Kumar Nikhil

Assistant Professor

Dr Nikhil has more than 13 years of research experience working in the field of molecular biology, cell biology and cancer biology. He obtained his PhD from Department of Biotechnology, IIT Roorkee in the year 2015. Afterwards he moved to Purdue University, USA as a Post-Doctoral Fellow (2015-2020). His research work here involved identification, characterization and validation of some novel kinase and other drug targets in cancer and neurodegenerative disease using a combination of chemical, genetic and chemical genetic approach. Dr. Nikhil has already published more than 48 peer reviewed research articles in well-reputed journals such as Cancer Letters, British Journal of Cancer, Cancers, BMC Biology, Nature Communications, Journal of Cell Science, PLoS ONE etc. He was awarded the prestigious Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship by the Department of Biotechnology Gov. of India (2020) and he joined BITS Pilani Goa Campus as an Assistant Professor. Dr Nikhil then moved to KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and is currently working as an Assistant professor at School of Biotechnology since March 2023.

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Educational Qualification
  • PhD Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Roorkee, India. (2009 -2015)
  • M. Sc. Animal Biotechnology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India (2007-2009)
  • B. Sc. Biotechnology, Ranchi University, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India (2004-2007)

Research Interests
  • Understanding the biology of tumor microenvironment.
  • Targeting tumor stroma micro-environment by use of natural product.
  • Understanding the role of different kinase in regulating tumor stroma biology.
  • Identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for cancer.

Understanding the role of PIM1 kinase in modulating tumor-stroma crosstalk in pancreatic ductal adeno carcinoma (PDAC). Funded by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, 2020-2025.

Awards & Honours
  • [1] DBT-Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship award (2020).
  • [2] Recieved first prize for Oral presentation in 2018 Annual Symposium of Indiana Basic Urological Research Program and IUSCC Genitourinary Cancers (2018).
  • [3] Recipient of CSIR- Senior Research Fellowship (2011-2014).
  • [4] Recipient of CSIR- Junior Research Fellowship (2009-2011).
  • [5] Qualified DBT-Junior Research Fellowship, Department of Biotechnology Government of India (2009-2010).
  • [6] Qualified GATE (2008 and 2009).
  • [7] Received University Fellowship during M.Sc (2007-2008).
  • [8] Received DBT-CREBB Fellowship during M.Sc (2008-2009).
  • [9] First prize for Poster presentation on National Science Day, University of Hyderabad, AP, India (28/02/2009).
  • [10] Gold Medal by Ranchi University for securing top rank in BSc. Biotechnology (2004-2007).

  • [1] Member: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
  • [2] Member: Indian Association for Cancer Research (IACR).
  • [3] Life Member: Society for reproductive biology and comparative endocrinology (SRBCE)

Journals/Conferences :
[1] Nikhil K, Haymour HS, Kamra M and Shah K. Phosphorylation-Dependent Regulation of SPOP by LIMK2 promotes Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer. Brit J Cancer. 2021; 124:995-1008. [IF = 9.07].

[2] Nikhil K, Kamra M, Raza A, Haymour HS and Shah K. Molecular Interplay between AURKA and SPOP 3 dictates CRPC Pathogenesis via Androgen Receptor. Cancers. 2020; 12(11):3247. [IF = 6.92]
[3] Nikhil K*, Kamra M*, Raza A and Shah K. Negative Cross talk between LIMK2 and PTEN promotes Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer Pathogenesis in cells and in vivo. Cancer Lett. 2020; 498:1-18. (*shared first author) [IF = 9.756].

[4] Nikhil K, Raza A, Haymour HS, Flueckiger H, Chu J, Shah K. Aurora Kinase A-YBX1 Synergy Fuels Aggressive Oncogenic Phenotypes and Chemoresistance in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Cancers, 2020; 12(3), 660. [IF = 6.92]
[5] Nikhil K, Chang L, Viccaro K, Jacobsen M, McGuire C, Satapathy SR, Tandiary M, Broman MM, Cresswell G, He YJ, Sandusky GE. Identification of LIMK2 as a Therapeutic Target in Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer. Cancer Lett. 2019; 448, 182-196. [IF = 9.756]
[6] Nikhil K, Viccaro K, Shah K. Multifaceted Regulation of ALDH1A1 by Cdk5 in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Mol Neurobiol 2019; 56(2), 1366-1390. [IF = 5.68]
[7] Nikhil K and Shah K. The Cdk5-Mcl-1 axis promotes mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration in a model of Alzheimer's disease. J Cell Sci. 2017; 130(18), 3023-3039. [IF = 5.23]
[8] Nikhil K*, Wang J*, Viccaro K, Chang L, White J, Shah, K. Phosphorylation-dependent regulation of ALDH1A1 by Aurora kinase A: insights on their synergistic relationship in pancreatic cancer. BMC biology. 2017; 15(1), 10. (*shared first author) [IF = 7.36]
[9] Nikhil K*, Wang J*, Viccaro K, Chang L, Jacobsen M, Sandusky G, Shah K. The Aurora-A–Twist1 axis promotes highly aggressive phenotypes in pancreatic carcinoma. J Cell Sci. 2017; 130(6), 1078-1093. (*shared first author) [IF = 5.23]
[10] Nikhil K, Sharan S, Wishard R, Palla SR, Peddinti RK, Roy P. Pterostilbene carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone, a resveratrol derivative inhibits 17β-Estradiol induced cell migration and proliferation in HUVECs. Steroids. 2016; 108:17-30. [IF = 2.76]
[11] Nikhil K, Sharan S, Roy P. A pterostilbene derivative suppresses osteoclastogenesis by regulating RANKL-mediated NF-κB and MAPK signaling in RAW 264.7 cells. Pharmacological Reports. 2015; 67:1264-1272. [IF = 3.91]
[12] Nikhil K, Sharan S, Palla SR, Sondhi SM, Peddinti RK, Roy P. Understanding the mode of action of a pterostilbene derivative as anti-inflammatory agent. Int Immunopharmacol. 2015; 28:10-21. [IF = 5.71]
[13] Nikhil K, Sharan S, Singh AK, Chakraborty A, Roy P. Anticancer activities of pterostilbene-isothiocyanate conjugate in breast cancer cells: involvement of PPARγ. PLoS One. 2014; 9(8):e104592. [IF = 3.75]
[14] Nikhil K, Sharan S, Chakraborty A, Roy P. Pterostilbene-isothiocyanate conjugate suppresses growth of prostate cancer cells irrespective of androgen receptor status. PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e93335. [IF = 3.75]
[15] Nikhil K, Sharan S, Chakraborty A, Bodipati N, Krishna Peddinti R, Roy P. Role of isothiocyanate conjugate of pterostilbene on the inhibition of MCF-7 cell proliferation and tumor growth in Ehrlich ascitic cell induced tumor bearing mice. Exp Cell Res. 2014; 320(2):311-328. [IF = 4.14]

[16] Nikhil K, Sharan S, Roy P A brief overview of androgen receptor: Its structure, functions and role in health and disease. J EndocrinolReprod.2013; 17(1):19-30. [IF = NA]
[17] Sooreshjani MA, Nikhil K, Kamra M, Nguyen DN, Kumar D, Shah K. LIMK2-NKX3.1 engagement promotes castration-resistant prostate cancer. Cancers. 2021; 13(10):2324. [IF = 6.92]
[18] Zheng X-F, Acharya S, Choe K, Nikhil K, Adelmant G, Satapathy SR, Sharma S, NishitaParnandi N, Keith Viccaro K, Rana S, Natarajan A, Sicinski P, Marto J, Shah K, Chowdhury D.A mitotic CDK5-PP4 phospho-signaling cascade primes 53BP1 for DNA repair in G1. Nature Commun. 2019; 10(1):1-13. [IF = 17.69].

[19] Chaitanya MVSK, Reddy PV, Nikhil K, Kumar A, Shah K, Kumar D. Synthesis and anticancer activity studies of indolylisoxazoline analogues. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. 2018; 28(17), 2842-2845. [IF = 2.94]
[20] Reddy PV, Hridhay M, Nikhil K, Khan S, Jha PN, Shah K, Kumar D. Synthesis and Investigations into the Anticancer and Antibacterial Activity Studies of β-CarbolineChalcones and their Bromide Salts. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2018; 28(8)1278-1282. [IF = 2.94]
[21] Singh N, Singh UP, Nikhil K, Roy P, Singh H. Synthesis, structural, solubility and anticancer activity studies of salts using nucleobases and sulfonic acids coformer. Journal of Molecular Structure. 2017 Oct 15; 1146:703-12. [IF = 3.84]
[22] Reddy PV, Mishra S, Tantak MP, Nikhil K, Sadana R, Shah K, Kumar D. Design, synthesis and in vitro cytotoxicity studies of novel β-carbolinium bromides. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2017; 27(6), 1379-1384. [IF = 2.94]
[23] Tantak MP, Gupta V, Nikhil K, Arun V, Singh RP, Jha PN, Kumar D. Sequential one-pot synthesis of bis (indolyl) glyoxylamides: Evaluation of antibacterial and anticancer activities. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. 2016; 26(13), 3167-3171. [IF = 2.94]
[24] Vashisth P, Srivastava AK, Nagar H, Raghuwanshi N, Sharan S, Nikhil K, Pruthi PA, Singh RP, Roy P, Pruthi V. Drug functionalized microbial polysaccharide based nanofibers as transdermal substitute. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. 2016; 12(5):1375-85. [IF = 6.45]
[25] Vashisth P, Nikhil K, Roy P, Pruthi PA, Singh RP, Pruthi V. A novel gellan–PVA nanofibrous scaffold for skin tissue regeneration: Fabrication and characterization. Carbohydrate polymers. 2016; 136:851-859. [IF = 10.72]
[26] Kumar N, Kumar S, Abbat S, Nikhil K, Sondhi SM, Bharatam PV, Roy P, Pruthi V. Ferulic acid amide derivatives as anticancer and antioxidant agents: synthesis, thermal, biological and computational studies. Medicinal Chemistry Research. 2016; 25(6):1175-92. [IF = 2.35]
[27] Sharan S, Nikhil K, Roy P. Disruption of thyroid hormone functions by low dose exposure of tributyltin: an in vitro and in vivo approach. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2014; 206:155-65. [IF = 3.25]
[28] Tomar PP, Nikhil K, Singh A, Selvakumar P, Roy P, Sharma AK. Characterization of anticancer, DNase and antifungal activity of pumpkin 2S albumin. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 448(4):349-54. [IF = 3.32]
[29] Sharan S, Nikhil K, Roy P. Effects of low dose treatment of tributyltin on the regulation of estrogen receptor functions in MCF-7 cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013; 269(2):176-86. [IF = 3.68]
[30] Arya S, Kumar N, Roy P, Sondhi SM. Synthesis of amidine and bisamidine derivatives and their evaluation for anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity. Eur J Med Chem. 2013; 59:7-14. [IF = 7.08]
[31] Vashisth P, Nikhil K, Pemmaraju SC, Pruthi PA, Mallick V, Singh H, Patel A, Mishra NC, Singh RP, Pruthi V. Antibiofilm activity of quercetinen capsulated cytocompatible nanofibers against Candida albicans. J Bioact Compat Pol. 2013; 28 (6):652-665. [IF = 2.13]
[32] Kumar V, Nikhil K, Roy P, Lahiri D, Lahiri I. Emergence of fluorescence in boron nitride nanoflakes and its application in bioimaging. RSC Advances. 2016; 6(53):48025-48032. [IF = 4.03]
[33] Kumar S, Verma N, Kumar N, Patel A, Roy P, Pruthi V, Ahmed N. Design, synthesis, molecular docking, and biological studies of novel phytoestrogen-tanaproget hybrids. Synthetic Communications. 2016,. [IF = 2.0]
[34] Kumar A, Kumar N, Roy P, Sondhi SM, Sharma A. Microwave-assisted synthesis of benzenesulfonohydrazide and benzenesulfonamide cyclic imide hybrid molecules and their evaluation for anticancer activity. Med Chem Res. 2015; 24(10):3760-3771. [IF = 2.35]
[35] Kumar S, Kumar N, Roy P, Sondhi SM. Synthesis, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative activity evaluation of isoindole, pyrrolopyrazine, benzimidazoisoindole, and benzimidazopyrrolopyrazine derivatives. Mol Divers. 2013; 17(4):753-66. [IF = 3.36]
[36] Kumar S, Kumar N, Roy P, Sondh SM. Efficient synthesis of heterocyclic compounds derived from 2,6-dioxopiperazine derivatives and their evaluation for anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities. Med Chem Res. 2014; 23(9):3953-3969. [IF = 2.35]
[37] Kumar S, Kumar N, Roy P, Sondhi SM. Efficient synthesis of piperazine-2,6-dione and 4-(1H-indole-2-carbonyl)piperazine-2,6-dione derivatives and their evaluation for anticancer activity. Med Chem Res. 2013; 22:4600-4609. [IF = 2.35]
[38] Anuj K, Nikhil K, Roy P, Sondhi SM, Sharma A. Synthesis of acridine cyclic imide hybrid molecules and their evaluation for anticancer activity. Med Chem Res. 2015; 24 (8):3272-3282. [IF = 2.35]
[39] Mathi, P, Nikhil K, Das S, Roy P, Bokka V, Mahendran B. Evaluation of in vitro anticancer activity and GC-MS analysis from leaf SophorainterruptaBedd. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.2015; 7:303-308. [IF = 2.32]
[40] Mathi P, Nikhil K, Ambatipudi N, Roy P, Bokka VR, Botlagunta M. In-Vitro and in-Silico characterization of Sophorainterrupta plant extract as an anticancer activity. Bioinformation. 2014; 10(3):144-51. [IF = 1.0]
[41] Mathi P, Das S, Nikhil K, Roy P, Yerra S, Ravada SR, Bokka VR, Botlagunta M. Isolation and characterization of the anticancer compound piceatannol from sophora interrupta bedd. International journal of preventive medicine. 2015; 6:101. [IF = 1.55]
[42] Saluja P, Khurana JM, Nikhil K, Roy P. Task-specific ionic liquid catalyzed synthesis of novel naphthoquinone-urazole hybrids and evaluation of their antioxidant and in vitro anticancer activity. RSC Adv. 2014; 4:34594-34603. [IF = 4.03]
[43] Sondhi SM, Kumar S, Kumar N, Roy P. Synthesis anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity evaluation of some pyrazole and oxadiazole derivatives. Med Chem Res. 2012; 21(10):3043-3052. [IF = 2.35]
[44] Arya S, Kumar A, Kumar N, Roy P, Sondhi SM. Synthesis and anticancer activity evaluation of some acridine derivatives. Med Chem Res, 2015;24 (5):1942-1951. [IF = 2.35]

[45] Vashisth P, Sharma M, Nikhil K, Singh H, Panwar R, Pruthi PA, Pruthi V. Antiproliferative activity of ferulic acid-encapsulated electrospun PLGA/PEO nanofibers against MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cells. 3 Biotech. 2015;5 (3):303-315. [IF = 3.44]
[46] Arya S, Kumar S, Rani R, Kumar N, Roy P, Sondhi SM. Synthesis, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxicity evaluation of 9,10-dihydroanthracene-9,10-a,b-succinimide and bis-succinimide derivatives. Med Chem Res. 2013; 22:4278-4285. [IF = 2.35]
[47] Sondhi SM, Arya S, Rani R, Kumar N, Roy P. Synthesis, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity evaluation of some mono- and bis-Schiff’s bases. Med Chem Res. 2012; 21(11): 3620-3628. [IF = 2.35]
[48] Jain SK, Utreja P, Tiwary AK, Mahajan M, Kumar N, Roy P. Anti-cancer, pharmacokinetic and biodistribution studies of cremophor el free alternative paclitaxel formulation. Curr Drug Saf. 2014; 9(2):145-55. [IF = 0.33]