Scientific Staff

Dr. Natesan Manickam
Senior Principal Scientist
Environmental Biotechnology
CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research
Vishvigyan Bhavan, 31, Mahatma Gandhi Marg,
Lucknow - 226 001. Uttar Pradesh, India
Email: nmanickam[at]iitr[dot]res[dot]in | Alternate Email:
Tel: 522-2613786 | Extension: 646
Fax: 522-2628227
Area of Specialization
Microbial genomics, Functional metagenome, Biocatalysis and biodegradation
Current R&D/S&T Activities

We have successfully isolated and identified diverse bacteria having ability to biodegrade the persistent toxicants viz., chlorinated pesticides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. The metabolites of the degradative pathway and chemical intermediates formed were also characterized. Specifically, the current focus of my laboratory includes characterization of the bacteria and enzymes for the biodegradation of chlorinated pesticides and application of protein engineering for generation of novel enzymes and to identify and characterize biosurfactants from isolated strains. Modern tools for enzyme discovery and protein engineering substantially broadened the number of enzymes applicable for biocatalysis and helped to alter their properties such as substrate range, enantio-selectivity, and stability. In addition, these methods also enabled to explore reactions for biodegradation. Degradative enzymes like Hydroxylases, Dehalogenases and Oxygenase will be our target enzymes for cloning and characterization.


Identification of new biocatalysts by screening, e.g. from already available bacterial collections in our lab.

In silico discovery of novel enzymes

Cloning and expression into suitable microbial hosts

Creation of tailor-made enzymes using directed (molecular) evolution and rational protein design

Characterization of genes involved in biosurfactant synthesis for enhanced degradation.

Current Projects

1. Protein engineering and novel enzyme discovery for biodegradation.

2. Biodegradation of chlorinated toxicants and identification of surfactant producing genes.

Partial List of Research Publications
Awards/Honours/ Distinctions

Long term DAAD (Deutscher Academischer Austausdienst) CSIR -DAAD fellowship awarded to pursue advanced research in the field of molecular biology for two years. Placement: Institute for Microbiology, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.

Member: Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), (an apex body to approve the products derived from recombinant DNA technology), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

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