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Chinmoy Sarkar, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:



BRB, 8-039

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-0505


(410) 328-5531

Education and Training

B. Pharm.: Jadavpur University, India
M. Tech. (Biotechnology): Jadavpur University, India
PhD: Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Jadavpur University, India
Postdoctoral trainings: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD and University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Highlighted Publications

Awad O, Sarkar C, Panicker LM, Miller D, Zeng X, Sgambato JA, Lipinski MM, Feldman RA. Altered TFEB-mediated lysosomal biogenesis in Gaucher disease iPSCs-derived neuronal cells. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Jul 28. pii: ddv297. [Epub ahead of print]

Chandra G, Bagh MB, Peng S, Saha A, Sarkar C, Moralle M, Zhang Z, Mukherjee AB. Cln1 gene disruption in mice reveals a common pathogenic link between two of the most lethal childhood neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Jul 9. pii: ddv266. [Epub ahead of print]

Lipinski M.M., Wu J, Faden A. I., Sarkar C. Function and mechanisms of autophagy in brain and spinal cord trauma. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015 Mar 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Liu, S., Sarkar, C., Dinizo, M., Faden, A.I., Koh, E.Y., Lipinski, M.M. and Wu, J. Disrupted autophagy after spinal cord injury is associated with ER stress and neuronal cell death. Cell Death & Disease, ; 6(1):e1582. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2014.527

Sarkar C., Zhao Z., Aungst S., Sabirzhanov B., Faden A. I. and Lipinski M. M.Impaired autophagy due to lysosomal dysfunction is associated with neuronal cell death after TBI. Autophagy  2014;10(12):2208-22. doi: 10.4161/15548627.2014.981787.

Sarkar C., Chandra, G., Zhang, Z., Peng S., Liu A. and Mukherjee A. B. Neuroprotection and lifespan extension in Ppt1-/- mice by NtBuHA: therapeutic implications for INCL.Nat. Neurosci. 2013 Nov;16(11):1608-17. doi: 10.1038/nn.3526. Epub 2013 Sep 22.

Kong E., Peng S., Chandra G., Sarkar C., Zhang Z., Bagh M.B., Mukherjee A. B.   Dynamic palmitoylation links cytosol-membrane shuttling of acyl-protein thioesterase-1 and acyl-protein thioesterase-2 with that of proto-oncogene H-ras product and growth-associated protein-43. J Biol. Chem. 2013. Mar 29;288(13):9112-25. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Saha A.*, Sarkar C.*, Singh S.P.*, Zhang Z., Munasinghe J., Peng S., Chandra G., Kong E., and Mukherejee A.B. The blood-brain barrier is disrupted in a mouse model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: amelioration by resveratrol. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2012 May 15;21(10):2233-44; Epub 2012 Feb 13 (*Contributed equally to this study)
Sarkar C., Zhang Z. and Mukherjee A. B. Stop codon read-through with PTC124 induces palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1 activity, reduces thioester load and suppresses apoptosis in cultured cells from INCL patients. Mol. Genet. Metabol. 2011; 104(3): 338-345.
Kim S-J, Zhang Z, Saha A., Sarkar C., Zhao Z., Xu Y. and Mukherjee A B. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids suppress ER- and oxidative stress in cultured neurons and neuronal progenitor cells from mice lacking PPT1. Neurosci. Lett. 2010; 479: 292-296
Saha A., Kim S-J, Zhang Z, Lee Y-C, Sarkar C, Tsai P-C, Mukherjee A B. RAGE signaling contributes to neuroinflammation in infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. FEBS Lett.2008; 582: 3823-3831
Kim S-J*, Zhang Z*, Sarkar C*, Tsai P-C, Lee Y-C, Dye Louis, Mukherjee A B. Palmitoyl protein thioesterase-1 deficiency impairs synaptic vesicle recycling at nerve terminals, contributing to neuropathology in humans and mice. J. Clin. Invest. 2008; 118(9): 3075-3086 (*Contributed equally to this study)
Saha B, Singh SK, Sarkar C, Bera R, Ratha J, Tobin DJ, Bhadra R. Activation of the Mitf promoter by lipid-stimulated activation of p38-stress signalling to CREB. Pigment Cell Res. 2006; 19(6): 595-605.
Bera R, Nayak A, Sarkar C, Singh SK, Ratha J, Bhadra R. Immunobiological activities of a new nontoxic lipopolysaccharide from Acidiphilium GS18h/ATCC55963, a soil isolate from an Indian copper mine. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2006; 48(1): 107-115.
Ratha J, Majumdar KN, Mandal SK, Bera R, Sarkar C, Saha B, Mandal C, Saha KD, Bhadra R. A sphingolipid rich lipid fraction isolated from attenuated Leishmania donovani promastigote induces apoptosis in mouse and human melanoma cells in vitro. Mol Cell Biochem. 2006; 290(1-2): 113-123.
Saha B, Singh SK, Sarkar C, Mallick S, Bera R, Bhadra R. Transcriptional activation of tyrosinase gene by human placental sphingolipid. Glycoconj J. 2006; 23(3-4): 259-268
Sarkar C, Singh SK, Mandal SK, Saha B, Bera R, Ratha J, Datta PK, Bhadra R. Human placental protein/peptides stimulate melanin synthesis by enhancing tyrosinase gene expression. Mol Cell Biochem. 2006; 285(1-2):133-142.
Singh SK, Sarkar C, Mallick S, Saha B, Bera R, Bhadra R. Human placental lipid induces melanogenesis through p38 MAPK in B16F10 mouse melanoma. Pigment Cell Res.2005; 18(2): 113-121.
Kwang-Hyok S*, Ui-Nam P, Sarkar C*, Bhadra R. A sensitive assay of red blood cell sorbitol level by high performance liquid chromatography: potential for diagnostic evaluation of diabetes. Clin Chim Acta. 2005; 354(1-2): 41-47. (*Contributed equally to this study)
Mallick S, Singh SK, Sarkar C, Saha B, Bhadra R. Human placental lipid induces melanogenesis by increasing the expression of tyrosinase and its related proteins in vitro. Pigment Cell Res.2005; 18(1): 25-33.
Chattopadhyay A, Biswas S, Bandyopadhyay D, Sarkar C, Datta AG. Effect of isoproterenol on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes of myocardial tissue of mice and protection by quinidine. Mol Cell Biochem.2003; 245(1-2):43-49.

Research Interests

My research interest is focused on understanding the mechanism and function of autophagy lysosome system in neurodegeneration following traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Autophagy is a cellular degradative process by which cells clear toxic damaged macromolecules and organelles.  This is a very important cellular function, necessary for the maintenance of homeostasis in cells like neurons.  We observed that autophagy is disrupted due to lysosomal damage in neurons after controlled cortical impact (CCI) induced brain injury in mice.  This is associated with neuronal cell death after TBI.  Currently we are exploring the mechanism of lysosomal damage following TBI in mice.

TBI is associated with acute and chronic neuronal loss in the injured brain.  Since lost neurons cannot be effectively replaced by any available therapy, implantation of neural stem cells (NSC) at the injury site of brain is a promising therapeutic approach. However, highly oxidative environment at the site of injury limits the beneficial effect of NSC transplantation, as it is detrimental for NSC survival and neuronal differentiation.  Thus in another project we study to enhance NSC survival and neuronal differentiation by modulating autophagy with an aim to improve NSC transplantation in the injured brain.

In addition to that my research interest is also focused on exploring the role of lipid metabolism and lipid metabolites in neurodegeneration following brain injury and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Grants and Contracts

Neuronal differentiation of iPS cells by autophagy induction in oxidative environment to treat TBI
Maryland Stem Cell Research Grant 2016-MSCRFE-2747 (PI: Chinmoy Sarkar)
07/01/2016 – 06/30/2018

Function and Mechanisms of Autophagy-lysosomal Pathway in Traumatic Brain Injury
NIH R01 NS091218 (PI: Marta Lipinski)
03/01/2015 – 02/29/2020