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Dr. Debabrata Biswas


Degree University/Institution
Ph.D. (Biology)CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, (Jadavpur University), Kolkata, India
M.Sc. (Zoology)Calcutta University, India

Work Experience

Position University/Organisation Period
Scientist CILS, BhubaneswarFrom July, 2022
Assistant Project ScientistUniversity of California, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USAMay 2022 - June 2022
Associate Staff ScientistOklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, USANovember 2021 - April 2022
Senior Research FellowNational University of Singapore, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, SingaporeJuly 2014 - October 2021
Postdoctoral Research FellowHebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, IsraelMarch 2011 - June 2014

Awards & Recognition

  • Presented invited lecture at the 15th International Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology Conference held in London, UK, organised on June 21 – 23, 2017.
  • Selected for special “Translation Potential & Innovation” poster category at the NUS-HUJ-CREATE Symposium held in collaboration with the Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center of Korea (BIOCON) on July 25, 2014 at the Centre for Life Sciences, National University of Singapore.
  • Qualified for CSIR (India) JRF in the National Eligibility Test (NET) held on 27 th June 2004.
  • Qualified for CSIR (India) JRF in the National Eligibility Test (NET) held on 19 th December 2004.
  • Qualified for SPM Fellowship Test held on 10 th July 2005 (top 20% candidate in All India from CSIR-JRF NET exam).



Host-Bacteria Interactions and Skin Immunology

Research Summary – This lab is interested in understanding the various interactions occurring between the virulence factors produced by bacterial pathogens, and the different arms of the host immune system, with special focus on skin immunity. The lab focus is to understand these interactions, in terms of the underlying host immune signalling and molecular mechanisms, with the ultimate aim of designing better and more efficient host-directed preventives and therapeutics. The lab is also involved in screening potential anti-bacterials and immunomodulators from natural sources and synthetic compound libraries to target the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance. Bacterial infections also work as trigger for various skin autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and the lab is intent on elucidating the causative molecular mechanisms to pave way for improved and economically-relevant therapeutics for the Indian patient community.



1. Anand A, Sharma A, Ravins M, Biswas D, Ambalavanan P, Lim XZK, Min RTY, Johri AK, Tirosh B, Hanski E. Unfolded protein response inhibitors cure group A streptococcal necrotizing fasciitis by modulating host asparagine. Science Translational Med. 2021, 13(605), eabd7465. [ISSN 1946-6234 (print), 1946-6242 (web); IF 19.343]
2. Biswas D, Ambalavanan P, Ravins M, Anand A, Sharma A, Lim XZK, Ming RTY, Lim HY, Bachrach G, Angeli V, Hanski E. LL-37-mediated activation of host receptors is critical for defense against Group A Streptococcal Infection. Cell Reports. 2021, 34(9), 108766. [ISSN 22111247; Scopus Metrics 6.264; IF 9.995]
3. Vajjala A, Biswas D, Tay WH, Hanski E, Kline KA. Streptolysin-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress promotes group A Streptococcal host-associated biofilm formation and necrotizing fasciitis. Cellular Microbiology. 2019, 21, e12956. [ISSN 14625814 (print), 14625822 (web); IF 4.115]
4. Jobichen C, Tan YC, Prabhakar MT, Nayak D, Biswas D, Pannu NS, Hanski E, Sivaraman J. Structure of ScpC, a virulence protease from Streptococcus pyogenes, reveals the functional domains and maturation mechanism. Biochemical Journal. 2018, 475(17), 2847-2860. [ISSN 0264-6021; IF 4.1]
5. Hertzog BB, Kaufman Y, Biswas D, Ravins M, Ambalavanan P, Wiener R, Angeli V, Chen SL, Hanski E. A Sub-population of Group A Streptococcus Elicits a Population-wide Production of Bacteriocins to Establish Dominance in the Host. Cell Host & Microbe. 2018, 23(3), 312-323. [ISSN 19313128; IF 30.3]
6. Baruch M, Hertzog B, Ravins M, Anand A, Cheng CY, Biswas D, Tirosh B, Hanski E. Induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response constitutes a pathogenic strategy of group A streptococcus. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2014, 4, 105. [ISSN 2235-2988; IF 6.073]
7. Biswas D, Sen G, Sarkar A, Biswas T. Atorvastatin acts synergistically with N-acetyl cysteine to provide therapeutic advantage against Fas-activated erythrocyte apoptosis during chronic arsenic exposure in rats. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 2011, 250(1), 39-53. [ISSN 10960333; IF 4.219]
8. Biswas D, Sen G, Biswas T. Reduced cellular redox status induces 4-hydroxynonenal-mediated caspase 3 activation leading to erythrocyte death during chronic arsenic exposure in rats. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 2010, 244(3), 315-327. [ISSN 10960333; IF 4.46]
9. Biswas D, Banerjee M, Sen G, Das JK, Banerjee A, Sau TJ, Pandit S, Giri AK, Biswas T. Mechanism of erythrocyte death in human population exposed to arsenic through drinking water. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 2008, 230(1), 57-66. [ISSN 10960333; IF 4.46]
10. Sen G, Biswas D, Ray M, Biswas T. Albumin-quercetin combination offers a therapeutic advantage in the prevention of reduced survival of erythrocytes in visceral leishmaniasis. Blood Cells, Molecules and Diseases. 2007, 39(3), 245-254. [ISSN 1079-9796 (print), 1096-0961 (web); IF 3.039]

Book Chapters:
1. Banerjee A, Chakraborty C, Kumar A, Biswas D. Emerging trends in IoT and big data analytics for biomedical and health care technologies. In book: “Handbook of Data Science Approaches for Biomedical Engineering.” Academic Press, 2020, Pages 121-152 [ISBN 9780128183182].
2. Ravins M, Ambalavanan P, Biswas D, Min RTY, Lim XZK, Kaufman Y, Anand A, Sharma A, Hanski E. Murine Soft Tissue Infection Model to Study Group A Streptococcus (GAS) Pathogenesis in Necrotizing Fasciitis. In volume: “Bacterial Virulence: Methods and Protocols” of series “Methods in Molecular Biology Series, Vol. 2427”. Springer US, Ed. 1, 2022, online publication [ISSN 1064-3745].



Ph.D Students

Devashish Barik


Lab Technician

Sanjeeb Kumar Dhir



debabrata@ils.res.inNalco Square, Bhubaneswar-751023, India0091 674 23007280091 674 2304352



Bacterial enzyme, ScpC, as a MAJOR Virulence Factor (Biswas, et al., 2021)

Immunofluorescence study at 48 hours post-infection, showed the importance of ScpC as a virulent factor. In wild-type streptococcus bacterial infection, the neutrophils are unable to approach the vast population of bacteria present in the tissue. However, when infected with a ScpC-deleted mutant bacteria, we can observe distinct co-localization of huge amount of recruited neutrophils with the bacteria in the fascia.

Immunofluorescence image of mouse skin tissues.


Immunomodulation by LL-37 contributes to protection against infection (Biswas et al., 2021)

The novel finding to the field of streptococcal disease biology, is highlighting the immune signalling property of a known antimicrobial peptide, LL-37 to be the major contributing factor towards host protection rather than its canonical bactericidal activity.



The lab is interested in recruiting self-motivated students, particularly interested in infection and immunity:

Students interested for dissertation and internship, please refer to

Aspiring Ph.D students, refer to the ILS website for Ph.D Program advertisements.