Chitra Mandal obtained her BSc degree with Chemistry honours from Bankura Christian College and MSc in Organic Chemistry from Burdwan University, West Bengal. She obtained PhD (1978) in Bio-Organic Chemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India and moved to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA for her post-doctoral work in the field of Molecular Immunology on antibody diversity. Returning to India in Dec1981, she joined the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) Kolkata as an Immunologist and has spent her entire professional career here. Currently, she is a Senior Scientist (H) and heading the Division of Cancer Biology and Inflammatory Diseases.
Academic and Research Achievements:
Chitra Mandal has devoted her life in understanding the mystery of glycosylation of biomolecules providing elegant elucidations to the intelligent encounter between the newly-induced sugar molecules and diseased status. She has firmly established O-acetylated sialioglycoproteins as novel decisive biomarker on lymphoblasts of children for diagnosis, prediction of relapse and detection of minimal residual disease in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia by using an indigenous probe discovered by her group. She has demonstrated that maturation/adhesion/mobilization of hematopiotic stem cells are heavily effected by sialylation. Signaling cross-talk with non-toxic carbazole alkaloid revealed a possible target molecule showing great potential in several cancers. Her group has conclusively established a unique sialoglytope exclusively induced on erythrocyte visceral leishmaniasis patients. Her antigen-based assay shows a great potential both for diagnosis and disease monitoring. Her group is the first to establish disease-associated glycosylated molecular variants of human C-reactive proteins in various pathophysiological conditions provided scope for advanced diagnostic and clinical status monitoring. Her group has single handedly started to work in this comparatively unexplored field of glycobiology in India and made remarkable contributions with visible impact in biomedical research at both national and international levels as evident in transferring three technologies, patents (14) and publications (131). She has mentored 22 students for their PhD degree.
Other Contributions: She plays an important role in many CSIR or DBT coordinated major institutional project on cancer Biology, System Biology, Proteomics during the XI Plan. Currently she is a member of Research Council, CSIR-IGIB, executive member of Indian Association for Cancer Research, member of the Immunology Task Force Group, ICMR, adjunct Professor of AcSIR and serves as a glycobiology teacher at NIPER, Kolkata.
Awards and Honours:
Chitra Mandal has received the following awards
1 Prof. S.S. Katiyar Endowment Lecture award” (2011-2012) by The Indian Science Congress Association
2 “Dr. Yellapragada SubbaRow Memorial Lecture”(2011) by The Indian National Science Academy
3 J.C. Bose Fellowship award (2010) by Department of Science and Technology
4 “Senior Scientist Oration Award” (2008) by the Indian Immunology Society
5 ‘BioTech Product and Process Development and Commercialization Award (2005) by DBT.
6 ‘Kshanika Oration Award” (2002) by ICMR.
7 ‘Smt Chandaben Mohanbhai Patel Industrial Research award”(2000) by Vividhlaxi Audyogik Samshodhan Vikas Kendra (VASVIK),
8 ‘The P B Rama Rao Memorial Award’(2001) by the Society of Biological Chemists.
9 Invited to write Biographical essay (2008) in a book entitled Lilavati’s Daughters:The Women Scientists of India” published by Indian Academy of Sciences (http://tinyurl.com/liladaug)
10 Recognize and appointed for the post of Scientist H/Outstanding Scientist in Biological Science by the President in July 2010
She was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (2006), Bangalore, and the West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology (2009) and The National Academy of Sciences (2004).