U. Mabalirajan , Ph.D.

Senior Scientist & Deputy Head
Cell Biology & Physiology

Research Interest

Our lab is interested in exploring the molecular mechanisms of adaptive responses of airway epithelial cells against various exogenous and/or endogenous insults, for a fuller understanding of respiratory diseases. Using this understanding, we are in the process of developing etiology oriented rather than symptom oriented bedside therapeutics.

Major Directions

  1. To understand the basis of steroid resistance in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  2. Combining immunology with mitochondrial biology to dissect the mechanisms of epithelial cell dysfunction and develop mitochondrial medicine in respiratory diseases.
  3. To understand the molecular basis for the link between respiratory diseases and lung cancer.

To understand the basis of idiopathic lung fibrosis.


  • Senior Scientist, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology 2017
  • Young Associate in Indian Academy of Sciences (2013-2016)
  • Young Scientist Award (Biological sciences) by Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists (2014)
  • Young Scientist Medal (Medical sciences) by Indian National Academy of Sciences, Delhi, India (2011)
  • PhD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 2010
  • Young Scientist Award (Biomedical sciences) by The National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, India (2010)
  • Medical senior research fellowship by ICMR (2006-2009)
  • G.P.Talwar Young Scientist Award by Indian Immunology Society, 2008
  • Best student award in final year MBBS (2001)
  • MBBS, Thanjavur Medical College, Dr MGR Medical University, Tamilnadu, India, 2001

Patents & Publications

  1. Jain V, Raina S, Gheware AP, Singh R, Rehman R, Negi V, Murray Stewart T, Mabalirajan U, Mishra AK, Casero RA Jr, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. Reduction in polyamine catabolism leads to spermine-mediated airway epithelial injury and induces asthma features. Allergy. 2018 May 5. doi: 10.1111/all.13472. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29729200.
  2. Singh VP, Mabalirajan U, Pratap K, Bahal D, Maheswari D, Gheware A, Bajaj A, Panda L, Jaiswal A, Ram A, Agrawal A. House dust mite allergen causes certain features of steroid resistant asthma in high fat fed obese mice. Int Immunopharmacol. 2017 Dec 4;55:20-27.
  3. Panda L, Gheware A, Rehman R, Yadav MK, Jayaraj BS, Madhunapantula VS, Mahesh PA, Ghosh B, Agrawal A, Mabalirajan U*. Linoleic acid metabolite leads to steroid resistant asthma features partially through NF-ҡB. 2017 Aug 29;7(1):9565. *Correspondence
  4. Mabalirajan U*Vijayakumar VE. Comment on “DNA Repair Interacts with Autophagy To Regulate Inflammatory Responses to Pulmonary Hyperoxia” Immunol. 2017; 199, 381.   *Correspondence
  5. Sharma A, Ansari AH, Kumari R, Pandey R, Rehman R, Mehani B, Varma B, Desiraju BK, Mabalirajan U, Agrawal A, Mukhopadhyay A. Human brain harbors single nucleotide somatic variations in functionally relevant genes possibly mediated by oxidative stress. Version 3. F1000Res. 2016 Oct 14 [revised 2017 Jan 1];5:2520.
  6. Mabalirajan U*. Possible Involvement of Protease-Mediated Neutrophil Recruitment and Epithelial Barrier Disruption in Ragweed Pollen Sensitization. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2017 Feb;56(2):271-272. *Correspondence
  7. Rehman R, Mabalirajan U * Proficient DNA repair in house dust mite-induced asthma? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Feb;139(2):713-714. *Correspondence
  8. Mabalirajan U*. A possible differential role of autophagy in asthma? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Feb;139(2):712. *Correspondence
  9. Singh S, Bodas M, Bhatraju NK, Pattnaik B, Gheware A, Parameswaran PK, Thompson M, Freeman M, Mabalirajan U, et al Author response to letter to editor: Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2016 Jul 1;311(1):L183-4.
  10. Suchita Singh, Manish Bodas, Betina Heinsbæk Thuesen, Michael Thompson, Michelle Freeman, V. P. Singh, Ulaganathan Mabalirajan, Reinhoud Gosens, Balaram Ghosh, Christina Pabelick, Allan Linneberg, Y S Prakash and Anurag Agrawal. Hyperinsulinemia and Inhaled Insulin Adversely Affects Lung Structure And Function. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol., 2016;310:L837-45.
  11. Lipsa Panda and Ulaganathan Mabalirajan*. Dietary lipid determines the health of airway epithelia and lung. Book Chapter from “Handbook of Lipids in Human Function” edited by Watson  &   De Meester; AOCS Press. .*Correspondence                                                        
  12. Agrawal A, Mabalirajan U. Rejuvenating Cellular Respiration for Optimizing Respiratory Function- Targeting Mitochondria. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2016;310(2):L103-13.
  13. Banerjee T, Kar Dipak, Krishna PR, Prabhakar S, Nomula R, Mallula VS, Ravindranath H, Sridhar G, Adepu R, Srikanth G, Mabalirajan U, Ghosh B, Jaisankar P, Johri R, Chakraborty D, Mishra V, Chhabrae JK, Shukla M, Paul BN, Bandyopadhyaya S, Roy S, Sharma GVM and Bandyopadhyay A. A Novel Triazine-Aryl-Bis-Indole Derivative Inhibits both Phosphodiesterase IV and Expression of Cell Adhesion Molecules. RSC Advances, 2015. DOI: 10.1039/C5RA11495K.
  14. Ram A, Mabalirajan U, Jaiswal A, Rehman R, Singh VP, Ghosh B. Parabromophenacyl bromide (PBPB), inhibits sub-epithelial fibrosis by reducing TGF-β1 in a chronic mouse model of allergic asthma. Int Arch Allergy Immunol2015;167(2):110-8.
  15. Rayees SMabalirajan UBhat WWRasool SRather RAPanda LSatti NKLattoo SKGhosh BSingh G. Therapeutic effects of R8, a semi-synthetic analogue of Vasicine, on murine model of allergic airwayinflammation via STAT6 inhibition. Int Immunopharmacol.2015;26:246-56.
  16. Chemmannur SV, Badhwar AJ, Mirlekar B, Malonia SK, Gupta M, Wadhwa N, Bopanna R, Mabalirajan U, Majumdar S, Ghosh B, Chattopadhyay S. Nuclear matrix binding protein SMAR1 regulates T cell differentiation and allergic airway disease.Mucosal Immunol 2015;8(6):1201-11.
  17. Mabalirajan U, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. Mitochondrion: A missing link in asthma pathogenesis. (In Respiratory Medicine: Mitochondrial function in lung health and disease. Editors Natarajan V, Parninandi NL)Springer Press Book Chapter 2014, (doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0829-5_3, pp 51-70).
  18. Ahmad T, Mukherjee S, Pattnaik BR, Kumar M, Singh S, Kumar M, Rehman R, Jha KR, Wani M, Roy SS, Mabalirajan U, Ghosh B, Agrawal A. Miro1 regulates intercellular mitochondrial transport & enhances mesenchymal stem cellrescue efficacy. EMBO J.2014;33:994-1010.
  19. Makhija L, Krishnan V, Rehman R, Chakraborty S, Maity S,Mabalirajan U, Chakraborty K, Ghosh B, Agrawal A. Chemical Chaperones Mitigate Experimental Asthma by Attenuating Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014;50:923-931
  20. Leishangthem GD, Mabalirajan U, Singh VP, Agrawal A, Ghosh, B, Dinda AK. Ultra-structural changes of airway in murine models of allergy and diet induced metabolic syndrome. ISRN allergy 2013;2013:261297.
  21. Mabalirajan U, Ghosh B. Mitochondrial dysfunction in asthma and metabolic syndrome. Review article. J allergy (Cairo) 2013;2013:340476.
  22. MabalirajanU*, Rehman R, Ahmad T, Kumar S, Leishangthem GD, Singh S, et al. 12/15-lipoxygenase expressed in non-epithelial cells causes airway epithelial injury in asthma. Rep. 2013;3:1540. *Correspondence
  23. MabalirajanU*, Ahmad T, Rehman R, Leishangthem GD, Dinda AK, et al. Baicalein reduces airway injury in allergen and IL-13 induced airway inflammation. PLOS ONE 2013;8:e62916.*Correspondence                                                        
  24. Rehman R, Bhat YA, Panda L, Mabalirajan U*. TRPV1 inhibition attenuates IL-13 mediated asthma features in mice by reducing airway epithelial injury. Int Immunopharmacol. 2013;15:597-605. *Correspondence
  25. MabalirajanU*, Rehman R, Ahmad T, Kumar S, Singh S, Leishangthem GD, et al. Linoleic acid metabolite drives severe asthma by causing airway epithelial injury. Rep. 2013;3:1349. *Correspondence
  26. Ahmad T, Aggarwal K, Pattnaik B, Mukherjee S, Sethi T, Tiwari BK, Kumar M, Micheal A,Mabalirajan U, Ghosh B, Sinha Roy S, Agrawal A. Computational classification of mitochondrial shapes reflects stress and redox state. Cell Death Dis. 2013;4:e461.
  27. Kumar S,Mabalirajan U, Rehman R, Singh BK, Parmar VS, Prasad AK, Biswal S, Ghosh B. A novel cinnamate derivative attenuates asthma features and reduces bronchial epithelial injury in mouse model. Int Immunopharmacol. 2013;15:150-159.
  28. Aich J,Mabalirajan U, Ahmad T, Khanna K, Rehman R, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. Resveratrol attenuates experimental allergic asthma in mice by restoring inositol polyphosphate 4 phosphatase (INPP4A). Int Immunopharmacol. 2012;14:438-443.
  29. Sharma A, Kumar M, Ahmad T, MabalirajanU, Aich J, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. Antagonism of mmu-miR-106a attenuates asthma features in allergic murine model. J Appl Physiol. 2012;113:459-464.
  30. Aich J,Mabalirajan U, Ahmad T, Agrawal A and Ghosh B. Loss of function of Inositol polyphosphate 4 phosphatase (INPP4A) reversibly increases the severity of allergic airway inflammation. Nat Commun.2012;3:877.
  31. Ahmad T, Kumar M, MabalirajanU, Pattnaik B, Aggarwal S, Singh R, Singh S, Mukerji M, Ghosh B, Agrawal A. Hypoxia Response in Asthma: Differential Modulation on Inflammation and Epithelial Injury. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012;47:1-10.
  32. MabalirajanU, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. 15-Lipoxygenase eicosanoids are the putative ligands for vanilloid receptors and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012; :109(1):E1.
  33. Kumar M, Ahmad T, Sharma A, MabalirajanU, Kulshreshtha A, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. Let-7 microRNA-mediated regulation of IL-13 and allergic airway inflammation. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;128:1077-1085.
  34. Ahmad T, Mabalirajan U, Sharma A, Ghosh B, Agrawal A. Simvastatin improves epithelial dysfunction and airway hyperresponsiveness: From ADMA to Asthma J. Resp. cell Mol. Biol. 2011;44:531-539.
  35. Agrawal A, Mabalirajan U, Ahmad T, and Ghosh B. Emerging interface between metabolic syndrome and asthma. (Review) J. Resp. cell Mol. Biol. 2011;44:270-275.
  36. Ahmad T, Mabalirajan U, Kanika Hasija, Ghosh B, and Agrawal A. Mepacrine treatment attenuates allergic airway remodeling segregated from airway inflammation in mice. Immunopharmacol. 2011; 11:74-78.
  37. Mabalirajan U, Ahmad T, Leishangthem G, Dinda AK, Agrawal A, and Ghosh B. L-arginine reduces mitochondrial dysfunction and epithelial injury in murine allergic airway inflammation. Immunopharmacol.2010;10:1514-1519.
  38. Kumar M, MabalirajanU, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. Proinflammatory role of let-7 miRNAs in experimental asthma? J Biol Chem. 2010;285:le19
  39. Leishangthem G, Mabalirajan U, Ahmad T, Ghosh B, Agrawal A, Nag TA, Dinda AK. Use of transmission electron microscopy for studying airway remodeling in a chronic ovalbumin mice model of allergic asthma. Chapter in Book: Microscopy: Science, Technology, Applications and Education 2010 Méndez-Vilas and J. Díaz (Eds.)
  40. Mabalirajan U, Ahmad T, Leishangthem GD, Joseph DA, Dinda AK, Agrawal A, and Ghosh B. Beneficial effects of high dose of L-Arginine on airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma. Allergy. Clin. Immunol. 2010,125:626-35.
  41. Ahmad T, Mabalirajan U, Ghosh B, and Agrawal A. Altered Assymetric Dimethyl Arginine metabolism in bronchial epithelium of allergically inflamed lungs. J. Resp. cell Mol. Biol. 2010,42: 3-8.
  42. Mabalirajan U, Agrawal A, and Ghosh B. Comment on “Ym1/2 promotes Th2 cytokine expression by inhibiting 12/15(S)-Lipoxygenase: Identification of a novel pathway for regulating allergic inflammation”Immunol. 2009;183:6039.
  43. Mabalirajan U, Dinda AK, Sharma SK and Ghosh B. Esculetin restores mitochondrial dysfunction and reduces allergic asthma features in experimental murine model. Immunol. 2009;183:2059-2067.                
  44. Mabalirajan U, Aich J, Sharma SK and Ghosh B. Effects of vitamin E on mitochondrial dysfunction and asthma features in an experimental allergic murine model. Appl. Physiol. 2009,107:1285-1292.
  45. Mabalirajan U, Aich J, Agrawal A, Ghosh B. Mepacrine attenuates the features of airway remodeling and reduces activity and expression of arginase in a mouse model of asthma J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol. 2009;297:L-411-419.
  46. Ahmad T*, Mabalirajan U*, Joseph DA, Makhija L, Singh VP, Ghosh B, and Agrawal A. A simple and efficient non – invasive technique to estimate exhaled nitric oxide in small animals Appl. Physiol. 2009;107:295-301 (*indicates equal contribution).
  47. Mabalirajan U, Dinda AK, Kumar S, Roshan R, Gupta P, Sharma SK, and Ghosh B. Mitochondrial structural changes and dysfunction are associated with experimental allergic asthma. Immunol.2008;181:3540-3548.
  48. Ram A*, Mabalirajan U*, Singh SK, Singh VP, Ghosh B. Mepacrine alleviates airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation in a mouse model of asthma. Immunopharmacol. 2008;8:893-899. (*equal contribution).
  49. Sharma M, Batra J, Mabalirajan U, Sharma S, Nagarkatti R, Aich J, Sharma SK, Niphadkar PV, Ghosh B. A genetic variation in inositol polyphosphate 4 phosphatase a enhances susceptibility to asthma. J. Respir. Crit. Care. Med. 2008;177:712-719.
  50. Agrawal A, Mabalirajan U, Ram A and Ghosh B. Novel approaches for inhibition of mucus hypersecretion in asthma. (Review article) Recent Patents on Inflammation & Allergy Drug Discovery 2007;1:188-192.
  51. Batra J, Pratap Singh T, Mabalirajan U, Sinha A, Prasad R, Ghosh B. Association of inducible nitric oxide synthase with asthma severity, total serum immunoglobulin E and blood eosinophil levels. Thorax2007;62:16-22.
  52. Sharma S, Nagpal K, Mabalirajan U, Kumar A, Ghosh B. Correlation of FCERIB gene haplotypes with histamine release from basophils in atopic asthma. Allergy. Clin. Immunol. 2006;118:960-963.
  53. Ghosh B, Batra J, Sharma S, Kumar A, Sharma M, Chatterjee R and Mabalirajan U. Genetic Components of Asthma: Current Status and Future Goals. Review of Asthma (Japan) 2006;8:67-88.
  54. Ram A, Mabalirajan U, Das M, Bhattacharya I, Dinda AK, Gangal SV, Ghosh B. Glycyrrhizin alleviates experimental allergic asthma in mice. Immunopharmacol. 2006;6:1468-1477.
  55. Sharma SRajan UMKumar ASoni AGhosh B. A novel (TG)n(GA)m repeat polymorphism 254 bp downstream of the mast cell chymase (CMA1) gene is associated with atopic asthma and total serum IgE levels. Hum. Genet. 2005;50:276-282.
  56. Chatterjee R, Batra J, Kumar A, Mabalirajan U, Nahid S, Niphadkar PV, Ghosh B. Interleukin-10 promoter polymorphisms and atopic asthma in North Indians. Exp. Allergy. 2005;35:914-919.
  57. Mabalirajan U, Kadhiravan T, Sharma SK, Banga A, Ghosh B. Th(2) immune response in patients with dengue during defervescence: preliminary evidence. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 2005;72:783-785.
  58. Batra J, Sharma M, Chatterjee R, Sharma S, Mabalirajan U, Ghosh B. CCR5 Delta32 deletion and atopic asthma in India. Thorax 2005;60:85.
  59. Sharma M, Batra J, Mabalirajan U, Goswami S, Ganguly D, Lahkar B, Bhatia NK, Kumar A, Ghosh B. Suggestive evidence of association of C-159T functional polymorphism of the CD14 gene with atopic asthma in northern and northwestern Indian populations. Immunogenetics 2004;56:544-547.