Manish Debnath, Ph.D

Organic & Medicinal Chemistry

Research Focus

I have completed my Ph. D. in Biochemistry from the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, India, under Professor Jyotirmayee Dash in 2019. My Ph.D. research was based on the regulation of four-stranded nucleic acid structures (G-quadruplex and i-motifs) and their influence on oncogene expression. Later on, I developed artificial systems that could replicate the function of natural membrane transporters. At IICB, I will move on to construct new nucleic acid-based technologies for investigating the biological mechanisms relevant to cell biology, immunology, microbiology, and systems biology. Nucleic acids are fascinating molecules—a spoonful of them may store information equivalent to trillions of computers while having energy efficiency a million times greater than a single PC! That is exactly why nucleic acid can encode and process the vast information of the living system. In our laboratory, we aim to harness the enormous potential of nucleic acids to find intelligent solutions to problems related to medicine and biology. Nucleic acids have unique molecular recognition properties and can be used as building blocks to self-assemble into functional architectures of desirable shape and size. A number of recently developed unnatural nucleic acids (e.g., Hachimoji nucleobases, locked nucleic acids, peptide nucleic acids etc.) have further diversified the repertoire to build advanced systems. We will use a variety of chemical, biochemical, and molecular biology techniques to construct new biomimetic systems for bioimaging, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Members of this lab should be flexible and open-minded to work on highly interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.

Research Interest

  • Development of nucleic acid based therapeutics and diagnostics (e.g. synthetic antibodies) against cancer and infectious diseases.
  • Development of 2D and 3D nucleic acid architectures for application in biology and medicine.
  • Exploring the structure and function of non-coding RNA in biology. 


Figure showing some of the biologically relevant RNA secondary structures



  • Scientist (August 2022-present) CSIR-Indian Institute of chemical biology (CSIR-IICB), Kolkata.
  • Lundbeck Foundation Fellow, 2021
  • PhD (2013-2019) Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (PI – Prof. Jyotirmayee Dash)


Honours & Awards

I have received recognition from international foundations such as the Lundbeck Foundation, Marie-Curie foundation, Japan Society for Promotion of Science and the British Council for my research efforts. Some of them are listed below:

  • Lundbeck Foundation International Fellowship (Denmark), 2021.
  • JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) HOPE Fellowship, 2016.
  • Qualified CSIR UGC-NET (Not availed).
  • DST INSPIRE Fellow, 2013.
  • Qualified Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), 2012.


Patents & Publications

  1. Raj Paul, Debasish Dutta, Tania Das, Manish Debnath, Jyotirmayee Dash; G4 Sensing Pyridyl-Thiazole Polyamide Represses c-KIT Expression in Leukemia Cells, Chemistry – A European Journal (Wiley), 2021, doi:10.1002/chem.202100907 (Impact Factor - 5.02).
  2. Manish Debnath, Sandipan Chakraborty, Y. Pavan Kumar, Ritapa Chaudhuri, Biman Jana, Jyotirmayee Dash; Ionophore Constructed from Non-covalent Assembly of a G-quadruplex and Liponucleoside Transports K+-ion Across Biological Membranes, Nature Communications (Editor’s choice article in Therapeutics area), 2020, 11,469 (Impact Factor – 17.69, Citation 24).
  3. Manish Debnath, Khushnood Fatma, Jyotirmayee Dash; Chemical Regulation of DNA i-Motifs for Nanobiotechnology and Therapeutics, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (Wiley), 2019, 58, 2942 (Impact Factor – 16.82, Citation 39).
  4. Rakesh Paul, Tania Das, Manish Debnath, AjayChauhan, Jyotirmayee Dash; G-quadruplex Binding Small Molecule Induces Synthetic Lethality in Breast Cancer Cells by Inhibiting c-MYC and BCL-2 Expression, 2019, doi:10.1002/cbic.201900534 (Impact Factor – 3.461, Citation 14).
  5. Manish Debnath, Rakesh Paul, Deepanjan Panda, Jyotirmayee Dash; Enzyme-Regulated DNA-Based Logic Device, ACS Synthetic Biology (ACS) (Highlighted in Nature India), 2018, 7, 1456 (Impact Factor – 5.249, Citation 10).
  6. Debasish Dutta,* Manish Debnath,* Diana Müller, Rakesh Paul, Tania Das, Irene Bessi, Harald Schwalbe, Jyotirmayee Dash; Cell penetrating thiazole peptides inhibit c-MYC expression via site-specific targeting of c-MYC G-quadruplex, Nucleic Acids Research (Oxford University Press), 2018, 46, 5355 (Impact Factor – 19.16, Citation 67). *Joint First Author
  7. Manish Debnath, Shirsendu Ghosh, Ajay Chauhan, Rakesh Paul, Kankan Bhattacharyya, Jyotirmayee Dash; Preferential targeting of i-motifs and G-quadruplexes by small molecules, Chemical Science (RSC), 2017, 8, 7448 (Impact Factor – 9.969, Citation 56).
  8. Manish Debnath, Shirsendu Ghosh, Deepanjan Panda, Irene Bessi, Harald Schwalbe, Kankan Bhattacharyya, Jyotirmayee Dash; Small molecule regulated dynamic structural changes of human G-quadruplexes, Chemical Science (RSC), 2016, 7, 3279 (Impact Factor – 9.969, Citation 38).
  9. Ajay Chauhan*, Sushobhan Paladhi,* Manish Debnath,* Jyotirmayee Dash; Selective recognition of c-MYC G-quadruplex DNA using prolinamide derivatives, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry (RSC), 2016, 14, 5761 (Impact Factor – 3.89, Citation 19).*Joint First Author
  10. Ajay Chauhan, Rakesh Paul, Manish Debnath, Irene Bessi, Harald Schwalbe, Samir Mandal, Jyotirmayee Dash; Synthesis of Fluorescent Binaphthyl Amines That Bind c-MYC G-Quadruplex DNA and Repress c-MYC Expression, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (ACS), 2016, 59, 7275 (Impact Factor – 8.039, Citation 40).
  11. Deepanjan Panda, Manish Debnath, Samir Mandal, Irene Bessi, Harald Schwalbe, Jyotirmayee Dash; A Nucleus-Imaging Probe That Selectively Stabilizes a Minor Conformation of c-MYC G-quadruplex and Down-regulates c-MYC Transcription in Human Cancer Cells. Nature Scientific reports, 2015, 5, 13183 (Impact Factor – 4.996, Citation 55).
  12. Rabindranath Das, Manish Debnath, Abhiket Gaurav, Jyotirmayee Dash; Environment-Sensitive Probes Containing a 2,6-Diethynylpyridine Motif for Fluorescence Turn-On Detection and Induction of Nanoarchitectures of Human Telomeric Quadruplex, Chemistry – A European Journal (Wiley), 2014, 20, 16688 (Impact Factor – 5.02, Citation 12).
  13. Ajay Chauhan, Sushobhan Paladhi, Manish Debnath, Samir Mandal, Rabindranath Das, Sudipta Bhowmik, Jyotirmayee Dash; A small molecule peptidomimetic that binds to c-KIT1 G-quadruplex and exhibits antiproliferative properties in cancer cells, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (Elsevier), 2014, 22, 4422 (Impact Factor – 3.641, Citation 19).
  14. Kishor Sarkar, Manish Debnath, Patit Paban Kundu; Preparation of Low Toxic Fluorescent Chitosan-graft-Polyethyleneimine Copolymer through Naphthalimide Moiety for Gene Carrier, Carbohydrate Polymers (Elsevier), 2013, 92, 2048 (Impact Factor – 10.723, Citation 45).



  1. Debnath, M., Chauhan, A., Paul, R. and Dash, J. Indian Patent, Peptidomimetic ligands regulate BCL-2 expression by stabilizing DNA secondary structures. Patent No. 370710 (Granted on 30.06.2021).
  2. Dash, J., Panda, D., Debnath, M. and Mandal, S. Indian Patent, Anticancer activities of a heterocyclic molecule that selectively stabilizes G-quadruplex DNA. Patent No. 362703 (Granted on 23.03.2021).