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Personal Details

Designation : Associate Professor Department : Biological Sciences E-Mail : rst@iiserb.ac.in Phone : +91 755 269 1411, 669 1411 Fax : +91 755 669 2392

Academic Details

  • Assistant Professor (January, 2009- November, 2013), Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India.

    Associate Professor (November, 2013 onward), Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India.

  • Post-doc. January 2007- December 2008, The Ohio State University, Columbus (USA).
  • Post-doc. October 2003 - December 2006, The Penn State University, University Park (USA).
  • Post-doc. May 2002 – September 2003, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Centre, Dallas (USA).
  • Ph.D. in Zoology, 2001 from Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Laboratory, Center for Advanced Study in Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

Current News

  • 1. Papita Mandal got selected for prestigious ‘Kestone Symposia scholarship’ funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research to present a poster in the Keystone symposia meeting ‘Chromatin Mechanisms and Cell Physiology’ at Oberstdorf, Germany, March 23 – 28, 2014

    2. Best poster award to Papita Mandal in IISERB Biology meeting, January 11 – 12, 2014

    3. Best oral presentation award to Gajendra K. Azad in IISERB Biology meeting, January 1 – 12, 2014

    4. Travel award to Gajendra K. Azad from Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India for presenting a poster in Wellcome Trust meetingChromatin: from nucleosomes to chromosomes' at Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK, April 30 – May 2, 2014

    5. Gajendra delivered Open Ph.D. seminar on May 30th.

    6. Papita delivered open Ph.D. seminar on June 6th.

    7. Gajendra got selected for post doc position at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel in Dr. Eran Meshorer lab

    8. Papita got selected for post doc position at Max Planck Institute of Biological Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany in Dr. Wolfgang Fischle lab.

    9. Travel award to Vikash from DST to present his work in 'Chromatin and Transcription' meeting held at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany from 23 - 26 August, 2014.

    10. Congratulations to Papita for successful thesis defence held on October 3rd, 2014.

    11. Congratulations to Gajendra for successful completion of thesis defence held on November 20, 2014.


  • Vacancies are available for Junior Research and Post-doctoral fellows. Interested candidates having experience in epigenetics, proteomics, gene expression, mass spectrometry, microscopy and cell culture may contact through email. Shortlisted applicants will be called for interview.


    Dr. Raghuvir S. Tomar

    Associate Professor

    Laborator of Chromatin Biology, Department of Biological Sciences

    Indian Institute of Science Education& Research BhopalITI (Gas Rahat) Building,

    Govindpura, Bhopal 462023

    Email: rst@iiserb.ac.in


    Description of research: Epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure and gene function:

    • Description of research: Epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure and gene function In eukaryotes DNA is compacted in the form of chromatin which consists of repeating units called nucleosomes; composed of 146 bp of DNA and a histone octamer. Structure of chromatin is dynamically regulated by the specific enzymes that modify DNA and histone proteins in reversible manner. Dynamic structure of chromatin is the fundamental underlying mechanism for gene expression. Several classes of enzymatic regulators that compete for binding to the chromatin dictate the outcome and the coordination among them to maintain a fluid chromatin structure at a particular locus for normal gene expression is unclear. Imbalance in the activity or expression of chromatin regulators may lead to the development of diseases. Currently in my lab three main research problems are under investigations to understand the epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure and function:

    • To identify the role of yeast repressor activator protein (Rap1) in chromatin remodelling of DNA response genes: Rap1 is a telomere binding protein primarily known for transcription regulation of glycolytic and ribosomal protein genes. Recently it has been shown that Rap1 binds with components of transcription machinery to activate the transcription of Ribonucleotide Reductase (RNR) genes. Through chromatin chip experiment Rap1 protein has been found cross linked with promoter of RNR genes under repressed and activated states. There are two classes of chromatin remodelling complexes ISW2 and SWI/SNF2 that repress and activate transcription respectively of RNR genes. How does Rap1 cooperate in vivo with these two opposing actions of remodelling complexes and histones is unclear. We are addressing this question by employing the combination of in vitro biochemical and genetic approaches.

    • To investigate the mechanism and physiological significance of proteolytic clipping of histone H3: In several organisms including humans, yeast and Xenopus, nucleosomal Histone H3 has been found proteolytically clipped. While the role and the regulation of reversible histone modifications is well established, very little is known about the proteolytic clipping of histones that may regulate chromatin structure and hence gene expression. In many cases the identity of the protease is also not known. Using yeast and chicken as model organisms we are trying to identify the protease to further understand its role in chromatin structure and gene expression.

    • Role of epigenetics in drug metabolism: This is one of the important topics of research but poorly understood. It has great potential in modern medicine. Histone proteins that package DNA plays important regulatory role in replication, transcription, DNA repair and recombination. Several combinations of post-translational modifications of the histone proteins which is known as ‘histone code’, influences the expression of genes whose products are engaged in drug metabolism. We are trying to understand the role of epigenetic alterations and gene expression in response to pharmacologically important drugs.

    Selected Publications:

    •  1. Tomar R. S., Psathas J. N., Zhang J. N., Zhang Z. and Reese J. C.   A novel mechanism of antagonism between chromatin remodeling complexes regulates RNR3 expression. Mol. Cell. Biol., 29, 3255-3265, 2009.

      2. Tomar R. S., Zheng S., Reese D. B., Walcott H. N. and Joseph C. Reese. Yeast Rap1 contributes to genomic integrity by activating DNA damage repair genes. EMBO J., 27, 1575-1584, 2008.

      3. Sharma V. M., Tomar R. S., Dempsey A. E., and Reese J. C. Histone   deacetylases RPD3 and HOS2 regulate transcriptional activation of DNA damage inducible genes. Mol. Cell. Biol., 27, 3199-3210, 2007.

      4. Tomar R. S., Matta H. and Chaudhary P. M.. Use of adeno associated viral vectors for delivery of Small interfering RNA, Oncogene, 22, 5712-5715, 2003.

      5. Kauppila S., Walid S. A. Maaty Waliod S. A., Chen P., Tomar R. S., Michael T. Eby, Joe Chapo, Sukit Chew, Nisha Rathore, Sunny Zachariah, John M. Abrams and Preet M. Chaudhary. Eiger and its receptor, Wengen, comprise a TNF-like system in Drosophila Oncogene, 22, 4860-4867, 2003.

      6. Panigrahi A. K., Tomar R. S. and Chaturvedi M. M. Mechanism of nucleosome disruption and octamer transfer by the chicken SWI/SNF -like complex Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication, 306, 72-78, 2003.

      7. Panigrahi A. K., Tomar R. S. and Chaturvedi M. M. A SWI/SNF-like Factor from Chicken Liver that Disrupts Nucleosomes and Transfers Histone Octamers in cis and trans" Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 414, 24-33, 2003.

      8. Matta H.*, Hozayev B.*, Tomar R. S.*, Chugh P., and Chaudhary P. M. Use of Lentiviral Vectors for Delivery of Small Interfering RNA. Cancer Biology and Therapy, 2, 206-210, 2003.


    Publications from IISER Bhopal:

    • 1. Mandal P, Azad GK & Tomar, RS (2012) Identification of a novel histone H3 specific protease activity in nuclei of chicken liver. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 421: 261- 267.
      2. Azad GK, Balkrishna SJ, Sathish N, Kumar S & Tomar RS (2012) Multifunctional Ebselen drug functions through the activation of DNA damage response and alterations in nuclear proteins. Biochem Pharmacol 83: 296-303.
      3. Mandal P, Verma N, Chauhan S & Tomar RS (2013) Unexpected histone H3 tail clipping activity of Glutamate dehydrogenase. J Biol Chem 288: 18743-18757.
      4. Golla U, Singh V, Azad GK, Singh P, Verma N, Mandal P, Chauhan S & Tomar RS (2013) Sen1p contributes to genomic integrity by regulating expression of Ribonucleotide reductase 1 (RNR1) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PLoS One 8: e64798.
      5. Azad GK, Singh V, Golla U & Tomar, RS (2013) Depletion of cellular iron by curcumin leads to alteration in histone acetylation and degradation of Sml1p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PLoS One 8: e59003.
      6. Mandal P, Verma N, Azad GK, Singh V, Golla U & Tomar RS (2014) Epigenetics: Role of histone proteases in cellular functions and diseases. A book chapter in Molecular Mechanisms and Physiology of Disease: Implications for Epigenetics and Health. Maulik, N.; Karagiannis, T. (Eds.), Springer 2014.
      7. Azad GK & Tomar RS (2014) Proteolytic clipping of histone tails: The emerging role of histone proteases in regulation of various biological processes. Mol Biol Rep 41: 2717-2730.
      8. Azad GK & Tomar RS (2014) A comprehensive review illustrating the mode of action and biological pathways targeted by promising antioxidant drug, ebselen. Mol Biol Rep 41: 4865-4879.
      9. Azad GK, Singh V, Mandal P, Singh P, Golla U, Baranwal S, Chauhan S & Tomar RS (2014) Ebselen induces reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated cytotoxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae with inhibition of glutamate dehydrogenase being a target. FEBS Open Bio 4: 77-89.
      10. Balkrishna SJ, Kumar S, Azad GK, Bhakuni BS, Panini P, Ahalawat N, Tomar RS, Detty MR & Kumar S (2014) An Ebselen like Catalyst with Enhanced GPx Activity via a Selenol Intermediate. Org Biomol Chem 12: 1215-19.
      11. Singh V, Azad GK, Mandal P, Reddy AM & Tomar RS (2014) Anti-cancer drug KP1019 modulates epigenetics and induces DNA damage response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEBS Lett 588: 1044 - 1052.
      12. Singh V, Azad GK, Mandal P, Reddy A.M, Baranwal S & Tomar RS (2014) Anti-cancer drug KP1019 induces Hog1 phosphorylation and protein ubiquitination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Eur J Pharmacol 736: 77-85.
      13. Azad GK, Singh V & Tomar RS (2014) Assessment of the biological pathways targeted by isocyanate using N-succinimidyl N-methylcarbamate on budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PLoS One 9: e92993.
      14. Baranwal S, Azad GK, Singh V & Tomar RS (2014) Signaling of chloroquine-induced stress in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires the Hog1 and Slt2 MAPK Pathways. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 58: 5552-5566.
      15. Mandal P, Chauhan S & Tomar, RS (20-14) H3 clipping activity of glutamate dehydrogenase is regulated by stefin B and chromatin structure. FEBS J 281: 5292-5308.
      16. Azad GK, Singh V, Thakare MJ, Baranwal S & Tomar RS (2014) Mitogen-activated protein kinase Hog1 is activated in response to curcumin exposure in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. BMC Microbiol 14: 317-327.
      17. Azad GK, Singh V, Baranwal S, Thakare MJ & Tomar RS (2015) The transcription factor Rap1p is required for tolerance to cell wall-perturbing agents and for cell wall maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEBS Lett 589: 59-69.
      18. Golla U, Goutham B & Tomar RS (2015) Molecular Cytotoxicity Mechanisms of the Herbicide Allyl Alcohol (Acrolein) in Budding Yeast. Chem Res Toxicol 28: 1246-1264.
      19. Singh V, Azad GK, Sariki SK & Tomar RS (2015) Flocculation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is regulated by RNA/DNA helicase Sen1p. Accepted for publication in FEBS Lett.


    •  Ph.D. students:

      1. Papita Mandal (Registetred in July 2009)

      2. Gajendra K. Azad (Registered in July 2009)

      3. Vikash Singh (Registered in Dec. 2009)

      4. akshi Chauhan (Registered in January 2012)

      5. Upendarrao Golla (Registered in January 2013)

      6. Mayur Thakare (Registered in January 2014)

      7. Vidhi Makani (Registered in August 2014)

      8. Pushpendra Sahu (Registered in August 2014)

      BS-MS student:  

      1. Deepthi Joseph

      2. Rishith Ravindran

      3. Jagriti Banarjee

      Project JRF:

      1. Mr. Santosh Kumar Sariki

      2. Priyanka Choudhary

      Past members:

      Pragya Shrivastava (Project JRF). Joined as graduate student at IIT Mumbai

      Dr. Prabhat Singh (Post Doc). Joined as Visiting faculty at IISER Bhopal

      Upendarrao Golla (Project JRF). Joined as graduate student at IISER Bhopal

      Naveen Verma (BS-MS). Joined for Ph.D. at University of Utah, United States).

      Dr. Pankaj Singh (Post Doc)

      Ms. Shivani Baranwal (Project JRF)

      Mayur Thakare (Project JRF). Joined as graduate student at IISER Bhopal

      Dr. Manas K Tripathi

      Goutham Bandi (BS-MS)






    Group photos