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Shanta Dhar's Reserach Group in 2021

Principal Investigator (PI)


Dr. Shanta Dhar, PhD

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Gautier Building Room #317
1011 NW 15th Street
Miami, Fl 33136-1019
Email: shantadhar@med.miami.edu
Office: (305) 243-1292
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Shanta was born in West Bengal, India. She received her Ph. D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. Her graduate work was in the area of bioinorganic chemistry with the overall goal being to develop copper(II) complexes to effect photocleavage of double stranded DNA at longer wavelengths. In 2006, she came to this side of the globe and  joined Johns Hopkins University as a postdoctoral fellow where she worked in the area of bioorganic chemistry with Prof. Marc M. Greenberg developing fluorescent sensors for the detection of various DNA lesions. In 2007, Shanta joined the group of Prof. Stephen J. Lippard at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her postdoctoral studies were focused on nanocarrier-mediated delivery of platinum-based drugs for their potential applications in cancer. Shanta joined the chemistry department at the University of Georgia in August 2010 and in summer 2016 she joined University of Miami, Miller school of medicine, currently she is in the process of motivating young talents towards the exciting field of metal-based nanomedicine for their potential uses in different human diseases.

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Dr. Bapurao Surnar, PhD

PhD from Indian Institute of Science Eductation and Research, Pune
Office: (305) 243-5830

Bapu is from Hyderabad, India. He did his Bachelors from Kakatiya University and Masters from Osmania University in Telangana. He pursued his PhD in "Synthesis and bio-application of functional polycaprolactones" with Prof. Jayakannan at IISER Pune. He is currently working on development of multi tasking nanodevices for therapeutic applications for prostate cancer, viral diseases and heart diseases. In June 2020, he was promoted to assistant scientist at the Univeristy of Miami Miller School of Medicine.



Post-Doctoral Researchers


Xiao Zhang

Dr. Xiao Zhang, PhD

PhD from Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China
Office: (305) 243-5830

Xiao is from Dezhou, China. He received his Ph.D. degree in Applied Chemistry from East China University of Science and Technology. In the winter of 2018, he joined the group of Prof. Françisco Raymo at University of Miami as a postdoctoral associate and focused on synthesis of photoactivable BODIPY dyes for bioimaging. He is currently working on development of nanoparticles for therapeutic applications.



Visiting Researchers / Research Professionals / Volunteers



Graduate Students/Researchers



Akil A. Kalathil

University of Miami, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Office: (305) 243-5830
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Akil was born and raised in the suburbs surrounding Chicago, Illinois, before moving to India for seven years, and then to McDonough, Georgia for high school. He completed his bachelors degree in chemistry at the University of Georgia, and then worked in the Division of Laboratory Sciences at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for two years. He joins our lab, and the University of Miami as a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology direct admit graduate student.




Shrita Sarkar

University of Miami, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Office: (305) 243-5830
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Shrita is from Kolkata, India. She received her MS in Biophysics and Molecular Biology from University of Calcutta. Upon completing MS, she started working at the Department of Biochemistry under Dr. Sanghamitra Sengupta where she studied the analysis of cellular ROS induction due to infection in human host. Before joining the Miller School of Medicine, she worked as a Project Assistant at National Institute of Biomedical Genomics gained experience in neonatal nasopharyngeal microbiome studies for developing improved diagnostic modalities. Her current research interests include studying the effects of mitochondria targeted nanoparticle in glioma stem cells as a novel initiative to treat Glioblastoma.



Subham Guin

University of Miami, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Office: (305) 243-5830
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Subham is from Kolkata, India. During his MS in Biotechnology, he received a Summer Research Fellowship from the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS) for writing a research proposal on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which allowed him to complete his summer internship at the National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi. Before joining our lab at the Leonard Miller School of Medicine, he worked as a Project Trainee under Dr. Anindita Ukil at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Calcutta. The major aim of his project there, was to study how the parasite (Leishmania donovani) sabotages host Reactive Oxygen Species machinery by upregulation of a host protein heme oxygenase-1 for its survival.


Christian Del Castillo

Christian Del Castillo

University of Miami, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Office: (305) 243-5830
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Christian was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He received my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Currently a master’s student in the Biochemistry and Molecular biology program at the University of Miami. His research interests include studying the use of nanoparticles for treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, including the effects of nanoparticles on patient derived glioma stem cells.


Undergraduate Researchers



Anuj Sanjay Shah

University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences
Office: (305) 243-5830
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Anuj Shah is from Chandler, Arizona. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Miami pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology, with plans on attending medical school. Anuj previously worked in laboratories at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona College of Medicine, studying chemoresistance mechanisms in neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma. Currently he also serves as editor-in-chief of Umiami Scientifica magazine.





Rachna Paruchuri

University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences
Office: (305) 243-5830
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Rachna Paruchuri is from Bentonville, Arkansas. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Miami majoring in Biochemistry with the hopes of going to medical school. Her research areas of interest include studying how nanotherapeutics work in the field of cancer.




Joel Costaya

Joel Costaya

University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences
Office: (305) 243-5830
Fax: (305) 243-3955

Joel was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Miami pursing a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His goal still is to attend medical school and perhaps might be looking towards a PhD in the biomedical sciences as well. His areas of interest include: biotechnologies, neural networking, artificial intelligence, and 3-D printing technologies in order to help those with a reduced neurological function from illnesses such as Alzheimer's Disease and those suffering from stroke.




Post-Doctoral Researchers (Alumni)

Dr. Jitendra J. Gangwal Spring 2011
Dr. Rakesh Pathak Fall 2012 - Fall 2015
Dr. Anil Kumar Spring 2015 - Summer 2016
Dr. Uttara Basu Spring 2016 - Summer 2017
Dr. Bhabatosh Banik Fall 2014 - Fall 2017
Dr. Sudhakar Godeshala Summer 2017 - Fall 2017
Dr. Bhargav Guntupalli Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
Dr. Abhik Mallick Spring 2018 - Spring 2019
Dr. Mainak Banerjee Spring 2018 - Summer 2019
Dr. Md.Zahid Kamran May 2018 - September 2020


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Clara Ni Fall 2010
Amy Parks Taylor Spring 2011
Molly Atkinson Spring 2011
Anna Williams Fall 2010 - Fall 2011
David Benson Fall 2010 - Spring 2012
Ellen Broering Fall 2010 - Spring 2012
Syvonne J. Timmons Summer 2012
DeAngelo J. Mckinley Summer 2012
David A. Fischler Fall 2011 - Summer 2012
Yasir Bouchi Spring 2012 - Fall 2012
Mohit Shiv Agarwal Spring 2012 - Fall 2012
Molly Weinberg Spring 2012 - Fall 2012
Andrew Lee Cooper Fall 2010 - Spring 2013
Sam Kennedy Spring 2013
Dillon Zaver Spring 2011 - Summer 2013
Malikah Christie Spring 2013 - Summer 2013
Boyd Thomas Guttery Fall 2013
Kristine Martin Fall 2013
Harris Waqar Fall 2013
Kasey Darley Spring 2012 - Spring 2014
Huimin Hu Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
Chinmaya Sharma Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
Trent Berding Summer 2013 - Spring 2014
Afoma Umeano Summer 2014
Tae Do(Jake)Choi Summer 2014
Sean Marrache Fall 2010 - Fall 2014
Joshua Choi Fall 2011 - Fall 2014
Isha Dabke Fall 2014
Sam Kennedy Spring 2013 - Fall 2014
Krupa Merchant Spring 2013 - Fall 2014
Brittany Feldhaeusser Spring 2014 - Fall 2014
Krystal Vo Fall 2014 - Spring 2015
David Montgomery Fall 2013 - Spring 2015
Akil Kalathil Spring 2013 - Spring 2015
Megan Kaiser Summer 2015
Sterling Street Fall 2014 - Summer 2015
Erin Shumans Summer - Fall 2015
Timothy Allen Ruiter Summer 2015 - Spring 2016
Mike Linzey Fall 2015 - Spring 2016
Nivita Sharma Fall 2014 - Spring 2016
Noah Newman Fall 2014 - Summer 2016
Brett Askins Fall 2014 - Summer 2016
Lily Francis Fall 2014 - Summer 2016
Dr. Renaud Sicard Summer 2016 - Fall 2016
Ru Wen Summer 2014 - Spring 2017
Afoma Umeano Fall 2015 - Spring 2017
Geoff Tahgon November 2016 - January 2017
Patricio Pichling Summer 2017
Brandon Vitolo Summer 2017
Sita Ramaswamy January 2017 - October 2017
Kathryn Suzanne Smith November 2016 - December 2017
Brian Murillo November 2016 - December 2017
Kenneth Ko Spring 2019
Keana M. Johnson Fall 2019 - Summer 2020
Courtney Ortiz Miller Fall 2019 - Summer 2020
Sarah Paul Fall 2019 - Summer 2020
Alexander Kenyon Richardson Spring 2019 - Summer 2020


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