Personal Information

Dr. Dhaneswar Prusty

Assistant Professor (UGC)

M.Sc. (Biotechnology), Ph.D. (Molecular Medicine)


Antimalarial Drug discovery by using in silicoin vitro, and parasite culture methods 

Antiviral Drug discovery by using in silico and in vitro methods 

Biochemical characterization of apicoplast housekeeping machinery of the malaria parasite

M.Sc.- Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Tezpur University, Assam

Ph.D.- Special Centre for Molecular Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Postdoctoral research- Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

 DBT scholarship for M.Sc. Biotechnology


Despite the continuous efforts to implement improved preventive measures for malaria, the World Health Organization has been reporting the rise of malaria's morbidity for the last five years. The primary cause of malaria treatment failure is the emerging resistance towards all most all front line antimalarials. The requirements for developing new antimalarials to support the current therapeutics include biochemical characterization of novel drug targets, identification of lead compounds for combination therapy, and the development of antimalarial therapeutics strategies from clinical drug libraries. Therefore, our lab research is extended from identifying novel targets to the identification of new drugs through high throughput screening.

Drug library and Natural compound screen to identify potent antimalarial agents

The prolonged timeline and enormous investment required for new drug discovery are significant obstructions to the formulation of therapies for neglected diseases. In this context, my laboratory focuses on the virtual high-throughput screening and validation of lead compounds in parasite culture of different drug libraries and natural compounds for malaria treatment. My earlier studies on nicotinamide and acriflavine in this direction are quite encouraging. We have some significant leads in discovering polypharmacological compounds in virtual screening, which we are carrying forward testing against chloroquine-sensitive and multidrug-resistant parasites. If everything goes fine will be further tested in animal models.

Rational approaches for the use of antibiotic scaffolds against the malaria parasite

The malaria parasite possesses a non-photosynthetic plastid called apicoplast that serves as an operational site for many indispensable biochemical pathways. I have identified and characterized some key players of the bacterial type DNA replication process of the apicoplast. Because the apicoplast's prokaryotic housekeeping functions are radically different from human metabolism, they are promising drug targets. Compounds that are meant to target bacterial housekeeping functions have been shown to have antimalarial properties. However, the proteins of apicoplast housekeeping functions retain significant differences in sequence and biochemical properties. So my lab is currently exploring specific inhibitors that target precisely the apicoplast housekeeping functions to provide a good source of leads for new malaria drugs.

Biochemical analysis of transcription machinery of Plasmodium  apicoplast

Among different antibiotics, rifampicin, supposed to target a putative bacterial type RNA polymerase of apicoplast, was the fastest-acting and most potent. Despite the importance of apicoplast transcription, little is known about the molecular machine "RNA polymerase" of apicoplast transcription.  It is also not known how the process is initiated and regulated. Therefore, My lab focuses on the structural and functional characterization of the apicoplast RNA polymerase that will definitely reveal many enigmatic features of apicoplast transcription and potential new drug leads for malaria.

Antiviral drug discovery by virtual screening and in vitro assays

In the COVID-19 pandemic, we expanded our research in discovering new antiviral compounds against SARS CoV-2. Our chemical system biology approach could identify many lead multi-targeting natural and FDA compounds. We are in the process of establishing various virus-free in vitro assays and cell culture assays to strengthen our research in the direction of antiviral compound discovery.

S. No. Authors Title of Article Journal/Conference Details Journal/Conference Publication Year
1 Biswajit Naik, M. Venkata Satish Kumar, Nidhi Gupta, Rupal Ojha, Pundarikaksha Das, Satyendra Singh, Vijay Kumar Prajapati, Dhaneswar Prusty* Chemical system biology approach to identify multi-targeting FDA inhibitors for treating 2 COVID-19 and associated health complications Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics 40 (19), 9543-9567 Journal 2022
2 Dhaneswar Prusty* , Nidhi Gupta, Arun Upadhyay , Biswajit Naik, Navin Kumar , Ashraf Dar , Vijay Kumar Prajapati Asymptomatic malaria infection prevailing risks for human health and malaria elimination Infection, Genetics and Evolution 93, 104987 Journal 2021
3 Naik B, Gupta N, Ojha R, Singh S, Prajapati VK, Prusty D High throughput virtual screening reveals SARS-CoV-2 multi-target binding natural compounds to lead instant therapy for COVID-19 treatment. Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 May 26;160:1-17. Journal 2020
4 Ojha R, Gupta N, Naik B, Singh S, Verma VK, Prusty D, Prajapati VK. High throughput and comprehensive approach to develop multiepitope vaccine against minacious COVID-19. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2020 Aug 1;151:105375. Journal 2020
5 Gupta N, Regar H, Verma VK, Prusty D, Mishra A, Prajapati VK. Receptor-ligand based molecular interaction to discover adjuvant for immune cell TLRs to develop next-generation vaccine. Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Jun 1;152:535-545. Journal 2020
6 Ojha R, Pareek A, Pandey RK, Prusty D, Prajapati VK Strategic Development of a Next-Generation Multi-Epitope Vaccine To Prevent Nipah Virus Zoonotic Infection ACS Omega. 2019 Aug 7;4(8):13069-13079. Journal 2019
7 Swati Singh, Hemanth Naick Banavath, Priya Godara, Biswajit Naik, Varshita Srivastava, Dhaneswar Prusty Identification of antiviral peptide inhibitors for receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 omicron and its sub-variants: an in-silico approach 3 Biotech 12 (9), 198 Journal 2022
8 Priya Godara, Biswajit Naik, Rajshree Meghwal, Rupal Ojha, Varshita Srivastava, Vijay Kumar Prajapati, Dhaneswar Prusty Rational designing of peptide-ligand conjugates-based immunotherapy for the treatment of complicated malaria Life Sciences 311, 121121 Journal 2022
9 Dhaneswar Prusty Future of system vaccinology System Vaccinology. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Chapter 17 Book Chapter 2022

UGC-start up grant on antimalarial drug discovery



•Young Investigator Meeting, 2020, organized by India Biosciences 

•Young Investigator Meeting, 2020, organized by India Biosciences 

•8th Annual Future of Malaria  Research Symposium, Johns Hopkins  Malaria Research Institute, 2022

•Frontiers in Biomedical Research 2022 (FBR-2022), University of Delhi

•International Conference on Emerging Trends in Biosciences and Chemical Technology-2022, Shri Mata  Vaishno Devi University, Jammu


Organizing Secretary: 

•Integrated Strategies to Combat the Pandemic COVID-19, 2020 (International)

•Universal Access to Vaccine and Medicine as a Fight Against COVID-19, 2021

•Emerging Trends in Systems Biology, 2021