Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
स्वास्थ्य अनुसंधान विभाग, स्वास्थ्य और परिवार कल्याण मंत्रालय, भारत सरकार
WHO Collaborating Centre For Research and Training On Diarrhoeal Diseases
Dr. Mamta Chawla-Sarkar joined ICMR-NICED, Kolkata in January 2006 as Scientist C. She gained her Master's in Zoology in 1992 from Calcutta University and acquired the degree of Ph.D from Bose Institute-Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 1999. She did her Post-doctoral research work as Research Associate for six years in the Center for drug discovery & development, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland. Her research focus was analysis of the genes involved in anti-canter effects of Interferons and the mechanisms underlying IFN resistance in tumors of different histopathologies. Dr Chawla-Sarkar was promoted as Scientist F in 2019.
After joining ICMR-NICED, Dr. Chawla-Sarkar initiated studies both basic and Public health aspects of RNA viruses which cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. As part of a National Diarrhoeal disease research institute, her focus is on enteric viruses. An estimated 200,000 deaths are attributable to rotavirus each year, over 20% of which are estimated to occur in India. Inspite of their great medical importance, information about the molecular mechanism by which these subvert their hosts' cellular immune response or the involvement of host proteins during infection was not well defined. Her studies using OMICS platforms (microarray and proteomics) have led for first time to the identification of a number of cellular genes which positively aid virus replication. The host proteins are either upregulated, downregulated or modified post translationally by the viral proteins. Modulation of a subset of cellular genes by using agonists or antogonists have shown potent anti-viral effects with minimum cytotoxic effects on the cells suggesting that Host-targeted antivirals can be exploited as potential antiviral therapeutics. She has extended her experience on Rotavirus to SARS-CoV2 in 2021 and is currently focusing on role of lncRNA's in SARS-CoV2 infection and pathogenesis.
Besides this, she has made vital contributions towards viral disease surveillance. Her lab was the nodal lab for Influenza virus testing in the eastern India. During the Influenza A/H1N1/2009 pandemic and H1N1outbreaks since 2009, her lab provided the full laboratory diagnostic service to the WB State health department. In addition, her lab also served as east-zone referral lab for the National Rotavirus Surveillance Network. During the COVID -19 pandemic, Dr Chawla Sarkar was part of the team which led to providing lab diagnosis, kit validation, full genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of SARS Cov2 strains.
Human Resource development and capacity building has also been
given importance- As of 2022, 15 students have been awarded
Ph.D.; six students are working for their Ph.D. She has provided
hand on training to the MSc students, technicians and
microbiologists for handling of clinical samples, ELISA/ PCR
based diagnosis of viruses.
Dr. Chawla- Sarkar has published > 95 research papers in peer reviewed journals. She received NASI fellowship (FNASc) in 2013, DBT's Women Scientist (Young) award (2013), ICMR's Kanishka Oration award (2017), Fellowship of WB Academy of Science and Technology (2018), Fellowship of INSA (FNA) in 2020 for her scientific contributions in field of viral diseases.
|Name||Dr. Mamta Chawla Sarkar|
|Date of joining ICMR||09th January 2006|
|Date of joining present post:||1st September 2014|
|Specialization||Virology, Molecular Biology|
|Email :||email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Academic Qualification||MSc., PhD, FNASc., FNA|
|Graduation:||BSc. Zoology (Hons), Calcutta University|
|Post Graduation :||MSc. Zoology, Calcutta University|
|Doctoral||Microbiology/Life Sciences, Jadavpur University|
Dr. Mamta Chawla-Sarkar has more than 20 years of research experience in the field of biomedical research. She worked on understanding the role of IFN as anti-cancer therapeutics and mechanisms which underly IFN resistance in subset of patients. In addition, a number of compounds were analyzed as anti-cancer therapeutics by her during her post-doctoral tenure in the Center for drug discovery & development, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland (1999-2005). After joining in 2006, as an independent faculty in ICMR-NICED, Dr. Chawla-Sarkar started studying both basic and public health aspects of Rotavirus (Enteric) and Influenza A virus (Respiratory), both of which cause significant morbidity worldwide. Her research group focus involves strain surveillance, host-virus interaction and identifying cellular proteins/miRNAs involved in viral pathogenesis for developing potential antiviral targets. She coordinated ICMR's National Rotavirus Surveillance Network and Influenza Surveillance Network in Eastern zone. Dr. Chawla-Sarkar's lab was responsible for providing laboratory support in West Bengal during A/H1N1 outbreaks in 2009, 2015 and 2017. She was part of the NICED-VRDL team in providing laboratory diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic, validation of RNA isolation and RT PCR kits approved for diagnosis of the SARS-CoV2 virus. In addition her team performed sequence analysis and phylogenetic analysis of the SARS-CoV2 strains circulating in India.
Research Interests of Dr. Chawla Sarkar and her team involve studies on both basic and public health aspects of enteric viruses. There has been substantial information on epidemiology, vaccine efficacy, genotypes of circulating rotaviruses prior to introduction of RV vaccines in India. But information about other enteric viruses remains scanty. Worldwide, RV vaccines have been successful in reducing the hospitalization rates and mortality due to RV but in developing countries there is still a huge burden of viral gastroenteritis due to low efficacy of vaccine in these settings. After implementation of RV vaccines, there are reports of increase in proportion of other enteric viruses, shift in genotypes of circulating RV and increased incidence in elderly and older children from endemic countries in Africa. India has introduced RV vaccine in 2016, but impact of RV vaccine has not been assessed yet. Thus, Dr. Chawla Sarkar's team will continue diarrheal disease surveillance and monitoring trends on enteric viruses.
In addition, in face of poor vaccine efficacy and high rotaviral heterogeneity in endemic settings like India, designing therapeutic approach adjunct to the prophylactic vaccine would of prime importance to reduce disease burden of rotaviral gastroentertitis. Interestingly, dissecting host-virus interaction by using high throughput omics has identified novel, non-mutable cellular determinants (proteins/miRNA/metabolic pathways) which play a pivotal role in virus infection cycle. These can be subjected to interventions by selective small molecules or phytochemicals from herbal source. In 2021, her team has also initiated studies on role of small RNA (s) like lncRNA and miRNAs in modulating RNA-virus ( SARS-CoV2 and Rotavirus) infection. Dr Chawla Sarkar's team continues their research focus in screening and characterizing potential host-targeted anti-viral therapeutics..