Saumendra N. Sarkar, Ph.D.

Saumendra N. Sarkar, Ph.D.


Campus: 5517 Centre Avenue

Office: HCCLB 1.8

Lab: HCCLB 1.7

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Ph: 412-623-7720

Fax: 412-623-7715

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  • BS Presidency College, University of Calcutta
  • MS University College of Science and Technology, University of Calcutt
  • PhD Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science

Academic Affiliation

  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • Member, Immunology Graduate Program
  • Member, Molecular Virology And Microbiology Graduate Program
  • Member, Cancer Virology Program

About Research

Innate immunity of an organism is the inborn protection against invading pathogens. Because it is inborn, and entrusted with the protection of host from a vast array of previously unknown invaders, the innate immune system generates a generalized alert response upon pathogen detection. This alert is chemically mediated by a class of molecules called Cytokines. A critical task for this host protection system is to distinguish foreign or non-self, from self, and initiate their destruction or containment. The sensors or the receptors of the innate immune system accomplish this by recognizing specific molecular patterns, which are common to pathogens or pathogen associated molecules, but absent in the host. We focus on a particular subset of these sensors/receptors, which are involved in sensing virus infection.
We study four related aspects of innate immunity:

  • The signaling process involved in cytokine production after virus infection.
  • Develop modulators for these signaling pathways.
  • How virus evade host innate immune response? and
  • The contribution of innate immune response in cancer.

Selected Publications

Zhu, J., Smith, K., Hsieh, P.N., Mburu, Y. K., Chattopadhyay, S., Sen, G.C. and Sarkar, S.N.(2010) A high throughput screening for TLR3-IRF3 signaling pathway modulators identifies several antipsychotic drugs as TLR inhibitors. J. Immunol. (in press).

Beura, LK, Sarkar, SN*, Kwon, BJ, Subramaniam, S, Jones, C, Pattnaik, AK, Osorio, FA* 2009. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus non structural protein 1a modulates host innate immune response by antagonizing IRF3 activation J. Virol. 2009 Nov 18. (*Corresponding Authors).

Sen, GC and Sarkar, SN. 2007. "The interferon-stimulated genes: targets of direct signaling by interferons, double-stranded RNA, and viruses" Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 316: 233-250.

Sarkar SN, Elco CP, Peters KL, Chattopadhyay S, Sen GC. 2007. "Two tyrosine residues of Toll-like receptor 3 trigger different steps of NF-kappa B activation" J Biol Chem. 282:3423-7.

Sen, GC and Sarkar SN. 2005. "Hitching RIG to action" Nat Immunol. 6: 1074-1076.

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