Prof. Rup Lal
Department of Zoology
University of Delhi
Born in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, on the 27th September 1953, Prof. Lal received his primary education at the Government High School Bani, Himachal Pradesh, graduation from D.A.V College, Jalandhar, in 1973, M.Sc from Kurukshetra University, in 1975 and Ph.D. from University of Delhi, Delhi (1980). His teaching career started as a lecturer in Zoology at Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi, in 1979.
Professor , Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, Delhi -110007 (April 1, 2000 to till date).
Reader , Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, Delhi -110007 (April 13, 1992 to March 2000).
Lecturer, Department of Zoology, Sri Venkateshwara College, Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi-110021 (July 23, 1979 to April 12, 1992).
Dean, Examination, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, (November 6, 2012 to May 28, 2016).
Dean , Faculty of Sciences, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007 (November 8, 2007 to June 7, 2010).
Head , Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, Delhi -110007 (November 8, 2007 to Nov 7, 2010).
Collaborations at Glance
He has been instrumental in running two very long and fruitful international collaboration under ISCB (between DU, IMTECH, EAWAG and EPFL) and IACB (between DU, IMTECH and CSIRO, Canberra). He also had successful collaborations with ISJRP (Indo Swiss Joint Research Program) and DST-DAAD (Indo-German Project-based Personnel Exchange Program).
His primary research interests include microbial diversity at pesticide polluted sites, genetic and biochemistry of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) degradation and development of HCH bioremediation technology. Prof. Rup Lal is also interested in the evolution of lin genes and genetic manipulation of rifamycin producer Amycolatopsis mediterranei. His group has already sequenced genomes of Amycolatopsis mediterranei S699, Thermus sp. RL, Acinetobacter sp. HA and Sphingobium indicum B90A. He has also explored metagenomics diversity of the HCH dumpsite and currently working on the metagenomic revelations of the hot water springs (with temp. of ~96 degrees Celcius) situated atop the Himalayan ranges at Manikaran, Himachal Pradesh.
He has a US patent to his credit and over 191 publications in peer-reviewed journals attracting 4428 ISI citations along with h-index 34 . Prof. Rup Lal has supervised over 50 Ph.D. students and currently has 8 Ph. D students under his guidance. Many of his Ph.D. students are well settled and some of them are leaders in various capacities. He is a member of the Review Committee for the ASM-IUSSTF Indo-US Professorship in Microbiology (2009-2012). He has also served as an American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Ambassador for the Indian Ocean Region (2012-2015) . He has also served as President of Association of Microbiologists of India (2013).
Editor-in-Chief of Applied Journal of Microbial Bionomics, from February 23, 2016, published by PiscoMed Publishing Pte Ltd.
Editor-in-Chief of Indian Journal of Microbiology (INJM), from January 2006 - 2013, published by Springer, Nature.
Editorial Board Members
Editorial Board Member of Journal of Bioscience & Bioengineering (JBB), published by Society for Biotechnology, Japan (July 2015 onwards).
Editorial Board Member of Environmental Microbiology (EM), published by Society for Applied Microbiology (sfam) in UK (February 2014 onwards).
Editorial Board Member of Environmental Microbiology Reports (EMIR) published by Society for Applied Microbiology (sfam) in UK (February 2014 onwards).
Associate Editor and Editorial Board member of the journal BMC Biotechnology, published by BioMed Central Ltd., UK (2008 onwards).
Associate Editor and Editorial Board member of the journal BMC Biochemistry, published by BioMed Central Ltd., UK (2008 onwards).
Editorial Board Member for OA Biotechnology, published by OA Publishing, London (2012 onwards).
Editor of Indian Journal of Microbiology (INJM), published by Springer, Nature. ( April 2013 onwards).
Editorial Board Member of Microbial Biotechnology published by Society for Applied Microbiology (sfam) in UK (March, 2015 onwards).
Editor in mSystems Journal published by American Society for Microbiology (July,2015 onwards).
Genomics and Metagenomics
As a part of his research work, he has been successful in sequencing and annotating 18 genomes so far with varied niches such as Manikaran Hot water spring and HCH Dumspsite at Lucknow.
He has been instrumental in sequencing and analyzing metagenomes as well, from stressed niches such as, HCH dumpsite and publishing 2 major studies:
1. Sangwan et al., 2012. Comparative Metagenomic analysis of soil microbial communities across three Hexachlorocyclohexane contamination levels. PLos One . 7: e46219. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0046219
2. Sangwan et al., 2014. Reconstructing an ancestral genotype of two hexachlorocyclohexane degrading Sphingobium species using metagenomic sequence data. ISME J . 8 : 398-408. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24030592
He has also been pivotol in performing the comparative genomic studies as well as pan-genomics across HCH contaminated soils.
3. Verma H., Kumar R., Oldach P., Sangwan N., Khurana J.P., Gilbert J.A., Lal R . 2014. Comparative genomic analysis of nine Sphingobium strains: Insights into their Evolution and Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) Degradation Pathway. BMC Genomics .15 :1014. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/15/1014
4. Sharma A., Sangwan N., Negi V., Kohli P., Rao D.L.N., Lal R . 2015. Pan-genome dynamics of Pseudomonas gene complements across hexachlorocyclohexane dumpsite. BMC Genomics. 16:313. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/16/313.
5. Sangwan N., Lambert C., Sharma A., Gupta V., Khurana P., Khurana J.P., Sockett R.E., Gilbert J.A., Lal R . Arsenic rich Himalayan hot spring metagenomics reveal genetically novel predator-prey genotypes. Environ. Microbiol. Reports DOI: 10.1111/1758-2229.12297. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-2229.12297/abstract;jsessionid=A06D0DFD46F2434D496BFC3F85CFB92E.f01t01
Fight against Tuberculosis
He also has one patent to his credit for designing new analog for Rifamycin (wonder drug) against Tuberculosis. He has immensely contributed in this field and published many studies.
Nigam, A., Almabruk, K. H., Saxena, A., Yang, J., Mukherjee, U., Kaur, H., Kohli, P., Kumari, R., Singh, P., Zakharov, L. N., Singh, Y., Mahmud, T., and Lal, R. 2014. Modification of Rifamycin Polyketide Backbone Leads to Improved Drug Activity Against Rifampicin-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis . J Biochem . doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.572636. http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2014/06/12/jbc.M114.572636.abstract
Recent article in Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/DU-scientists-find-cure-for-drug-proof-TB/articleshow/37874856.cms
Taxonomic Characterization of Novel Species/Strains
In his ongoing effort to identify the culturable from exteme environment especially the hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) dump site, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in North India, his lab has characterized over 30 novel species using polyphasic approach . The species belong to different generar like Sphingomonas, Sphingobium , Novosphingobium , Sphingopyxis , Rhizobium, Devosia , Pontibacter etc. and are described in International Journal of Systemic and Evolutionary Microbiology
For details, please see the Tab "Research" on the left hand side of the page.
Awards and Honours
Received the Moselio Schaechter Distinguished Service Award-2016 from American Society for Microbiology (ASM) for exemplary leadership and commitment towards the substantial furthering of the profession of microbiology in research, education or technology in the developing world.
Prof. B.N. Johri Award on Microbial diversity (Biannual) by the Association of Microbiologists of India (AMI) for the year 2016
Prof. S.R.Vyas Memorial Award (Biannual) by the Association of Microbiologists of India (AMI) for the year 2014.
Honoured by Himachal Kalyan Sabha (Regd.), Delhi for his contribution for development of Rifamycin B analogue: 24-desmethylrifamycin B by genetic manipulation of Rifamycin producer Amycolatopsis mediterranei S699 on November 23, 2014.
President of the Association of Microbiologists of India (2013)
Ambassador to Indian Ocean Region, American Society for Microbiology (ASM) (2012-2015)
General Secretary, Indian Network for Soil Contamination and Research (INSCR)
Ambassador of ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology), The Netherland (March 2017 onwards)
Elected Fellow of Academies
Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (FNA)
Fellow of National Academy of Science (FNASc)
Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (FNAAS)
Fellow of Association of Microbiologists of India (FAMI)
Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. Worked at the University of Bielefeld, Gentechnologie/Mikrobiologie, and Federal Republic of Germany. (July 1988 - Aug. 1990).
Awarded Senior Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. Worked at the University of Bielefeld, Gentechnologie, on the project, Cloning of Rifamycin biosynthetic genes in Amycolatopsis mediterranei . (May 1995 - July 1995).
Awarded Short Term Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. Worked at the University of Bielefeld, Gentechnologie, Germany (June 1 st - July 30 th , 2004), on the project entitled Genome sequence and analysis and annotations.
Awarded DBT Short-term Overseas Associateship to work with Prof. John Cullum at the Department of Genetics, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany (May 11 th - Oct 31 st , 2000).
Awarded Short Term Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. Worked at the University of Bielefeld, Gentechnologie, Germany (July 1 st - 15 th , 2008), on the project entitled, Annotation of genome of Amycolatopsis mediterranei S699.
Awarded Indo-US professorship for the year 2008-09 by American Society for Microbiology to conduct research on Genetic Manipulations of Amycolatopsis mediterranei S699 for the production of rifamycin analogs, with Dr. Taifo Mahmud at the Oregon State University, Corvallis (May 18 th - June 14 th , 2009).
Awarded Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. Worked at the University of Freiburg, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology. (July 6 th - August 22 nd , 2013).
Awarded short-term Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. Will work at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany. (Jun – Jul, 2017).