Google Scholar

ksunagar {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

Dr. Kartik Sunagar

August 10, 2017

Assistant Professor | Group leader

I am an evolutionary geneticist, and I study venomous animals and their venoms as model systems to address various intriguing questions in ecology, evolution and genetics. The major focus of my research in the recent past has been on innovating pan-India efficacious snakebite therapies through the discovery and development of broadly neutralising antibodies. My PhD (University of Porto, Portugal) and postdoctoral research (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) has provided fascinating insights into venom ecology and evolution, including the dynamics of venom evolution across large time, evolutionary origin and development of venom producing cells, coevolutionary arms races, molecular mechanisms of venom action, the genetic basis of venom resistance, and the role of environmental and ecological factors in driving the evolution of venom.
  • Deputy Editor, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
  • INSA Medal for Young Scientists, 2020.
  • Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance Fellowship, 2020.
  • Ramanujan Fellowship. April 2018. Not taken.
  • Gyandeep Award by the Organisation for Wildlife Studies (OWLS) and the Department of Forest for the Maharashtra State, 2018.
  • Editorial board member of the journal Toxins
  • DST INSPIRE Faculty Award, 2017
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (European Commission): 2015 - 17. Funding: $373,000.0
  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (Australian Research Council). Not taken. Funding: € 182,509.0
  • The PBC Fellowship Program for Outstanding Post-Doctoral Researchers from India, October 2014.
  • The Lady Davis postdoctoral fellowship. 2014. Not taken.

Research Associates

Dr. Priti Hebbar

August 16, 2018 - Present

DST Faculty Fellow

pritihebbar {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in
I am captivated by nature and fascinated by the Indian amphibians. I am interested in applying molecular techniques to ask interesting questions on the Evolution of amphibians.  For my PhD, I studied the Ecology and Conservation genetics of few species of Nyctibatrachus which is one of the ancient lineages of frogs from Western Ghats, India at ATREE, Bangalore. Before joining for PhD, I worked in Cipla pharmaceuticals where I worked on the qualitative analysis of anticancer drugs.  At the Evolutionary Venomics lab, I will be working on Indian toad toxins using the next generation sequencing techniques and hoping to add new insights about the Indian toads using an evolutionary perspective.  I will also continue my work on Nyctibatrachus species across Western Ghats where I will look into their genomics and understand their dispersal patterns and genetic diversity.
  • DST Inspire Faculty Award 2018 - Present
  • PBEEE-Quebec short term research scholarship, Canada: $12,000 (May-August 2018).
  • Rufford small grant for studying Ecological assessment and conservation education on amphibians from Kodagu region of Western Ghats, India: 5000£ (June 2017-May 2018).
  • Travel grants from Royal Norwegian Embassy, World Congress of Herpetology, Centre for International Co-operation in Science, Conservation Asia Scholarship, Edda Sehgal Award (2014 and 2016), and Asian Graduate Scholarship Award.
  • Centre for Herpetology-Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) small grant for studying ecology and distribution of tadpoles of tropical stream dwelling anuran amphibians in Myristica swamp.
Dr. Saurabh.png
Dr. Saurabh Attarde

March 01, 2019 - Present

Postdoctoral Fellow

asaurabh {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am a toxinologist, interested in the proteomics and therapeutic application of toxins from different venomous animals. I have done my PhD from Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India (2014-18). As a part of my PhD work, I have tested the anticancer potential of purified toxin from Indian spectacled cobra venom. At EVL, I am a part of the project that aims to develop a Universal antivenom for treating snakebite victims in India and sub-Saharan Africa.

  • DBT Research Associateship (2020-21)

  • Travel Grant from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (DBT-CTEP) for attending 14th EACPT (2019) at Stockholm, Sweden.

  • EMBO Travel Grant for attending EMBO Workshop B-cell development and leukemia (2019) at Salamanca, Spain. Not taken.

  • Young Scientist Award by Singapore Society of Mass Spectrometry in 7th AOMSC (2017) held at Biopolis, Singapore.

  • Travel Grant form Board of College and University Development (BCUD), Savitribai Phule Pune University for attending 7th AOMSC (2017) at Biopolis, Singapore.

  • Travel Fellowship from ‘European Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics’ (EACPT) for attending 13th EACPT conference (2017) at Prague, Czech Republic.

  • UGC-UPE Fellowship for the period of PhD (2014-18).

Dr. Anil.jpg
Dr. Anil Chandra

January 22, 2021 - Present

IOE Postdoctoral Fellow

anilchandra {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

My scientific interest consists development of nanoprobes for biomedical applications, 3D cell culture-based in vitro disease models, and smart drug delivery vehicles. I received my master’s degree in biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati in 2012 and was awarded PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 2018, where my PhD title was 'Cell microenvironment pH sensing in 3D'. The work on graphene quantum dots toxicity reduction and pH-sensitive carbon dots application was granted patents in INDIA, the US, and Europe. Post PhD, I joined the Institute of Nanotechnology (CNR Nanotec, ITALY) as a postdoctoral fellow (July 2018) to work on the ERC-Starting grant project INTERCELLMED (Sensing cell-cell interaction heterogeneity in 3D tumor models: towards precision medicine), where I worked on the development of microgel based pancreatic cancer tumoroids with fluorescence-based reporting of microenvironmental parameters using silica microparticles. As a member of the Evolutionary Venomics lab, I will be working on devising a combinatorial approach for neutralizing snake envenomation that will help in addressing limitations associated with antibody-based therapies

  • Scholars in training award by American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to present research work at AACR ANNUAL MEETING 2020 USA

  • Young Scientist Award for Best Poster at International Conference for Microbial Plant and Animal Research (ICMPAR 2012), Mody Institute of Technology and Science Sikar, Rajasthan.

  • CSIR-UGC NET fellowship for pursuing PhD (5 Years) and eligibility for lectureship in Life Sciences, 2011.

  • GATE 2010 for M. Tech fellowship (2 Years) and 2012

PhD Students

Senji Laxme R R
August, 2019 - Present

PhD Student

senjir {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am an ardent nature enthusiast, intrigued by the phenomenal diversity and complexity of life forms. Venom, in particular, is a fascinating treasure trove, that has interested researchers from various fields of biology. I am currently focusing on unraveling the venom diversity of major snakes in India. With a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology, I am hoping to study the characteristics of venom toxins and underlying intricacies of snake venom evolution, and employ these insights in the development of improved antivenom treatment in India.

  • Recipient of Indian Academy of Sciences Summer Research Fellowship for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017) and the Government of Tamil Nadu grant to attend a short-technical training programme at Yokohama National University, Japan (July 2017)
Vivek Suranse_edited.jpg
Vivek Suranse

June, 2019 - Present

PhD Student

viveksuranse {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in
I am a science enthusiast, dedicated to studying venomous creatures. I am focused on exploring venom evolution and study its relationship with ecology, cladistics, population genetics and phylogeography. I have primarily worked on scorpion phylogenetics, systematics and population genetics during my Master's at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER-Pune). My main research interest is evolutionary venomics as it employs modern technology for better understanding the interdependence of evolution and venom. The insights from such studies better the prospects of designing more effective antivenins and benefit mankind.
  • Recipient of the DST INSPIRE Student Fellowship 2012-17
Paulomi Dam
February, 2020 - Present

PhD Student

paulomidam {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

My research focuses on the phylogenetics and phylogeography of medically important Indian snakes to unravel the influence of historical processes in shaping their genetic diversity.

Neeraja P S

January, 2021 - Present

PhD Student (Co-advised with Dr. Rachit Agarwal)

neerajap {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am a strong believer in interdisciplinary research, and I aim to serve society through novel therapeutics for better health and long life. I am currently fascinated by the diversity of snake venoms. I am hoping to develop improved therapeutics for snakebite envenoming by inculcating bioengineering principles and insights on potent snake venom inhibitors.

Integrated PhD Students

Rashmi 02.jpeg

June, 2019 - Present

Integrated PhD Student

rashmi1 {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

Project Assistants

Suyog Khochare
October 05, 2018 - Present

Project Assistant

suyogk {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am a biotechnologist seeking to investigate the myriad of bioactive compounds from animal venoms. Using modern day proteomics tools, I believe, will help provide interesting insights on venomics as well as antivenomics. I am also eager to work on next-generation antivenoms with high efficacy and minimal cost.

  • Three years of R&D and quality control experience in Premium Serums and Vaccines Pvt. Ltd. , leading antivenom manufacturer in India.
Anisha Anand
February 11, 2019 - Present

Project Assistant

anishaanand {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

At EVL, I am studying the composition and evolution of Asian Common Toad Toxins. Besides that I am also working on understanding the species and gene diversity of endemic amphibians from genus Nyctibatrachus of the Western Ghats.

Ashwin Iyer
December 01, 2019 - Present

Project Assistant

ashwiniyer {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am currently participating in various biochemical assays and molecular biology techniques associated with multiple projects in the lab. Having worked extensively with microbes during my Bachelors and Masters, I am now keen on understanding higher, more complex systems of snakes and their venom compositions that would help trace crucial evolutionary checkpoints in venom development.

  • Recipient of the DBT (JNU-CEEB) Fellowship 2017-19
Navneet Kaur
January 01, 2020 - Present

Project Assistant

navneetk {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am currently using innovative approaches which will be useful to develop diagnostic tools to improve the present scenario of snakebite therapy in the country. My interests also lie in unveiling the venom composition, venom antivenom interactions using different molecular biology and biotechnology techniques. I am inquisitive to understand the evolutionary principles which underpin the variability of the venom cocktails.

Naeem Shaikh
October 10, 2020 - Present

Project Assistant

naeemshaikh {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am a keen observer of nature and am fascinated by its various facets. I have a Masters in Biotechnology from IBB, Pune University. My primary interest lies in understanding the ecology and phylogeography of neglected arthropod species while exploring the fascinating aspects of the evolutionary history of arthropod venoms. With this, I also aim to provide useful insight into the bioprospecting of venom and the conservation status of these arthropods species.

Lab Manager

K. Jayalakshmi
June 01, 2019 - Present

Lab Manager

kjayalakshmi{at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in


Stefen Kumar
November 02, 2020 - Present

Lab Assistant

Dissertation Students