Research Projects

Research Projects


  1. PUFAs as potential radiomodifiers: Implications in radiation therapy and countermeasures. Funding Agency: BRNS-DAE (35/17/118/2017-BRNS/311). Amount: Rs. 22,40,400. DOS: 26-12-2016. Duration: 4 years (PI: Dr. Monika Sadananda)
  2. Evaluation of antioxidant properties of medicinal plants against Phytophthora blight disease of papaya (Carica papaya L.) from Western Ghats of Karnataka. Amount: Rs. 29.13 lakhs. Funding Agency: DST-SERB. Duration 2016-2020 (PI: Dr. Chandra M.)


  1. Anticipation in genes: Molecular, physiological and behavioural correlates of response of circa-annual clocks to seasons in night-migratory song birds. Funding Agency: DBT (BT/PR4676/ MED/30/752/2012). Amount: Rs. 40,43,000. DOS: 13-09-2013. Duration: 6 years (PI: Dr. Monika Sadananda)
  2. Cross talk between Estradiol and Leptin. Funding agency: UGC. Amount: Rs. 6 lakhs. Duration: 2015-2018 (PI: Dr. P. S. Suresh)
  3. Behavioural and neural correlates of social preferences in birds: A study in the chick and in the zebra finch. Funding Agency: DST-SERB (SR/S0/AS-38/2011). Amount: Rs. 40,60,000. DOS: 01.09.2012. Duration: 3½ years. (PI: Dr. Monika Sadananda)
  4. Brain anatomy, neurochemistry and behaviour in a murine model of adolescent depression. Funding Agency: UGC (41-545/2012 (SR). Amount: Rs. 1,73,000. DOS: 01.09.2012. Duration: 3½ years (PI: Dr. Monika Sadananda)
  5. Adolescent stress and depression: a behavioural study. Funding Agency: DBT (BT/PR4676/ MED/30/735/2012). Amount: Rs. 17,84,300. DOS: 01.10.2012. Duration: 3 years (PI: Dr. Monika Sadananda)
  6. Effect of irradiation on biochemical and phytochemical constituents in some species of mushrooms and toadstools of Western Ghat Forests of Karnataka. Funding agency: BRNS-DAE. Amount: Rs. 13.57 lakhs. Duration: 2012-2015 (PI: Dr. M. Rajashekhar)
  7. Molecular ecology and systematics of fungal communities associated with degradation of lignocellulosic biomass based on the next generation sequencing and polyphasic taxonomic approach. Funding agency: DST (Indo-Thai Project). Amount: Rs. 97 lakhs. Duration: 2012-2015 (Co-PI: Dr. K. R. Sridhar)
  8. Assessment of male reproductive toxicity of nanoparticle. Funding agency: DST-SERB. Amount: Rs. 5.5 lakhs. Duration: 2016-17. (PI: Dr. Prashantha Naik)

Research Collaborations (both National & International)

  • With Dr. D. Magyar, National Public Health Center, Budapest, Hungary & J.T. Van Stan, Applied Coastal Research Laboratory, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, GA, USA / Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, GA, USA towards publications in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.
  • Anticipation in genes: Molecular, physiological and behavioural correlates of response of circa-annual clocks to seasons in night-migratory song birds – Multi-institutional project with University of Delhi, North Eastern Hill University-Shillong, CCS University-Meerut, Lucknow University, NISER-Bhubaneshwar, 2013-2019
  • PUFAs as potential radiomodifiers: Implications in radiation therapy and countermeasures – Collaborative research project with Bioscience Research Lab, GVP Institutions, Vizag
  • Effect of Arsenicum album on anxiety- and depressive-like profiles using neurobehavioural paradigms - Fr Muller’s Homoeopathic Medical College, Derlakatte, 2019-2020
  • Effect of Astaxanthin on cognition and social communication in the progeny of undernourished and nutraceutical supplemented dams – KSHEMA, Nitte deemed to be University, 2020


Name of the Principal Investigator

Title of the project and duration


in lakhs

Funding Agency

Coordinator – Chairperson, Dept. of Biosciences

Deputy Coordinator – Prof. Monika Sadananda

DST-Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST) 2015-2020



Coordinator – Prof. Chandrakala Shenoy K.

Deputy Coordinator – Prof. Monika Sadananda

UGC-Special Assistance Program (SAP) 2016-2021



Prof. M. Rajashekhar

Effect of irradiation on biochemical and phytochemical constituents in some species of mushrooms and toadstools of Western Ghat Forests of Karnataka




Prof. K.R. Chandrashekar

Prof. K.R. Sridhar

Molecular Ecology and Systematics of Fungal Communities Associated with Degradation of Lignocellulosic Biomass based on the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Polyphasic Taxonomic Approach




(Indo-Thai Project)

Dr Monika Sadananda

Adolescent stress and depression:  a behavioural study




Dr Monika Sadananda

Brain anatomy, neurochemistry and behaviour in a murine model of adolescent depression (2012-2016)



Dr Monika Sadananda

Behavioural and neural correlates of social preferences in birds: a study in the domestic chick and the zebra finch (2012-2016)



Dr Monika Sadananda

Anticipation in genes: Molecular, physiological and behavioral correlates of response of circa-annual clocks to seasons in night-migratory song birds (2013-2018)


DBT (Multi-institutional project)

Dr. Prashantha Naik

Assessment of male reproductive toxicity of nanoparticle (2016-2017)



Dr. P. S. Suresh

Cross talk between estradiol and leptin (2015-2018)



Dr. Chandra M.

Evaluation of antioxidant properties of medicinal plants against Phytophthora blight disease of papya (Carica papaya L.) from Western Ghats of Karnataka (2016-2020)



Dr. Monika Sadananda

Dr. H.M. Somashekarappa


PUFAs as potential radiomodifiers: Implications in radiation therapy and countermeasures (2016-2020)


DAE-BRNS Collaborative Project with Dr. U.N. Das, Bioscience Research Centre, GVP Institutions, Vizag

Nature & type of Research

Biomedical Research

Recent research has focused on medicinal plants and their constituents as potential therapeutic agents in the prevention and management of coronary vascular disease, Diabetes Mellitus and Hepatic cirrhosis. In this context, studies have been carried out on the preventive roles of certain drugs/food products from medicinal plants on induced diseases such as Diabetes mellitus, liver cirrhosis and Myocardial infarction (Chandrakala Shenoy,Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 2000; Lobo and Chandrakala Shenoy,J Food Sci Technol 2015;Lobo and Chandrakala Shenoy, International Journal of Scientific Research 2015;Dias FR and Chandrakala Shenoy, International Journal of Science and Research, 2016; Dias and Chandrakala Shenoy, Indian Journal of Applied Research, 2016;Lobo RO, Sagar C and Chandrakala Shenoy, Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, 2017; Lobo RO, Dias FO and Chandrakala Shenoy, International Food Research  Journal, 2017; Pushpalatha and Chandrakala Shenoy,Life science-Research, 2017; Pai A and Chandrakala Shenoy, Journal of Applied Biology & Biotechnology, 2020).

Genetic Toxicology

In recent years, the rate of cancers, infertility, and other health issues is increasing at an alarming rate owing to increased environmental pollution and modern lifestyles, which necessitates the evaluation of toxicities of chemical agents. With a specialization in the field of Genetic Toxicology, carried out research on elucidation of genotoxicity of some environmental agents and pharmaceuticals. Studies have also been conducted to explore the xenoprotective effects of certain natural products. All these studies were performed using an in vivo model both for somatic and germinal cells. In collaboration with Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Science departments of the University, anticancer, antimicrobial, and mosquito larvicidal activity studies have been conducted for novel derivates, nanoparticles, and irradiated products. A survey on plants with special reference to herbal medicines for cancer therapies in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Coorg districts has been performed. In a joint venture, prepared a document for Peoples’ Biodiversity Register, under the auspices of Karnataka Biodiversity Board. The research outcomes have been published in the SCOPUS-indexed journals, conference proceedings, presented in various national and international conferences and in the form of a book. The research is in progress to evaluate the anticancer/antitumor activity of certain plant and fungal extracts using certain cancer cell lines and tumor models. Studies are also being carried through on solid waste management.


Thrust area of research is understanding mechanisms underlying anxiety and depression particularly during critical phases of brain and behavioural development, funded by DBT and UGC. The Wistar Kyoto is used as a prototypic model (Shetty RA; Sadananda M, Behavioural Brain Research, 2017; D’Souza D; Sadananda M, International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 2017) as it demonstrated face (behavioural phenotype), construct, (neurochemical circuity) and predictive (anti-depressant responses) validities(Shetty RA; Sadananda M, Neurochemical Research, 2017; D’Souza D; Sadananda M, Annals of Neuroscience, 2017) in both males and females. Ultrasonic vocalization analysis indicated strain-specific differences (Rao RM; Sadananda M, Journal of Biosciences, 2015). State and trait anxiety differences were established using the elevated plus maze (Rao RM; Sadananda M, Annals of Neuroscience, 2016). A stress-induced diathesis model was established to understand the mechanistics of a ‘double hit’ on the strain (D’Souza D; Sadananda M, Neuroscience, 2019).

Another thrust area, funded by DBT, is a multi-institutional project on neurobiological correlates of bird migration. Neuromorphometric changes in response to photostimulation or simulated long day conditions and associated phenotypic changes in behaviour and physiology were observed in red headed buntings, a Palaearctic night migratory species (Shukla et al Experimental Brain Research 2020).

As part of a collaborative BRNS research project, Resolvin D1, a metabolite of docosahexaenoic acid prevented/altered/restored type 2 Diabetes Mellitus associated hyperglycemia, enhanced plasma IL-6/TNF-β levels, reduced plasma BDNF and LXA4 and reduced BDNF in pancreatic, hepatic and brain tissues (Das et al, Archives of Medical Research, 2020).

Biotechnology and Biodiversity are at the interphase of science (Sadananda, 2017) and health, so a potential ayurvedic formulation is being tested for nootropic effects.

Plant Pathology and Mycology

Medicinal plants contain phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, lignin, quinones, coumarins, which are having therapeutic properties. The knowledge of medicinal plants has been accumulated from different medicinal systems such as Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha. Endophytes are microorganisms that are present in living tissues of various plant parts establishing natural relationship without apparently causing any symptom of diseases. Endophytic fungi provide an abundant reservoir of bioactive metabolites of medicinal exploitation and an increasing number of novel compounds are being isolated. Phyto fungal pathogens pose serious problems worldwide in agriculture and food industry, especially in the subtropical and tropical regions. Many also produce mycotoxins, which are harmful to humans and livestock and cause a number of diseases such as rusts, smuts, rots, downy mildew and may cause severe damage to crops.

Probiotics help balance the microbiome by replenishing good bacteria leading to improved digestion and better immunity. Marine bacteria produce diverse polysaccharides displaying biological activity, exploitable in the pharmaceutical and medical industry which could play an important role in the development of cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Several reports suggest that EPS and fatty acids of marine origin have anti-aging properties and are widely used in skin care treatments. The research outcomes have been published in UGC-approved, SCOPUS-indexed, refereed and indexed journals, conference proceedings and also presented in various National and International seminar, symposia, conferences etc.

Environmental Science

Studies were conducted on the water and sediment quality of coastal regions of south west coast of India and reported the impact of physico-chemical parameters of marine water and coastal sediment on the ecology of molluscan species (Krishnan S. and Tharavathy N.C., 2016. Seasonal variation in the physico-chemical properties of the coastal waters at Kushalnagar beach, Kasaragod, Kerala, Indian Journal of Applied Research). The biodiversity, nutritional composition, metal content and allometry of marine bivalves were studied in different beaches belong to two coastal districts viz. Mangalore and Kasaragod coasts throughout the year and recorded the seasonal variation in the diversity of bivalves (Krishnan S. and Tharavathy N.C., 2016. Biochemical composition of DonaxSpp. of Kushalnagar beach, West Coast, Kerala, International Journal of Scientific Research).

Sl. No.


Name of Guide

Title of Ph.D.


Ph.D. in Biosciences


Mr Ravikrishnan V

Prof. K. R. Sridhar

Nutritional and Bioactive Properties of Wild Mushrooms from the Foot-Hills of Agumbe Ghat, Karnataka


Ms Akshaya Pai, UGC-CSIR JRF

Prof. Chandrakala Shenoy K.

Hepatoprotective effect of Flacourtia jangomas extract on Carbon tetrachloride induced liver fibrosis in Wistar rats.


Ms Akshata Pai, UGC-CSIR JRF

Prof. Chandrakala Shenoy K.

Antidiabetic effect of Pouteria campechiana extract in Streptozotocin induced diabetic Wistarrats.


Ms Vishma B.L.

Prof. Prashantha Naik

Ethno-Medico-Botanical investigation of cancer treatments in ethnic groups of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kodagu districts of Karnataka


Mrs Rajitha Bhaskar

Prof. Prashantha Naik

Exploration and Characterization of Anti-genotoxic and Anticancer Molecules from Certain Fungal Cultures


Mrs Amritha Nair

Prof. Prashantha Naik

Assessment of Certain Environmental Agents for Mutagenicity and the Possible Role of Genoprotective Effect of Nutraceuticals


Mr Sanketh

Prof. Prashantha Naik

A Study on the correlation of seminal parameters and their link to infertility problem- a comparative analysis’


Mr Prakash S. Netalkar

Prof. Prashantha Naik

Studies on Mangroves of Coastal Karnataka – Diversity, Ecology and Anthropogenic Impact


Mrs Meenakshi Kodapala

Prof. Prashantha Naik

Studies on Biotic and Abiotic Factors for Optimization of Floral Waste Vermicomposting


Ms Vidya Shukla,

DBT Project Fellowship

Prof. Monika Sadananda

Influence of extraneous stressors on the physiology of passerine birds: A study at behavioural and neural levels


Mr Alemayehu Yismaw, ICSSR Fellowship

Prof. Monika Sadananda

Studies on resident and migratory bird species with reference to habitat, feeding patterns and vocalizations at Lake Tana, Ethiopia


Mrs Laveena

Prof. Chandra M.

Biochemical analysis of medicinal plants and their effects on human pathogenic organism


Mrs Gayathri Pai

Prof. Chandra M.

Isolation, Identification and antimicrobial activities of endophytic fungi from medical plants of Udupi District


Mrs Dhanya

Prof. Chandra M.

Screening of bioactive compounds from marine bacteria and their effects on biofilm forming pathogens


Mr Ravitheja

Prof. Chandra M.

Beneficial and Protective effects of certain hydrophytes in CCL4 induced albino rats.


Ms Dahlia Purushottam

Prof. Chandra M.

Evaluation of Antioxidant Properties of Medicinal Plants against Phytophthora Blight Disease of papaya (Carica papaya L;)


Ms Sowmyashree Shetty

Dr. Tharavathy N.C.

Study of monthly changes in morphometric, life history parameters, biochemical composition, few heavy metals and physico-chemical parameters in Lamellidens and Parreysia from Tungabhadra river near Shivamogga in Karnataka state, India


Ms Vidya Padmakumar

Dr. Tharavathy N.C.

Aquatic ecotoxicity of SSRIs on selected species of freshwater algae and plankton in effluent impacted lakes of Southern Bangalore and Hosur, Krishnagiri Dt., Tamil Nadu


Ms Ramya Bhat

Dr. Tharavathy N.C.

Diversity, seasonal variation, morphological, biochemical, molecular characterization and culture techniques of seaweeds of Dakshina Kannada District


Mr Abhishek Shetty, SERB Project Fellowship

Dr. P. S. Suresh

Unraveling molecular mechanisms linking adipokine and steroid hormone to endometrial cancer for novel therapeutic approaches.

Ph.D. in Biotechnology


Mr Hariprasad Shetty

Prof. Monika Sadananda

Cytokine modulation of brain function in an animal model of cancer: analysis at molecular and neural levels


Ms Pujitha G

Prof. Monika Sadananda

Screening, characterization and modelling of potential nootropic compounds as neuromodulators – in silico approaches

Ph.D. in Environmental Science


Ms Gatha R.S.

Dr. Tharavathy N.C.

Study on physico-chemical characteristics with special reference to eutrophication in lakes of Western Ghats


Mr Safiulla

Dr. Tharavathy N.C.

Assessment of watershed management using GIS and remote sensing: A case study of Warsaj District in Afghanistan