Susanta Kar, Ph.D

Principal Scientist
Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Research Focus

Interactions between host and the parasite during infection define the systemic localization and continuous persistence of the pathogen by regulating the host-protective signaling pathways and communications between the cells of the immune system. During the course of evolution, pathogens have developed survival strategies like manipulation of the host immune system to overcome the lethal pathogen-clearing responses. The research from our lab aims to define the survival tactics of Leishmania donovani, a protozoan parasite that infects macrophages and the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis, a lethal infectious disease affecting millions worldwide. We study the interaction of Leishmania with macrophages, dendritic cells and T cells and the fate of these interactions on modulation of various intracellular signaling cascades that ultimately affect immune response/infection progression. Our lab is actively involved in the anti-leishmanial drug discovery programme where we use luciferase expressing transgenic L. donovani parasite for high throughput screening of novel synthetic compounds/ natural products against experimental model of visceral leishmaniasis.

Research Interest

  • Host pathogen interaction using visceral leishmaniasis as a model immunosuppressive disease; immune cell signaling 
  • Understanding the anti-leishmanial mechanism of action of novel chemical scaffolds/ natural immunomodulators to identify new/affordable therapeutic interventions for leishmaniasis
  • Investigating the roles of parasite-derived exovesicles as immunotherapeutic agent against chronic inflammatory disorders (IBD & RA).
  • Molecular dissection of epigenetic factors influencing cytokine balance during osteoclast differentiation


  • Principal Scientist (June 2019-till date), CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata
  • Principal Scientist (Dec 2019-May 2023), CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow
  • Senior Scientist (2015-2019), CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow
  • Scientist (2012-2015), CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow
  • Quick Hire Scientist (2011-2012), CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow
  • Ph. D.  – CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (2010, Jadavpur University)
  • M. Sc. – Dept. of Biochemistry, Calcutta University (2003)

Honours & Awards

  • Prof. A N Bhaduri Award-2020", Society of Biological Chemists (India)
  • “Shakuntala Amir Chand Prize 2019" by the ICMR (Govt. Of India)
  • Nominated as a member of Molecular Immunology Forum (2019)
  • CSIR-CDRI Incentive Awards CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow-2018, 2019 for excellent research Publications in high impact journals.
  • INSA Young Scientist Award (Year 2013)
  • Young Scientist Award from the Indian Society for Parasitology (Year 2012)
  • DST Fast Track -Young Scientist Project Award (2013)

Grants & Supports




Role as PI / Co-PI



Elucidating the mechanism of biogenesis and secretion of exosomes from........their   role in immune evasion



 DST, Govt. Of India


Deciphering mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming.....experimental visceral leishmaniasis



 DBT, Govt. Of India


Deciphering the role of SOCS proteins in regulating pro / anti-inflammatory......visceral leishmaniasis



 INSA, Govt. Of India


Molecular dissection of signal transduction...... experimental visceral leishmaniasis



 DST, Govt. Of India

Patents & Publications

PUBLICATIONS (*Corresponding author):

  1. Ansari A, Seth A, Dutta M, Qamar T, Katiyar S, Jaiswal AK, Rani A, Majhi S, Kumar M, Bhatta RS, Guha R, Mitra K, Sashidhara KV, Kar S*. 2023; Discovery, SAR and mechanistic studies of quinazolinone-based acetamide derivatives in experimental visceral leishmaniasis. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 257:115524. Impact factor- 7.088
  2. Rani A, Khanikar S, Dutta M, Katiyar S, Qamar T, Seth A, Agnihotri PK, Guha R, Vishwakarma JN, Kar S*. 2022; Quinolinyl β-enaminone derivatives exhibit leishmanicidal activity against Leishmania donovani by impairing the mitochondrial electron transport chain complex and inducing ROS-mediated programmed cell death. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. dkac395. Impact factor- 5.2
  3. Singh P, Ujjainiya R, Prakash S, Naushin S, Sardana V, Bhatheja N, Singh AP, Barman J, Kumar K, Gayali S, Khan R, Rawat BS, Tallapaka KB, Anumalla M, Lahiri A, Kar S et al. 2022; A machine learning-based approach to determine infection status in recipients of BBV152 (Covaxin) whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for serological surveys. Computers in Biology and Medicine.146:105419. Impact factor- 6.69
  4. Seth A, Ghoshal A, Dewaker V, Rani A, Singh SP, Dutta M, Katiyar S, Singh SK, Rashid M, Wahajuddin M, Kar S*and Ajay Kumar Srivastava*. Discovery of 2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrrolo[3,4-b]quinolin-1-one derivatives as possible antileishmanial agents. RSC Medicinal Chemistry. 2022 May 11;13(6):746-760. Impact factor- 4.26
  5. Seth A, Kar S*. 2022. Host-directed antileishmanial interventions: Harvesting unripe fruits to reach fruition. International Reviews of Immunology. Mar 11:1-20,(online ahead of print). Impact factor- 4.58
  6. Mishra S, Parmar N, Chandrakar P, Sharma CP, Parveen S, Vats RP, Seth A, Goel A, Kar S*. 2021. Design, synthesis, in vitro and in vivo biological evaluation of pyranone-piperazine analogs as potent antileishmanial agents. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 221:113516. Impact factor- 7.088
  7. Naushin S, Sardana V, Ujjainiya R, Bhatheja N, Kutum R, Bhaskar AK, Pradhan S, Prakash S, Khan R, Rawat BS, Tallapaka KB, Anumalla M, Chandak GR, Lahiri A, Kar S et al. 2021. Insights from a Pan India Sero-Epidemiological survey (Phenome-India Cohort) for SARS-CoV2. eLife. 10:e66537. Impact factor- 8.713
  8. Chandrakar P, Seth A, Rani A, Dutta M, Parmar N, Descoteaux A, Kar S*. 2021. Jagged-Notch-mediated divergence of immune cell crosstalk maintains the anti-inflammatory response in visceral leishmaniasis. Journal of Cell Science. 134(5):jcs252494. Impact factor- 5.235
  9. Parmar N, Chandrakar P, Kar S*. 2020. Leishmania donovani Subverts Host Immune Response by Epigenetic Reprogramming of Macrophage M(Lipopolysaccharides + IFN-γ)/M(IL-10) Polarization. The Journal of Immunology. 204(10):2762-2778. Impact factor- 5.43
  10. Chandrakar P, Parmar N, Descoteaux A, Kar S*. 2020. Differential Induction of SOCS Isoforms by Leishmania donovani Impairs Macrophage-T Cell Cross-Talk and Host Defense. The Journal of Immunology. 204(3):596-610. Impact factor- 5.43
  11. Yadav PK, Chandrakar P, Sharma P, Vishwakarma P, Parmar N, Srivastava M, Kar S*. 2020. Reciprocal changes in CD11c + CD11b + and CD11c + CD8α + dendritic cell subsets determine protective or permissive immune response in murine experimental VL. Vaccine. 38(2):355-365. Impact factor- 4.169
  12. Chandrakar P, Gunaganti N, Parmar N, Kumar A, Singh SK, Rashid M, Wahajuddin M, Mitra K, Narender T, Kar S*. 2019. β-Amino acid derivatives as mitochondrial complex III inhibitors of L. donovani: A promising chemotype targeting visceral leishmaniasis. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 182:111632. Impact factor- 7.088
  13. Upadhyay A, Chandrakar P, Gupta S, Parmar N, Singh SK, Rashid M, Kushwaha P, Wahajuddin M, Sashidhara KV, Kar S*. 2019. Synthesis, Biological Evaluation, Structure-Activity Relationship, and Mechanism of Action Studies of Quinoline-Metronidazole Derivatives Against Experimental Visceral Leishmaniasis. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 62(11):5655-5671. Impact factor- 8.039
  14. Verma R, Kushwaha V, Pandey S, Thota JR, Vishwakarma P, Parmar N, Yadav PK, Tewari P, Kar S, Shukla PK, Murthy PK. 2018. Leishmania donovani molecules recognized by sera of filaria infected host facilitate filarial infection. Parasitology research. 117(9):2901:2912. Impact factor- 2.383
  15. Parmar N, Chandrakar P, Vishwakarma P, Singh K , Mitra K, Kar S*. 2018. Leishmania donovani Exploits Tollip, a Multitasking Protein, To Impair TLR/IL-1R Signaling for Its Survival in the Host. The Journal of Immunology. 201(3):957-970. Impact factor- 5.43
  16. Vishwakarma P, Parmar N, Chandrakar P, Sharma T, Kathuria M, Agnihotri PK, Siddiqi MI, Mitra K, Kar S*. 2018. Ammonium trichloro [1,2-ethanediolato-O,O']-tellurate cures experimental visceral leishmaniasis by redox modulation of Leishmania donovani trypanothione reductase and inhibiting host integrin linked PI3K/Akt pathway. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 75(3):563-588. Impact factor- 9.234
  17. Roy S, Dutta D, Satyavarapu EM, Yadav PK, Mandal C, Kar S, Mandal C. 2017. Mahanine exerts in vitro and in vivo antileishmanial activity by modulation of redox homeostasis. Scientific Reports. 23;7(1):4141. Impact factor- 4.997
  18. Anand D, Yadav PK, Patel OP, Parmar N, Maurya RK, Vishwakarma P, Raju KS, Taneja I, Wahajuddin M, Kar S*, Yadav PP*. 2017. Antileishmanial Activity of Pyrazolopyridine Derivatives and Their Potential as an Adjunct Therapy with Miltefosine. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 60(3):1041-1059. Impact factor- 8.039
  19. Vishwakarma P, Parmar N, Yadav PK, Chandrakar P, Kar S*. 2016. 15d-Prostaglandin J2 induced reactive oxygen species-mediated apoptosis during experimental visceral leishmaniasis. Journal of Molecular Medicine. 94(6):695-710. Impact factor- 5.606
  20. Verma SK, Joseph SK, Verma R, Kushwaha V, Parmar N, Yadav PK, Thota JR, Kar S, Murthy PK. 2015. Protection against filarial infection by 45-49 kDa molecules of Brugia malayi via IFN-γ-mediated iNOS induction. Vaccine. 33:527-34. Impact factor- 4.169
  21. Palit, S., Kar S, Sharma, G., and Das, P.K. 2014. Hesperetin Induces Apoptosis in Breast Carcinoma by Triggering Accumulation of ROS and Activation of ASK1/JNK Pathway. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 230:1729-1739. Impact factor- 6.513
  22. Shivahare R, Vishwakarma P, Parmar N, Yadav PK, Haq W, Srivastava M, Gupta S, Kar S*. 2014. Combination of liposomal CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 2006 and miltefosine induces strong cell-mediated immunity during experimental visceral leishmaniasis. PLOS One. 14;9(4):e94596. Impact factor- 3.7
  23. Sharma G, Kar S, Basu Ball W, Ghosh K and Das, P.K. 2014. The curative effect of fucoidan on visceral leishmaniasis is mediated by activation of MAP kinases through specific protein kinase C isoforms. Cellular and Molecular Immunology. 11, 263-274. Impact factor- 22.1
  24. Ghosh K., Sharma G, Saha A, Kar S, Das P.K. and Ukil A. 2012. Successful therapy of visceral leishmaniasis with curdlan involves T-helper 17 cytokines. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 207, 1016-25. Impact factor- 6.4
  25. Srivastav, S1, Kar S1, Chande, A G., Mukhopadhyaya R and Das, P.K. (1Equal contribution). 2012. Leishmania donovani exploits host deubiquitinating enzyme A20, a negative regulator of TLR signaling, to subvert host immune response. The Journal of Immunology. 189, 924-934. Impact factor- 5.43
  26. Kar S., 1Palit, S.1 and Das, P.K. 2012. Carnosic acid modulates Akt/IKK/NF-κB signaling by PP2A and induces intrinsic and extrinsic pathway mediated apoptosis in human prostate carcinoma PC-3 cells. Apoptosis. 17, 735-747. Impact factor- 5.561
  27. Sharma, G., Kar S., Palit, S. and Das, P.K. 2012. 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid induces apoptosis through modulation of Akt/FOXO3a/Bim pathway in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 227, 1923-31. Impact factor- 6.513
  28. Ukil, A.,1Kar S.1, Srivastav, S and Das, P.K (1Equal contribution). 2011. Curative effect of 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid in experimental visceral leishmaniasis depends on phosphatase-dependent modulation of cellular MAP kinases. PLOS One. 12, e29062. Impact factor- 3.7
  29. Basu Ball, W., Kar S., Mukherjee, M., Chande, A.G., Mukhopadhyaya, R. and  Das, P.K. 2011. Uncoupling protein 2 negatively regulates mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation and induces phosphatase-mediated anti-inflammatory response in experimental visceral leishmaniasis. The Journal of Immunology. 187, 1322-1332. Impact factor- 5.43
  30. Biswas, A., Bhattacharya, A., Kar S and Das, P.K. 2011. Expression of IL-10-triggered STAT3-dependent IL-4Rα is required for induction of arginase 1 in visceral leishmaniasis. European Journal of Immunology. 41, 992-1003. Impact factor- 6.688
  31. Kar, S.,1 Sharma, G1 and Das, P.K. 2011. (1Equal contribution). Fucoidan cures infection with both antimony-susceptible and -resistant strains of Leishmania donovani through Th1 response and macrophage-derived oxidants. The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 66, 618-625. Impact factor- 5.2
  32. Kar S.,Ukil, A. and Das, P.K. 2011. Cystatin cures visceral leishmaniasis by NF-κB-mediated proinflammatory response through co-ordination of TLR/MyD88 signaling with p105-Tpl2-ERK pathway. European Journal of Immunology. 41, 116-127. Impact factor- 6.688
  33. Kar S., Ukil, A., Sharma, G. and Das, P.K. 2010. MAPK-directed phosphatases preferentially regulate pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in experimental visceral leishmaniasis: involvement of distinct protein kinase C isoforms. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 88, 9-20. Impact factor- 6.011
  34. Kar S.,1 Ukil, A1 and Das, P.K (1Equal contribution). 2009. Signaling events leading to the curative effect of cystatin on experimental visceral leishmaniasis: involvement of ERK1/2, NF-kappaB and JAK/STAT pathways. European Journal of Immunology. 39, 741-751. Impact factor- 6.688.



  1. Seth A, Kar S*.  Understanding the cross-talk between epigenetics and immunometabolism to combat cancer. Subcellular Biochemistry, Springer Nature. 2022 ;100:581-616.
    Title of the book: Metabolism and Epigenetic Regulation: Implications in Cancer.



  1. Emerging roles of extracellular vesicles in immunomodulation during host-pathogen interactions. Kar S, Descoteaux A, Mukherjee B, Nimrichter L.Front Immunol. 2022 Jul 22;13:958179.