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 to understand fascinating aspects of evolutionary biology, ecology and genetics. The major focus of my research has been on utilizing state-of-the-art technologies across disciplines to develop innovative and advanced snakebite therapies. My PhD (University of Porto, Portugal, December 2013) and postdoctoral research (the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel) has revealed several fascinating aspects of venoms, such as the dynamics of venom evolution, evolutionary origin and development of venom producing cells, coevolutionary arms races, mechanisms of venom action, the genetic basis of venom resistance, the role of environmental and ecological factors in driving the evolution of venom, etc.
Academic highlights
  • 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.
Academic highlights
  • 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 Attarde

March 01, 2019 - Present


asaurabh {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in
Dr Attarde is part of the project that aims to develop a Universal antivenom for treating snakebite victims in India and sub-Saharan Africa.

PhD Students

Senji Laxme R R
August 01, 2019 - Present

PhD Student

senjir {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

I am an ardent nature enthusiast, intrigued by the diversity of life forms, especially the speciose insects. Among insects, my focus is on the behaviorally diverse and ecologically important hymenopteran lineage. I am fascinated to learn how venom, as a trait has played a role in their divergence. Hymenopterans are among the largely understudied lineages, hiding innumerable evolutionary secrets in their venom, along with unexplored avenues for novel therapeutics.

Academic highlights
  • 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

June, 2019 - Present

PhD Student (External) | Fossil

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.
Academic highlights
  • Recipient of the DST INSPIRE Student Fellowship 2012-17

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.

Industrial highlights
  • Three years of R&D and quality control experience in Premiums serums and vaccines PVT LTD, leading antivenom manufacturer in India.
Shree Raksha
May 15, 2019 - Present

Project Assistant

suyogk {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

Shree Raksha is currently investigating venoms of hymenopteran lineages, as well as the snakebite neutralising efficacies of various plant extracts.

Anisha Anand
February 11, 2019 - Present

Project Assistant

suyogk {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

Anisha is pursuing research on amphibians, particularly on various lineages of frogs and toads.

Devika Jadhav
July 01, 2019 - Present

Project Assistant

suyogk {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

Devika is participating in various bioinformatics projects in the lab.

Lab Manager

K Jayalakshmi
June 01, 2019 - Present

Lab Manager

divyav {at} iisc {dot} ac {dot} in

Dissertation Students

Senji Laxme

Anna University, Tamil Nadu

November 2017 to June 2018

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Arushi Gupta

MS University, Baroda

May 2018 to December 2018

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Rashmi Verma

IISc Integrated PhD

March 2018 to April 2018

Arya Sachan

IISER, Kolkata

May 2018 to July 2018

Samyuktha Senthil

SRM University, Tamil Nadu

August 2018 to Present

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Kavya Rajendran

IISc Integrated PhD

April 2018 to May 2018

Vinayak Saini

NISER, Bhubaneswar

May 2018 to July 2018


December 2018 to May 2019