Biology at IMSc

Core group

The Computational Biology Group at IMSc consists chiefly of Gautam Menon, Areejit Samal, Rahul Siddharthan and Sitabhra Sinha. Gautam's interests are in biophysics and mechanobiology, including models for DNA mechanics, pattern formation, active membranes, chromosome positioning, axonal transport and infectious disease modeling.  Areejit's chief interests are in the area of systems modelling of metabolic and gene regulatory networks.  Rahul's chief interests are regulatory genomics, algorithms to detect regulatory sites, evolutionary biology, sequence alignment, systems biology. Sitabhra's chief interests are understanding the genesis and control of dynamical patterns in the heart and the uterus, systems biology & intracellular networks, infectious disease modelling, computational neuroscience and ecological networks.

Other members

Satyavani Vemparala works on membrane proteins, protein structure and function, antimicrobial polymers, polyelectrolytes. She will be teaching in the programme.

Venkatesh Raman and Saket Saurabh are computer scientists who work on algorithms on strings, graphs, networks, etc, which are of importance in computational biology.

Ramesh Anishetty is a high-energy physicist who also works on protein structure, protein-protein interactions, and the nature of water.

Publications and collaborators, past and present

The computational biology group at IMSc has published papers with several Indian biologists, including: K VijayRaghavan (NCBS, Bangalore), Madan Rao (NCBS, Bangalore), G V Shivashankar (NUS, Singapore), Kaustuv Sanyal (JNCASR, Bangalore), Bhaskar Saha (NCCS, Pune), P Gautam (Anna University, Chennai), Sharmila Anishetty (Anna University, Chennai). Several other collaborations are ongoing. The group has published biological research in journals such as Biophysical Journal, PNAS, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS ONE, BMC Bioinformatics, BMC Structural Biology, Journal of Neuroscience, Genetics, FEBS Letters, and others. Members of the group are regularly invited to speak about their work in computational biology and biophysics in high-profile conferences and advanced schools, both in India and abroad.


Ramesh Anishetty is involved in the following databases: Tripeptide Knowledge base, Protein Local Structure Deformation Prediction Server (maintained by Anna University, Chennai)

Participation in external projects and grants

  • IMSc is part of the EU FP7 IRSES project on "Indo-European Network: Mathematics for Health and Disease" which involves 16 institutions across the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, USA and India working on modeling host-pathogen interactions and epidemic spreading.
  • IMSc is the nodal center for institutions in and around Chennai of the proposed National Network for Mathematical and Computational Biology which involves 10 instutions across India.
  • Sitabhra Sinha is PI of the DBT project on "Developing tools for dynamical modelling of C.elegans neuronal network"

Workshops, conferences and other activities

  • Ronojoy Adhikari and Rahul Siddharthan organised a pedagogical workshop on Bayesian statistics, "Bayes by the Bay 2013", which covered aspects and applications of Bayesian statistics in various disciplines, including several talks on biology.
  • Sitabhra Sinha (with Srinivasa Chakravarthy of IIT Madras) organised the INCF workshop on "Neuroinformatics of sensory-motor integration: Modeling and imaging from the worm to the human nervous system" at IMSc and IIT-M, Nov 5-7, 2012
  • Sitabhra Sinha organised a mini-symposium on cardiac dynamics at the International Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology, Jan 23-27, 2012, Pune.
  • Gautam Menon and Sitabhra Sinha organised an advanced school and workshop on "Modelling infectious diseases", at IMSc and Mamallapuram, September 13--22 2010.
  • Gautam Menon (with Sandhya Koushika of NCBS) organised an international meeting on "Molecular Motors, Tracks and Transport", January 23-28, 2010, Pondicherry.
  • Rahul Siddharthan was on the programme committee and local organizing committee for the Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Conference, Bangalore, 2010.
  • Sitabhra Sinha organised the 2nd IMSc Complex Systems School at IMSc, January 4-29, 2010 which had systems biology and modeling biological systems as one the main focus areas.
  • Gautam Menon and Sitabhra Sinha were on a committee of experts for the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), in the area of modeling of infectious diseases. They submitted a report to the Ministry recently in which they calculated the basic reproductive ratio for H1N1 in India for the first time in the context of determining the severity of the pandemic.

To know about our Ph.D. programme, click here