Scientist ‘F’ & HOD 
Drug Safety Division


Contact:  +91-40-27197323

Brief Profile

His research deals with understanding the molecular mechanisms of nutrient absorption/interactions and their modulation by other dietary components with a focus to improve bioavailability of micronutrients. He is part of the research team that is studying the mechanism of absorption, interactions and bioavailability of iron, zinc and pro-vitamin A carotenoids using cell culture and animal models. He specializes in using in vitro approaches to simulate digestion and study the intestinal absorption of iron from foods with potential applications in food fortification and bio-fortification.
In addition, his group collaborates with clinicians in undertaking cross sectional surveys, intervention studies and contribute to the laboratory analysis of blood micronutrient markers using variety of immunological and chromatographic methods.

  1. Reddy, G. B., Pullakhandam, R., Ghosh, S., Boiroju, N. K., Tattari, S., Laxmaiah, A., Hemalatha, R., Kapil, U., Sachdev, H. S., and Kurpad, A. V. (2020) Vitamin A deficiency among children younger than 5 y in India: an analysis of national data sets to reflect on the need for vitamin A supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr 
  2. Sanjeeva Rao, D., Neeraja, C. N., Madhu Babu, P., Nirmala, B., Suman, K., Rao, L. V. S., Surekha, K., Raghu, P., Longvah, T., Surendra, P., Kumar, R., Babu, V. R., and Voleti, S. R. (2020) Zinc Biofortified Rice Varieties: Challenges, Possibilities, and Progress in India. Front Nutr 7, 26
  3. Pullakhandam, R., Agarwal, S., Venkata, V., Ratnavathi, C., Nair, K. M., and Neelamraju, S. (2020) Iron and zinc bioavailability from Madhukar× Swarna derived biofortifed rice lines. Current Science (00113891) 118
  4. Palika, R., Dasi, T., Kulkarni, B., and Pullakhandam, R. (2020) Ethnic Fermented Foods and Beverages of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Ethnic Fermented Foods and Beverages of India: Science History and Culture pp. 561-582, Springer
  5. Madhari, R. S., Boddula, S., Ravindranadh, P., Jyrwa, Y. W., Boiroju, N. K., Pullakhandam, R., Mamidi, R. S., Nimmathota, A., Kulkarni, B., and Thingnganing, L. (2020) High dietary micronutrient inadequacy in peri-urban school children from a district in South India: Potential for staple food fortification and nutrient supplementation. Matern Child Nutr 16 Suppl 3, e13065
  6. Kondaiah, P., Sharp, P. A., and Pullakhandam, R. (2020) Zinc induces iron egress from intestinal Caco-2 cells via induction of Hephaestin: A role for PI3K in intestinal iron absorption. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 523, 987-992
  7. Jyrwa, Y. W., Palika, R., Boddula, S., Boiroju, N. K., Madhari, R., Pullakhandam, R., and Thingnganing, L. (2020) Retention, stability, iron bioavailability and sensory evaluation of extruded rice fortified with iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. Matern Child Nutr 16 Suppl 3, e12932
  8. Augustine, L. F., Dasi, T., Palika, R., Pullakhandam, R., and Kulkarni, B. (2020) Point of Care Diagnosis of Anemia Using Portable Auto Analyzer. Indian Pediatr 57, 568-569
  9. Shalini, T., Sivaprasad, M., Balakrishna, N., Madhavi, G., Radhika, M. S., Kumar, B. N., Pullakhandam, R., and Reddy, G. B. (2019) Micronutrient intakes and status assessed by probability approach among the urban adult population of Hyderabad city in South India. Eur J Nutr 58, 3147-3159
  10. Pullakhandam, R., Kulkarni, B., and Rajkumar, H. (2019) Ironing out the Iron Requirements of Children and Adolescents. Indian Pediatr 56, 547-548
  11. Kondaiah, P., Yaduvanshi, P. S., Sharp, P. A., and Pullakhandam, R. (2019) Iron and Zinc Homeostasis and Interactions: Does Enteric Zinc Excretion Cross-Talk with Intestinal Iron Absorption? Nutrients 11
  12. Kondaiah, P., Aslam, M. F., Mashurabad, P. C., Sharp, P. A., and Pullakhandam, R. (2019) Zinc induces iron uptake and DMT1 expression in Caco-2 cells via a PI3K/IRP2 dependent mechanism. Biochem J 476, 1573-1583
  13. Dasi, T., Selvaraj, K., Pullakhandam, R., and Kulkarni, B. (2019) Animal source foods for the alleviation of double burden of malnutrition in countries undergoing nutrition transition. Anim Front 9, 32-38
  14. Abraham, R. A., Agrawal, P. K., Acharya, R., Sarna, A., Ramesh, S., Johnston, R., de Wagt, A., Khan, N., Porwal, A., Kurundkar, S. B., Pandey, A., Pullakhandam, R., Nair, K. M., Kumar, G. T., Sachdev, H. P. S., Kapil, U., Saxena, R., Deb, S., Khera, A., and Ramakrishnan, L. (2019) Effect of temperature and time delay in centrifugation on stability of select biomarkers of nutrition and non-communicable diseases in blood samples. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 29, 020708
  15. Thangella, P. A. V., Pasumarti, S., Pullakhandam, R., Geereddy, B. R., and Daggu, M. R. (2018) Differential expression of leaf proteins in four cultivars of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) under water stress. 3 Biotech 8, 157
  16. Reddy, V. S., Palika, R., Ismail, A., Pullakhandam, R., and Reddy, G. B. (2018) Nutrigenomics: Opportunities & challenges for public health nutrition. Indian J Med Res 148, 632-641
  17. Dube, N., Mashurabad, P. C., Hossain, F., Pullakhandam, R., Thingnganing, L., and Bharatraj, D. K. (2018) beta-Carotene bioaccessibility from biofortified maize (Zea mays) is related to its density and is negatively influenced by lutein and zeaxanthin. Food Funct 9, 379-388
  18. Mashurabad, P. C., Palika, R., Jyrwa, Y. W., Bhaskarachary, K., and Pullakhandam, R. (2017) Dietary fat composition, food matrix and relative polarity modulate the micellarization and intestinal uptake of carotenoids from vegetables and fruits. J Food Sci Technol 54, 333-341
  19. Mashurabad, P. C., Kondaiah, P., Palika, R., Ghosh, S., Nair, M. K., and Raghu, P. (2016) Eicosapentaenoic acid inhibits intestinal beta-carotene absorption by downregulation of lipid transporter expression via PPAR-alpha dependent mechanism. Arch Biochem Biophys 590, 118-124
  20. Palika, R., Mashurabad, P. C., Nair, M. K., Reddy, G. B., and Pullakhandam, R. (2015) Characterization of iron-binding phosphopeptide released by gastrointestinal digestion of egg white. Food Research International 67, 308-314
  21. Nimgulkar, C., Ghosh, S., Sankar, A. B., Uday, K. P., Surekha, M. V., Madhusudhanachary, P., Annapurna, B. R., Raghu, P., and Bharatraj, D. K. (2015) Combination of spices and herbal extract restores macrophage foam cell migration and abrogates the athero-inflammatory signalling cascade of atherogenesis. Vascul Pharmacol 72, 53-63
  22. Pullakhandam, R., Palika, R., Vemula, S. R., Polasa, K., and Boindala, S. (2014) Effect of oxytocin injection to milching buffaloes on its content & stability in milk. Indian J Med Res 139, 933-939
  23. Gupta, S., Nair, K. M., Punjal, R., Rajendran, A., and Pullakhandam, R. (2014) Herbs as a dietary source of iron. Nutrition & Food Science
  24. Reddy, P. Y., Giridharan, N. V., Balakrishna, N., Validandi, V., Pullakhandam, R., and Reddy, G. B. (2013) Increased risk of cataract development in WNIN-obese rats due to accumulation of intralenticular sorbitol. IUBMB Life 65, 472-478
  25. Palika, R., Mashurabad, P. C., Kilari, S., Kasula, S., Nair, K. M., and Raghu, P. (2013) Citric acid mediates the iron absorption from low molecular weight human milk fractions. J Agric Food Chem 61, 11151-11157
  26. Siruguri, V., Kumar, P. U., Raghu, P., Rao, M. V., Sesikeran, B., Toteja, G. S., Gupta, P., Rao, S., Satyanarayana, K., Katoch, V. M., Bharaj, T. S., Mangat, G. S., Sharma, N., Sandhu, J. S., Bhargav, V. K., and Rani, S. (2012) Aflatoxin contamination in stored rice variety PAU 201 collected from Punjab, India. Indian J Med Res 136, 89-97
  27. Pullakhandam, R., Palika, R., Ghosh, S., and Reddy, G. B. (2012) Contrasting effects of type 2 and type 1 diabetes on plasma RBP4 levels: the significance of transthyretin. IUBMB Life 64, 975-982
  28. Laxmaiah, A., Nair, M. K., Arlappa, N., Raghu, P., Balakrishna, N., Rao, K. M., Galreddy, C., Kumar, S., Ravindranath, M., Rao, V. V., and Brahmam, G. N. (2012) Prevalence of ocular signs and subclinical vitamin A deficiency and its determinants among rural pre-school children in India. Public Health Nutr 15, 568-577
  29. Iyengar, V., Pullakhandam, R., and Nair, K. M. (2012) Coordinate expression and localization of iron and zinc transporters explain iron-zinc interactions during uptake in Caco-2 cells: implications for iron uptake at the enterocyte. J Nutr Biochem 23, 1146-1154
  30. Cukras, C., Gaasterland, T., Lee, P., Gudiseva, H. V., Chavali, V. R., Pullakhandam, R., Maranhao, B., Edsall, L., Soares, S., Reddy, G. B., Sieving, P. A., and Ayyagari, R. (2012) Exome analysis identified a novel mutation in the RBP4 gene in a consanguineous pedigree with retinal dystrophy and developmental abnormalities. PLoS One 7, e50205
  31. Srinivasa Reddy, Y., Pullakhandam, R., Radha Krishna, K. V., Uday Kumar, P., and Dinesh Kumar, B. (2011) Lead and essential trace element levels in school children: a cross-sectional study. Ann Hum Biol 38, 372-377
  32. Pullakhandam, R., Nair, K. M., Pamini, H., and Punjal, R. (2011) Bioavailability of iron and zinc from multiple micronutrient fortified beverage premixes in Caco-2 cell model. J Food Sci 76, H38-42
  33. Arlappa, N., Balakrishna, N., Laxmaiah, A., Raghu, P., Rao, V. V., Nair, K. M., and Brahmam, G. N. (2011) Prevalence of vitamin A deficiency and its determinants among the rural pre-school children of Madhya Pradesh, India. Ann Hum Biol 38, 131-136
  34. Sreenivasulu, K., Raghu, P., and Nair, K. M. (2010) Polyphenol-rich beverages enhance zinc uptake and metallothionein expression in Caco-2 cells. J Food Sci 75, H123-128
  35. Sesikeran, B., Polasa, K., Vajreswari, A., Raghunath, M., Nair, K., Hemalatha, R., Radhakrishna, K., Ghosh, S., Rao, V. S., and Vazir, S. (2010) New Areas of Nutrition Research. Bulletin of the Nutrition Foundation of India 31-34
  36. Sesikeran, B., Nair, K. M., and Raghu, P. (2010) Will Technology Come To Our Rescue? Nutrition, 2010: 41: 3-16. 
  37. Reddy, S. Y., Pullakhandam, R., and Dinesh Kumar, B. (2010) Thiamine reduces tissue lead levels in rats: mechanism of interaction. Biometals 23, 247-253
  38. Kilari, S., Pullakhandam, R., and Nair, K. M. (2010) Zinc inhibits oxidative stress-induced iron signaling and apoptosis in Caco-2 cells. Free Radic Biol Med 48, 961-968
  39. Iyengar, V., Pullakhandam, R., and Nair, K. M. (2010) Dietary ligands as determinants of iron-zinc interactions at the absorptive enterocyte. J Food Sci 75, H260-264
  40. Pullakhandam, R., Srinivas, P. N., Nair, M. K., and Reddy, G. B. (2009) Binding and stabilization of transthyretin by curcumin. Arch Biochem Biophys 485, 115-119
  41. Iyengar, V., Pullakhandam, R., and Nair, K. M. (2009) Iron-zinc interaction during uptake in human intestinal Caco-2 cell line: kinetic analyses and possible mechanism. Indian J Biochem Biophys 46, 299-306
  42. Sreenivasulu, K., Raghu, P., Ravinder, P., and Nair, K. M. (2008) Effect of dietary ligands and food matrices on zinc uptake in Caco-2 cells: implications in assessing zinc bioavailability. J Agric Food Chem 56, 10967-10972
  43. Pullakhandam, R., Nair, M. K., Kasula, S., Kilari, S., and Thippande, T. G. (2008) Ferric reductase activity of low molecular weight human milk fraction is associated with enhanced iron solubility and uptake in Caco-2 cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 374, 369-372
  44. Pullakhandam, R., and Failla, M. L. (2007) Micellarization and intestinal cell uptake of beta-carotene and lutein from drumstick (Moringa oleifera) leaves. J Med Food 10, 252-257
  45. Bejjani, S., Pullakhandam, R., Punjal, R., and Nair, K. M. (2007) Gastric digestion of pea ferritin and modulation of its iron bioavailability by ascorbic and phytic acids in caco-2 cells. World J Gastroenterol 13, 2083-2088
  46. Raghu, P., and Sivakumar, B. (2004) Interactions amongst plasma retinol-binding protein, transthyretin and their ligands: implications in vitamin A homeostasis and transthyretin amyloidosis. Biochim Biophys Acta 1703, 1-9
  47. Raghu, P., Ghosh, S., Soundarya, K., Haseeb, A., Aruna, B., and Ehtesham, N. Z. (2004) Dimerization of human recombinant resistin involves covalent and noncovalent interactions. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 313, 642-646
  48. Choudhary, R. K., Pullakhandam, R., Ehtesham, N. Z., and Hasnain, S. E. (2004) Expression and characterization of Rv2430c, a novel immunodominant antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Protein Expr Purif 36, 249-253
  49. Raghu, P., Ravinder, P., and Sivakumar, B. (2003) A new method for purification of human plasma retinol-binding protein and transthyretin. Biotechnol Appl Biochem 38, 19-24
  50. Raghu, P., Reddy, G. B., and Sivakumar, B. (2002) Inhibition of transthyretin amyloid fibril formation by 2,4-dinitrophenol through tetramer stabilization. Arch Biochem Biophys 400, 43-47
Awards and Honours