Rupasri Ain, PhD, FNASc, FAScT

Chief Scientist (CSIR-IICB) and Professor, AcSIR
Cell Biology & Physiology

Research Focus

Regulation of trophoblast stem cell self-renewal and differentiation by transcription factors and non-coding RNAs. Spiral artery remodeling, Cell-cell communication, Cardiac hypertrophy, Colorectal cancer.

Research Interest

The overarching goal of research in our laboratory is to unravel the mechanism by which multi-potent trophoblast stem cells, the progenitor cells of the placenta, self-renew as well as differentiate and trans-differentiate into various cell lineages of the placenta. We work on a) regulatory non-coding RNAs, transcription factors, and cell signaling pathways that regulate trophoblast stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, and function. In addition, we are working on the molecular regulation of key developmental events that are indispensable for healthy pregnancy outcomes, which include b) spiral artery remodeling, c) decidual cell maturation, and d) epithelial-mesenchymal transition. We have recently started working on the molecular regulation of cardiac hypertrophy and colorectal cancer biology as some molecules we worked on turned out to be important regulators of a) cardiac hypertrophy and b) colorectal carcinogenesis. We use the tools and concepts of molecular biology, cell and developmental biology, genetics, and microscopy to address our research questions.  Finally, our research efforts in understanding placental biology and trophoblast stem cell differentiation is a valuable approach for understanding the etiology of early pregnancy loss and discovering diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for the detection, treatment, and prevention of placenta-associated diseases.


  • 2022- till date: Chief Scientist, CSIR-IICB, Professor, Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR).
  • 2017 – 2022: Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-IICB; Professor, AcSIR.
  • 2012- 2017: Principal Scientist, CSIR-IICB; Associate Professor, AcSIR.
  • 2007-2012: Head, Mouse Genetics Facility, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India
  • 2006-2007: Executive Manager, Research and Development, Bangalore Genei.
  • 2003-2006: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Integrated Physiology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, USA
  • 1998-2003: Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS, USA
  • 1997-1998: Post-doctoral Fellow, Freie Universitaet, Berlin, Germany
  • 1993-1997: Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Science.

Honours & Awards

  • Prof. NR Moudgal Memorial Oration Award, 2024.
  • Elected Fellow, National Academy of Science, India, 2022.
  • Elected Fellow, West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology, 2022.
  • Prof. GP Talwar Gold Medal Award, 2021.
  • Associate Editor, PLOS ONE and American Journal of Reproductive Immunology.
  • Editorial Board Member, Non-coding RNA investigation, China.
  • Technical Expert Committee Member, Women and Child Health, Department of Biotechnology, India, 2022-2025.
  • Taskforce member of Metabolic Diseases and Autoimmune Disorders Task Force, Department of Biotechnology, India, 2017-2020.
  • Taskforce member of Human Disease and Developmental Biology Task Force, Department of Biotechnology, India, 2014-2017.
  • Adhoc Reviewer for EMBO Report, FASEB J, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, Molecular Human Reproduction, Molecular Medicine, Reproduction, Cell Communication and Signaling, Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Journal of Endocrinology, Reproduction, Fertility and Development, J Soc Gynecological Investigation
  • Eastman Kodak New Investigator Travel Award (2003) from the International Federation of Placenta Association
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association, 2000-2002.
  • Endocrine Society Travel Grant Award, 2001.

Grants & Supports


  • BT/PR50045/CMD/150/86/2023 (2024-2027), DBT.
  • BT/PR49910/MED/97/642/2023 (2024-2027), DBT.
  • BT/PR51209/MED/31/474/2023 (2024-2027), DBT.


  • Regulation of trophoblast development and placental pathophysiology by long non-coding RNAs (2021-2024) SERB
  • Molecular regulation of spiral artery remodeling (2019-2024), DBT
  • Hippo dynamics is a critical regulator of trophoblast stem cell self-renewal and differentiation (2020-2023) ICMR
  • Cellular Prion: a novel regulator of decidual cell function at the maternal-fetal interface (2019-2022), ICMR
  • Regulation of trophoblast-vasculogenic mimicry (2017-2020), DBT.
  • MicroRNAs in trophoblast stem cell differentiation (2016-2019), SERB
  • Transgenic Over-expression of NOSTRIN in Mice and Pregnancy-induced hypertension (2015-2018), ICMR.
  • Studies on trophoblast and natural killer cell interaction at the maternal-fetal interface (2013-2016), DST/SERB.
  • Transgenic Over-expression of NOSIP in Mice and Pregnancy-induced hypertension (2014-2016), DBT.

Patents & Publications


After joining IICB:

  1. Das P, Bose R, Paul M, Nandy D, Basak T and Ain R (2024) IL1β-NFκβ-Myocardin signalling axis governs trophoblast-directed plasticity of vascular smooth muscle cells. FASEB J. 38(9): e23637. Impact Factor 5.83.
  2. Paul M and Ain R (2024) Evaluation of Molecular Interactions and Cellular Dynamics at the Maternal-Fetal Interface during Placental Morphogenesis. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2728:45-76. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-34950_5. Springer Nature Publishers.
  3. Bose R, Jana SS and Ain R (2023) Cellular Prion protein moonlights vascular smooth muscle cell fate: Surveilled by trophoblast cells. Journal of Cellular Physiology.  doi: 10.1002/jcp.31130. Impact Factor 5.6.
  4. Jena SK, Das S, Chakraborty S and Ain R (2023) Scientific  Reports.  13(1):10978. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-37977-2. Impact Factor 4.99
  5. Paul M, Chakraborty S, Islam S and Ain R (2022) Trans-differentiation of trophoblast stem cells: Implications in placental biology. Life Science Alliance. 6(3):e202201583. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202201583. Impact Factor 5.78
  6. Saha S, Bose R, Chakraborty S and Ain R (2022) Tipping the balance toward stemness in trophoblast: Metabolic programming by Cox6B2. FASEB J. 36 (11), e22600. Impact Factor 5.83
  7. Basak T, and  Ain R (2022) Molecular regulation of trophoblast stem cell self-renewal and giant cell differentiation by the Hippo components YAP and LATS1. Stem Cell Research and Therapy. doi: 10.1186/s13287-022-02844-w. Impact Factor 6.83
  8. Paul M, Gope TK, Das P and Ain R (2022) Nitric-Oxide Synthase trafficking inducer (NOSTRIN) is an emerging negative regulator of colon cancer progression. BMC Cancer. doi:10.1186/s12885-022-09670-6  Impact Factor 4.43
  9. Basak T, Paul M and Ain R (2022) Protocol for functional characterization of endoreduplicated murine trophoblast cells. STAR Protocols (Cell Press) 3(3):101573.
  10. Basak T, Dey AK, Banerjee R, Paul S, Maiti TK and  Ain R (2021) Sequestration of eIF4A by Angiomotin: A novel mechanism to restrict global protein synthesis in trophoblast cells. Stem Cells. doi: 10.1002/stem.3305. Impact Factor 6.27
  11. Saha S and Ain R (2020) MicroRNA regulation of trophoblast stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Life Science Alliance. 3 (11): e202000674. doi: 10.26 508/lsa.202000674. Impact Factor 5.78
  12. Chakraborty S, Bose R, Islam S, Das S and Ain R (2020) Harnessing the autophagic network is essential for trophoblast stem cell differentiation. Stem Cells and Development. 29 (11),682-694. Impact Factor 4.3
  13. Nandy D, Das S, Islam S and Ain R (2020) Trophoblast cells regulate phenotypic switching of vascular smooth muscle cells at the uteroplacental interface. Placenta. 93, 64-73. Impact Factor 3.48
  14. Basak T and Ain R (2019) Long non-coding RNAs in placental development and disease. Non-coding RNA Investigation. 3:(14): 1-46. 
  15. Chakraborty S and Ain R (2018) NOSTRIN: A novel modulator of trophoblast giant cell differentiation. Stem Cell Research. 31:135-146. Impact Factor 3.9
  16. Chakraborty S, Islam S, Saha S and Ain R (2018) Dexamethasone-induced Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction impacts NOSTRIN and its downstream effector genes in the rat mesometrial uterus. Scientific  Reports.  DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-26590-3. Impact Factor 4.99
  17. Bose R and Ain R (2018) Regulation of transcription by Circular RNAs. In “Circular RNAs: Biogenesis and Functions”, Springer Nature Publishers, Book Series: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Impact Factor  3.4
  18. Chakraborty S and Ain R (2017) Nitric-oxide synthase trafficking inducer is a pleiotropic regulator of endothelial cell function and signaling. J Biol Chem. 292(16):6600-6620. Impact Factor 5.48
  19. Saha S, Chakraborty S, Bhattacharyay A, BiswasA and Ain R (2017) MicroRNA regulation of Transthyretin in trophoblast differentiation and Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction. Scientific  Reports 7 (1):16548-16560. Impact Factor 4.99
  20. Joshi R, Quadros R, Drumm M, Ain R, Panicker M (2017) Sedative effect of Clozapine is a function of 5-HT2A and environmental novelty. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 27(1):70-81. Impact Factor 4.468 
  21. Chakraborty S and Ain R (2016) “Endothelial Cell Biology: Assessment of Endothelial Cell Function” in Trends in Experimental Biology, Volume-II. L. Kma ed. pp. 1-27. Excel India Publishers, New Delhi, India.
  22. Saha S, Choudhury J and Ain R (2015) MicroRNA-141-3p and miR-200a-3p regulate Insulin-like growth factor-II during mouse placental development. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 414:186-193. Impact Factor 4.


Before joining IICB:

  1. Rosario GX*, Ain R*, Konno T and Soares MJ (2009) Intrauterine fate of invasive trophoblast cells. Placenta 30 (5): 457-463.  *Equal contribution. 
  2. Chaturvedi G, Simone PD, Ain R, Soares MJ and Wolfe MW (2009) Noggin maintains pluripotency of human embryonic stem cells grown on matrigel. Cell Proliferation 42 (4): 425-433. 
  3. Soares MJ, Alam SMK, Konno T and Ain, R. (2007) The prolactin family:  regulators of uterine biology. In: Endometrium-2, J. Aplin, A. Fazleabas, S.R. Glasser, L. Giudice (eds), Taylor and Francis Publishers, London, pp. 342-353.
  4. Ain R, Konno T, Canham LN and Soares MJ (2006) Phenotypic analysis of the rat placenta. In: Soares MJ and Hunt JS (eds) Placental and trophoblast biology: Methods in Molecular Medicine, vol.I, Humana Press, Inc. 121:295-313.  
  5. Alam SM, Ain R, Konno T, Ho-Chen JK, Soares MJ (2006) The rat prolactin gene family locus: species-specific gene family expansion. Mammalian Genome. 17(8): 858-877. 
  6. Ho-Chen JK, Ain R, Alt AR, Gonzalez NC, Wood JG and Soares MJ (2006) Hypobaric Hypoxia as a Tool to Study Pregnancy-Dependent Responses at the Maternal-Fetal Interface.  In: Soares MJ and Hunt JS (eds) Placental and trophoblast biology: Methods in Molecular Medicine, vol. II, Humana Press, Inc. 122:427-434.
  7. Ain R, Canham LN and Soares MJ (2005) Glucocorticoid induced intrauterine growth restriction impacts placental prolactin family and IGF-II/Akt signaling pathway. Journal of Endocrinology. 185:253-263.  
  8. Ain R, Dai G, Godwin AR, Dunmore J and Soares MJ (2004) A prolactin family paralog regulates reproductive adaptations to a physiological stressor.Proc Natl Acad Sci. USA, 101(47): 16543-16548
  9. Ain R*, Trinh M-L, and Soares MJ (2004) Interleukin-11 signaling is required for the differentiation of Natural Killer Cells at the Maternal-Fetal interface. Developmental Dynamics 231(4): 700-708. 
  10. Ain R and Soares MJ (2004) Is the metrial gland really a gland? Journal of Reproductive Immunology 61(2): 127-129. 
  11. Pijnenborg R, Aplin JD, Ain R, Bevilacqua E, Bulmer JN, Cartwright J, Hüppertz B, Knöfler M, Maxwell C and Vercruysse L (2004) Trophoblast and the Endometrium––A Workshop Report. Placenta, 25: S42-S44. 
  12. Ain R, Canham LN and Soares MJ (2003) Gestation stage-dependent intrauterine trophoblast cell invasion in the mouse and the rat: novelendocrine phenotype and regulation. Developmental Biology 260: 176-190. 
  13. Ain R, Tash JS and Soares MJ (2003)Prolactin-like protein-A is a functional modulator of Natural Killer cells at the maternal-fetal interface. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 204:65-74. 
  14. Wiemer D*, Ain R*,  Ohboshi S and Soares MJ (2003) Migratory trophoblast cells express a newly identified member of the prolactin gene. Journal of Endocrinology 179: 335-346. *Equal Authorship. 
  15. Wiemer D, Shao L, Ain R,  Dai G and Soares MJ (2003) Mouse Prolactin Family Gene Locus. Endocrinology. 144:313-325. 
  16. Ain R, Tash JS, and Soares MJ (2002) A Simple method for the in situ detection of eosinophils. Journal of Immunological Methods 260: 273-278. 
  17. Ain R, Muller H, Sahgal N, Dai G and Soares MJ (2002) Uteroplacental Prolactin Family: Immunological Regulators of Viviparity. In: Matera L and Rapaport  R (eds) Growth and Lactogenic Hormones: Neuroimmune Biology, vol. 2, pp 187-202, Elsevier Science Publisher.
  18. Dutta B, Ain R, Seshagiri PB and Karande AA (2001). Differential influence of recombinant non-glycosylated and glycosylated glycodelin on human sperm function: comparative studies with hamster spermatozoa. Reproduction Fertility and Development 13: 111-118. 
  19. Ain R, K  Uma, S Shivaji and P B Seshagiri (1999). Pentoxifylline stimulated capacitation and acrosome reaction in hamster spermatozoa: involvement of intracellular signaling molecules.(1999) Molecular Human Reproduction 5(7):618-626. 
  20. Ain R, J Rao, A T Peter, H Sridhar, B R Vijaykumar and P B    Seshagiri (1998). Bacterial infection and endotoxin levels in the female reproductive tract in rat: Correlation with the developmental status of   preimplantation embryos. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 36  (9): 867-874. 
  21. Ain R and P B Seshagiri (1997). Succinate and malate improve development of hamster eight-cell embryos in vitro: confirmation of  viability by embryo transfer. Molecular Reproduction and Development 44: 440-447. 
  22. Ain R and P B Seshagiri (1997). Micromolar concentration of pentoxifylline improves in vitro development of hamster 8-cell embryos: Confirmation of viability by embryo transfer. Reproduction Fertility and Development 9: 697-702. 
  23. Ain R, D Jayaprakash, A T Peter, M S Sreenivasa, M Kumar and  P B Seshagiri (1995). Pentoxifylline improves sperm capacitation and affects in vitro fertilization of oocytes in the golden hamster.  Theriogenology 44:553-562.
  24. Ain R, K R Shivkumar, B R Sreenath and P B Seshagiri (1995). Assessment of developmental retardation and abnormality of in vivo produced preimplantation embryos in the rat.  Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. 33: 911-926.