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

Department of


Our research involves a range of contemporary and frontier areas relevant to biological systems. We represent a broad swathe of focus areas, involving both molecular as well as a systems-level understanding of biological systems. These necessitate both theoretical and experimental approaches to address questions that pertain to macromolecular structure, primitive and extant principles of compartmentalisation and self-organisation, developmental programmes that evaluate tissue architecture and communication circuits to the evolution of ecosystems. We encourage collaborative and cross-disciplinary research that integrates physical and engineering principles to answer key biological questions.

Pictographic representation of research areas pursued at the Bio department at various levels: molecules, cells, tissues, organisms, and ecosystems
Range of research areas represented in the Biology Department


We aim to provide an enabling environment to become the best in a chosen area of research, plan research and teaching activities that provide students with a unique appreciation and understanding of the living world and strive towards providing equal opportunities to all.

Faculty members in the department have secured competitive research funding from a number of agencies including the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Council of Medical Research, Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and others. Additionally, faculty have also established successful research collaborations with private companies.

Research Areas

Biomolecular Structure, Function and Organization

Topics: Self-organisation and cell morphogenesis, Lipid signaling pathways, Protein folding, Structure and function of molecular machines, Cell motility and bacterial cytoskeleton, Discovery and analysis of membrane-remodeling proteins, Origins and early evolution of life, Chemical Proteomics, Metabolomics/Lipidomics

Chaitanya Athale, Gayathri Pananghat, Jayant Udgaonkar, M.S. Madhusudhan, Rajesh Gokhale, Saikrishnan Kayarat, Siddhesh Kamat, Sudha Rajamani, Thomas Pucadyil

Cell, Organismal and Developmental Biology

Topics: Genome integrity, Chromosome segregation, Cell cycle control, Cell adhesion, Membrane trafficking, Organelle functions, Morphogenesis and Differentiation of cells, tissues and organisms, Molecular plant biology, Immune and metabolic regulation of cellular and organismal biology, Signaling in bacteria, Molecular microbiology, Lipid signaling

Anjan Banerjee, Aurnab Ghose, Girish Ratnaparkhi, Kalika Prasad, L.S. Shashidhara, Mayurika Lahiri, Mridula Nambiar, Nagaraj Balasubramanian, Rajesh Gokhale, Richa Rikhy, Sunish Radhakrishnan, Siddhesh Kamat, Thomas Pucadyil, Chaitanya Athale

Chromosome Biology and Epigenetic Regulation

Topics: Genomics, Epigenetic and transcriptional gene regulation, Chromosome biology

Kundan Sengupta, Krishanpal Karmodiya, Sanjeev Galande, Mridula Nambiar

Ecology and Evolution

Topics: Plant physiological, Chemical ecology, Biodiversity patterns and processes, Communication signals in animals, Population biology, Evolution of antimicrobial resistance, Biodiversity and economics

Deepak Barua, Nishad Matange, Ramana Athreya, Sagar Pandit, Sutirth Dey

Neurobiology and Behavior

Topics: Neural basis of natural behaviors, Neuronal networks, Functional organisation of neuronal circuits and behavioural plasticity, Computational neurobiology

Aurnab Ghose, Collins Assisi, Nixon Abraham, Raghav Rajan, Suhita Nadkarni

Computational Biology

Topics: Computational biology of biomolecules and networks, Image processing and analysis, mathematical modeling of physiological circuits, bioinformatics, computational biophysics, computational structural biology.

Chaitanya Athale, Collins Assisi, M.S. Madhusudhan, Pranay Goel, Suhita Nadkarni

Research Centres and Initiatives

The department has also been awarded funds to expand research infrastructure under the FIST programme of the Department of Science and Technology.

The department in collaboration with other institutions has secured three major grants from the Department of Biotechnology under the following programmes:

National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease


Established in 2016, the National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease is a well-equipped functional facility for animal experimentation and generation of transgenic mice models. The facility also provides nationwide services related to animal models.

Since 2019, the NFGFHD at IISER Pune is a member of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), making it one of the 20 major mouse genetics centres worldwide. This membership provides IISER Pune access to transgenic and knockout lines, and promotes sharing of information and resources with the scientific community across India. 


Manav-Human Atlas


Combining the quantum of available big biological data, India’s strength in computational and informatics fields and support of our strong demographic profile, the ambitious ‘Manav’–Human Atlas initiative would be world’s most comprehensive human atlas till date by integrating available data from scientific literature as well as various public databases. Manav initiative will look at every major cell in the body, to understand how molecular signalling pathways and sub-cellular functions result in the extraordinary ability of humans to function.

Pune Biotechnology Cluster


Spearheaded by the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) and IISER Pune, this program aims to develop state-of-the-art technology platforms that will catalyse synergistic inter-institutional interactions and collaborations between academia and industry to undertake large scientific pursuits. The initiative will augment detailed analyses of molecular events leading to pathogenesis and use of model organisms to develop solutions to address problems in human disease biology. The scientific community that will benefit from this endeavor include Public and Academic Institutions, local Hospitals as well as the Biotechnology Companies in and around Pune. A major focus of the Bio-Cluster is also to generate highly skilled manpower to undertake cutting edge scientific pursuits by conducting national level workshops and training programmes.