Scientist ‘G’ & HoD
Cell & Molecular Biology


Contact:  +91-40-27197301
Brief Profile

Dr. Vijayalakshmi Venkatesan obtained her Ph.D in Biochemistry and is currently heading the Divisions of (i) Cell & Molecular Biology and (ii) Instrumentation of the institute. Her major areas of research include Nutritional Biochemistry and Stem Cell Research with focus on (i) Understanding the interaction between Nutrients and Stem cells in Beta cell health, (ii) Regenerative Research and Stem cells to address their therapeutic applications in the management of Diabetes, Obesity and Osteoarthritis.

Key research outcomes/milestones:

Nutrient & Stem cell Interactions: Her laboratory has shown for the first time the beneficial effects of Pyridoxal phosphate (Vit B6) and Retinoic acid (Vit A) in protecting β cells against frank diabetes. This has been evidenced by their insulinotrophic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects vis a vis increased turnover of stem cell pool with Pdx-1 expression to effectively negate STZ induced hyperglycemia. The findings advocate for important role of micronutrients (both genomic and non genomic) to circumvent the diabetic milieu to normalize islet/ β cell number and functions.

NCDs and Inflammation: Using WNIN-Ob and Gr-Ob Mutant rat model, her laboratory has pinned down on inflammation as the key pathophysiological lesion for the onset of metabolic insult including obesity, diabetes and osteoarthritis (adipose, pancreas and cartilage), where evidence has been documented for the altered cross talk between systemic and stem cell pool using multiple approaches.

Clinical/Tx- Applications of Stem cells in NCDs: Her lab has also shown for the first time the feasible applications of human Placental – Mesenchymal stem cells to negate obesogenic milieu (IR, IGT, inflammation) vis a vis preclinical diabetes, when administered intramuscularly to WNIN-Gr-Ob mutant rats. These findings open up as newer approaches against the conventional treatment in management of preclinical diabetes. MSCs are Immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory with paracrine functions. Her group has also shown that, theracytes can be used as an optimal delivery system for islets Tx, to maintain islet cell integrity and functions tested in pancreatectamized primate model (auto and allo). Further, the islets were viable inside the theracytes with insulin secreting functions followed up for a year without any immunosuppressants.

Foetal programming and DOHAD: Using embryonic stem cells as in vitro model, her team is trying to address the concept of DOHAD, essentially to recapitulate the developmental events, with Micronutrient (MN) deficiency vs supplementation.

Total number of publications in international and national peer reviewed journals till date: 70
  1. Singh H, Venkatesan V. Treatment of 'Diabesity': beyond pharmacotherapy. Current drug targets. 2018 Jun 20. PMID: 29929463.
  2. Kasulanati S, Venkatesan V. Understanding pluripotency under folic acid deficiency using embryonic stem cells as an in vitro model. Medical hypotheses. 2018 Feb 1;111:24-6. PMID: 29406990
  3. Sairam SG, Sola S, Barooah A, Javvaji SK, Jaipuria J, Venkateshan V, Chelli J, Sanjeevi CB. The role of Lp-PLA2 and biochemistry parameters as potential biomarkers of coronary artery disease in Asian South-Indians: a case-control study. Cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy. 2017 Dec;7(6):589. PMID: 29302464
  4. Thipparapu G, Ajumeera R, Venkatesan V. Novel dihydropyrimidine derivatives as potential HDAC inhibitors: in silico study. In silico pharmacology. 2017 Dec 1;5(1):10. PMID: 29085767
  5. Singh H, Ajumeera R, Malakapalli V, Chalasani M, Pothani S, Venkatesan V. WNIN Mutant Obese Rats Develop Acute Pancreatitis With the Enhanced Inflammatory Milieu. Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research. 2017 Jun 27;1(1):20-31.
  6. Islam MS, Venkatesan V. Experimentally-induced animal models of prediabetes and insulin resistance: a review. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica. 2016 Jul 1;73(4):827-34. PMID: 29648707
  7. Singh H, Venkatesan V. Beta-Cell Management in Type 2 Diabetes: Beneficial Role of Nutraceuticals. Endocrine, metabolic & immune disorders drug targets. 2016 Jul 27. PMID: 27468767
  8. Singh H, Parthasarathy V, Farouk M, Venkatesan V. Progenitor cells may aid successful islet compensation in metabolically healthy obese individuals. Medical hypotheses. 2016 Jan;86:97. PMID: 26549352
  9. Srinivas K Rao, Vijayalakshmi V. Prevention of Femoral Head Collapse In Osteonecrosis of Femoral Head by Core Decompression and Autologous Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate: IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences (2016): 15 (2):50-55
  10. Haridas N, Venkatesan V, Bhonde R Establishment of Impaired Angiogenesis Using Human Placental Mesenchymal Stem Cells under Micronutrient Deficiency. Translational Medicine (2016) :6: 162
  11. Sivaprasad M, Shalini T, Das S, Vijayalakshmi V, Reddy GB. Vitamins B6, Folic Acid, and B12: Molecular Functions and Prevalence of Deficiency in India. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy. 2016 Dec 20:82(5):1395-412.
  12. Rishika J, Vijayalakshmi V, Rajanna A, Naresh V, Suresh C. Possible synergistic role of Cowpea Isoflavones and Vitamin D combo in the bone formation of MG-63 osteoblasts. Journal of Vitamins and Minerals.2016; 5:3. 10.4172/2376-1318.1000146
  13. Indumathi S, Padmanav B, Kumar PU, Suresh P, Bhonde R, Maniprabha C, Vijayalakshmi V. Nonobese diabetic mice, hypoglycaemia and liver necrosis: a case report. Comparative clinical pathology. 2015 Mar 1;24(2):457-64.
  14. Sharma S, Venkatesan V, Prakhya BM, Bhonde R. Human mesenchymal stem cells as a novel platform for simultaneous evaluation of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of pharmaceuticals. Mutagenesis. 2015 May;30(3):391. PMID: 25552518
  15. Kolla VK, Prasad R, Sayyad Z, Shah AY, Allanki AD, Navale R, Singhal N, Tanneru N, Sudhakar R, Venkatesan V, Deshmukh MV. Independent amino acid residues in the S2 pocket of falcipain-3 determine its specificity for P2 residues in substrates. Molecular and biochemical parasitology. 2015 Aug 1;202(2):11-22. doi:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2015.09.005
  16. Vijayalakshmi V, Sireesha G, Rajanna A, Venkata M, Sowmya K and Raghunath M. Altered Adipogenesis under Micronutrient deficiency– In vitro approach using Mesenchymal Stem cells. Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials. 2015
  17. Singh H, Ganneru S, Malakapalli V, Chalasani M, Nappanveettil G, Bhonde RR, Venkatesan V. Islet adaptation to obesity and insulin resistance in WNIN/GR-Ob rats. Islets. 2014;6(5-6). PMID: 25833252
  18. Venkatesan V, Madhira SL. Promise (s) of using mesenchymal stem cells in reproductive disorders. The Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2014 Nov;140 (Suppl 1):S98. PMID: 25673552
  19. Mandarapu R, Ajumeera R, Venkatesan V, Prakhya BM. Proliferation and TH1/TH2 Cytokine Production in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells after Treatment with Cypermethrin and Mancozeb In Vitro. Journal of Toxicology. 2014;2014. PMID: 25328518
  20. Sasikala M, Rao GV, Vijayalakshmi V, Pradeep R, Pothani S, Kumar PP, Gaddipati R, Sirisha G, Cheemalakonda R, Tandan M, Subramanyam C. Long-term functions of encapsulated islets grafted in nonhuman primates without immunosuppression. Transplantation. 2013 Oct 15;96(7):624. PMID: 23883970
  21. Singh H, Giridharan N, Bhonde R, Venkatesan V. Deriving at candidate genes of metabolic stress from pancreas of WNIN/GR-Ob mutant rats. Islets. 2013;5(4):133. PMID: 24131929
  22. Sasikala M, Rao GV, Pradeep R, Kumar PP, Radhika G, Vijayalakshmi V, Suresh P, Sirisha M, Talukdar R, Seshadri V, Reddy DN. Immuno isolatory device protects islet allograft functions without immunosuppression in non-human primates. Pancreatology. 2013 Mar 1;13(2):e71.
  23. Pragasam SJ, Venkatesan V, Rasool M. Immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect of p-coumaric acid, a common dietary polyphenol on experimental inflammation in rats. Inflammation. 2013 Feb;36(1):169. PMID: 22923003
  24. Venkatesan V, Madhira SL, Malakapalli VM, Chalasani M, Shaik SN, Seshadri V, Kodavalla V, Bhonde RR, Nappanveettil G. Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Metabolic Syndrome: A Study in WNIN/Ob Rats from a Pancreatic Perspective. BioMed Research International. 2013;2013. PMID: 24455710
  25. Suresh C, Vijayalakshmi V. Protective Effect Of Phytoestrogens Like Daidzein And Genistein Against Oxidative Stress In The Caco-2 Colon Carcinoma Cells. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2013 Sep 1; 63:1720.
  26. Madhira SL, Challa SS, Chalasani M, Nappanveethl G, Bhonde RR, Ajumeera R, Venkatesan V. Promise (s) of Mesenchymal Stem Cells as an In Vitro Model System to Depict Pre-Diabetic/Diabetic Milieu in WNIN/GR-Ob Mutant Rats. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(10). PMID: 23144726
  27. Venkatesan V, Chalsani M, Nawaz SS, Bhonde RR, Challa SS, Nappanveettil G. Optimization of condition (s) towards establishment of primary islet cell cultures from WNIN/Ob mutant rat. Cytotechnology. 2012 Mar;64(2):139-44. PMID: 22109592
  28. Venkatesan V, Gopurappilly R, Goteti SK, Dorisetty RK, Bhonde RR. Pancreatic progenitors: The shortest route to restore islet cell mass. Islets. 2011;3(6):295. PMID: 21934353
  29. Madhira SL, Nappanveethl G, Kodavalla V, Venkatesan V. Comparison of adipocyte-specific gene expression from WNIN/Ob mutant obese rats, lean control, and parental control. Molecular and cellular biochemistry. 2011 Nov;357(1-2):217. PMID: 21633899
  30. Challa SS, Kiran GS, Bhonde RR, Venkatesan V. Enhanced neogenic potential of Panc-1 cells supplemented with human umbilical cord blood serum--An alternative to FCS. Tissue & cell. 2011 Aug;43(4):266. PMID: 21550620
  31. Kiran SG, Dorisetty RK, Umrani MR, Boindala S, Bhonde RR, Chalsani M, Singh H, Venkatesan V. Pyridoxal 5'phosphate protects islets against streptozotocin-induced beta-cell dysfunction--in vitro and in vivo. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, NJ). 2011 Apr 1;236(4):456. PMID: 21464101
  32. Chairmandurai AR, Kanappa SV, Vadrevu KM, Putcha UK, Venkatesan V. Recombinant Human Epidermal Growth Factor Alleviates Gastric Antral Ulcer Induced by Naproxen: A Non-steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug. Gastroenterology research. 2010 Jun;3(3):125. PMID: 27942290
  33. Chennaiah S, Vijayalakshmi V, Suresh C. Effect of the supplementation of dietary rich phytoestrogens in altering the vitamin D levels in diet induced osteoporotic rat model. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 2010 Jul;121(1-2):268. PMID: 20362669
  34. Reddy PP, Rao RR, Rekha K, Suresh BK, Shashidhar J, Shashikiran G, Vijaya LV, Rao JM. Two new cytotoxic diterpenes from the rhizomes of Hedychium spicatum. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. 2009 Jan 1;19(1):192. PMID: 19027298
  35. Dorisetty RK, Kiran SG, Umrani MR, Boindala S, Bhonde RR, Venkatesan V. Immuolocalization of nestin in pancreatic tissue of mice at different ages. World journal of gastroenterology. 2008 Dec 14;14(46):7112. PMID: 19084919
  36. Thanumalayan S, Narasu ML, Venkatesan V. Down regulation of suppressor of potassium transport defect 3 (SKD3) in testis of nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. Indian Journal of Veterinary Pathology. 2008;32(2):242-5.
  37. Thanumalayan S, Venkatesan V, Narasu ML. Sub-cellular Localization of Suppressor of Potassium Transport Defect 3 (SKD3) into Nucleus and Nuclear Matrix. Indian Journal of Science and Technology. 2008 Aug 1;1(3):1-7.
Total number of books and book chapters : 04 ; Total number of books and book chapters in the last 10 years : 02
  1. Bhonde RR, Venkatesan V. Feto-Maternal Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation for Treating Diabetes. In: Stem Cell Therapy for Organ Failure 2014 (pp. 195-203). Springer, New Delhi
  2. Somasundaram I, Marappagounder D, Venkatesan V, Behera P, Bhonde RR. Stem Cells of Human Endometrium: Trash to Treasure. In: Stem Cell Therapy for Organ Failure 2014 (pp. 259-264). Springer, New Delhi.
Awards/ Special Attainments
  1. Inducted as “Research Advisory Member in Biomedical Sciences” at the Nan Yang Academy of Sciences, Singapore, 2018
  2. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award for delivering talk as an Invited Speaker at Keystone Symposium on “Adipose Tissue Biology and Diabetes” at Colorado, USA, 2017
  3. ICMR International Travel Grant to attend the Joint Meeting of The Islet Study Group & Beta Cell Workshop, Jerusalem, Israel, 2015
  4. International Award for delivering Invited Lecture at the 8th World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), Singapore, 2013
  5. ICMR- Senior Biomedical Fellowship to visit Endocrinology and Diabetic Center, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, 2010
  6. International Award to attend Workshop on ‘Programming Pancreatic Beta Cells’ by FEBS-EMBO at Spain, 2006.
  7. Young Scientist Award for best paper & presentation in the Joint Conference between Indian Association for Study of Liver (INASL) and European Association for the Study of the Liver, 2001.
  8. National Award for best paper presentation, 1999
  9. DBT National award for research paper at World Congress on Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Dallas, USA, 1991
  10. DBT -Dept. Biotechnology, Govt. of India, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1991
  11. Fellowship for presenting research paper at the VII World congress of Human Reproduction at Helsinki Finland in 1990
  12. Research Fellowship by ICMR for pursuing PhD, 1982-1985
  13. Inspired Award for merit in Post graduate programme for the year, 1979
Membership in professional bodies
  1. Society of Biological Chemistry of India
  2. Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction and Fertility (ISSRF)
  3. Indian Society of stem cell Research (ISSCR)
  4. Nutrition society of India (NSI)
  5. Indian Science Congress (ISC)
  6. Indian Women Scientists Association (IWSA) - Secretary to Women’s Council
  7. Hyderabad Chapter Stem Cell research
  8. Islet Society, Islet Biology group
Reviewer/Member of Editorial Board of Journals
  1. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  2. Journal of Translational Medicine
  3. Cell Biology International
  4. Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome

Additionally, she has also been serving as Subject Expert & Task Force Member for ICMR & DBT constituted taskforces, Chairman/Member of Institutional Committee for Stem Cell Research for several institutes and hospitals in addition to discharging her duties across other important administrative responsibilities in the institute.