Scientific Staff

Dr. Poonam Kakkar
Chief Scientist
Regulatory Toxicology
CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research
Vishvigyan Bhawan, 31, Mahatma Gandhi Marg
Lucknow - 226 001. Uttar Pradesh, India.
Email: pkakkar[at]iitr[dot]res[dot]in | Alternate Email: poonam_kakkar[at]
Tel: +91-522-2217497 | Extension: 269
Fax: 522-2628227
Areas of Specialization
Oxidative stress, Biochemical Toxicology, Herbal drug evaluation
Current R&D/S&T Activities

Oxidative stress in toxic manifestations 

Our research group is involved in exploring potential of standardised medicinal plant extracts/ phytochemicals in mitigating free radical induced damage at the cellular and organelle level. Hepatotoxicity caused by exogenous agents such as drugs/chemicals or endogenous stressors like hyperglycemia pose a major health problem. Recent findings indicate that Nimesulide, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug aggravates redox imbalance and calcium dependent mitochondrial permeability transition leading to dysfunction and hepatotoxicity. Alteration of critical events like cyt c release, Bax/Bcl-2, caspases activation, DNA fragmentation, chromatin condensation and antioxidant status by Fumaria parviflora extract has been established during hepato-protection against Nimesulide stress. Lupeol extracted from Crataeva nurvala and probiotic Enterococcus lactis IITRHR1 showed capacity to abrogate acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity. Antioxidant and antihyperglycemic effects of Berberis aristata root extract and its role in modulating carbohydrate metabolism has been established in diabetic rats. Plant derived-antioxidants camphene and geraniol have been shown by us to protect alveolar macrophages against oxidative stress. Currently their role in modulating oxidative stress induced Nrf-2 mediated signaling cascade is being studied. 

Safety & efficacy of herbal formulations 

Evaluation of herbal antioxidants and safety of formulations carried out in two drug development projects i.e. CSIR network project "Newer scientific herbal preparations for global positioning" and "Golden Triangle Partnership Project" besides participation as an expert in programme for bioactives from natural sources, for drug development.

Development of Pharmacopoeial standards for 24 Ayurvedic herbal drugs of single plant origin, 17 of which were poisonous medicinal plants. Seven monographs have been published in The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol.V (2006). 

Creation of a unique Quality Assurance of Medicinal Plants (QAMP) database on heavy metal and persistent pesticide contamination in more than 1900 therapeutically important medicinal plant samples collected from different ecological zones of India. The database has more than 35,000 data generated after extensive analysis in the lab.

Partial List of Research Publications
Awards/Honours/ Distinctions

Secured first position in M.Sc. Biochemistry, Lucknow University (1980).

Awarded merit based research fellowships of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (1981-87).

Awarded for contribution in the compilation of Toxicity Data Handbooks, Vol. I IV (1988).

S.S. Parmar Foundation Research Award for best paper presentation (1990).

Granted 3 years merit promotion under MANAS for studies on free radical related processes in toxicity during 1987 1990. 

Shakuntala Amir Chand Award in Biomedical Sciences given by ICMR, New Delhi. (1996).

Elected member of the Executive Council of Society for Free Radical Research -India, a constituent body of the International Society for Free Radical Research (2003-11).

Member of Joint Implementation Committee for monitoring collaborative research between CSIR and CCRUM (2005-2010).

Appointed member of the Governing body of Technology Incubator of Engineering college at Periyar Mannamai University, Thanjavur (2006).

Awarded "Certificate of Merit" by DG, CSIR during the Leadership Development Programme 09/01 (2009).

Three Best paper awards to students under my supervision during International conference of Society of Toxicology (2008) and International conference on Advances in Free radical research, natural products, antioxidants and radio-protectors in Health (2010)Shakuntala Amir Chand Award in Biomedical Sciences given by ICMR, New Delhi. (1996).

Patents (International):

Herbal soft drink useful for protecting of liver disorders. Patent Number(s): WO2004056212-A1; AU2002353386-A1; CN1741750-A; IN200402939-P1; RU2338431-C2. Inventor(s): Pushpangadan P, Mehrotra S, Rawat AKS, Khatoon S, Ojha SK, Rastogi S, Srivastava M, Seth PK, Agarwal AK, Kakkar P, Anand M.

Herbal soft drink useful for protecting and improving health. Patent Number(s): WO2004056382-A1; AU2002348744-A1; EP1572221-A1; JP2006515850-W; CN1735420-A; US2006147554-A1; IN200402131-P1; RU2336891-C2; CN100415107-C; US7550163-B2. Inventor(s): Pushpangadan P, Mehrotra S, Rawat AKS, Khatoon S, Ojha SK, Rastogi S, Srivastava M, Seth PK, Agarwal AK, Kakkar P, Anand M.


Kakkar P, Singh J, Tiwari M and Gupta SK. Data Management System for Quality Assurance of Medicinal Plants (DMS-QAMP). Copyright No. 012CR2010.

Membership of Academic Societies:

Society for Free Radical Research, India - Executive Council member

Society for Free Radical Research, Asia - Life Member 

Society of Biological Chemists, India - Life member 

Society of Toxicology, India - Life member 

Alumni Association of Dept. of Biochemistry, Lucknow University - Life member 

Member of Reviewer's database of Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Canadian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, Cell Stress and Chaperones, European Food Research and Technology, Food Chemistry, Food & Chemical Toxicology, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Journal of Food Composition & Analysis, Journal of Food Science, Journal of Trace Element Research in Medicine & Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.

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