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An Autonomous Institution, Under the Ministry of Education, Government of India

Sumit Sen Santara

Assistant Professor
Dept: Biological Sciences (DBS)
E-mail: sumit.santara [at]
Personal homepage: Click Here

Research Interest:

Innate immune cells evolve early and are present from simple multicellular organisms to complex vertibrates. Innate cells, such as NK cells and macrophages, are the early responder against different infections, injury or tumor formation. In addition to directly killing target cells, these cells can recruit adaptive arm of the immune system. However, mysteries surrounding the unique functionality of these cells are just beginning to be revealed. Taking the NK cells as a model, we will investigate novel cell death pathways, memory response, exhaustion and inflammation. Additionally, we will genetically modify NK cells to make them smarter so that we can better treat the cancer and infection through cell therapy and vaccine development.

Academic Background:

  1. Ph.D. (Biochemistry), Indian Institute of chemical Biology (Jadavpur University), 2014


  1. Assistant Professor, IISER Kolkata (current)
  2. Senior Scientist , CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (2022 - 2022)
  3. Scientist, ONK Therapeutics, San Diego,USA (2021 - 2022)
  4. Post-Doctoral Fellow, Boston Childrens Hospital, Harvard Medical School (2014 - 2021)

Awards and Honors:

  1. INSA Young Scientist Award from Indian National Science Academy (2018)
  2. Jeffrey Modell Award from Jeffrey Modell Foundation (2017)
  3. Best poster award from Society of Biological Chemists, India (2013)
  4. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship from CSIR New Delhi, India (2009)
  5. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) AIR-3 from IIT-Kharagpur, IISC (2008)

Selected Publications:

  1. Santara, Sumit Sen; Crespo, Angela C; Lee, Dian Jang; Hu, Jun Jacob; Zhang, Ying; Chowdhury, Sourav; Meza Sosa, Karla F; Rowe, Marjorie; Junqueira, Caroline and Lieberman, Judy. 2023."The NK receptor NKp46 recognizes ecto-calreticulin on ER-stressed cells." Nature, accepted, 00
  2. Santara, Sumit Sen; Crespo, Angela C; Mulik, Sachin; Ovies, Cristian; Boulenouar, Selma; Strominger, Jack L and Lieberman, Judy. 2021."Decidual NK cells kill Zika virus infected trophoblasts." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 118, 2115410118
  3. Santara, Sumit Sen and Adak, Subrata. 2020."Structure-function relationship in leishmanial globin coupled soluble adenylate cyclase.." Proceedings of the National Institute of Sciences of India , 86, 1341-1346
  4. Santara, Sumit Sen; Dotiwala, Farokh; Binker Cosen, Andres Ariel; Li, Bo; Chandrasekaran, Sriram and Lieberman, Judy. 2017."Granzyme B disrupts central metabolism and protein synthesis in bacteria to promote an immune cell death program. ." Cell, 171, 1125-1137
  5. Santara, Sumit Sen; Roy, Jayasree; Mukherjee, Supratim; Bose, Moumita; Saha, Rina and Adak, Subrata. 2013."Globin-coupled heme containing oxygen sensor soluble adenylate cyclase in Leishmania prevents cell death during hypoxia." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A , 110, 16790-5

All Publications: Click Here