Amitabha Mukhopadhyay earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Zoology from Calcutta University and then joined the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata for his PhD (1983) under the supervision of Dr Sandip K Basu, which was completed from the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh (PhD degree awarded by Jadavpur University). He joined the Institute of Microbial Technology as Junior Scientist (1989) and then moved to the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi (1992). In between, he worked as Visiting Scientist in Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA (1994-97) and Cornell Medical School, New York, USA (2006).
Academic and Research Achievements: Mukhopadhyay's scientific contributions are primarily in the area of cell biology with special emphasis on the regulation of intracellular trafficking. He has addressed fundamental issues in host pathogen interactions with an aim to develop a potentially new therapeutic target for their intervention by a variety of cell biological techniques related to protein trafficking. Work by his group has provided important insights into the molecular mechanisms of how pathogens modulate intracellular trafficking pathways to survive in phagocytes. The discovery of a new receptor system, mediating uptake and intracellular degradation of hemoglobin by Leishmania, suggests as to how this parasite, lacking heme biosynthetic ability, might meet the requirement of heme essential for its growth, which could be used as a novel target for Leishmaniasis. He has also made crucial contributions to demonstrate the feasibility of exploiting the receptor-mediated endocytic pathway to deliver drug, specifically, to macrophages for various therapeutic purposes with reduced toxicity of drug. He has mentored 10 PhD students.
Awards and Honours: Dr Mukhopadhyay is a recipient of CSIR Young Scientist Award (1991); National Bioscience Award (2001); SS Bhatnagar Prize (2002); Dr Narayana Rao Oration Award of ICMR (2002); and Ranbaxy Research Award (2004). He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad.