+91-80-22932659 / 22932548

Prospective Students


Names of the candidates who have been shortlisted for second interview will be displayed on the DBG Website and DBG Notice Board at the end of the same day.

Round 1 (for all candidates)
Round 2 (for shortlisted candidates)

Dear Candidates,


We welcome you to the Interview at the Department of Development Biology and Genetics (DBG) at IISc.

The interview will be conducted offline, in person at DBG.

Please carry a Govt approved ID card (eg, Passport, Driver’s Licence, Pan Card, AADHAAR Card) to verify your identity. 

You will be interviewed for approximately 10-15 minutes



Please look for signboards and instructions in the main lobby of the Biological Sciences Building.

You should reach the DBG seminar hall and sign in the attendance sheet on the date of your Interview. The seminar hall is located on the First Floor of the New Biological Sciences Building.

You will be assigned to Committees (1/ 2/ 3) for interview. Committee Rooms are located in the ‘D Wing, First Floor.

Names of the candidates who have been shortlisted for second interview will be displayed on the DBG Website and DBG Notice Board at the end of the same day.

All candidates shortlisted for second interview must report at 9 am (on the prescribed day), to DBG Seminar Hall for instructions on the venue and time of the second interview.

Candidates who are short-listed for second interview must collect the “Faculty Preference Form” from the DBG Office and submit the same to the DBG office before noon on the day of the second interview.


The details of the faculty who are planning to take students are at the end of this page.


Should you need any further information, kindly contact the DBG office (office.dbg@iisc.ac.in).

Good luck!


For further information, please also visit faculty pages
-Chair, DBG. IISC

Admission to the department for Ph.D degree is through a departmental selection process for which student are considered through a number of channels.

  • Qualification : Students with following minimum qualifications are eligible to applying for this.
    • Master’s or equivalent degree in any branch of science or
    • Bachelor’s degree in any branch of Medicine/Engineering/Technology/Veterinary Science/Pharmacy
  • Eligibility : Candidates who have qualified for one of the following exams are eligible to appear for an interview process. For eligibility please refer to cutoff marks for direct interview process set for that academic year(this changes every year).
    • CSIR-UGC NET examination
    • DBT-JRF ship
    • GATE
    • INSPIRE Fellowship
  • Interview : The eligible candidates are interviewed during the month of May or January every year. The interview takes place over seven days. Candidates are encouraged to contact prospective faculty during these days.


For additional details, please refer to the institutional website https://www.iisc.ac.in/admissions/

2.Integrated PhD

Admission to the department for this degree is through a division wide selection process which involves qualifying a written test followed by a interview process.

  • Qualification : Students who are in 3rd year of their B.Sc. are eligible for applying for this degree and have 60% qualifying marks.
  • Written test : The student qualified through the JAM entrance test are short listed for interview.
  • Interview : It is scheduled for 3 days in the month of may in 3rd or 4th week.

Project description for prospective faculty who are planning to take students

Ramray Bhat, A-wing, DBG


Twitter: @RamrayB

Please visit our website: https://morphogenesisiisc.wixsite.com/home

Please also visit our laboratory @GA 07, DBG to know more about our laboratory activities.

Big question: How do cancer cells migrate across the body?

Brief articulation: It is well known that mechanical, chemical and tissue architectural cues allow cancer cells to survive travel through circulation and decide where and when they will settle down to colonize new tissues and organs. We are interested in decoding the effect of such cues through the study of alterations in cell surface sugars and extracellular matrix in the tumor microenvironment.

Tools that we will use: Time lapse imaging, confocal, spinning disc, and electron microscopy, cell- and molecular- biological assays, animal models, organoid and 3D culture, multiscale modeling, bioinformatics and -omic approaches.


Srimonta Gayen, E-wing and Annapoorni Rangarajan, A-wing, DBG



Please visit our website: https://dbg.iisc.ac.in/people/annapoorni-rangarajan/ https://dbg.iisc.ac.in/people/srimonta-gayen/

Joint project between the laboratories of Annapoorni Rangarajan and Srimonta Gayen

Epigenetic regulation of cancer cell stemness and drug resistance

Despite significant advancements in cancer diagnosis and treatment over the years, treatment failure and disease recurrence remains the primary cause of death in cancer patients. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a rare subpopulation of cancer cells that have been identified within several cancers that possess properties of normal stem cells, such as, self-renewal and the ability to give rise to diverse cell types. These properties of CSC also contribute to cancer heterogeneity and disease complexity resulting in metastasis, drug resistance, and disease relapse. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of cancer stemness and drug resistance is of utmost importance to improve treatment outcomes.

Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone modification, have emerged as key players in the regulation of cellular states. Prior work in the lab has identified activation of the central metabolic regulator AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the regulation of cancer cell-states such as matrix-attached vs detached, stem vs non-stem, and EMT vs MET. In this study we will explore the interplay between AMPK and epigenetic mechanisms such as histone modification and X-chromosome reactivation (XCR) in the regulation of cancer cell plasticity. We will use a novel CSC-enriched oral cancer cell line (IIOC019) established in the PI’s laboratory from a female Indian oral cancer patient sample. We will employ ChIP sequencing and transcriptomics approaches to identify novel cancer markers and epigenetic regulation of cancer progression, and validate the same using using fresh and formalin-fixed patient biopsies.


  • Saha M, Kumar S, Bukhari S, Balaji SA, Kumar P, Hindupur SK, Rangarajan A. AMPK-AKT double negative feedback loop in breast cancer cells regulates their adaptation to matrix deprivation. Cancer Res. 2018 Mar 15;78(6):1497-1510. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-2090.
  • Saxena M, Balaji SA, Deshpande N, Ranganathan S, Pillai DM, Hindupur SK, Rangarajan A. (2018). AMP-activated protein kinase promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cancer cells through Twist1 upregulation. J Cell Sci. 2018 Jul 26;131(14). pii: jcs208314.
  • Andugulapati SB, Sundararaman A, Lahiry M, Rangarajan A. AMP-activated protein kinase promotes breast cancer stemness and drug resistance. Disease Models & Mechanisms. 2022 Jun 1;15(6):dmm049203.
  • Mandal, S., Chandel, D., Kaur, H., Majumdar, S., Arava, M. and Gayen, S., 2020. Single-cell analysis reveals partial reactivation of X chromosome instead of chromosome-wide dampening in naive human pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Reports14(5), pp.745-754.
  • Naik, H.C., Hari, K., Chandel, D., Jolly, M.K. and Gayen, S., 2022. Single-cell analysis reveals X upregulation is not global in pre-gastrulation embryos. Iscience25(6), p.104465.
  • Naik, H.C., Hari, K., Chandel, D., Mandal, S., Jolly, M.K. and Gayen, S., 2021. Semicoordinated allelic-bursting shape dynamic random monoallelic expression in pregastrulation embryos. Iscience24(9), p.102954.



Tanweer Hussain, B wing, DBG

Contact: hussain@iisc.ac.in
Phone: 08022932764 & 08022933676, Lab: GB 04
Lab webpage: https://dbg.iisc.ac.in/people/tanweer-hussain/

The synthesis of proteins using genetic information is fundamental to all life forms. In higher organisms, the process is tightly controlled, and much of this regulation occurs during the initial steps of translation. Understanding translation initiation and its regulation is essential as it plays an important role in many key life processes, including early embryonic development, learning and memory, response to cellular stress and aging and diseases. Further, it will be beneficial for many human disorders and cancers. Also, it may provide avenues to develop strategies for modulation of translation initiation and the development of novel therapeutic strategies against bacterial, fungal and viral infections. In my group, a major focus is to understand how mRNA is recruited during eukaryotic translation initiation and its regulation, which is poorly understood. We employ biochemical, mutational and structural biology (cryo-EM & X-ray crystallography) approaches to address these questions.

Selected publications:
1. Afsar M, Narayan R, Akhtar MN, Das D, Rahil H, Nagaraj SK, Eswarappa SM, Tripathi S, Hussain T#. Drug targeting Nsp1-ribosomal complex shows antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. eLife (2022);11:e74877 doi: 10.7554/eLife.74877
2. Basu I, Gorai B, Chandran T, Maiti PK# and Hussain T# (2022) Selection of start codon during mRNA scanning in eukaryotic translation initiation. Commun Biol. (2022) 5:587; doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-022-03534-2
3. Singh J*, Mishra RK*, Shreya AA, Hussain T#, Varshney U# The initiation factor 3 (IF3) residues interacting with initiator tRNA elbow modulate the fidelity of translation initiation and growth fitness in Escherichia coli. Nucleic Acids Res. (2022): 50(20):11712-11726. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkac1053
4. Kumar R, Afsar M, Khandelwal N, Chander Y, Riyesh T, Dedar RK, Gulati BR, Pal Y, Barua S, Tripathi BN#, Hussain T#, Kumar N#. Emetine suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication by inhibiting interaction of viral mRNA with eIF4E. Antiviral Res. (2021):189,105056. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2021.105056.
5. Mishra RK, Datey A, Hussain T#. mRNA recruiting eIF4 factors involved in protein synthesis and its regulation. Biochemistry (2020): 59: 34-46. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.9b00788.


Sona Rajakumari, B wing, DBG

Contact: sona@iisc.ac.in
Lab webpage: https://dbg.iisc.ac.in/people/sona-rajakumari/

The research program in my laboratory focuses on key transcription factors and lipid molecules that regulate adipose tissue function and maintenance of pre-adipose stem cells. To address our research hypothesis, we employ several cutting-edge approaches, including CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene editing, transcriptomics, lipidomics, and transgenic mouse models.


1. Divakaran SJ, Srivastava S, Jahagirdar A, Rajendran R, Sukhdeo SV, Rajakumari S. (2020) Sesaminol induces brown and beige adipocyte formation through suppression of myogenic program. FASEB J. 34(5):6854-6870.

2. Shapira SN, Lim HW, Rajakumari S, Sakers AP, Ishibashi J, Harms MJ, Won KJ, Seale P. (2017). EBF2 transcriptionally regulates brown adipogenesis via the histone reader DPF3 and the BAF chromatin remodeling complex. Genes Dev. 31(7):660-673.

3. Rajakumari S, Wu J, Ishibashi J, Lim HW, Giang AH, Won KJ, Reed RR, and Seale P. (2013) EBF2 Determines and Maintains Brown Adipocyte Identity. Cell Metab. 17(4):562-574.



Deepak K Saini, A wing, DBG

Contact: deepaksaini@iisc.ac.in
Lab webpage: https://dbg.iisc.ac.in/people/deepak-k-saini/

Position open to study TCS signaling in Mtb and implications of its crosstalk”
Two-Component Systems (TCS) are essential Mycobacterial signaling systems that aid in sensing and adapting the bacteria to their ever-changing environment. Mycobacteria have 12 pairs of TCSs, and several studies have been carried out to characterize each pair extensively. Towards understanding the network among these systems, we previously identified the presence of unsual and extensive crosstalk, which leads to the formation of various networks and generates hierarchy in these signaling systems.

Given that these systems also regulate critical cellular adaptive processes, the present opening allows the candidate to characterize the implications of cross talk on regulating specified cellular mechanisms such as virulence, cell wall integrity, growth, and adaptation to environmental changes using biochemical and biophysical approaches. In vivo analysis of crosstalk between and across different TCSs using knock-out strains and identification of regulons impinge on crosstalk and their role in virulence and infection will be examined. The long-term question is to understand the evolutionary design of crosstalk or its absence.


Shantanu Shukla, E wing, DBG

For more information visit the lab page at https://shantanu-shukla.com/
or send an email to sps@iisc.ac.in

The research group studies the role of the microbiome in host nutritional physiology and the emerging consequences on host dietary adaptation.

Research in the lab is placed at the intersection of molecular biology, metagenomics, microbiology, insect physiology and ecology.

Ph.D. students can choose to work on projects involving amplicon and metagenome sequencing, transcriptomics, bioinformatics, microscopy, metabolite assays, and host-microbiome evolution .
Currently, we are interested in characterising the microbiome of various insects to elucidate the molecular pathways involved in digestion and supplementation of essential nutrients. The projects will provide possibilities to acquire a broad set of skills combining analyses at the molecular, cellular and organismal level, quantitative and statistical methodologies, and provide opportunities for collaborations.