Saumendra N. Sarkar, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Education & Training

  • PhD in Molecular Biophysics, Indian Institute of Science
  • MS in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, University College of Science and Technology, University of Calcutta (India)
  • BA, Presidency College, University of Calcutta

Research Interests

Innate immunity of an organism is the inborn protection against invading pathogens. We are interested in the host innate immune response during virus infection and cancer. Although several basic principles of virus detection and host signaling have been identified, the specific mechanisms by which these pathways are modulated by host components during microbial infection or tumor progression remains poorly understood. Following are some of the specific research topic we are interested:
  1. Signaling mechanisms of type I Interferon (IFN) induction and modulation during DNA and RNA virus infection. 
  2. Mechanism of antiviral and antibacterial activity of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), such as IFN-inducible Oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS) family genes. 
  3. Differential roles of IFN-regulatory factors (IRFs) in tumor progression and immunotherapy of cancer. 


Ghosh A, Shao L, Sampath P, Zhao B, Patel NV, Zhu J, Behl B, Parise RA, Beumer JH, O'Sullivan RA, Deluca NA, Thorne SH, Rathinam VA, Li P and Sarkar SN. 2019. OASL inhibits Interferon induction by inhibiting cGAS activity during DNA virus infection. Immunity. 50: 51-63.e5.

Shao L, Hou W, Scharping NE, Vendetti FP, Srivastava R, Roy CN, Menk AV, Wang Y, Chauvin JM, Karukonda P, Thorne SH, Hornung V, Zarour HM, Bakkenist CJ, Delgoffe GM and Sarkar SN. 2018. IRF1 Inhibits Antitumor Immunity through the Upregulation of PD-L1 in the Tumor Cell. Cancer Immunol Res. 7: 1258-1266.

Cuevas RA, Ghosh A, Wallerath C, Hornung V, Coyne CB and Sarkar SN. 2016. MOV10 provides antiviral activity against RNA viruses by enhancing RIG-I-MAVS-independent IFN induction. J. Immunol. 196: 3877-3886.

Zhu J, Zhang Y, Ghosh A, Cuevas RA, Forero A, Dhar J, Ibsen MS, Schmid-Burgk JL, Schmidt T, Ganapathiraju MK, Fujita T, Hartmann R, Barik S, Hornung V, Coyne CB and Sarkar SN. 2014. Antiviral Activity of Human OASL Protein Is Mediated by Enhancing Signaling of the RIG-I RNA Sensor. Immunity. 40: 936-948.

Ohkuri T, Ghosh A, Kosaka A, Zhu J, Ikeura M, Sarkar SN and Okada H. 2014. STING contributes to anti-glioma immunity via triggering type-I IFN signals in the tumor microenvironment. Cancer Immunology Res. 2: 1199-1208.

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