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Department of Chemistry
Bani Kanta Sarma
Assistant Professor,
Department of Chemistry,
School of Natural Sciences
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Education Details
Ph.D [2008] in chemistry (Supervisor: Prof. G. Mugesh), Department of Inorganic & Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

M.Sc. [2003] in Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India.

B.Sc. [2001] in Chemistry, Cotton College, Gauhati University, India.
Professional Experience
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, March 2014

Senior Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Florida, USA; 8/2011-02/2014. Research Advisor: Prof. Thomas Kodadek

Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Florida, USA; 6/2009-8/2011. Research Advisor: Prof. Thomas Kodadek

Research Associate, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA; 2/2009-6/2009. Research Advisor: Prof. Thomas Kodadek

Research Associate, Department of IPC, IISc Bangalore, India; 08/2008-01/2009. Research Advisor: Prof. G. Mugesh
Research Interests
Combinatorial Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, High-throughput Screening. Dr. Sarma’s research group works at the interface of chemistry and biology. The focus of the research group is to develop linear and macrocyclic one bead one compound (OBOC) combinatorial libraries and their structural and biological studies. Dr. Sarma’s group synthesizes OBOC combinatorial libraries and screens them en mass on solid phase with purified biological targets to identify binders that can modulate the biological activity of the target. Current projects involve the design of inhibitors against protein RecA that is involved in the homologous recombination of bacteria. Dr. Sarma’s group is also interested in the identification of molecules that can modulate the quorum sensing pathways of bacteria. The group is also intervolved in the development of molecules that can reactivate mutated p53 in human, which is an active area in cancer therapy.
Select Publications
For complete list of publications please visit
  1. Sarma, B. K.; Kodadek, T. “Sub-monomer Synthesis of A Peptoid-Azapeptoid Library” ACS Comb. Sci. 2012, 14, 558−564.

  2. Sarma, B. K.; Yousufuddin, M.; Kodadek, T. “Acyl hydrazides as peptoid sub-monomers” Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 10590-10592.

  3. Sarma, B. K.; Manna, D.; Minoura, M.; Mugesh, G. “Synthesis, Structure, Spirocyclization Mechanism and Glutathione Peroxidase-like Antioxidant Activity of Stable Spirodiazaselenurane and Spirodiazatellurane. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 5364-5374.

  4. Sarma, B. K.; Mugesh, G. “Antioxidant Activity of the Anti-inflammatory Compound Ebselen: A Reversible Cyclization Pathway via Selenenic and Seleninic Acid Intermediates.” Chem. Eur. J. 2008, 14, 10603-10614.

  5. Sarma, B. K.; Mugesh, G. “Redox Regulation of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B): A Biomimetic Study on the Unexpected Formation of a Sulfenyl Amide Intermediate." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 8872-8881.

  6. Sarma, B. K.; Mugesh, G. "Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx)-like Antioxidant Activity of the Organoselenium Drug Ebselen: Unexpected Complications with Thiol Exchange Reactions" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 11477-11485.
National and International Recognition
Best Thesis Award in Inorganic Chemistry - Prof. S. Soundararajan Medal for the academic year 2008-09 from Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, IISc Bangalore.

"Best Poster Award" from the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) [2005] and a citation from the IUPAC." at the “8th CRSI National Symposium in Chemistry (NCS-8)”, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India

Best Seminar award” in the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (IPC), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 2005.

Best Performance in the Course Work” (CGPA 7.5/8) [2003-2004] in the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (IPC), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

JRF/SRF awarded by CSIR, India [2003-2008].

Silver Medal-1st Position (CPA 9.59/10) in M.Sc. (2003) in Chemistry from IIT Guwahati

Qualified GATE and CSIR-JRF in 2002.

CTS Fellow [2001], Summer Student Fellowship awarded by the Centre for Theoretical Studies (CTS), IISc, Bangalore.

Silver Medal-2nd Position in B.Sc. in Chemistry [2001] from Cotton College, Gauhati University [1st class with distinction].
Executive Summary
Dr. Sarma obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the Department of Inorganic & Physical Chemistry, IISc Bangalore. The primary focus of his PhD thesis was to design and synthesize biologically relevant small organosulfur, selenium and tellurium compounds as mimics of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), a selenoenzyme that protects various organisms from oxidative damage by catalyzing the reduction of harmful peroxides in the presence of glutathione (GSH). He worked on the mechanistic aspects of the glutathione peroxidase-like antioxidant activity of a well-known anti-inflammatory compound, ebselen, and its analogues. He also developed the first successful small molecule chemical model for the redox regulation of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) via the unusual transformation of its sulfenic acid (PTP1B-SOH) to a cyclic sulfenyl amide intermediate.

Dr. Sarma pursued his postdoctoral training with Prof. Tom Kodadek lab at Scripps Florida where he was promoted to a senior research associate in 2011. During his postdoctoral tenure, he worked on bead-based high-throughput screening (HTS) techniques to identify serine hydrolase inhibitors. His focus was on the design and synthesis of novel conformationally rigid linear and macrocyclic one-bead one-compound (OBOC) libraries, with a companion goal of introducing greater chemodiversity into the molecules. At Scripps Florida, he also developed a new oxadiazolone-based pharmacophore that covalently and reversible inhibits serine hydrolases.

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