Santosh Kumar

Assistant Professor

Dr Santosh Kumar is a plant biologist actively engaged in teaching and research activities in KIIT. He works in the area of silica deposition in plants and is currently handling two research projects as Principal Investigator awarded to him by DBT and DST (Gov of India), respectively. He obtained his PhD (Biotechnology) degree from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India in 2012. After a brief stint as Research Associate in Bose Institute, Kolkata, India he moved to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (HUJI) for his post-doctoral studies. During his tenure at HUJI, he elucidated the mechanism of silica deposition in sorghum silica cells mostly using laser scanning confocal and scanning electron microscopies. He successfully established that silica deposition in silica cells is actively controlled by viable silica cells and also discovered the protein that precipitates silica in silica cells. Next, he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel for another post-doctoral study where he worked on silica deposition in diatoms. Using state of the art cryo-scanning electron microscopy, cryo-Focused Ion Beam scanning electron microscopy (cryoFIB-SEM) and cryo-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (cryoEDX) he imaged and quantified the homeostatic levels of intracellular silicon in diatoms. Results from his post-doctoral studies in Israel were published in highly reputed journals like Science Advances, New Phytologist and Journal of Experimental Botany etc. Dr Kumar returned to India in 2019 and joined NCBS, Bangalore, India as the facility in-charge of their Electron Microscopy Facility. He was awarded the prestigious Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship by DBT and subsequently joined BITS Pilani (Goa Campus) as Ramalingaswami Fellow in February 2021. Since March 2023, he has been working in the school of Biotechnology, KIIT Deemed to be University as Assistant Professor (Ramalingaswami Fellow).

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