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Postdoctoral Fellows


- Dr. Ashok Kumar HG    ashokame84    A T   gmail.com        In Lab Sept 2017 -   

Hi – I am Ashok, a post doctoral research fellow in Praveen's lab.  I strongly believe in the following "Science is not a major or a career.  It is a commitment to a systematic way of thinking, an allegiance to a way of building knowledge and explaining the universe through testing and factual observation.  -2016 Caltech"  With this mindset I set out and completed my PhD in Biochemistry from CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore.  Then I was at IISER-Pune for a year, then worked for a E-learning company for a year, then moved to Pennsylvania State University for post doctoral research and now I have joined Praveen from Aug 2017 to work on vaccine adjuvants.  We have a great translational research team here.


- Dr. Kiran Kumar    kiranbiotech    A T   gmail.com  In lab: May 2016 -

Hi – Myself Kiran Kumar MN, joined Dr. Praveen’s lab, inStem, as DST-SERB postdoctoral fellow. I obtained B.Sc- and M.Sc- degree from University of Mysore. Soon after, I started working with Dr. Venkatesh YP, CFTRI, Mysuru, on a DBT-funded project- “nutritional improvement of eggplant (solanum melongena) through silencing of its major allergens”. Later, I carried out my doctoral research work on ‘targeting antibody secreting B cells as a novel therapeutic approach to treat allergic diseases’ at Charite University Medicine Berlin, Germany under the guidance of Dr. Margitta Worm. After receiving PhD, I pursued my postdoctoral research work at Dr. Mei. X Wu lab, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA. Here, my research focus was on to evaluate safety and efficacy of a newly developed, laser or microneedle-facilitated microdelivery of powdered food allergens for epicutaneous immunotherapy. I have published my research findings in peer-reviewed journals. In Praveen’s lab, my research focus will be to develop nanomaterial encapsulated vaccine-adjuvants combination for delivering via intestinal mucosa as a novel therapeutic approach for allergen-specific immunotherapy to food allergy. This research work will be supported by DST-SERB young scientist scheme grant for 3 years.

Along with research, I devote few hours to spend with my family and/or playing sports (love cricket).



- Dr. Sandeep Chandrashekarappa    sandeep_m7    A T   rediffmail.com  In Lab: Sept 2015 -

Hi – I am Dr. Sandeep C,  Joined as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Praveen lab.

I have completed my Master's degree in Chemistry from Kuvempu University, Shimoga, Karnataka in 2005 and directly joined Biocon Ltd through campus interview where I did work for 8 years. While working, I registered for a Ph.D. in Organic chemistry from Kuvempu University under the guidance of Dr. Basavarj Padmashali. During my Ph.D., I worked on “DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL INDOLIZINE DERIVATIVES AS PHARMACEUTICAL LEADS”. My research work was published in Tetrahedron letters, Heterocyclic letters, Asian journal of chemistry, etc. Some of my synthesized compounds are patented with the India Patent Office. In Dr. Praveen’s lab, my research work is focused on synthesis of small organic compounds for biological applications.


- Dr. Manohar Mahato    manohar113   A T   gmail.com  In Lab: July 2015 -

Hi – I am Manohar Mahato and have joined Dr. Praveen’s lab as Post Doctoral fellow. I have received my Master degree in organic chemistry from University of Delhi in 2009. Then after, I began my Ph.D. work in the laboratory of Dr. Ashwani Kumar Sharma and Dr. Pradeep Kumar, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi. During my Ph.D. work, I have been working on synthesis of different cationic molecules (peptidic and polymeric) in order to develop efficient delivery vectors and their in vitro evaluation for gene therapy/drug delivery. These molecules self-assembled to form supramolecular nanostructures with nucleic acids (pDNA/siRNA) and drug molecules via non-covalent interactions and deliver them inside the cells. My research work has been published in reputed journals such as Colloids and interfaces B: Biointerfaces, Molecular BioSystems, Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, Journal of Material Chemistry B. Here in Dr. Praveen’s lab, my research work is focused on development of cationic lipid based non-viral vectors for gene delivery which specifically target the hepatocytes. 

Apart from lab work (when I'm free), I play basketball, table tennis.


Graduate Students and Junior/Senior Research Fellows



- Mahendra K. Mohan     mahendrakmohan   A  T gmail.com   In Lab: Nov 2016 -

Hi, I am Mahendra K Mohan and have joined in Dr. Praveen's lab as intern.
I had completed my M.Sc in Organic Chemistry from Acharya Institute of Graduate Studies (Bangalore University), Karnataka, in 2016. After that I have joined Praveen's research team from Nov 2016 and here my research work is focused on synthesis of organic molecules for biological applications.
Apart from lab, I love to do drawing, painting and photography.


- Tanu Jain  jaintanu1108   A T  gmail.com  In Lab:  Aug 2016 - July 2017 : Aug 2017 -

Hi - I joined Dr. Vemula research team during August 2016 as a research trainee. I have completed my Integrated Masters in Applied Chemistry (2011-2016) from NIT Surat. During the course of my program, I did two short-term research internships on natural product synthesis. I did my master thesis project in synthetic organic chemistry on "Design and Synthesis of aza-polycycles under green conditions via Fischer Indolization" at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai (Maharashtra). I am here to learn as well as contribute to develop novel biomaterials to solve clinical needs. I'm currently working on development of Polymer-Drug conjugate systems for the sustained release of drug in Inflammatory Bowel Disease cases. Individual commitment of all the members to a group effort is what makes this team a great working environment.

I am a frank writer and find it peaceful when I shape my thoughts into words. I also love to engage myself in arts and crafts such as sketching, oil painting & handmade paper products during some spare time.


- Mohamed M. Haroon  muhammadm2007   A T  gmail.com   In Lab:  July 2016 -

Hi - I am a collaborative student of Praveen Kumar Vemula and Dasaradhi Palakodeti at inStem. I completed my B.Tech in Biotechnology from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. Following my graduation, I joined Dr.Vijaya Gopal’s lab in Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB), Hyderabad, India. In CCMB, I worked on validating the efficacy and specificity of fusion protein based siRNA delivery vectors which could cross the blood brain barrier.
Here in Praveen's lab, I am developing methods to make transgenic planaria. Eventhough being an excellent model organism, the lack of transgenics is a huge bottleneck in research employing this amazing organism.Currently, I am developing novel cationic amphiphiles based delivery vectors for delivering biologicals to planarian cells. These novel amphiphiles would be then used for stable genome modification leading to transgenics in planaria.


- Subhashini Pandey  subhashini0210  A  T  gmail.com   In Lab: Sept 2015 - Aug 2017 : Sept 2017 -

Hi- I am Subhashini Pandey, Master scholar (M.Tech, in Chemical Engineering) at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (Jalandhar). I have completed my Masters thesis work in Dr. Vemula's lab. After completing my thesis work, I have received prestigious Lady Tata Merorial Trust fellowship for pursuing for PhD work in Praveen's lab.

In my leisure time, I like to play keyboard and sometime harmonium. I am very much passionate about singing and dancing particularly kathak.


- Ankita Hiwale  dr.ankita_10   A T  yahoo.com  In Lab: Jan - Jun 2015 :  July 2016 -

Hi - I am a Dental graduate and completed Master’s in Regenerative Medicine from Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine (MIRM), Bangalore. I have completed my masters thesis work in Dr.Praveen’s lab and joined as a Junior Research Fellow. I was a part of the project conducted by Stemade, Chennai, involving cytokine profiling of the Mesenchymal stem cells cultured under conditions of normoxia, hypoxia, heat and acid stress and serum deprivation. I was also a summer trainee at Dr.Anandh’s lab (MIRM), for the study of role of Mesenchymal stem cells derived from dental pulp and bone marrow in neuronal regeneration in mice hippocampus, in kainic acid mediated excitotoxicity model of neurodegeneration.

In my spare time, I like to play table tennis, read novels or watch movies.


- Sujanthi E.   sujanthie    A T  ncbs.res.in  In Lab: Nov 2014 - Mar 2017 : Apr 2017 -

I got my graduation in Integrated M.Sc. Chemistry from Pondicherry University and I was a recipient of INSPIRE-SHE fellowship. Having experimented graphene based  hybrid  materials for my M.Sc dissertation  and synthesis of bridged oxazolidines during my summer interns. I am joint PhD student with Praveen's lab and Dr. Jayandharan Rao's lab from IIT-Kanpur.

Passionate about crafting and draw by copying, also an ardent lover of classical music and terrible at singing.




- Ketan Thorat     thoratkv    A  T  instem.res.in  In Lab: Sept 2013 - Oct 2014 : Nov 2014 -

I am a Graduate Student in Praveen's lab from the batch of GS 2014. For past three years, my work has been focused around making platform technologies to reduce pesticide exposure in farmers. I did my Bachelors in Science from Fergusson College Pune and completed my Masters in Science-Biotechnology with specialization in nanomedicine from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay). At IIT Bombay I was working on developing lipo-polymeric nanoparticle aerosol for targeted and triggered delivery of drug combinations for the treatment of lung cancer.

Apart from lab, I am really passionate about dance and theater.


- Ashish Dhayani    ashishdd   A  T instem.res.in  In Lab: May 2013 -

I completed my Masters in Biochemistry from The M. S. University of Baroda and joined the lab in May 2013.

The first time I started working on hydrogels, I knew I wanted to work with them. Hydrogels are formed from those small, interactive amphiphilic molecules, which when added to water, form gels by self-assembly. Let’s call these molecules as gelators (because they gelate water). Once designed, these gelators can then be used for a variety of clinical applications pertaining to (a)drug delivery (that I am currently focusing on) for controlled and stimuli responsive release, (b) growing cells using these gels as scaffolds, (c) biosensors for disease diagnosis etc.

My area of research is in the design and development of hydrogel based systems for localized drug delivery in inflammatory diseases. Inflammatory diseases show a highly fluctuating inflammatory immune response, and there is no drug delivery platform designed to address this need. Delivering drugs only when the inflammatory response is high remains a holy grail in the field. We have earlier developed gelators that respond to inflammation, and we are further planning to design more specific gelators targeting specific diseases. This makes my work highly unique along with addressing a huge unmet clinical need.

What I like about the lab is uniqueness in a way that it fosters trust, care, mentoring along with an environment where we can educate and get educated ourselves. Every lab member brings their individual skill sets and we believe in working as a team for overall growth along with the development of the individual.

Apart from work, I like playing table tennis, photography, sketching and travelling.




Masters/Research Interns


- Theja P. P.     theja1729   A  T gmail.com  In Lab: July 2017 - 

Hi - I am Theja, I did my Masters in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram. Now in Praveen's lab I am developing small molecules for catalysis application.



- Kshama Anantha Kumar     kshamakeladi   A  T gmail.com    In Lab: June 2017 -

Hi - I am Kshama Anantha Kumar,  completed BE in  biotechnology at PES Institute of technology, Bangalore, India. I previously worked on generation of stably transfected  H1975 lung cancer cells, under Dr. Vikram Kodibagkar as a summer research fellow for a period of two months (June- July 2016) at Arizona State university, USA. I conducted my dissertation program at National institute of mental health and neurosciences( NIMHANS) on " Comparison of immunological and molecular diagnosis of Tuberculosis infection of the CNS"     under Dr. Shripad A Patil.

Currently I am working as a project trainee at Dr. Praveen Kumar Vemula's lab, and working on  Developing effective non-viral gene delivery vectors for nucleic acid delivery applications in various mammalian cell lines.

- Harshitha Nagesh     harshitha.mjj   A  T gmail.com   In Lab: Jan 2017 -

Hello! I am Harshitha Nagesh, Project trainee at Dr. Praveen Kumar Vemula’s Lab. I completed my B.Eng in Biotechnology from PES University, Bangalore, India. I previously worked under the guidance of Dr. Barbara Smith as a Summer Intern for a duration of two months (Jun 2016 to Aug 2016) at Arizona State University. The project I worked on primarily focused on “Developing a point of care device for the detection of Human Papilloma Virus in Saliva”. This sparked my interest in Biomedical sciences and Translational Research and I conducted my dissertation program at the Laboratory of Self Assembled biomaterials, inStem.

My research work is primarily focused on the Biophysical characterization of membrane penetrating amphiphiles for nucleic acid delivery applications in planarian cells. The main objective of the project is to develop a transgenic model of planaria that serves as a boon for regenerative medicine studies.


- Preethem Srinath     preethem.srinath   A  T gmail.com  In Lab: Jan - Aug 2016 : Sep 2016 -

Hi - I got my BS in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University and MSc in Regenerative Medicine from Manipal University. I joined Praveenís lab for my Masterís thesis and I am currently interning here. I work on synthesis, fabrication, in-vitro and in-vivo evaluation of charged polymer nanofiber scaffolds to scavenge cell death byproducts from stored blood to reduce transfusion-related complications such as Acute Lung Injury. My research interests include smart biomaterials for drug delivery and tissue engineering, cell-material interfaces, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

In my spare time I like to listen to music and play the guitar, mostly blues-rock. I also enjoy a good game of table tennis.


Summer/Short-term Trainees