Developed bio-sorbents for toxic trace metal removal

  • Developed a NIR based soft probe that has been employed in Biocon Industries

In the learning facilitation domain:

I have a deep interest in the learning process, and I do a lot of experiments on the same. Significant contributions have been made in the area - please see the disseminated information (journal articles, books, MOOCs, etc.) in the other pages.

Books/MOOCs/NPTEL lectures/Videos


  • Biology for Engineers. Oxford University Press, May 2019.

  • Continuum Analysis of Biological Systems: Conserved Quantities, Forces and Fluxes, Undergraduate book, with a foreword by Professor R. Byron Bird Springer Publishing as a part of their book series on Biosystems and Bio-robotics, March 2014

  • Editor, Biotechnology Section, with B.L.Tembe, Chemistry text book (ET-105, Part B): for the Indira Gandhi National Open University, IGNOU Press, New Delhi (1995).

10-h MOOCs (NPTEL online certification courses) on

NPTEL 40-h course

  • Thermodynamics (Classical) for Biological Systems Link

Educational Videos

Biochemical Engineering Principles

Organized and directed this 40 min video presentation targeted to anybody who wants to know about Biochemical Engineering and has at least a 12th std. background. with A. Kalwankar of E.T. Cell, I.I.T. Bombay.

Bioreactor Optimization

Organized and directed this 15 min video presentation targeted to people with some background in Biochemical Engineering. with A. Kalwankar of E.T. Cell, I.I.T. Bombay.


Learning Facilitation domain:

  • Suraishkumar GK A MOOC on Effective Engineering -Teaching- Chemical Engineering Education, 52, 242 (2018)invited teaching tip

  • Suraishkumar GK Strategies to Improve Learning of all Students in a Class European Journal of Engineering Education, 43, 427-445 (2018)

  • Suraishkumar GK Improving Coherence in Technical Writing Chemical Engineering Education, 38, 116-120 (2004)

  • Sureshkumar GK and Khilar KC On Improving `Thought with Hands- Chemical Engineering Education, 36, 292-295 (2002)

  • Sureshkumar GK A Choose-Focus-Analyze Exercise in ChE Undergraduate Courses Chemical Engineering Education, 35, 80-84 (2001)

  • Suraishkumar GK Active Learning through Video Lectures Peer-reviewed, published full paper in the proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education, Turku, Finland (2012)

Biotechnology domain:

Reactive species, Cellular stress, and related:

  • Archanaa Sundararaghavan, Amitava Mukherjee, Swagatika Sahoo and G. K. Suraishkumar. Mechanism of the oxidative stress-mediated increase in lipid accumulation by the bacterium, R. opacus PD630: Experimental analysis and genome-scale metabolic modeling. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 117, 1779 - 1788 (2020).DOI: 10.1002/bit.27330 (2020).

  • Uma Kizhuveetil, Sonal Omer, D. Karunagaran, and G. K. Suraishkumar.Improved redox anti-cancer treatment efficacy through reactive species rhythm manipulation.Sci Rep, 10, 1588 - 1597 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-58579-2

  • Sundararaghavan A, Mukherjee A, Suraishkumar GK. Investigating the potential use of an oleaginous bacterium, Rhodococcusopacus PD630, for nano-TiO2 remediation.Environ SciPollut Res Int, 27, 27394 - 27406 (2019). DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-06388-0

  • K. Uma, Meghana Venkata Palukuri, Devarajan Karunagaran, Raghunathan Rengasamy,G. K. Suraishkumar. Entrainment of superoxide rhythm by menadione in HCT116 colon cancer cells. Scientific Reports, 9:3347 (2019).

  • S. Archanaa, Steffi Jose, Amitava Mukherjee, G. K. Suraishkumar. Sustainable Diesel Feedstock: a Comparison of Oleaginous Bacterial and Microalgal Model Systems. Bioenerg. Res. (2018). Doi:10.1007/s12155-018-9948-6.

  • Steffi Jose, Prerna Bhalla and G. K. Suraishkumar Oxidative Stress Decreases the Redox Ratio and Folate Content in the Gut Microbe, Enterococcus durans (MTCC 3031) Scientific Reports, 8:12138 (2018) | DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-30691-4

  • Steffi Jose and G. K. Suraishkumar High Carbon (CO2) Supply Leads to Elevated Intracellular Acetyl CoA Levels and Increased Lipid Accumulation in Chlorella vulgaris Algal Research, 19, 307 - 315 (2016)

  • Kavya R Menon, Steffi Jose and G. K. Suraishkumar Photon Up-conversion Increases Biomass Yield in Chlorella vulgaris Biotechnology Journal, 9, 1547 - 1553 (2014)

  • Ranjini Balan and G. K. Suraishkumar UVA-Induced Reset of Hydroxyl Radical Ultradian Rhythm Improves Temporal Lipid Production in Chlorella vulgaris Biotechnology Progress, 30, 673 - 681 (2014)

  • Ranjini Balan and G. K. Suraishkumar Simultaneous Increases in Specific Growth Rate and Specific Lipid Content of Chlorella vulgaris through UV-induced Reactive Species Biotechnology Progress, 30, 291 - 299 (2014)

  • Kavya R. Menon, Ranjini Balan, and G. K. Suraishkumar Stress Induced Lipid Production in Chlorella vulgaris: Relationship with Specific Intracellular Reactive Species Levels Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 110, 1627 - 1636 (2013) cover article with video abstract

  • Archanaa S., Sandhya Moise, and G. K. Suraishkumar Chlorophyll Interference in Microalgal Lipid Quantification through the Bligh and Dyer Method Biomass and Bioenergy, 46, 805 - 808 (2012)

  • Pritish Sarkar and G. K. Suraishkumar pH and Temperature Stresses in Bioreactor Cultures: Intracellular Superoxide Levels Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 50, 13129 - 13136 (2011)

  • Harit Mohan, K. Uma Maheshwari, Amal K Bera, and G. K. Suraishkumar Reactive Oxygen Species Mediated Modifications in Bacillus subtilis Lipid Membrane to Improve Protein Productivities Process Biochemistry, 45, 467-474 (2010)

  • Pritish Sarkar, Kaushik Ghosh, and K. Suraishkumar High Hydrogen peroxide Concentration in the Feed-zone Affects Bioreactor Cell Productivity with Liquid Phase Oxygen Supply Strategy Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, 31, 357-367 (2008)

  • Aparna B. Ganesh, P. T. Manoharan and Suraishkumar GK Responses of the Photosynthetic Machinery of Spirulina maxima to Induced Reactive Oxygen Species Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 96, 1191-1198 (2007)

  • Susmita Sahoo, K. Krishnamurthy Rao and Suraishkumar GK Reactive Oxygen Species Induced by Shear Stress Mediate Cell Death in Bacillus subtilis Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 94, 118-127 (2006)

  • Mandal Chaitali, R. D. Gudi, and Suraishkumar GK Multiobjective Optimization in Aspergillus niger Fermentation for Selective Product Enhancement Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, 28, 149-164 (2005)

  • Surabhi Mishra, Noronha SB and Suraishkumar GK Increase in enzyme productivity by induced oxidative stress in Bacillus subtilis cultures, and analysis of its mechanism using microarray data Process Biochemistry, 40, 1863-1870 (2004)

  • Susmita Sahoo, Krishnamurthy Rao K, Suresh AK and Suraishkumar GK Intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species Mediate Suppression of Sporulation in Bacillus subtilis Under Shear Stress, Biotechnology and Bioengineering,87, 81-89 (2004)

  • Susmita Sahoo, Rajesh Verma, AK Suresh, Krishnamurthy Rao K, Jayesh Bellare and Suraishkumar GK Macro-level and Genetic-level Responses of Bacillus subtilis to Shear Stress Biotechnology Progress, 19, 1689-1696 (2003)

  • Mandal Chaitali, Mangesh Kapadi, Gudi RD and Suraishkumar GK Productivity Improvement in Xanthan Gum Fermentation Using Multiple Substrate Optimization Biotechnology Progress, 19, 1190-1198, 2003

  • Susmita Sahoo, Krishnamurthy Rao K and Suraishkumar GK Induced Reactive Oxygen Species Improve Enzyme Production from Aspergillus niger Cultivation Biotechnology Letters,25, 821-825 (2003)

  • Manjula Rao Y, A. K. Suresh and Suraishkumar GK Free Radical Aspects in Xanthomonas campestris Cultivation With the Liquid Phase Oxygen Supply Strategy Process Biochemistry, 38, 1301-1310 (2003)

  • Manjula Rao Y and Sureshkumar GK Improvement in Bioreactor Productivities Using Free Radicals: HOCl-Induced Overproduction of Xanthan Gum from Xanthomonas campestris and Its Mechanism Biotechnology and Bioengineering,72, 62-68 (2001)

  • Subodh Rawool, Susmita Sahoo, Krishnamurthy Rao K and Sureshkumar GK Improvement in Enzyme Productivities from Mold Cultivations using the Liquid-phase Oxygen Supply Strategy Biotechnology Progress, 17, 832-837 (2001)

  • Ganesh Sriram and Sureshkumar GK Culture Fluorescence Dynamics in Xanthomonas campestris, Process Biochemistry, 36, 1167-1173 (2001)

  • Manjula Rao Y and Sureshkumar GK Oxidative-stress-induced production of Pyocyanin by Xanthomonas campestris and Its Effect on the Indicator Target Organism, Escherichia coli Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 25, 266-272 (2000)

  • Sriram G and Sureshkumar GK The Mechanism of Oxygen Availability from Hydrogen Peroxide to Aerobic Cultures of Xanthomonas campestris Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 67, 487- 492 (2000)

  • Manjula Rao Y and Sureshkumar GK Direct Biosynthesis of Ascorbic Acid from Glucose by Xanthomonas campestris Through induced Free-radicals, Biotechnology Letters, 22, 407-411 (2000)

  • Ganesh Sriram, Y. Manjula Rao, A. K. Suresh and Sureshkumar GK Oxygen Supply Without Gas-liquid Film Resistance to Xanthomonas campestris Cultivation Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 59, 714-723 (1998)

Through collaborative work with VIT University

  • Lokeshwari Natarajan, Sonal Omer, Nishta Jetly, M. Annie Jenifer, N. Chandrasekaran, G. K. Suraishkumar, Amitava Mukherjee Eco-corona Formation Lessens the Toxic Effects of Polystyrene Nanoplastics towards Marine Microalgae Chlorella sp. Environmental Research, 188, 109842 (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109842

  • Vignesh Thiagarajan, Pavani M., Archanaa S., Seenivasan R., Chandrasekaran N., Suraishkumar G. K., Amitava Mukherjee. Diminishing bioavailability and toxicity of P25 TiO2 NPs during continuous exposure to marine algae Chlorella sp., Chemosphere, 233, 363-372 (2019).

  • Mathur, A., Raghavan, A., Chaudhury, P., Johnson, J.B., Roy, R., Kumari, J., Chaudhuri, G., Chandrasekaran, N., Suraishkumar, G.K., Mukherjee,A. Cytotoxicity of titania nanoparticles towards waste water isolate Exiguobacterium acetylicum under UVA, visible light and dark conditions Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 3, 1837-1846 (2015).

  • Bhuvaneshwari, M., Iswarya, V., Archanaa, S. Madhu, G. M., Suraishkumar, G.K., Nagarajan, R., Chandrasekharan, N., Mukherjee, A. Cytotoxicity of ZnO NPs towards fresh water algae Scenedesmus obliquus at low exposure concentrations in UV-C, visible and dark conditions Aquatic Toxicology, 162, 29-38 (2015).


  • Mausumi Mukhopadhyaya, S. B. Noronha, and G. K. Suraishkumar A Review on Experimental Studies of Biosorption of Heavy Metals by Aspergillus niger The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 89, 889 - 900 (2011)

  • MausumiMukhopadhyay, S.B. Noronha and K. Suraishkumar Copper Biosorption in a Column of Pretreated BiosorptionAspergillus niger Biomass Chemical Engineering Journal, 144, 386-390 (2008)

  • Mausumi Mukhopadhyay, SB Noronha and Suraishkumar GK Kinetic Modeling for the Biosorption of Copper by Pretreated Aspergillus niger Biomass Bioresource Technology, 98, 1781-1787 (2007)

  • Suhasini IP, Sriram G and Asolekar SR and Sureshkumar GK Nickel Biosorption from Aqueous Systems: Studies on Multi-metal Equilibria, Kinetics and Recovery Separation Science and Technology, 34, 683-697 (1999)

  • Suhasini IP, Sriram G and S. R. Asolekar and Sureshkumar GK Biosorptive Removal and Recovery of Cobalt from Aqueous Systems Process Biochemistry, 34, 239-247 (1999)

  • Sureshkumar GK Removal of Toxic Trace Metals from Industrial Water Systems using Biosorption, Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 3, 18-21 (1999); invited paper

Intracellular pH, mammalian cell cultivation:

  • Nagarathnamma, M. M. Rajan and Sureshkumar GK Apoptosis Extent Increases in Hybridoma Cultures with Temperature Biotechnology Letters, 19, 669-673 (1997)

Sureshkumar GK and R. Mutharasan Intracellular pH Responses of Hybridoma and Yeast to Substrate Addition and Acid Challenge Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, 45, 106-121 (1994)

  • Sureshkumar GK and R. Mutharasan Controlled Cultivation of Yeast Cells Based on Intracellular pH: II. Cultivation Methodology Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 42, 295-302 (1993)

  • Sureshkumar GK and R. Mutharasan Controlled Cultivation of Yeast Cells Based on Intracellular pH: I. Measurement Methodology Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 41, 118-128 (1993)

  • Sureshkumar GK and R. Mutharasan The Influence of Temperature on a Mouse-Mouse Hybridoma Growth and Monoclonal Antibody Production Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 37, 292-295 (1991)

  • Octavio T. Ramirez, Sureshkumar GK and R. Mutharasan Bovine Colostrum or Milk as a Serum Substitute for the Cultivation of a Mouse Hybridoma Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 35, 882-889 (1990)


  • Herald Wilson Ambrose, Ligy Philip,G. K. Suraishkumar , Anbarasu Karthikaichamy, and Tushar Kanti SenAnaerobic Co-digestion of Activated Sludge and Fruit and Vegetable Waste: Evaluation of Mixing Ratio and Impact of Hybrid (Microwave and Hydrogen peroxide) Sludge Pre-treatment on Two-Stage Digester Stability and Biogas YieldJournal of Water Process Engineering, accepted for publication

  • Herald Wilson Ambrose, Calvin Tse-Liang Chin, Eugene Hong, Ligy Philip, G.K. Suraishkumar, Tushar Kanti Sen, Mehdi Khiadani. Effect of hybrid (microwave-H2O2) feed sludge pretreatment on single and two-stage anaerobic digestion efficiency of real mixed sewage sludge. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 136, 194-202 (2020).

  • Chitra Srikantan, G.K. Suraishkumar, Smita Srivastava. Effect of light on the kinetics and equilibrium of the textile dye (Reactive Red 120) adsorption by Helianthus annuus hairy roots. Bioresource Technology, 257, 84-91 (2018).

  • Sanjay Tiwari, G. K. Suraishkumar, and Arun Chandavarkar Robust near-infra-red spectroscopic probe for dynamic monitoring of critical nutrient ratio in microbial fermentation processes Biochemical Engineering Journal, 71, 47 - 56 (2013)

  • Sanjay Tiwari, Arun Chandavarkar, and G. K. Suraishkumar Robust Productivity in Industrial Fermentations: Regulation of Phosphofructokinase Activity through Easily Measurable, Critical Nutrient Ratio Biochemical Engineering Journal, 68, 138 - 151 (2012)

  • Anup, S.M. Sivakumar and G.K. Suraishkumar Influence of Viscoelasticity of Protein on the Toughness of Bone Journal of Mechanical Behaviour of Biomedical Materials, 3, 260 - 267 (2010)

  • Anup, S.M. Sivakumar and G.K. Suraishkumar Influence of Relative Strength of Constituents on the Overall Strength and Toughness of Bone Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology, 8, 527 - 539 (2008).

  • Anup, S.M. Sivakumar and G.K. Suraishkumar Structural Arrangement Effects of Mineral Platelets on the Nature of Stress Distribution in Bio-Composites CMES - Computer Modeling in Engineering and Science,18, 145 - 153 (2007)

  • Anup, SM Sivakumar and Suraishkumar GK Natural Optima in Human Skull: A Low-velocity Impact Study International Journal of Crashworthiness, 12, 17-20 (2007)

  • K. Sen, D. Das, K. C. Khilar and Suraishkumar GK Bacterial transport in porous media: New aspects of the mathematical model Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical Engineering Aspects, 260, 53-62 (2005)

  • Sriram G and Surendranath C and Sureshkumar GK Kinetics of Anthocyanin Extraction from Fresh and Dried Grape Waste Separation Science and Technology, 34, 683-697 (1999)

Also, more than a 150 presentations including keynote addresses, and invited talks in International conferences/seminars have been given. Many best presentation awards have been won for the research presentations at National and International conferences. Also, reviewed papers submitted to many prestigious International journals.

Sponsored Projects

Undertaken as Principal Investigator

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Science and Technology (DST)

Title: Studies on Mass Transport of Oxygen without Gas-Liquid Resistance as Applied to Biosystems.

Amount of grant: Rs. 3.79 lakhs

Period and status: 1995-1997, completed

Abstract: Mass transport of oxygen through gas-liquid mass transfer is a limiting factor for optimal operation of many industrially important systems, such as aerobic bioreactors. This project studied oxygen mass transport through a methodology which involves no gas-liquid resistance. The methodology involved liquid phase in situ breakdown of hydrogen peroxide to oxygen and water. This novel methodology for oxygen transport markedly improved specific productivity of bioprocesses.

Sponsoring Agency: Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS)

Title: Treatment of Ammoniacal Wastewaters from Heavy Water Plants.

Amount of grant: Rs. 10.25 lakhs

Period and status: 1997-1999, completed

Co-investigators: S.R.Asolekar, K.V.Venkatesh (IIT); R.R.Sonde (BARC)

Abstract: Reactor grade heavy water production results in large amounts of liquidwastewater containing unacceptable levels of ammonia. The process employed in heavy water plants to reduce ammonia levels in wastewater was highly energy intensive and also did not address the problem completely. Therefore, an effluent treatment system which utilizes microbial conversion of ammonia, which overcomes the problems posed by the above method, was highly desirable. The project addressed a microbial method of ammonia conversion to harmless nitrogen and nitrate. This involved use of different species of bacteria of the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter variety. An additional advantage of this method is that the nitrate produced can be used as a fertilizer- for lawn and tree growth. The optimal level of nitrate obtainable from the effluent treatment facility, based on the actual fertilizer- need was also addressed. In addition, the various biological processes involved in this effluent treatment were optimized based on energy (metabolic) status of the culture.

Sponsoring Agency: All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

Title: Improvement of Bioreactor Yields Using Culture Status in Viscous Fermentations.

Amount of grant: Rs. 5 lakhs

Period and status: 1997-2000, completed

Co-investigators: A. K. Suresh

Abstract: The method mentioned in the DST project above, was optimized. To optimize the method, we needed information on state of cells in culture, the actual factories producing the product. Such information is available through culture status measurement. Culture status is measured through culture fluorescence which is a non-invasive measure of the NADH level in culture.

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Science and Technology (DST)

Title: Improvement in Enzyme Productivities from Shear Sensitive Aerobic Systems

Amount of grant: Rs. 10.75 lakhs

Period and status: 2000-2003, completed

Co-investigators: A. K. Suresh

Abstract: A novel couette flow bioreactor (CFB) in which the entire cultivation can beperformed under defined shear conditions was developed. Oxygen supply, the normal limiting factor for entire cultivations under defined shear conditions, was achieved by passing air through a teflon membrane fixed on the inner cylinder of the CFB. More importantly, analyses of the oxygen transfer capabilities as well as the shear rates show that in this CFB, the effects of defined shear can be studied without interference from the effects of oxygen supply. The specific intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level was found to be the maximum at the onset of the stationary phase when grown in the CFB, and the mode of cell death is suspected to be apoptosis.

Sponsoring Agency: Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)

Title: Improvement in the Performance of Bioreactors Employing Recombinant Organisms Using the Liquid Phase Oxygen Supply (LPOS) Strategy.

Amount of grant: Rs. 12 lakhs

Period and status: 2003-2006, completed

Co-investigators: S. B. Noronha, A. K. Suresh

Abstract: The liquid phase oxygen-supply strategy (LPOS), which is characterized by oxygen evolution in the liquid phase through catalasic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) pulses, was employed for the cultivation of a recombinant system - recombinant Escherichia coli that can be induced to produce streptokinase by a change in temperature. Toxicity studies showed that an initial H2O2concentration of 7.5mM was optimal. The specific yieldof streptokinase in the cultivation with LPOS was 2- fold of the value obtained with conventional cultivation based on oxygen supply through aeration. Interestingly, the plasmid loss was about 10-15% lower with LPOS compared to conventional cultivation. To obtain optimal feed profiles of H2O2, a process model was developed. The model was optimized using a robust stochastic optimization solver based on genetic algorithm to get optimal H2O2feed rates. A model-predicted approached was used, and also the unknown model parameters were predicted using the genetic algorithm. The optimal H2O2addition profiles, which were also experimentally verified,resulted in 4-fold higher specific yields of streptokinase compared to that obtained from cultivations with aeration, and 2-fold higher specific yields compared to the cultivations without optimization.

**Sponsoring Agency:*8 Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

Title: Biotechnological Approaches for Production and Cultivation of Patchouli.

Amount of grant: Total: Rs. 85.14 lakhs (multi-institutional project); IIT Bombay: Rs. 26.45 lakhs

Period and status: 8 2003-2006, completed

Co-investigators: Kelkar Education Trust-s Scientific Research Centre (Mumbai, Maharashtra), Keva Biotech. Limited (Mumbai, Maharashtra), Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (Kasargod, Kerala), National Research Centre for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Boriavi, Gujarat), University of Agricultural Sciences (Dharwad, Karnataka), Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeet (Dapoli, Maharashtra)

Abstract: Clonal propagation of plants by tissue culture was then established as the best method of obtaining planting material for vegetatively propagated plants. A problem with the tissue culture system is the high cost of the plants due to the specialized inputs. Micropropagation of plants is largely a manual operation, and is restricted by the limitations of ease of handling by skilled operators and stringent sterility conditions.

Bioreactor systems are an alternative method to increase the scale of operations and rate of production of the plants. Considering the increased output efficiency at lower costs, if large-scale micropropagation of plants is changed to the bioreactor method, the horticultural industry will better realize the advantages of using tissue cultured plants for cultivation. Although bioreactors are very common, and are extensively used in the bio-industry, bioreactors for plant shoot culture are rare. A novel, reusable, shoot culture bioreactor was designed, built and operated as a part of this project.

The developed shoot culture bioreactor did not require plantlets to grow on the liquid surface. Thus, the main drawback of hyper-hydration or vitrification was completely avoided when the developed bioreactor is used. Further, the developed bioreactor was re-usable, and allowed easy, continuous monitoring of many important bioreactor variables such as dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, temperature, shoot mass, and others that are essential for optimization of the process. Also, in the developed bioreactor it was possible to manipulate the atmosphere toward desirable results such as high growth rates, desirable contents of plant parts such as the leaf, and others. In addition, there were several features in the currently developed bioreactor that were attractive and patentable.

Sponsoring Agency: Indo-US Forum

Title: Reactive Oxygen Species aspects in Drinking Water

Amount of grant: US $ 30,000

Period and status: 2008-2010, completed

Partner: Jeanne VanBriesen, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: Chlorination of drinking water is a primary mode of disinfection. However, many organisms of interest are resistant to chlorination (e.g. Mycobacterium). The mechanism for microbial inactivation by chlorine is not well understood and thus, understanding of chlorine resistance mechanisms is also lacking. We hypothesized that chlorine-based microbial inactivation is mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). We evaluated this hypothesis,and the work resulted in a better understanding of the effect of chlorine on Mycobacterium, as well as an improved understanding of the mechanism of microbial inactivation by chlorine.

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

Title: Development of a Photobioreactor for Algal Biofuels

Amount of grant: Rs. 1.3 crores

Period and status: 2009-2011, completed

Co-investigator: Shrikumar Suryanarayan

Abstract: The scope of this project was to develop a design parameter for the effective scale-up of a photobioreactor to produce oil (lipids) from Chlorella vulgaris. Chlorella vulgaris was chosen as the model algal system because of the significant background information available on it, compared to any other algae that has the potential for cultivation under saline conditions. The saline conditions were of prime importance, since we were asked to concentrate on marine aspects by the DBT. A large lab-scale photobioreactor of 15 litre capacity was designed and fabricated for the study. The effects of parameters such as temperature, pH, salinity, and light on Chlorella vulgariswere studied. Also, some work on the effect of parameters on Dunaliella parva and Chaetoceros mullieri was also done. Then the photobioreactor scale-up aspects were addressed in detail.

Sponsoring Agency: Divashri

Title: Algal biofuels

Amount of grant: Rs. 25 lakhs+

Period and status: 2008-2013, completed

Abstract: This project initially addressed the development of alternate cultivation systems for microalgae, and then some studies on improvement of many cultivation aspects of microalgae such as electroflocculation.

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Science and Technology (DST)

Title: Reactive Species for Improved Bio-oil Yields from Microalgae

Amount of grant: Rs. 32.83 lakhs

8Period and status: 6th February 2013 - 5th February 2016, work completed

Abstract: A challenge in algae based bio-oil production is to simultaneously enhance specific growth rates and specific lipid content. We demonstrated simultaneous increases in both the above in Chlorella vulgaris through reactive species induced under UVA and UVB light treatments, and achieved an 8.8-fold increase in volumetric lipid productivity.

Further, we reported for the first time that the endogenous, pseudo-steady-state, specific intracellular levels of the hydroxyl radical oscillate in an ultradian fashion (model system: the microalga, Chlorella vulgaris), and also characterized the various rhythm parameters. We reset the endogenous rhythm through entrainment with UVA radiation, and generated two new ultradian rhythms. The reset increased the window of maximum lipid accumulation from 6 h to 12 h concomitant with the onset of the ultradian rhythms.

In addition, we reported a novel application: Photon up-conversion, a process of converting lower energy radiations to those at higher energy via the use of appropriate phosphor systems, was employed as anovel strategy for improving microalgal growth and lipid productivity.

Sponsoring Agency: Department of Science and Technology (DST)

Title: Entrainment of Rhythms for Improved Cancer Therapy

Amount of grant: Rs. 38.3 lakhs

Period and status: 825th January 2017 - January 2020, on-going


  • Indian patent186358 A Process for the Sorption of Toxic Trace and Heavy Metals and Organic Chemicals from Effluents Using Granulated Non-living Biomass of the fungus Rhizopus with I. P. Suhasini, Niraj Shah, S. R. Asolekar and I. I. T. Bombay.

  • Indian patent186573 A Process for the Preparation of Granulated Non-living Biomass of the Fungus Rhizopus species for Sorption of Toxic Trace and Heavy Metals and Organic Chemicals from Effluents. with I. P. Suhasini, Niraj Shah, S. R. Asolekar and I. I. T. Bombay.

  • Indian patent 234770 A Reusable Bioreactor for Plant Shoot Culture. with I.I.T. Madras

  • Indian patent (filed) A safer, highly efficient and eco-friendly cigarette filter and production method thereof. with Mitan Sutradhar and I.I.T. Madras

Contributions through Administration (Select)

Contribution to National and State Level Committees

  • Expert, Faculty Selection Committee IIT Bombay (2016,2018) IIT Hyderabad (2013, 2016, 2018,2019) IIT Guwahati (2011) NIT Calicut (2017, 2018) National University of Allahabad (2013) NEHU, Shillong (2013)

  • Expert, BIRAC evaluations, current

  • Expert, Advisory committee for Biotechnology, Anna University, current

  • Expert, National project on Virtual Labs, current

  • Expert, Board of Studies, College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, current

  • Reviewer for prestigious National awards (e.g. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award) and chair professor positions (IIT Bombay)

  • Member, National Advisory Board, Golden Jubilee International Conference on Chemical Engineering, NIT Durgapur (2015)

  • Expert, Review of Centers of Excellence, MHRD (2014)

  • Member, Academic Committee, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, 2008 - 2013

  • Expert, New Drug Approval committee, Drug Controller General of India (2013)

  • Member, Board of Studies, SASTRA University, Thanjavur, 2008

  • Expert, Faculty Selection Committee, University Institute of Chemical Technology (UICT) - Energy Biosciences, Mumbai(2009); IIT Roorkee (2012)

  • Expert, Indo-Canadian conference on Algal Bioenergy, 2008

  • Member, Selection Committees for Scientist positions, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, 2008

  • Member, Committees constituted by Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) to evaluate industrial laboratories for certification, many times

  • Expert, Curriculum Committee for Biotechnology, NIT Kozhikode(2008) NIT Warangal(2007)

  • Expert, AICTE National Accreditation Committee for KRS college, 2008

  • Member, Working Group to provide inputs for the next five year plan, Tamilnadu State Council for Science and Technology, 2006

Contribution to Self-governance: Institute and Department Administrative Positions

At/From IIT Madras

  • Department Head (first formal head), Department of Biotechnology, 1st Aug 2005 - 3rd Aug 2008 (contributed significantly toward the set-up of the new Department)

  • Department Head (first formal head), Department of Biotechnology, IIT Hyderabad, 2009 - 2011

    (played an important role in the initiation of the new Department)

  • Head, Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility, IIT Madras, 2009 - 2013

  • Institute Coordinator, Joint academic programmes with Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology and Christian Medical College, Vellore, 2006 - 2012 (Initiated the program and coordinated it through the crucial first 5 years)

  • Discipline Coordinator, Biotechnology, IIT Madras, for NPTEL, 2008 - 2010

  • Chairperson, Institute Prizes, Awards and Scholarships Senate sub-committee, IIT Madras, 2009 - 2010; ex-officio member, 2010 - 2011

  • Member, Board of Academic Courses, 2004-2005; 2009-2011

  • Coordinator, User-oriented M.Tech. Programme in Medical Biotechnology, 2004 - 2005

  • Member, Biotechnology Executive Committee, 2004-2005, and many other Departmental committees.

  • Treasurer, National Symposium on Molecular Basis of Diseases, 2004.

At IIT Bombay

  • Warden, Hostel 10, 2002-2004

  • Member, School Policy Committee (SPC), School of Biosciences andBioengineering, 2002-2004

  • Member, Institute Undergraduate Programmes Committee (UGPC), 2000-2002

  • Member, Department Policy Committee (DPC), 2003-2004

  • Member, Department Postgraduate Committee (DPGC), 2000-2002

  • And many others - For example, Faculty Adviser, M.Tech. students, 2000-2002; B.Tech. class, 1994-1998; Time-table coordinator, 1998-2002; Treasurer, Conference of the Electron Microscopy Society of India, 2001-02, Chemical Engineering Students Association, 1997-2001; Secretary, Department Faculty Meeting, 1994-1999; Member, Department Computer Resources Committee, 1995-1997; Coordinator, B. Tech. Practical Training and Works Visits, 1995-1996.

Honours and Awards (Select)

  • Sartorius India Distinguished Speaker award (for Biotechnology), Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2017

  • Visiting Professor, VIT University, current

  • Indo-American Frontiers of Engineering award, jointly with Professor Jeanne VanBriesen, Carnegie Mellon University, 2008

  • Lupin-UICT fellow, 2007-08

  • P. K. Patwardhan award for the Best Technology Development Effort, I.I.T. Bombay, 1999.

  • Outstanding Contribution Award, DrexelUniversity, 1990.

  • Research Award, University Research Council, University ofCincinnati, 1987.

  • Awards for the Best Student in School (Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Junior College,1982), State 15th Rank (S.S.L.C. examination, 1980), State 1st Rank (LiterarySociety - Manavar Mandram - exam, 1978),and General Proficiency (every school year).

  • Best Presentation Award, Annual Conference of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, Mumbai, December 2004.

  • Award for Performance in Hindi Certificate Course, CentralHindi Directorate, 1996.