Dr.Abhay Harsulkar


Date of Birth: 20th November 1966

Qualification: M.Sc, PhD

Designation: Senior Scientist


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Phone (Institute number with extension): +91-20-24366920 Ext.214

Research experience:

Research Fellow (DAE): Worked as Ph. D. student in Department of Botany, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada 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


  1. Fellowship award of Indian Society of Agricultural Biochemist 2016
  2. Excellence in Research Award 2016 by EET CRS, New Delhi
  3. Diamond Jubilee Distinguished Fellow in Pharmaceutical Sciences Themis Chemicals ICT (UDCT), Mumbai 2013
  4. Special Achievements Award, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University), 2013
  5. “Bharat Shiksha Ratan Award”, Global Society for Health and Educational Growth, New Delhi, 2013
  6. “Researcher of the Year” Award, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) 2011
  7. Chosen for the career development program under the McKnight foundation project, Washington State University 1999
  8. Awarded Research Associateship, CSIR, 1997
  9. Qualified State Eligibility Test, 1995
  10. Award of fellowships: JRF (1991-93)/SRF (1994-95) Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India
  11. First in order of Merit at M. Sc., 1991
  12. Received Y.B. Deshpande Award, 1991

Other activities

  1. Member of Scientific Panel on “Nutrition and Fortification”, Food Safety and Standard’s Authority of India (FSSAI) under the ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (3rd Feb 2017 to 2nd Feb 2020)
  2. Member of “Task Force” on Bio-energy, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology (DBT), Government of India
  3. Member; Technical Screening Committee-SBIRI-DBT, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India
  4. Member of Project Screening Panel SERB, DST, Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India
  5. Member of “Subject Board” in Applied Sciences in Biology and Environmental Sciences, Government College of Engineering, Pune

Professional memberships

  1. Member of Faculty and Board of studies in Pharmacy, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University)
  2. Member of Board of Studies in Biotechnology Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University)
  3. Member of Board of Studies in Life Sciences in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad
  4. Life member of Society of Agricultural Chemists, India
  5. Member of Research Advisory Committee, Life Sciences, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon

Publications: 94

Research Programmes

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 is irreversible and its repair is insignificant. At present, patients are assisted only with anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs.

A unique collection of clinically annotated synovial fluids is established at IRSHA for analysis of different factors such as cytokines (markers for inflammation), glycosaminoglycan (cartilage degeneration product), Matrix Metalloproteinases and Tissue Inhibitor Metalloproteinases which are cartilage remodulation mediators.

Knee joint pain is the main reason for which most of the patients seek medical aid. It has been observed that when patient reach the doctor already much cartilage loss has been occurred and there is no prospect for effective arrest or reversal of cartilage degeneration. Thus, early diagnosis of OA is the need of the time. Present OA team organize ‘Knee-Help’ camps in Pune city and its outskirts with an objective to provide free counselling sessions, which includes diagnostics and patient self-management of the disease. Patients with knee effusions are further aspirated to collect synovial fluids. The team has established successful collaborations with renowned orthopedic centers in Pune. At present, we are working to evaluate the effect of Omega-3 supplementation in OA. Anti-inflammatory potential of Omega-3s has been found beneficial to treat many chronic inflammatory diseases like OA. For this, we enroll OA patients from Senior Citizen Clubs to create a required patient data-base.

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2017 (2)

  1. Gender dependent effects of fasting blood glucose levels and disease duration on biochemical markers in type 2 diabetics: A pilot study.
  2. New herbal composition (OA-F2) protects cartilage degeneration in a rat model of collagenase induced osteoarthritis.

2016 (6)

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

2015 (7)

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

2014 (11)

  1. Detection of microbial contamination in quality control of ophthalmic preparation by PCR.
  2. Triphala, an Ayurvedic formulation improves the antioxidant status in colons of TNBS induced IBD in rats.
  3. Comparative immunomodulation potential of Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers ex Hook. F., Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merrill and Tinospora cordifolia growing on Azadirachta indica A. Juss.
  4. A Rapid and Simple High Performance Thin Layer Chromatographic Method for Simultaneous Analysis of β-sitosterol-D-glucoside, gallic acid, withaferin A and withanolide A in Ashvagandharishta.
  5. The Improvement of Pleuorotus Species Cultivated On Soybean Straw Bed Supplemented with Flax Seed Meal.
  6. Interplay of Interleukin-1β, Nitric Oxide and Glycosaminoglycan in Synovial fluid obtained from Total knee replacement Patients may explain erosive Osteoarthritis,
  7. Meniscal tear as potential steering factor for inflammation may aggravate arthritis: A case report.
  8. Bioconversion of alpha-linolenic acid into long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids by oleaginous fungi.
  9. Modified Sudan Black B staining method for rapid screening of oleaginous marine yeasts.
  10. 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.
  11. Microbial elicitation in root cultures of Taverniera cuneifolia (Roth) Arn. for elevated Glycyrrhizic acid production.

2013 (14)

  1. Ashvagandharishta' prepared using yeast consortium from W. fruticosa flowers exhibit hepatoprotective effect on CCl4 induced liver damage in Wistar rats.
  2. Different Ayurvedic dosage forms of Dashamoola possess varied anti-inflammatory activity.
  3. Comparative Hepatoprotective potential of Tinospora cordifolia, Tinospora sinensis and Neem-Guduchi.
  4. An improved protocol for in vitro regeneration of Rubia via organogenesis. International journal of plant animal and environmental sciences.
  5. Disease-modifying Effect of Anthraquinone Prodrug with Boswellic Acid on Collagenase-Induced Osteoarthritis in Wistar Rats.
  6. Comparative evaluation of anti-inflammatory potential of medicinally important plants.
  7. Total polyphenolic content and free radical quenching potential of Dioscorea alata (L.) tubers.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Yeast consortium isolated from Woodfordia fruticosa flowers proved to be instrumental for traditional Ayurvedic fermentation.
  11. Proteomic analysis of Protease Resistant Proteins in the Diabetic Rat Kidney.
  12. Comparative free radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory potential of branded market samples of Ayurvedic formulations: Dashmoolarishta.
  13. Influence of six medicinal herbs on collagenase-induced osteoarthritis in rats.
  14. Oil extraction from medicinal plants by Pawra tribe of Nandurbar district (Maharashtra): Value addition and sustainable utilization with the aid of Ayurved.

2012 (2)

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

2011 (3)

  1. Rectal gel application of Withania somnifera root extract expounds anti-inflammatory and muco-restorative activity in TNBS-induced Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  2. Somatic embryogenesis, regeneration and in vitro production of glycyrrhizic acid from root cultures of Taverniera cuneifolia (Roth) Arn.
  3. Peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activities in compatible host–pathogen interaction in Jasminum officinale and Uromyces hobsoni: Insights into susceptibility of host.

2010 (5)

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

2009 (5)

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

2008 (1)

  1. Auxin-like activity of extract from hypertrophied tissue of Acacia eburnea infected with Ravenelia esculenta.

2007 (5)

  1. Chondroprotective Potential of Fruit Extracts of Phyllanthus emblica in Osteoarthritis.
  2. Hyaluronidase and collagenase inhibitory activities of the herbal formulation Triphala guggulu.
  3. Chondroprotective potential of root extracts of Withania somnifera in osteoarthritis.
  4. Differentially expressed gene transcripts in roots of resistant and susceptible chickpea plant (Cicer arietinum L.) upon Fusarium oxysporum infection.
  5. Harnessing plant biotechnology for better human nutrition and health.

2006 (1)

  1. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Biotechnology.

2005 (1)

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

2003 (1)

  1. Franceschi (2003) Identification of potent inhibitors of Helicoverpa armigera gut proteinases from winged bean seeds.

2002 (1)

  1. Bitter gourd proteinase inhibitors: potential growth inhibitors of Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura.

2001 (1)

  1. Complexity in specificities and expression of Helicoverpa armigera gut proteinases explains polyphagous nature of the insect pest.

1999 (2)

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

1998 (1)

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

1997 (1)

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

1996 (1)

  1. Low trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitor mutants in Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L. DC)

1995 (1)

  1. Dominant traits in Winged bean mutants.

Book chapters

  1. Anti-inflammatory properties of Triphala: an important Ayurvedic Rasayana.
  2. Seed Proteinase Inhibitors. In Handbook of Seed Science and Technology.
  3. Alternative Molecules as Candidates for Genetic Transformation of Crops for Resistance to Helicoverpa armigera.
  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

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