Chandrima Shaha, Professor of Eminence

M. Sc.
University of Calcutta

Ph. D. 
University of Calcutta

Postdoctoral Research
Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas, USA
The Population Council, New York, USA



Research Interest

Cell death is one of the fundamental biological processes required to maintain normal development. A cell’s decision to live or die is tightly regulated by signals originating from various sources. Our interest is to elucidate the regulatory processes of cell death and the associated mechanisms.

Group Members

Ashis Kumar, Sagnik Giri, Durgesh Pitale, Rajeev Pandey, Sanchita Das, Archana Ranjan and G.S. Neelaram

Summary of Research

The course of evolution has shaped different species for their survival during conditions of stress, natural development, differentiation and growth. These conditions represent the two faces of the same coin because continued growth or continuous stress would hamper survival. To circumvent these problems, all animal cells have evolved the capability to kill themselves by turning on gene-encoded cell suicide programs. These programs not only help the organisms to survive in conditions of excessive stress but also help prevent abnormal growth. The decision of whether a particular cell will live or die is tightly regulated by many different signals originating both from within the cell and from its environment. The implementation of this self-destruction program leads to a morphologically distinct form of cell death termed apoptosis and deregulation of apoptosis is associated with a variety of diseases including cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. There are considerable variations in which apoptosis occur in different systems and under different conditions. Cell death also occurs via processes such as programmed necrosis and autophagy and it is the balance between survival and these death processes that determines the fate of a cell. The major focus of the laboratory is to elucidate the precise mechanisms of cell death and how this process is regulated by the diverse signalling pathways using unicellular (Leishmania parasite) and multicellular (cancer cells) model systems with or without genetic manipulations. The aim is to provide a deeper understanding of cell death events that can help in the development of improved therapeutics for diseases associated with anomalous cell death.

Awards/ Fellowships

2015: Elected, Vice-president, Indian National Science Academy
2015: Om Prakash Bhasin Award - 2014
2014: Elected Fellow, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Trieste. Italy
2014: 14th Pushpa Sriramachari Foundation Day Oration Award, ICMR.
2013: Prof. (Mrs). Archana Sharma Memorial Award, National Academy of Sciences
2013: Chandrakala Hora Memorial Medal, Indian National Science Academy.
2011: Elected, Fellow of West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology
2010: Ranbaxy Science Foundation Award for Basic Medical Research
2010: Darshan Ranganathan Memorial Lecture Award, Indian National Science Academy.
2009: J.C. Bose National Fellowship, Dept. of Science and Technology.
2008: Elected Fellow, Indian National Science Academy, Delhi
2004: Elected Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore
2003: Department of Biotechnology ‘Special Award’
1999: Elected Fellow, The National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, India
1992: Shakuntala Amirchand Award of Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi.

Selected Publications

  • R. Mathur, R.P. Das, A. Ranjan, C. Shaha* Elevated ergosterol protects Leishmania parasites against antimony-generated stress FASEB J29(10):4201-13 (2015)
  • D. Ash, M. Subramanian, A. Surolia and C. Shaha*. Nitric oxide is the key mediator of death induced by fisetin in human acute monocytic leukemia cells. Am. J. Cancer Res. 5 (2), 481-497 (2015).
  • Singh AK, Pandey RK, Siqueira-Neto JL, Kwon YJ, Freitas-Junior LH, Shaha C, Madhubala R. A proteomic based approach to gain insight into reprogramming of THP-1 cells exposed to Leishmaniadonovani over an early temporal window. Infect Immun.83:1853-68 (2015).
  • R.Tripathi, D. Ash and C. Shaha*, Beclin-1 p53 interaction is crucial for cell fate determination in embryonal carcinoma cells. J. Cell. Mol. Med. 18: 2275-2286 (2014).
  • A. Aich and C. Shaha*,Novel role of calmodulin in regulating protein transport to mitochondria in a unicellular eukaryote. Mol. Cell Biol. 33:22 4579-4593 (2013)
  • S. Verma, A. Mehta and C. Shaha.* CYP5122A1, a novel cytochrome P450 is essential for survival of Leishmania donovani. Plos One 6:e25273  (2011).
  • R. Tripathi, T. Samadder, S. Gupta, A. Surolia and C. Shaha*, Anti-cancer activity of a combination of cisplatin and fisetin in embryonal carcinoma cells and xenograft tumors. Mol. Cancer. Ther. 10:255-268 (2011).
  • R. Jain, A. Ghoshal, C.  Mandal  and C. Shaha C*. Leishmania cell surface prohibitin: role in host-parasite interaction. Cell. Microbiol. 12:432-452 (2010).
  • M. Subramanian and C. Shaha* Oestrogen modulates human macrophage apoptosis via differential signaling through oestrogen receptor alpha and beta. J Cell Mol Med. 13:2317-29 (2009)
  • J. Iyer, A. Kaprakkaden, M. Chaudhary and C.Shaha*, Crucial role of cytosolic tryparedoxin peroxidase in Leishmaniadonovani survival, drug response and virulence.  Mol. Microbiol. 68: 372-391 (2008).
  • M. Subramanian and C. Shaha* Up-Regulation of Bcl-2 through ERK Phosphorylation Is Associated with Human Macrophage Survival in an Estrogen Microenvironment. J. Immunol. 179:2330-2338 (2007).
  • D. P.  Mishra, Rajarshi Pal, and C. Shaha*. Changes in cytosolic Ca2+ levels regulate Bcl-xS and Bcl-xL expression in spermatogenic cells during apoptotic death. J. Biol. Chem,  281: 2133 – 2143 (2006).
  • D.P. Mishra and C.Shaha* Estrogen induced spermatogenic cell apoptosis occur via the mitochondrial pathway: role of superoxide and nitric oxide. J. Biol. Chem, 280: 6181 – 6196 (2005)
  • A. Mehta and C. Shaha*. Apoptotic death in Leishmaniadonovanipromastigotes in response to respiratory chain inhibition: complex II inhibition results in increased pentamidine cytotoxicity J. Biol. Chem., 279: 11798 – 11813 (2004).
  • G. Sudhandiran and C. Shaha*. Antimonial induced increase in intracellular Ca2+ through non-selective cation channels in the host and the parasite is responsible for apoptosis of intracellular Leishmaniadonovaniamastigotes. J. Biol. Chem. 278:25120-25132. (2003).
  • R. Nair and C. Shaha*. Diethylstilbestrol induces rat spermatogenic cell apoptosis in vivo through increased expression spermatogenic cell Fas/FasL system.  J. Biol. Chem. 278:6470-6481 (2003).
  • S.B.Mukherjee, M. Das, G. Sudhandiran  and C. Shaha*. Increase in cytosolic Ca2+ levels through the activation of non-selective cationchannels  induced by oxidative stress causes mitochondrial depolarization leading to apoptosis-like death in Leishmaniadonovanipromastigotes. J. Biol. Chem.  277:24717-27 (2002).
  • ManikaDas, Sikha Bettina Mukherjee and C. Shaha*. Hydrogen peroxide induces apoptosis-like death in Leishmaniadonovanipromastigotes. J. Cell. Science, 114: 2461-9(2001).

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