Scientist Profile

Prasad Abnave, Ph.D.


Research Areas

Stem Cells and Regeneration

  • Scientist D (2022), National Centre for Cell Science, Pune, India
  • Assistant Professor (2019-2022), Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad, India
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, 2015-2018, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK
  • Ph.D. 2014, Faculty of Medicine, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, FRANCE
  • M.Sc. Biotechnology (2008), University of Pune, Maharashtra, India

Lab Webpage :


“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.” – Albert Szent-Györgyi


Investigating Adult Stem Cells Dynamics in the Infection Scenario.

Adult stem cells (ASCs) are fundamental players in tissue maintenance as they serve to restore damaged tissue during injury or infection. However, during severe bacterial/ viral infections, tissue regeneration in mammals is hugely inhibited. Recent evidence suggests that the mammalian ASCs have a limited tolerance to the infection stress. Sometimes they over-proliferate and develop cancer or they exhaust by terminal differentiation. Indeed the failure in the maintenance of healthy tissue is the cause of several deadly diseases. Hence, improving ASCs tolerance to such burden is of profound biomedical importance.

Planarian ASCs possess extraordinary abilities to deal with such stress. The ASCs in planarians allow them to grow an entire body from a tiny tissue fragment. The genetic machinery essential for the stemness in mammalian stem cells is conserved considerably within planarian ASCs. Planarian ASCs can be easily studied in vivo or isolated by FACS in ample amount for next-generation sequencing applications such as RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq etc. Hence, planarian is a convenient model system to study ASCs dynamics in vivo. We want to exploit this system to investigate the molecular mechanisms governing stem cell dynamics during chronic infections.

Our research program is mainly addressing the following questions:

- Whether bacterial/ viral pathogens adversely affect adult stem cells function..??

- What are the molecular mechanisms governing the ASCs dynamics during chronic infections..??

- Is there a way to enhance the tolerance of mammalian ASCs to infection stress..??

We are using in vivo (Planarians, Mice) and in vitro (Cell lines) model systems as well as various bacterial/ viral pathogens in our study. We employ a wide range of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics techniques such as RNAi, RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, Confocal microscopy etc. to address the questions mentioned above.

This research will expand our understanding of how ASCs respond to infection and infection-induced tissue damage. In the long term, this may help us to design strategies to increase the competence of existing as well as transplanted ASCs during regenerative therapies.

Screening in planarians identifies MORN2 as a key component in LC3-associated phagocytosis and resistance to bacterial infection
P Abnave, G Mottola, G Gimenez, N Boucherit, V Trouplin, C Torre, ...
Cell host & microbe 16 (3), 338-350


Epithelial-mesenchymal transition transcription factors control pluripotent adult stem cell migration in vivo in planarians
P Abnave, E Aboukhatwa, N Kosaka, J Thompson, MA Hill, AA Aboobaker
Development 144 (19), 3440-3453


Role of the immune system in regeneration and its dynamic interplay with adult stem cells
P Abnave, E Ghigo
Seminars in cell & developmental biology 87, 160-168


Epigenetic analyses of planarian stem cells demonstrate conservation of bivalent histone modifications in animal stem cells
A Dattani, D Kao, Y Mihaylova, P Abnave, S Hughes, A Lai, S Sahu, ...
Genome Research, gr. 239848.118


Conservation of epigenetic regulation by the MLL3/4 tumour suppressor in planarian pluripotent stem cells
Y Mihaylova, P Abnave, D Kao, S Hughes, A Lai, F Jaber-Hijazi, ...
Nature communications 9 (1), 1-17


Coxiella burnetii Lipopolysaccharide: What Do We Know?
P Abnave, X Muracciole, E Ghigo
International journal of molecular sciences 18 (12), 2509


Staphylococcus aureus promotes Smed-PGRP-2/Smed-setd8-1 methyltransferase signalling in planarian neoblasts to sensitize anti-bacterial gene responses during re-infection
C Torre, P Abnave, LL Tsoumtsa, G Mottola, C Lepolard, V Trouplin, ...
EBioMedicine 20, 150-160


Isolation, purification and characterization of Trichothecinol-A produced by endophytic fungus Trichotheciumsp. and its antifungal, anticancer and antimetastatic activities
R Taware, P Abnave, D Patil, PR Rajamohananan, R Raja, ...
Sustainable Chemical Processes 2 (1), 1-9


Unconventional animal models: a booster for new advances in host—pathogen interactions F Conti, P Abnave, E Ghigo Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology 4, 142


The abrogation of condensin function provides independent evidence for defining the self-renewing population of pluripotent stem cells
AG Lai, N Kosaka, P Abnave, S Sahu, AA Aboobaker
Developmental biology 433 (2), 218-226 15


Macrophages in invertebrates: from insects and crustaceans to marine bivalves
P Abnave, X Muracciole, E Ghigo
Macrophages, 147-158   13


Cultural, morphological and molecular characterization of vinca alkaloids producing endophytic fungus Fusarium solani isolated from Catharanthus roseus
A Kumar, P Abnave, A Ahmad
International Journal of Botany 3 (2), 1-12


The Act of controlling adult stem cell dynamics: insights from animal models
M Krishnan, S Kumar, LJ Kangale, E Ghigo, P Abnave
Biomolecules 11 (5), 667


Planarians (Platyhelminthes)—An emerging model organism for investigating innate immune mechanisms
LJ Kangale, D Raoult, PE Fournier, P Abnave, E Ghigo
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology 11, 619081


Ongoing repair of migration-coupled DNA damage allows planarian adult stem cells to reach wound sites
S Sahu, D Sridhar, P Abnave, N Kosaka, A Dattani, JM Thompson, MA Hill, ...
elife 10, e63779 4


What RNAi screens in model organisms revealed about microbicidal response in mammals?
P Abnave, F Conti, C Torre, E Ghigo
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 4, 184


A shielded irradiation assay to investigate mechanisms of in vivo stem cell migration in planarians
P Abnave, E Aboukhatwa, N Kosaka, J Thompson, M Hill, A Aboobaker
bioRxiv, 80853    3


Trichothecin from Endophytic Fungus Trichothecium sp. and its Anticancer Effect on Murine Melanoma and Breast Cancer Cell Lines
R Taware, P Abnave, D Patil, PR Rajamohananan, R Raja, ...
Current Biochemical Engineering 2 (1), 73-80


Ongoing repair of migration-coupled DNA damage allows stem cells to reach wound sites
S Sahu, D Sridhar, P Abnave, N Kosaka, A Dattani, JM Thompson, MA Hill, ...
bioRxiv, 746701 2


Exploring mammalian immunity against intracellular bacteria through planarian flatworms
P Abnave


Q Fever and Coxiella burnetii: Immune Response and Pathogenesis
G Mottola, N Boucherit, P Abnave, E Ghigo
Immunology ‚Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 12 (4), 303-316



  • DST INSPIRE Faculty Fellowship, 2019, India.
  • Best PhD Thesis in Life and Health Sciences Award, Aix-Marseille University, 2015, France.
  • CSIR-UGC NET/JRF, 2008, India.
  • DBT-JRF, 2008, India.

Riddhi Bhardwaj

PhD Student

M.Sc. Biotechnology (2019-2021) 

Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, Faridabad



Last updated On : 13 July 2023 03:04

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