Amrita Brajagopal Hazra, visiting professor at the Chemistry Laboratory

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Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, India
Visiting Professor 2022-23 - March 8 to April 5, 2023
Inviting Professor: Jens Hasserodt Amrita Hazra completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees in chemistry at Jadavpur University, Calcutta and at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, respectively. She obtained a Ph.D. at Cornell University in Chemical Biology in 2010. This was followed by a postdoctoral stint in microbiology at the University of California, Berkley. She joined the IISER Pune in December 2015 and is currently an associate professor there. Her research interests lie in mechanistic enzymology and microbial genetics, and her lab explores vitamin biosynthesis and metabolism.

Since the last several years, ENS de Lyon and IISER Pune have worked together collaboratively on many occasions, motivated by common goals and standards of excellence in science education and teaching and formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutes signed in 2016. This MOU has facilitated several activities between the two institutes, including joint meetings, student and researcher exchanges, and collaborative grants.

As a part of this collaboration, Professor Jens Hasserod visited IISER Pune in 2017, and taught a well-received module as part of the Chemical Biology course that Prof. Hazra teaches at IISER Pune. Both Amrita Hazra and Jens Hasserodt share an academic and research background in biological chemistry, and are deeply interested in interdisciplinary teaching at the chemistry-biology interface, so they continued their collaboration following this visit. Each year, they arrange for a guest lecture module in each of their classes where the other presents 2 classes from the syllabus to the advanced year students at ENS de Lyon and IISER Pune. This provides the students with a well-rounded learning perspective and educational experience.

This semester, during her visiting professorship, Amrita Hazra will participate in the Chemistry of Biological Systems class at the M1 level. The goal is to create an opportunity for ENS de Lyon students to see and learn biological chemistry from a different perspective, and demonstrate that in the profession as scientists and teachers, science serves as a common language for across continents. Amrita Hazra’s month-long stay will also allow to deepen the reflections on common research and teaching goals of this collaboration. Amrita Hazra will also take advantage of her stay here to meet other scientists of the Life Sciences, including those from ENS de Lyon, INRAE, IGFL, and the Université de Lausanne.

Joint seminar between the Chemistry Laboratory (in-house) and the Physics and Chemistry Master, Chemistry option:

Engineering the biosynthesis of unnatural vitamin B2 analogs - probing the molecular basis of nucleotide specificity - March 29

  • Yamini Mathur, Amrita B. Hazra (2022). Methylations in vitamin B12 biosynthesis and catalysis. Current Opinion in Structural Biology, Volume 77, December 2022, 102490
  • Rupali R. M. Sathe, Ryan W. Paerl*, Amrita B. Hazra * (*co-corresponding authors) (2022) The exchange of vitamin B1 and its biosynthesis intermediates in synthetic microbial communities shapes the community composition and reveals complexities of nutrient sharing. Journal of Bacteriology 2022 Apr 19;204(4): e0050321. doi: 10.1128/jb.00503-21. Epub 2022 Mar 31.
  • Prerona Bora, Suman Manna, Mrutyunjay A. Nair, Rupali R. M. Sathe, Shubham Singh, Venkata Sai Sreyas Adury, Kavya Gupta, Arnab Mukherjee, Deepak K. Saini, Siddhesh S. Kamat, Amrita B. Hazra* and Harinath Chakrapani* (*co-corresponding authors) (2021) Leveraging an enzyme/artificial substrate system to enhance cellular persulfides and mitigate neuroinflammation [This paper is selected to be a ChemSci Pick by Chemical Science ]
  • Yashwant Kumar, Reman K. Singh* and Amrita B. Hazra* (*co-corresponding authors) (2021) Characterization of a Novel Mesophilic CTP-Dependent Riboflavin Kinase and Rational Engineering to Create Its Thermostable Homologues Chembiochem doi: 10.1002/cbic.202100211
  • Yamini Mathur, Sheryl Sreyas, Prathamesh M. Datar, Manjima B. Sathian, Amrita B. Hazra (2020) CobT and BzaC catalyze the regiospecific activation and methylation of the 5-hydroxybenzimidazole lower ligand in anaerobic cobamide biosynthesis [This paper was selected as Editors’ Pick by JBC, and is a part of the virtual JBC issue of Women in STEM]