Dr.Abhay Harsulkar


Date of Birth: 20/11/1966

Qualification: M.Sc, PhD

Designation: Senior Scientist


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Phone: 020-24366920 (ext.214)

Research experience:

Research Fellow (DAE): Worked as Ph. D. student in Department of Botany, DrBabasahebAmbedkarMarathwada University, Aurangabad from the period of July 1991 to August 1995.

Visiting Fellow (BARC): For a period of one month, July 1993 at Nuclear Agricultural Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Bombay for training in basic biochemical techniques like enzyme assays and protein gel electrophoresis.

Research Associate (CSIR): Working as Research Associate in Plant Molecular Biology Unit, Division of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, since December 1, 1995 till today in the area of biochemistry and molecular biology focused on plant-pest and plant-pathogen interactions.

Visiting Scientist (WSU): Visiting Scientist at School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, USA from September 1999 to 2001 for advanced training in techniques in molecular biology, and proteomics such as construction and screening cDNA library, molecular cloning and gene expression, 2-D electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF.

Area of interest: Nutrient-Gene-interactions, medicinal plants and Ayurvedic formulations


  • First in order of Merit at M. Sc., 1991.

  • Received Y.B. Deshpande Award, 1991.

  • Award of fellowships: JRF (1991-93)/SRF (1994-95) Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.
  • Qualified State Eligibility Test, 1995
  • Awarded Research Associateship, CSIR, 1997
  • Chosen for the career development program under the McKnight foundation project, Washington State University 1999
  • “Researcher of the Year” Award, BharatiVidyapeeth University 2011
  • “Bharat ShikhsaRatan Award”, Global Society for Health and Educational Growth, New Delhi, 2013
  • Special Achievements Award, BharatiVidyapeeth University, 2013
  • Diamond Jubilee Distinguished Fellow in Pharmaceutical Sciences Themis Chemicals ICT (UDCT), Mumbai 2013
  • Received Excellence in Research, 4th Academic Brilliance Awards-16 from EET CRS, Research wing for Excellence in Professional Education & Industry, Noida, Delhi on 2016

Other activities

  • Member Technical Screening Committee-SBIRI-DBT
  • Member of Research Advisory Committee, Life Sciences, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon

Professional memberships

  • Member of Faculty and Board of studies in Pharmacy, BharatiVidyapeeth University
  • Member of Board of Studies in Biotechnology BharatiVidyapeeth University
  • Member of Board of Studies in Life Sciences in DrBabasahebAmbedkarMarathwada University, Aurangabad
  • Member of “Subject Board” in Applied Sciences in Biology and Environmental Sciences, College of Engineering, Pune
  • Life member of Society of Agricultural Chemists, India

Publications: 77

Patents: 12

PhD awarded: 04

Research Programms

Osteoarthritis (OA) of knee is a degenerative disease with increasing incidence in India and all over the world. It is associated with restricted joint movement, pain and swelling, which eventually leads to complete debilitation and reduced quality of life.Unfortunately, there is no cure to this disease since cartilage loss of is irreversible and repair is insignificant. There is no drug to OA and patients are assisted only with non-inflammatory drugs.

A unique repository of clinically annotated synovial fluid is being established at IRSHA for analysis of various different factors such as Cytokines (markers for inflammation), GAG (cartilage degeneration product), MMPs (Matrix metalloproteinases) and TIMPS (Tissue inhibitor metalloproteinases) (cartilage remodulation mediators), etc.

We have realized that patients that goes to doctor with knee pain have already have degenerated cartilage and therefore could not be helped. Instead, we need to reach to prospective patients who have cartilage and can be helped. The OA team have organized knee help camps in rural areas in the outskirt of Pune with the objective to provide free counselling, X-ray and instruction on physiotherapy and medications. Those patients with knee effusion are tapped to collect synovial fluid.The OA team have developed working collaborations with renowned orthopaediccentres. At present this team is working for evaluating the effect of Omega-3 supplementation on Osteoarthritis patients. Anti-inflammatory potential has been found beneficial to treat the chronic inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis. Under this program, we enrol arthritis patients from senior citizen clubs across Pune city for creating a required data-base.

Read More



  • Glycosaminoglycan measured from synovial fluid serves as a useful indicator for progression of Osteoarthritis and complements Kellgren-Lawrence Score.
  • Dietary flaxseed oil and fish oil ameliorates renal oxidative stress, protein glycation, and inflammation in streptozotocin–nicotinamide-induced diabetic rats.
  • Isolation and characterization of lipid transfer protein coding genes in flax (Linumusitatissimum L.). BiologiaPlantarum.
  • Marine yeasts from coastal waters of Kokan (India), as a promising source of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Anti-fatigue effect of Amarkand on endurance exercise capacity in rats.
  • Comparative anti-inflammatory and lipid-normalizing effects of metformin and omega-3 fatty acids through modulation of transcription factors in diabetic rats.


  • Cartilage protective effect of Sidacordifolia L. and Piper longum L. is through modulation of MMPs and TIMP.
  • Inflammatory response of cultured rat synoviocytes challenged with synovial fluid from Osteoarthritis patients correlates with their radiographic grading: A pilot study.
  • Effects of Commonly Used Antidiabetic Drugs on Antioxidant Enzymes and Liver Function Test Markers in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Subjects – Pilot Study.
  • Production of polyunsaturated fatty acids in recombinant Lipomycesstarkeyi through submerged fermentation
  • Ayurvedic hydro‑alcoholic anti‑asthmatic medicine Vasarishta built upon MritasanjeevaniSura: Development and evaluation.
  • Early somatic embryogenesis and synthetic seed preparation in Tavernieracuneifolia (roth) arn. For conservation of root cultures.
  • Enrichment of Nutritional value of cornmeal with protein and PUFA using oleaginous marine yeasts in solid state fermentation.


  • Detection of microbial contamination in quality control of ophthalmic preparation by PCR
  • Triphala, an Ayurvedic formulation improves the antioxidant status in colons of TNBS induced IBD in rats.
  • Comparative immunomodulation potential of Tinosporacordifolia (Willd.) Miers ex Hook. F., Tinosporasinensis (Lour.) Merrill and Tinosporacordifolia growing on Azadirachtaindica A. Juss.
  • A Rapid and Simple High Performance Thin Layer Chromatographic Method for Simultaneous Analysis of β-sitosterol-D-glucoside, gallic acid, withaferin A and withanolideA in Ashvagandharishta.
  • The Improvement of Pleuorotus Species Cultivated On Soybean Straw Bed Supplemented with Flax Seed Meal.
  • Interplay of Interleukin-1β, Nitric Oxide and Glycosaminoglycan in Synovial fluid obtained from Total knee replacement Patients may explain erosive Osteoarthritis,
  • Meniscal tear as potential steering factor for inflammation may aggravate arthritis: A case report.
  • Bioconversion of alpha-linolenic acid into long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids by oleaginous fungi.
  • Modified Sudan Black B staining method for rapid screening of oleaginous marine yeasts.
  • Differential transcriptional activity of SAD, FAD2 and FAD3 desaturase genes in developing seeds of linseed contributes to varietal variation in α-linolenic acid content Phytochemistry.
  • Microbial elicitation in root cultures of Tavernieracuneifolia (Roth) Arn. for elevated Glycyrrhizic acid production.


  • Ashvagandharishta' prepared using yeast consortium from W. fruticosa flowers exhibit hepatoprotective effect on CCl4 induced liver damage in Wistar rats.
  • Different Ayurvedicdosage forms of Dashamoolapossess varied anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Comparative Hepatoprotective potential of Tinosporacordifolia, Tinosporasinensis and Neem-Guduchi.
  • An improved protocol for in vitro regeneration of Rubia via organogenesis. International journal of plant animal and environmental sciences.
  • Disease-modifying Effect of Anthraquinone Prodrug with Boswellic Acid on Collagenase-Induced Osteoarthritis in Wistar Rats.
  • Comparative evaluation of anti-inflammatory potential of medicinally important plants
  • Total polyphenolic content and free radical quenching potential of Dioscoreaalata (L.) tubers.
  • Beneficial effects of flaxseed oil and fish oil diet are through modulation of different hepatic genes involved in lipid metabolism in streptozotosin-nicotinamide induced diabetic rats. Genes and Nutrition.
  • Dietary flaxseed oil and fish oil modulates expression of antioxidant and inflammatory genes with alleviation of protein glycation status and inflammation in liver of streptozotocin–nicotinamide induced diabetic rats.
  • Yeast consortium isolated from Woodfordiafruticosa flowers proved to be instrumental for traditional Ayurvedic fermentation.
  • Proteomic analysis of Protease Resistant Proteins in the Diabetic Rat Kidney.
  • Comparative free radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory potential of branded market samples of Ayurvedic formulations: Dashmoolarishta.
  • Influence of six medicinal herbs on collagenase-induced osteoarthritis in rats.
  • Oil extraction from medicinal plants by Pawra tribe of Nandurbar district (Maharashtra): Value addition and sustainable utilization with the aid of Ayurved.


  • Enhancement of hepatoprotective efficacy of propolis by fabrication of liposomes, as a platform nano-formulation for multi-component natural medicine.
  • In vitro Antioxidant, Antiglycation and α- amylase inhibitory potential of Eulophiaochreata L.


  • Rectal gel application of Withaniasomnifera root extract expounds anti-inflammatory and muco-restorative activity in TNBS-induced Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Somatic embryogenesis, regeneration and in vitro production of glycyrrhizic acid from root cultures of Tavernieracuneifolia (Roth) Arn.
  • Peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activities in compatible host–pathogen interaction in Jasminumofficinale and Uromyceshobsoni: Insights into susceptibility of host.


  • Functional and bioinformatics characterization of sequence variants of Fad 3 gene from flax
  • Relatedness of Indian Flax Genotypes (Linumusitatissimum L.): An Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) Primer Assay.
  • Demonstration of the potential of Hibiscus cannabinus Linn. Flowers to manage oxidative stress, bone related disorders and free radical induced DNA damage
  • Assessment of nutritional value of some wild edible plants from Satpura hills of Maharashtra, India
  • Antimicrobial activity of some crude herbal drugs used for skin diseases by Pawra tribes of Nandurbar district.


  • Free Radical Scavenging and Anti-inflammatory Activity of Indian Propolis.
  • Application of ISSR marker in pharmacognosy: Current update.
  • Validation of the potential of Eulophiaochreata L. tubers for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.
  • Cloning of a Novel Omega-6 Desaturase from Flax (Linumusitatissimum L.) and Its Functional Analysis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Traditional ethnomedicinal knowledge confined to the Pawra tribe of Satpura Hills, Maharashtra, India.


  •  Auxin-like activity of extract from hypertrophied tissue of Acacia eburnea infected with Raveneliaesculenta.


  • Chondroprotective Potential of Fruit Extracts of PhyllanthusEmblica in Osteoarthritis.
  • Chondroprotective potential of root extracts of Withaniasomnifera in osteoarthritis.
  • Differentially expressed gene transcripts in roots of resistant and susceptible chickpea plant (Cicer arietinum L.) upon Fusarium oxysporum infection.
  • Harnessing plant biotechnology for better human nutrition and health.


  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Biotechnology.


  • A Kunitz trypsin inhibitor from chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) that exerts anti-metabolic effect on podborer (Helicoverpaarmigera) larvae.


  • Franceschi (2003) Identification of potent inhibitors of Helicoverpaarmigera gut proteinases from winged bean seeds.


  • Bitter gourd proteinase inhibitors: potential growth inhibitors of Helicoverpaarmigera and Spodopteralitura.


  • Complexity in specificities and expression of Helicoverpaarmigera gut proteinases explains polyphagous nature of the insect pest.


  • Diversity in inhibitors of trypsin and Helicoverpaarmigera gut proteinases in chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and its wild relatives.
  • Successive use of non-host plant proteinase inhibitors required for effective inhibition of Helicoverpaarmigera gut proteinases and larval growth.


  • Characterization of Helicoverpaarmigera gut proteinases and their interaction with proteinase inhibitors using gel-X-ray film contact print technique.


  • Protease inhibitors of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) during seed development.


  • Low trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitor mutants in Winged bean (Psophocarpustetragonolobus L. DC)


  • 1. Dominant traits in Winged bean mutants.

Book chapters

  •  Anti-inflammatory properties of Triphala: an important AyurvedicRasayana.
  • Seed Proteinase Inhibitors. In Handbook of Seed Science and Technology.
  •  Alternative Molecules as Candidates for Genetic Transformation of Crops for Resistance to Helicoverpaarmigera.
  • 4. Winged bean: A promising system for mutation breeding. In : “Nuclear applications in agriculture, animal husbandry and food preservation.

Publications in non-peer reviewed journals/magazines 

  • Genetic improvement of winged bean through mutation breeding: A review.
  • Biochemical changes associated with compatible and non-compatible reaction of chickpea with Fusarium oxysporum.
  • Nutritional genomics: An emerging area of applied genomics aimed at better human nutrition and health.

List of patents

  • Process for conversion of oleic acid. Patent application No. 2364/MUM/2008.
  • Mutant of delta 15 desaturase gene and uses thereof. Patent application No. 1245/MUM/2000.
  • A pharmaceutical composition containing herbal ingredient for rectal application. Patent application No 1244/MUM/2009.
  • Bioconversion of flax alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) into long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) by oleaginous fungi. Patent application No 841/MUM/2012.
  • Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) production in recombinant Lipomycesstarkeyi. Patent application No 3501/MUM/2012.
  • A Modified process for manufacturing different Asava/Arishta’s and alike Ayurvedic and herbal fermented formulation. Patent Application Number: 2987/MUM/2012.
  • Applications of different “Yeasts” isolated from flowers of Woodfordiafruticosa (Linn.) in the process of fermentation of Asava and Arishta Patent Application Number: 150/MUM/2012.
  • In vitro production of Glycyrrhizic acid using root cultures of Tavernieracuneifolia (Roth) Arn. Application no. 2986/MUM/2012.
  • (Z)-4-hydroxy-but-enal: A novel Biotransformation product   of curcumin obtained through yeast fermentation.Patent Application Number: 2868/MUM/2013.
  • A novel phytocompound (Ashv-I) obtained through yeast fermentation in Ashvagandharishta Patent Application Number: 2508/MUM/2014.
  • A Novel herbal formulation (OA-F2) for use in Osteoarthritis. Application No.: 2509/MUM/2014.
  • A novel phytocompound TC-1 isolated from in vitro root clutures   Tavernieracuneifolia (Roth) Arn. Application no. 877/MUM/2015.