Upasana Ray , Ph.D.

Senior Scientist & Deputy Head
Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Research Interest

1. Understanding virus assembly process and exploring novel bio-molecular platforms for self assembly, displaying viral proteins (Virus like particles or VLPs). VLPs would be designed with an objective to make vaccine candidates or for drug delivery

2. Exploring virus mediated horizontal gene transfer and its possible implications.

3. Studying viral entry process and viral tropism

4.Dissecting molecular interactions between viral proteins and host cell with an aim to design antiviral candidates.


Currently, the focus of the laboratory is Dengue virus.


Member of Royal Society of Biology (MRSB) (2018-present)
Ramalingaswamy Fellow (2017-present)


INSA Young Scientist
Ramanujan fellow, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur (2016-2017)
Post-doctoral Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States (2012-2015)
Research Associate, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (2011-2012)
PhD., IISc, Bangalore (2006-2011)

Honours & Awards

  • Membership of Indian National Young Academy of Science (INYAS)-INSA
  • Ramalingaswamy fellowship award, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) (2016)
  • Full membership of OWSD (Organization for women in science in the developing world) (2016)
  • Research support for INSA young scientist medal awardee, Indian national science academy (INSA) (2016)
  • Ramanujan Fellowship award, Science an d Engineering Research Board (SERB-DST) (2015)
  • INSA Medal for Young Scientists, Indian National Science Academy (INSA) (2015)
  • Federal Technology Transfer Award, Center for Cancer research, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2014)
  • Fellows Award for Research Excellence, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2013)
  • Visiting Fellowship, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2012)
  • Travel Award for the International Centre of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)-IUBMB workshop on ‘Human RNA Viruses’ held in New Delhi, India (2010).
  • Best poster award in the “1st virology meeting” (IISc Centenary Symposium on Biology and Pathogenesis of viruses: Molecular Insights) at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (2009).
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) (2006).
  • Credit certificate for International Competition for Schools (Mathematics) from The University of New South Wales (1996).

Patents & Publications

  1. Geoghegan, E. M., Pastrana, D. V., Schowalter, R. M., Ray, U., Gao, W., Ho, M., Pauly, G. T., Sigano, D. M., Kaynor, C., Cahir-McFarland, E., Combaluzier, B., Grimm, J., and Buck, C. B. 2017. Infectious entry and neutralization of pathogenic JC polyomaviruses. Cell Reports 21:1169-1179. (PMID:29091757) (Cell Press)
  2. Ray, U. 2016. Virus like nanoparticles: Display matters. Proceedings of Indian National Science Academy (DOI: 10.16943/ptinsa/2016/48580)
  3. Ray, U., Cinque, P., Gerevini, S., Longo, V., Lazzarin, A., Schippling, S., Martin, R., Buck, C.B., and Pastrana, D.V. 2015. JC polyomavirus mutants escape antibody-mediated neutralization. Science Translational Medicine. 7(306):306ra151(PMID:26400912)
  4. Kumar, A.Manna, A. K., Ray, U., Mullick, R., Basu, G., Das, S. and Roy, S. 2014.Specific sequence of a beta-turn in human La protein may contribute to species specificity of Hepatitis C virus. Journal of Virology 88(8):4319-27 (PMID:24478427)
  5. Ray, U., Roy, C. L., Kumar, A. , Mani, P., Joseph, A. P., Sudha, G., Sarkar, D. P., Srinivasan, N., and Das, S. 2013. Inhibition of the interaction between NS3 protease and HCV IRES with a small peptide: A novel therapeutic strategy. Molecular Therapy 21(1):57-67.(PMID:22910295)
  6. Pastrana, D. V., Ray, U., Magaldi, T. G., Schowalter, R., M., Cuburu, N., and Buck, C. B. 2013. BK polyomavirus genotypes represent distinct serotypes with distinct entry tropism. Journal of Virology 87(18):10105-13 (PMID:23843634)
  7. Kumar, A.Ray, U. and Das, S. 2013. Human La protein Interaction with GCAC near the initiator AUG enhances HCV RNA replication by Promoting Linkage Between 5′-and 3′- untranslated regions. Journal of Virology 87(12):6713-26 (PMID:23552417)
  8. Manna, A. K., Kumar, A., Ray, U., Das, S., Basu, G. and Roy, S. 2013. A cyclic peptide mimic of an RNA recognition motif of human La protein is a potent inhibitor of hepatitis C virus. Antiviral Research 97(3):223-226. (PMID:23291201) (joint second author)
  9. Ray, U., Ray, P. S. and Das, S. 2012 Ribosome-RNA interaction: A potential target for developing antiviral against hepatitis C virus. Current Science Vol 102; No. 3.
  10. Ray, U., and Das, S. 2011. Interplay between NS3 protease and human La protein regulates translation-replication switch of Hepatitis C virus. Scientific Reports 1:1. (PMID:22355520)
  11. Ravikumar, Y. S., Ray, U., Nandhitha, M., Perween, A., Raja Naika, H., Khanna, N. and Das, S. 2011. Inhibition of hepatitis C virus replication by herbal extract: Phyllanthus amarus as potent natural source. Virus Research 158:89-97. (PMID:21440018)
  12. *Mondal, T., *Ray, U., Manna, A. K., Gupta, R., Roy, S., and Das, S. 2008. Structural determinant of human La protein critical for internal initiation of translation of hepatitis C virus RNA. Journal of Virology 82:11927-38. (*joint first authors) (PMCID:18829760) (Cover page article)
  1. Immunogenic JC polyomavirus compositions and methods of use. Christopher B. Buck, Upasana Ray, Diana V. Pastrana (US20160317643 A1)
  2. Compositions, method and formulations for peptide based inhibitors of Hepatitis C virus replication. Saumitra Das, Upasana Ray, Debi P. Sarkar, Chaitrali Laha Roy, N. Srinivasan. (Application number: 4033/CHE/2011 A)
  3. Small antiviral peptides against Hepatitis C virus. Saumitra Das, Siddhartha Roy, Upasana Ray, Tanmoy Mondal, Asit Kumar Manna, Romi Gupta. (US Application number: 2009/0233868A1)