Rupak Datta

Associate Professor
Dept: Biological Sciences
E-mail: rupakdatta [at]
Personal Homepage: Click Here

Research Interest:

Lysosomes are cell's recycling and waste disposal system. It contains a battery of enzymes (acid hydrolases) that degrade a wide variety of macromolecules and cellular debris into reusable forms. In so doing lysosomes play a vital role in maintaining cellular homeostasis. The broad goal of our research is to understand the role of this fascinating organelle in human health and diseases. We use various methods ranging from molecular biology, cell biology, protein biochemistry to genomic and proteomic tools to address our research problems. Current research in our laboratory is focused on two major areas:

  1. To investigate the pathogenesis of mucopolysaccharidoses, a group of genetic disorders caused by deficiency of one of the eleven lysosomal enzymes required for stepwise degradation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Widespread lysosomal accumulation of undegraded or partially degraded GAGs results in cellular and multiple organ dysfunctions leading to premature death in most cases. The genetic causes of these diseases despite being known for years, actual pathways leading from lysosomal storage to cellular damage or death are still unclear. We address these unresolved issues by using well-characterized cell culture and mouse models of these diseases. We are also trying to develop a drosophila model of these diseases.
  2. To understanding how certain intracellular pathogens utilize lysosome as their replicating niche. Phagocytes normally use acidic and proteolytic environment of the lysosome to destroy engulfed pathogens. But, some pathogens are smart enough to be able to survive and even replicate in such harsh conditions. Using a macrophage infection model of the protozoan parasite Leishmania sp. we ask: a) how the pathogens tolerate such harsh lysosomal conditions and b) how replicating parasites compete with the host for acquisition of essential nutrients (e.g. iron).

Academic Background:
  1. Ph.D. (Biochemistry & molecular biology), Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, 2006
  2. M.Sc. (Biochemistry), University of Calcutta, 2000
  3. B.Sc. (Chemistry Hons.), University of Calcutta, 1998

  1. Ramalingaswami Fellow (DBT), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (June 2011 - present).
  2. Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (Dec. 2010 - present).
  3. Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Dr. William S. Sly at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, USA (Mar. 2006 - Dec. 2010).

Awards and Honors:
  1. International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG) Young Investigator Award (2011)
  2. Ramalingaswami Fellowship from the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India (2011).
  3. Travel award, Protein Mis-folding and Mis-processing in Disease meeting, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA (2009).
  4. American Society of Human Genetics, Postdoctoral Presentation Finalist Award, 57th Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, USA (2007).
  5. Best speaker award in Leishmania journal club seminar series at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata (2005).
  6. Qualified National Eligibility Test (NET) and awarded with a five year research fellowship provided by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India (2000).
  7. Qualified Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) under the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource and development, Government of India (2000).

Selected Publications:
  1. Datta R, Shah GN, Rubbelke TS, Waheed A, Rauchman M, Goodman AG, Katze MG, Sly WS. Progressive renal injury from transgenic expression of human Carbonic Anhydrase IV folding mutants is enhanced by deficiency of p58IPK. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 6; 107(14): 6448-52.
  2. Datta R, Waheed A, Bonapace G, Shah GN, Sly WS. Pathogenesis of retinitis pigmentosa associated with apoptosis-inducing mutations in carbonic anhydrase IV. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 3; 106(9): 3437-42.
  3. Datta AK, Datta R, Sen B. Anti-Parasitic chemotherapy: Tinkering with the purine salvage pathway. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008; 625:116-32 (review).