A microscopy image showing layers in different colors and a network of neurons

Department of

Photo of Thomas   Pucadyil

Thomas Pucadyil

Professor and Rahul Bajaj Chair Professor


Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, Vesicular Transport



Thomas Pucadyil obtained his PhD in membrane biology in 2005 from CCMB, Hyderabad. He was a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute before joining IISER Pune in 2010.


Pathway and mechanics of membrane fission leading to organelle biogenesis

Despite its resilience to rupture, cell membranes undergo a regulated fission process to form organelles. How is this achieved? The cell membrane is comprised of a lipid bilayer and has unique mechanical properties. Foremost among them is its ability to resist rupture. This property lies at the heart of evolution choosing the lipid bilayer as the material to contain life. However, all living cells display an active capacity to overcome the bilayer's resilience to undergo rupture and fission. This is possibly because of the evolution of specialised protein machines. Research in Prof. Thomas Pucadyil's group focuses on identifying such protein machines. The group uses novel supported membrane templates with tunable compositional and topological properties to mimic cell membranes and analyse these protein machines in action. These templates represent a convenient discovery platform for the rapid identification and mechanistic characterisation of such protein machines. The group uses a combination of biochemistry and cell biology to discover such protein machines, analyse their mechanism and learn about their functions in living systems.

Selected Publications

Kraus, F., Roy, K., Pucadyil, T.J., Ryan, M.T. (2021) Function and regulation of the divisome for mitochondrial fission. Nature 590:57-66. (review)

Kamerkar, S.C., Roy, K., Bhattacharyya, S. and Pucadyil, T.J. (2019). A screen for membrane fission catalysts identifies the ATPase EHD1. Biochemistry 58:65-71.

Kamerkar, S.C., Kraus, F., Sharpe, A.J., Pucadyil, T.J. and Ryan, M.T. (2018). Dynamin-related protein 1 has membrane constricting and severing abilities sufficient for mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission. Nature Communications 9:5239.

Deo, R., Kushwah, M.S., Kamerkar, S.C., Kadam, N.Y., Dar, S., Babu, K., Srivastava, A. and Pucadyil, T.J. (2018). ATP-dependent membrane remodeling links EHD1 functions to endocytic recycling. Nature Communications 9:5187.

Dar, S., Kamerkar, S.C. and Pucadyil, T.J. (2015). A high-throughput platform for real-time analysis of membrane fission reactions reveals dynamin function. Nat. Cell Biol. 17:1588-1596.