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Dr. Ram Karan

Associate Professor

Bacchawat Block, 1st Floor
University of Delhi, South Campus
Benito Juarez Road, Delhi-110021
Email: ,


I earned my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi,
India. Following that, I underwent postdoctoral training at the University of Maryland
and the USUHS (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences) in Bethesda,
Maryland, USA. Prior to my affiliation with the University of Delhi, I held the position of
Senior Research Scientist at International University, KAUST.


Area of Interest

The pressing need in 21st-century societies is the responsible utilization of resources and
the reduction of environmental pollution. To meet these demands, there is a compelling
requirement to transition from conventional synthesis methods to multidisciplinary
sustainable approaches and processes.
My primary research focus centers on the discovery of novel microbes and their
biomolecules, with applications spanning environmental, biomedical, and
biotechnological domains. To achieve this, I employ a diverse range of techniques,
including microbiology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, chemistry, and molecular biology.
Within my research interests, I also delve into the field of bioengineering enzymes, with
the aim of enhancing their properties and enabling new-to-nature reactions. Additionally,
my work extends to encompass the production, purification, characterization, and genetic
engineering of air-filled protein nanoparticles. These nanoparticles hold significant
promise for a wide array of applications, including biocatalysis, diagnostics, bioimaging,
drug delivery, and vaccine development.

Research keywords: Sustainability, extremophiles, halophiles, thermophiles,
psychrophiles, extremozymes, bioengineering, gas vesicle nanoparticles, vaccines

  • Education Profile
    Higher Education Teaching Certificate, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2021.
    Ph.D., Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India, 2011.
    Master of Science, Bioorganic Chemistry, CCS University, Meerut, UP India, 2005.
    Master of Science, Physical Chemistry, CCS University, Meerut, India, 2003.
    Bachelor of Science, Bio-Chemistry, CCS University, Meerut, India, 2001.

Professional Profile
 2015-2023: Research Scientist/Sr Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
 2014-2015: Senior Research Fellow, USUHS, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
 2011-2014: ASM Fellow, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA 

Professional development courses & workshops
 Patenting in Biotechnology, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark
 Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market, Harvard University, MA, USA
 Professional Certificate on Project Management, University of Adelaide, Australia
 Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles, Harvard University, MA, USA
 Grant writing, Managing conflict, Mentoring, Lancaster University, UK

Scientific and Professional Memberships
 Biotech Research Society of India (BRSI)
 American Society of Microbiology (ASM), USA
 Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) 

 Excellence Recognition and COVID-19 Response Awards, Saudi Arabia, 2021, 2023
 Young Scientist Award (YSA) by the Society for Biotechnology, Japan, in
“Thermophiles 2019” Japan
 Best paper and presentation award by International Society of Extremophiles (ISE)
and Springer in “Extremophiles 2018” Naples, Italy.
 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) International Fellowship for Asia, 2011
 International travel award, 2010 by CSIR, Department of Biotechnology (DBT),
Department of Science and Technology (DST) Government of India
 Award of Senior and Junior Research National Fellowship from CSIR, India
 Award for publishing high impact factor research paper by IIT, Delhi, India
 Associate/guest editor: Environmental Sustainability, International Journal of
Microbiology and Biotechnology, Frontiers in Microbiology, Microorganisms

 Capturing and converting CO2 into biodegradable bioplastic (United States patent and
trademark office (USPTO), WO/2019/193518, international application no. PCT/IB2019/052735
 Air-loaded vesicle nanoparticles promote cell growth in 3D bioprinted tissue
constructs, WO 2022/049494 A1, international application no. PCT/IB2021/057973.
 Vaccination by heterologous boost immunization, WO-2022/115471-A1.

Selected Publications
 R. Karan*, D. Renn, S. Nozue, L. Zhao, S. Habuchi, T. Allers, M. Rueping (2023) Bioengineering of air-filled protein nanoparticles by genetic and chemical functionalization. J. Nanobiotechnology 21(1):108.
 M. Sysoev, S.W. Grötzinger, D. Renn, J. Eppinger, M. Rueping, R. Karan* (2021) Bioprospecting of novel extremozymes from prokaryotes – The advent of culture- independent methods. Front. Microbiol. 12: 630013.

 Hohl∞, R. Karan*∞, A. Akal, D. Renn, X. Liu, A. Dharmarajnadar, S. Ghorpade, M. Groll, J. Eppinger, M. Rueping (2019) Engineering a promiscuous pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase by a high throughput FACS screen. Nature Sci. Rep. 9(1):11971
 S.W. Grötzinger, R Karan, E. Strillinger, S. Bader, A. Frank, I.S. Al Rowaihi, A. L. Akal.. (2017) Identification and experimental characterization of an extremophilic brine pool alcohol dehydrogenase from single a... ACS Chem. Biol. 13(1): 161-170
 V.J Laye, R Karan, J.M. Kim, W.T. Pecher, P. DasSarma, S. DasSarma  (2017) Key amino acid residues conferring enhanced enzyme activity at cold temperatures in an Antarctic polyextremophilic ...Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A, 114(47):12530-12535.
 A.U. Andar∞, R. Karan∞ (contributed equally), W.T. Pecher, P. DasSarma, W.D. Hedrich, A.L.... (2017) Microneedle-assisted skin permeation by non-toxic bioengineerable gas vesicle nanoparticles. ACS Mol Pharm 14 (3), 953958.
 R. Karan, P. DasSarma, E. Balcer-Kubiczek, R.R. Weng, C. Liao, W.V. Ng, S. DasSarma  (2014) Bioengineering radioresistance by overproduction of RPA, a mammalian-type single-stranded DNA-binding protein, in a...Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 98(4), 1737-1747.
 R. Karan, M.D. Capes, P. DasSarma, S. DasSarma  (2013) Cloning, overexpression, purification, and characterization of a polyextremophilic β-galactosidase from the Antarct...BMC Biotechnol. 13:3.
 R. Sinha, R. Karan, A. Sinha, S.K. Khare  (2011) Interaction and nanotoxic effect of ZnO and Ag nanoparticles on mesophilic and halophilic bacterial cells. Bioresource Technol. 102, 15161520.
 R. Karan, S.P. Singh, S. Kapoor, S.K. Khare (2011) A novel organic solvent tolerant protease from a newly isolated Geomicrobium sp. EMB2 (MTCC 10310): Production opti...N Biotechnol. 28, 136-145.

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