Debasis Nayak, Ph.D

Cancer Biology & Inflammatory Disorder

Research Interest

  • Understanding the molecular bases of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), stemness and therapeutic resistance in cancer and discovery of new approaches to sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapy.
  • Role of solute carrier (SLC) transporters and other metabolic determinants on cancer progression and their strategic modulation by chemical biology approaches.
  • Immuno-oncology: Metabolic and genetic approaches to immunomodulation for improving efficacy of CAR-T cells and cancer immunotherapy.
  • Screening and pharmacological evaluation of bioactive natural product compounds from marine and plant sources and their formulations in cancer models.


  • Postdoctoral (June 2018 – Jan 2023): The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • Ph.D. (2018): Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), CSIR- Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, India
  • M.S. (Pharm) Biotechnology (2012): National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Hajipur, India
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Sciences) (2010): Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Rourkela, India 

Honours & Awards

  • Pelotonia postdoctoral research fellowship award (2019) by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC), Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • Senior Research Fellowship (SRF-Direct) award (2013) by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India
  • Qualified Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT-2010) conducted by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). 

Patents & Publications


  1. Persaud, A. K., Bernier, M. C., Massey, M. A., Agrawal, S., Kaur, T., Nayak, D., Xie, Z., Weadick, B., Raj, R., Hill, K. and Abbott, N., ... & Govindarajan, R. (2023). Increased renal elimination of endogenous and synthetic pyrimidine nucleosides in concentrative nucleoside transporter 1 deficient mice. Nature communications, 14(1), 3175.
  2. Nayak, D., Weadick, B., Persaud, A.K., Raj, R., Shakya, R., Li, J., Coppola, V., Campbell, M.J., Govindarajan, R. (2022). EMT alterations in the solute carrier landscape uncover SLC22A10/15 imposed vulnerabilities in pancreatic cancer. iScience. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104193.
  3. Persaud, A., Nair, S., Rahman, Md., Raj, R., Weadick, B., Nayak, D., McElroy, C., Muruganandan, S., Knoblaugh, S., Cheng, X. and Govindarajan, R. (2021). Facilitative lysosomal transport of bile acids alleviates ER stress in mouse hematopoietic precursors. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21451-6.
  4. Weadick, B., Nayak, D., Persaud, A.K., Hung, S.W., Raj, R., Campbell, M.J., Chen, W., Li, J., Williams, T.M., Govindarajan, R. (2021). EMT-induced gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer involves the functional loss of equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-20-0316.
  5. Katoch, A.†, Nayak, D.†, Faheem, M.M.†, Kumar, A., Sahu, P.K., Gupta, A.P., Kumar, L.D. and Goswami, A. (2021). Natural podophyllotoxin analog 4DPG attenuates EMT and colorectal cancer progression via activation of checkpoint kinase 2. Cell Death Discovery, doi: 10.1038/s41420-021-00405-3. (†Co-first author)
  6. Dhanwal, V., Katoch, A., Nayak, D., Chakraborty, S., Gupta, A., Kumar, A., Gupta, P.N., Singh, N., Kaur, N. and Goswami, A. (2021). Benzimidazole-Based Organic–Inorganic Gold Nanohybrids Suppress Invasiveness of Cancer Cells by Modulating EMT Signaling Cascade. ACS Applied Bio Materials, 4(1), pp. 470-482; doi: 10.1021/acsabm.0c00970. 
  7. Ahmad, S.M., Nayak, D., Mir, K.B., Faheem, M.M., Nawaz, S., Yadav, G., Goswami, A. (2020). Par-4 activation restrains EMT-induced chemoresistance in PDAC by attenuating MDM-2. Pancreatology, 20(8), pp. 1698-1710; doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2020.09.021. 
  8. Chakraborty, S., Mir, K.B., Seligson, N.D., Nayak, D., Kumar, R. and Goswami, A. (2020). Integration of EMT and cellular survival instincts in reprogramming of programmed cell death to anastasis. Cancer and Metastasis Reviews, 39(2), pp. 553-566; doi: 10.1007/s10555-020-09866-x.
  9. Chakraborty, S., Kumar, A., Faheem, M.M., Katoch, A., Kumar, A., Jamwal, V.L., Nayak, D., Golani, A., Rasool, R.U., Ahmad, S.M., Jose, J., Kumar, R., Gandhi, S.G., Kumar, L.D. and Goswami, A. (2019). Vimentin activation in early apoptotic cancer cells errands survival pathways during DNA damage inducer CPT treatment in colon carcinoma model. Cell Death & Disease, 10(6), pp. 1-16; doi: 10.1038/s41419-019-1690-2.
  10. Nayak, D.†, Katoch, A.†, Sharma, D., Faheem, M.M., Chakraborty, S., Sahu, P.K., Chikan, N.A., Amin, H., Gupta, A.P., Gandhi, S.G., Mukherjee, D., Goswami, A. (2019). Indolylkojyl methane analogue IKM5 potentially inhibits invasion of breast cancer cells via attenuation of GRP78. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 177, pp.307-323; doi: 10.1007/s10549-019-05301-0. (†Co-first author)
  11. Dash, A.K., Nayak, D., Hussain, N., Mintoo, M.J., Bano, S., Katoch, A., Mondhe, D.M., Goswami, A. and Mukherjee, D., (2019). Synthesis and Investigation of the Role of Benzopyran Dihydropyrimidinone Hybrids in Cell Proliferation, Migration and Tumor Growth. Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry, 19(2) pp. 276-288; doi: 10.2174/1871520618666180903101422.
  12. Katoch, A., Suklabaidya, S., Chakraborty, S., Nayak, D., Rasool, R.U., Sharma, D., Mukherjee, D., Faheem, M.M., Kumar, A., Sharma, P.R. and Senapati, S., (2018). Dual Role of Par‐4 in abrogation of EMT and switching on Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transition (MET) in metastatic pancreatic cancer cells. Molecular carcinogenesis, doi: 10.1002/mc.22828.
  13. Shankar, S., Faheem, M.M., Nayak, D., Wani, N.A., Farooq, S., Koul, S., Goswami, A., Rai, R. (2017). Cyclodipeptide c(Orn-Pro) conjugate with 4-Ethylpiperic acid (EPA) abrogates cancer cells metastasis through modulating MDM2. Bioconjugate chemistry; doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00670.  
  14. Rasool, F.†, Nayak, D.†, Katoch, A., Faheem, M.M., Hussain, N., Yousuf, S.K., Kumar, C., Satti, N.K., Goswami, A., Mukherjee, D. (2017). Regiospecific synthesis of Ring A fused Withaferin A analogues: Induction of premature senescence by W-2B in proliferating cancer cells. Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13664-x. (†Co-first author).  
  15. Nayak, D., Kumar, A., Chakraborty, S., ur Rasool, R., Amin, H., Katoch, A., Gopinath, V., Mahajan, V., Zilla, M.K., Rah, B. and Gandhi, S.G., Ali, A., Kumar, L.D. and Goswami, A. (2017). Inhibition of Twist1-mediated invasion by Chk2 promotes premature senescence in p53-defective cancer cells. Cell Death & Differentiation, 24, pp.1275–1287; doi: 10.1038/cdd.2017.70.
  16. Rasool, R.U., Nayak, D., Chakraborty, S., Faheem, M.M., Rah, B., Mahajan, P., Gopinath, V., Katoch, A., Iqra, Z., Yousuf, S.K., Mukherjee, D., Kumar, L.D., Nargotra, A. and Goswami, A. (2017). AKT is indispensable for coordinating Par-4/JNK cross talk in p21 downmodulation during ER stress. Oncogenesis, 6(5), p.e341; doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2017.41.
  17. Rasool, R.U.†, Nayak, D.†, Chakraborty, S.†, Jamwal, V.L., Mahajan, V., Katoch, A., Faheem, M.M., Iqra, Z., Amin, H., Gandhi, S.G. and Goswami, A. (2017). Differential regulation of NM23-H1 under hypoxic and serum starvation conditions in metastatic cancer cells and its implication in EMT. European Journal of Cell Biology, 96(2), pp.164-171; doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2017.01.008. (†Co-first author).
  18. Saneja, A.†, Nayak, D.†, Srinivas, M., Kumar, A., Khare, V., Katoch, A., Goswami, A., Vishwakarma, R.A., Sawant, S.D. and Gupta, P.N. (2017). Development and mechanistic insight into enhanced cytotoxic potential of hyaluronic acid conjugated nanoparticles in CD44 overexpressing cancer cells. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 97, pp.79-91; doi: 10.1016/j.ejps.2016.10.028. (†Co-first author).
  19. Rasool, R.U., Nayak, D., Chakraborty, S., Katoch, A., Faheem, M.M., Amin, H. and Goswami, A. (2016). A journey beyond apoptosis: new enigma of controlling metastasis by pro-apoptotic Par-4. Clinical & experimental metastasis, 33(8), pp.757-764; doi: 10.1007/s10585-016-9819-5.
  20. Rah, B.†, Nayak, D.†, Rasool, R., Chakraborty, S., Katoch, A., Amin, H. and Goswami, A. (2016). Reprogramming of Molecular Switching Events in UPR Driven ER Stress: Scope for Development of Anticancer Therapeutics. Current molecular medicine, 16(8), pp.690-701; doi: 10.2174/1566524016666160829152658 (†Co-first author)
  21. Chakraborty, S., ur Rasool, R., Kumar, S., Nayak, D., Rah, B., Katoch, A., Amin, H., Ali, A. and Goswami, A. (2016). Cristacarpin promotes ER stress-mediated ROS generation leading to premature senescence by activation of p21waf-1. Age/Geroscience, 38(3), p.62; doi: 10.1007/s11357-016-9922-1.
  22. Amin, H., Nayak, D., Chakraborty, S., Kumar, A., Yousuf, K., Sharma, P.R., Ahmed, Z., Sharma, N., Magotra, A., Mukherjee, D., Kumar, L.D. and Goswami, A. (2015). Par‐4 dependent modulation of cellular β‐catenin by medicinal plant natural product derivative 3‐azido Withaferin A. Molecular carcinogenesis, 55(5), pp.864-881; doi: 10.1002/mc.22328.
  23. Nayak, D., Amin, H., Rah, B., ur Rasool, R., Sharma, D., Gupta, A.P., Kushwaha, M., Mukherjee, D. and Goswami, A. (2015). A therapeutically relevant, 3, 3′-diindolylmethane derivative NGD16 attenuates angiogenesis by targeting glucose regulated protein, 78kDa (GRP78). Chemico-biological interactions, 232, pp.58-67; doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2015.03.008.
  24. Rah, B., Rasool, R.U., Nayak, D., Yousuf, S.K., Mukherjee, D., Kumar, L.D. and Goswami, A. (2015). PAWR-mediated suppression of BCL2 promotes switching of 3-azido withaferin A (3-AWA)-induced autophagy to apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Autophagy, 11(2), pp.314-331; doi: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1017182.
  25. Zilla, M.K., Nayak, D., Vishwakarma, R.A., Sharma, P.R., Goswami, A. and Ali, A. (2014). A convergent synthesis of alkyne–azide cycloaddition derivatives of 4-α, β-2-propyne podophyllotoxin depicting potent cytotoxic activity. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 77, pp.47-55; doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2014.02.030. 
  26. Zilla, M.K.†, Nayak, D.†, Amin, H., Nalli, Y., Rah, B., Chakraborty, S., Kitchlu, S., Goswami, A. and Ali, A. (2014). 4′-Demethyl-deoxypodophyllotoxin glucoside isolated from Podophyllum hexandrum exhibits potential anticancer activities by altering Chk-2 signaling pathway in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Chemico-biological interactions, 224, pp.100-107; doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2014.09.022. (†Co-first author)


Mukherjee D, Goswami A, Sharma D, Nayak D and Jain SK. (2021). Indolylkojyl methane analogues, process of preparation thereof and use as inhibitor of cancer cells invasion and metastasis. United States patent US 11,180,486.

Book chapter:

Nayak, D., Weadick, B., & Govindarajan, R. (2023). Combination of Tissue Microarray Profiling and Multiplexed IHC Approaches to Investigate Transport Mechanism of Nucleoside Analog Drug Resistance. In Cancer Systems and Integrative Biology (Methods in Molecular Biology Book Series) (pp. 95-121). New York, NY: Springer US. (doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-3163-8_8)