Sujatha Sunil

Group Leader, Vector Borne Diseases
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg
110 067 New Delhi, India
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +91-11-26741358/ 26741361/ 26742357/ 26742360 ext. 162


Madras University, MSc, 1994
MGR Medical University, PhD, 2000

Career History

Since 2016, Group Leader, Vector Borne Disease Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, ICGEB New Delhi, India
2012, Visiting Scientist, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA
2010-2015 Research Scientist (Ramanujan Fellow), Insect Resistance Group, ICGEB New Delhi, India
2007-2010 Research Scientist, Clininvent Pvt Ltd., New Delhi
Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Molecular Medicine, New Delhi
2004-2007 Postdoc, ICGEB New Delhi
2001-2004 Research Associate, National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi
2000-2001 Research Scientist, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

Scientific Activity

Research involves understanding the basis of pathogenesis in important vectors of India and devising transmission-blocking approaches to control vector borne diseases. Our group have two major focus research areas, namely virus evolution and host/vector-pathogen interactions.

Preliminary work on studying evolution of chikungunya virus in our country revealed the emergence of a new molecular signature in Indian isolates. Work is underway to study the effect of these mutations on pathogenicity of the virus and its virulence. Using high-throughput Next Generation Sequencing platforms and computational biology approaches, my lab is involved in understanding the impact of pathogen development on insect miRNome, insect immunity and redox cascade. Our work on insect small RNA population has provided important insights to the role of microRNAs in pathogenesis and insect immunity. We are currently working on deciphering the role of viral RNAi suppressors and insect defense and the impact of co-infection of chikungunya with dengue viruses in both vector and host.

Teaching Activity

Course coordinator for PhD course on Cell Biology & Molecular Biology of Cells.
Part of teaching faculty at ICGEB New Delhi.

Selected publications

Babu N, Mahilkar S, Jayaram A, Ibemgbo  SA, Mathur G, Shetty U, Sudandiradas R, Kumar SP, Singh S, Pani SS, Mudgal PP, Shastri JS, Agarwal S, Ratho PK, Baijayantimala M, Chattopadhyay S, Jagadesh A, Sunil S. A cross-sectional investigation of neutralization potential, inflammatory cytokine response, and viral replication among chikungunya patients during 2016-2021 in India. The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia. 1016/j.lansea.2023. 100269.

Srivastava P, Chaudhary S, Malhotra S, Varma B, Sunil S. Transcriptome analysis of human macrophages upon chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection reveals regulation of distinct signaling and metabolic pathways during early and late stages of infection. 2023. Heliyon. Jun 20;9(6):e17158. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e17158. (IF:3.776)

Kumar R, Mehta D, Nayak D, Sunil S. Characterization of an Aedes ADP ribosylation protein domain and role of post-translational modification during chikungunya virus infection. 2023. Pathogens. May 16;12(5):718. doi: 10.3390/pathogens12050718. (IF: 4.531).

Kumar A, Shrinet J, Sunil S*. Chikungunya virus infection in Aedes aegypti is modulated by L-cysteine, taurine, hypotaurine and glutathione metabolism. 2023. PloS Negl Trop Diseases. May 2;17(5):e0011280. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0011280. eCollection 2023 May.(IF: 4.781)

Yadav K, Rana VS, Anjali, Saurav GK, Rawat N, Kumar A, Sunil S, Singh OP, Rajagopal R. Mucin protein of Aedes aegypti interacts to dengue virus-2 and influences viral infection. 2023. Microbiology Spectrum. Feb 27;11(2):e0250322. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02503-22. (IF: 9.043)

Kumar R, Mehta D, Chaudhary S, Nayak D, Sunil S*. Impact of CHIKV replication on the global proteome of Aedes albopictus cells. 2022. Proteomes. 10 (4), 38.

Babu N, Mahilkar S, Jayaram A, Ibemgbo S. A, Mathur G, Shetty U, Sudandiradas R, Kumar P. S, Singh S, Pani S. S, Mudgal PP, Shastri J. S, Agarwal S, Ratho P. K, Mishra B, Chattopadhyay S, Jagadesh A, Sunil S. Cytokine profile, neutralisation potential and viral replication dynamics in sera of chikungunya patients in India: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia 2023, in press

Kumar R, Mehta D, Mishra N, Nayak D, Sunil S. Role of host-mediated post-translational modifications (PTMs) in RNA virus pathogenesis. International J of Mol Sciences. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 323; 

Shastri JS, Parikh S, Sachee Agrawal S, Nirjhar Chatterjee N, Manish Pathak M, Chaudhary S, Chetan Sharma C, Kanakan A, Vivekanand A, Vasudevan JS, Maurya R, Fatihi S, Thukral L, Agrawal A, Pinto L, Pandey R, Sunil S. Whole Genome Sequencing Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Reinfections Among Healthcare Workers in India with Increased Severity in the Second Episode. 2020. SSRN-id3688220 

George A, Amrutha MS, Srivastava P, Sunil S, Sai VVR, Ramanathan S. Development of U-bent plastic optical fiber biosensor with plasmonic labels for detection of chikungunya non-structural protein 3. Analyst.

Tripathi PK, Soni A, Shiv Yadav SPS, Kumar A, Gaurav N, Raghavendhar SB, Sharma, Sunil S, Ashish, Jayaram B, Patel AK. Evaluation of novobiocin and telmisartan for anti-CHIKV activity. Virology. 2020

Srivastava P, Kumar A, Hasan A, Mehta D, Kumar R, Sharma C, Sunil S. Disease resolution in chikungunya-What decides the outcome? Front. Immunol. 28 April 2020, 11, 695

Rana VP, Popli S, Saurav GK, Yadav K, Kumar A, Sunil S, Kumar N, Singh OP, NatarajanK, Rajagopal R. Aedes aegypti lachesin protein binds to the domain III of envelop protein of Dengue virus-2 and inhibits viral replication. Cell Microbiol. 2020 Mar 6:e13200. doi: 10.1111/cmi.13200

Jain J, Kaur N, Haller SL, Kumar A, Rossi SL, Narayanan V, Gaind R, Weaver SC, Auguste AJ, Sunil S. Chikungunya outbreaks in India – A prospective study comparing the neutralization, sequelae and molecular epidemiology during two outbreaks in 2010 and 2016. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020, 102 (4), 857-868

George A, Amrutha MS, Srivastava P, Sai VVR, Sunil S, Ramanathan S. Label-free detection of chikungunya non-structural protein 3 using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Journal of The Electrochemical Society. 2019. 166 (14)

Jain J, Narayanan V, Kumar A, Shrinet J, Srivastava P, Chaturvedi S, Sunil. S. Establishment and comparison of pathogenicity and related neurotropism in two age groups of immune competent mice, C57BL/6J using an Indian isolate of chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Viruses. 2019. Jun 25;11(6)

Dubey SK, Shrinet J, Sunil S. Aedes aegypti microRNA, miR-2944b-5p interacts with 3’UTR of chikungunya virus and cellular target vps-13 to regulate viral replication. PloS Negl Trop Diseases. 2019. Jun 5;13(6)

Jain J, Kumar A, Narayanan VN, Ramaswamy RS, Sathiyarajeswaran P, Shree Devi MS, Kannan M, Sunil S. In-vitro evaluation of anti-viral activity of ethanol extract of Nilavembu Kudineer against Dengue and chikungunya virus infection. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2019 Jan 23

Shrinet J, Srivastava P, Kumar A, Sirisena PDNN, Dubey SK, Srivastava P, Sunil S. Differential proteome analysis of chikungunya virus and dengue virus co-infection in Aedes mosquitoes. J of Proteome Res. 2018 Oct 5;17(10):3348-3359

Kumar A, Priyanshu Srivastava P, Sirisena PDNN, Dubey SK, Kumar R, Shrinet J, Sunil S. Mosquito Innate Immunity. Insects. 2018 Aug 8;9(3).

Sirisena PDNN, Kumar A, Sunil S. Evaluation of Aedes aegypti life table attributes upon chikungunya virus replication reveals impact on egg laying pathways. J Med Entomol. 2018 Jun 21

Jain J, Okabayashi T, Kaur N, Nakayama E, Shioda T, Gaind R, Kurosu T, Sunil S. Evaluation of an immunochromatography rapid diagnosis kit for detection of chikungunya virus antigen in India, a dengue-endemic country. Virol J. 2018 May 11;15(1):84

Shrinet J, Bhavesh NS, Sunil S. Understanding Oxidative Stress in Aedes during chikungunya and dengue virus infections using Integromics Analysis. 2018. Viruses. 2018 Jun 9;10(6)

JainJ, Narayanan VN, Pai S, Sunil S. Standardization of invitro assays to evaluate the activity of polyherbal siddha formulations against chikungunya virus infection. 2018.  Virusdisease. 2018Mar;29(1):32-39. doi: 10.1007/s13337-018-0421-0. Epub 2018 Jan 25

JainJ, Narayanan VN, Chaturvedi. S, Pai S, Sunil S.  Invivo evaluation of Withania somnifera based Indian traditional formulation (Amukkara Choornam), against chikungunya virus induced arthralgia. J Evid Based Integr Med. 2018 Jan-Dec;23:2156587218757661. doi: 10.1177/2156587218757661

Dubey SK, ShrinetJ, JainJ, AliS, Sunil S.Aedes aegypti microRNA miR-2b regulates ubiquitin related modifier to control chikungunya virus replication. 2017. Sci Rep. Dec 15;7(1):17666

Jain J, Kumari A, Somvanshi P, Grover A, Pai S, Sunil S. Insilico analysis of natural compounds targeting structural and nonstructural proteins of chikungunya virus. 2017. F1000Research, 6:1601. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.12301.1

Kaur N, Jain J, Kumar A, Narang M, Zakaria MK, Marcelo A, Kumar D, Gaind R, Sunil S. Chikungunya outbreak in Delhi, India, 2016: A Report on the co-infection status and co-morbid conditions in patients. 2017. New Microbes New Inf. 2017. Vol. 20, p39–42

Jain J, Nayak K, Tanwar N, Gaind R, Gupta B, Shastri JS, Bhatnagar RK, Murali Krishna Kaja MK, Chandele A, Sunil S. Clinical, Serological and Virological analysis of 572 chikungunya patients during the years 2010-2013 from India. Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Apr 1. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix283

Jain J, Dubey SK, Jatin Shrinet J and Sunil. S. Dengue Chikungunya co-infection: A live-in relationship?? Biochem Biophy Res Comm. 2017. Feb 9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.02.008

Shrinet J, Srivastava, P and Sunil S. Transcriptome analysis of Aedes aegypti in response to mono-infections and co-infections of Dengue virus-2 and Chikungunya virus. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Feb 1. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.01.162

MathurK, Anand A, Dubey SK, Sanan-Mishra N, Bhatnagar RK, Sunil S. Analysis of chikungunya virus proteins reveals that non-structural proteins nsP2 and nsP3 exhibit RNA interference (RNAi) suppressor activity. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 30

Shrinet J, Shastri JS, Gaind R, Bhavesh NS, Sunil S. Serum metabolomics analysis of patients with chikungunya and dengue mono/co-infections reveals distinct metabolite signatures in the three disease conditions. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 15;6:36833. doi: 10.1038/srep36833

Jain J, Kushwah RBS, Singh SS, Sharma A, Adak T, Singh OP, Bhatnagar RK, Subbarao SK, Sunil S. Evidence For Natural Vertical Transmission Of Chikungunya Viruses In Field Populations Of Aedes Aegypti In Delhi And Haryana States In India. Acta Tropica. 2016 Jun 6

Jain J, Mathur K, Shrinet J, Bhatnagar RK, Sunil S. Analysis of coevolution in nonstructural proteins of Chikungunya Virus. Virology J 2016. Jun 2;13(1):86

Shrinet J, Agrawal A, Bhatnagar RK, Sunil S. Analysis of the genetic divergence in Asian strains of ZIKA virus with reference to 2015-2016 outbreaks. Bull World Health Organ. E-pub: 22 Apr 2016. doi:

Londhey, V., Aggarwal, S, Vaidya, N., Shastri, JS., and Sunil, S. Chikungunya and dengue co-infections-the inside story. Journal of Assoc. Physicians India 2016. 64

JainS, ShrinetJ, TridibesA, BhatnagarRK and SunilS. miRNA-mRNA conflux regulating immunity and oxidative stress pathways in the midgut of blood fed Anopheles stephensiNon-Coding RNA 2015, 1(3), 222-245

Jain S, Rana V, TridibesA, SunilS and Raj K Bhatnagar.  Dynamic expression of miRNAs across immature and adult stages of the malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi. Parasite & Vectors. 2015. Mar 25;8(1):179

Shrinet, J., Nandal, UK., Adak, T., Bhatnagar, RK., and Sunil, S. Inference of the oxidative stress network in Anopheles stephensi upon Plasmodium infection. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 4;9(12):e114461. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114461

Jain S, Rana V, Shrinet J, Sharma A, Tridibes A, Sunil S and Bhatnagar RK. Blood feeding and Plasmodium infection alters the miRNome of Anopheles stephensi. PLoS ONE. 2014 May 27;9(5):e98402

Shrinet J, Jain S, Jain J, Bhatnagar RKand Sunil S. Next Generation Sequencing reveals regulation of distinct microRNAs of Aedes during chikungunya virus development. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2014, 8(1): e2616. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002616

Sunil S, Singh OP, Nanda N, Raghavendra K, Reddy BPN, Subbarao SK. Analysis of population genetic structure of Indian Anopheles culicifaciesspecies A using microsatellite markers. Parasites & Vectors, 2013, 6:166

Shrinet J, Jain S, Sharma A, Singh SS, Mathur K, Rana V, Bhatnagar RK, Gupta B, Gaind R, Deb M, Sunil S. Genetic characterization of Chikungunya virus from New Delhi reveal emergence of a new molecular signature in Indian isolates. Virology Journal, 2012, 9:100

Sunil S, Chauhan VS and Malhotra P. Distinct and stage specific nuclear factors regulate the expression of falcipains, Plasmodium falciparum cysteine proteases. BMC Molecular Biology. 2008, May 14; 9:47

Sunil S, Hossain M, Ramasamy G and Malhotra P. Transient silencing of Plasmodium falciparum Tudor Staphylococcal Nuclease suggests an essential role for the protein. Biochem Biophy Res Comm. 2008, Jul 25; 372(2):373-8

Mamillapalli A, Sunil S, Diwan SS, Sharma SK, Tyagi PK, Adak T, Joshi H, Malhotra P. Polymorphism and epitope sharing between the alleles of merozoite surface protein-1 of Plasmodium falciparum among Indian isolates. Malaria Journal. 2007, 6:95

Sunil S, Raghavendra K, Singh OP, Malhotra P, Huang Y, Zheng L, and Subbarao SKIsolation and characterization of microsatellite markers from malaria vector, Anopheles culicifacies. Molecular ecology notes. 2004. 4-3: 698.

Amanda M, Sunil S, Ahmad G, Mohmmed A, Marcela E, Mauricio C, Silvia B, Chauhan VS and Malhotra P. Inter-allelic recombination in the P.vivaxmerozoite surface protein 1 gene among Indian and Colombian isolates. Malar Journal. 2004, 3:4

Singh OP, Chandra D, Nanda N, Raghavendra K, Sunil S, Sharma SK, Dua VK and Subbarao SK. Differentiation of members of Anopheles fluviatilis species complex by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction based on 28S ribosomal DNA sequences. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. Jan, 2004; 70 (1), 27-32