Soumita Das

Soumita Das, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department
Biomedical & Nutritional Science
Phone
(978) 934-4859
Office
Weed Hall 224

Expertise

Host-microbe interaction; microbial pathogenesis, Infection/inflammation-mediated cancer, immune responses, Inflammatory diseases; Gastro-intestinal diseases; ‘gut in a dish’ model with microbes, epithelial cells and immune cells; Organoid and stem cell biology; organoid-based disease modeling.

Research Interests

My research program is involved in understanding the three-way cross-talk between gastro-intestinal (GI) epithelial cells, immune cells, and microbe/microbial products (beneficial as well as pathogenic). I have expertise in microbial pathogenesis, host innate immune responses, and human and animal models of infection and inflammation. I have been working on the host-microbe interactions of gastroenteric infections for more than 15 years. My research experience includes the identification of Vibrio cholerae transcripts following infection, gastric epithelial cell responses and the cross-talk between luminal antigen and T cells during Helicobacter pylori infection; the interaction between gut microbes and host engulfment pathway in macrophages that affects the host immune responses and chronic inflammatory diseases. In collaboration, I have also examined the effect of nutritional supplements and environmental toxicants on the lung and GI tract. For the last ten years, I have been involved in the research-training program with undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. We recently developed the organoid-in-a-dish model comprising epithelial cells, immune cells, and microbes that can be utilized to identify biomarkers and screen drugs for infection and inflammatory diseases. The core expertise of my lab is biochemistry, epithelial biology, microbiology, and mucosal immunology.

Education

  • Ph.D: Life Sciences (Genomics), Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
  • M.S. Biochemistry with Specialization in Advanced Microbiology, University of Calcutta, India
  • B.S. Chemistry Honors with Physics and Mathematics, University of Calcutta, India

Biosketch

After finishing Ph.D. in India, I completed postdoctoral training at UTMB, Texas and at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. I started the faculty position at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Other than my own research program at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), I co-founded the UC San Diego’s HUMANOID Center of Research Excellence to provide access to adult stem cell-based organoid models to researchers and to develop transdisciplinary collaborations with computational biologists, physician-scientists, and bioengineers. After 11 years at UCSD, I moved to UMass-Lowell with my lab group. I have an affiliation with UCSD as an Adjunct Associate Professor.

Selected Awards and Honors

  1. Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News on “Gut in a Dish” Facilitates Drug Development; published on May 2021, Vol 41, no 5. "Gut in a Dish" Facilitates Drug Development (genengnews.com)
  2. Technology Networks, Published March 18, 2021: Exploring Human Biology and Disease With Organoid Models & Improving Drug Discovery With Organoid-Based “Phase 0” Testing
  3. News on Award-https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/helmsley-trust-awards-4.7-million-for-crohn-s-disease-research
  4. Invited talk on WHO COVID-19 Animal Models Group Call, Title: Stem Cell-derived Complete Lung Organoid Models Emulate Lung Disease in COVID-19, on March 4th, 2021.
  5. Invited Talk at Society of Toxicology on the Session Title: It takes guts: exploring new models and modalities for gastrointestinal toxicity, in San Diego, on March 27-30th, 2022.
  6. Invited Talk at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy 2022, on “Gut-and lung-in-a-dish” model to develop personalized therapies for chronic diseases, on May 16-18, 2022.

Selected Publications

  1. Achi S, ….Das S. The WxxxE proteins in microbial pathogenesis. Critical reviews in microbiology. 2022 Mar 14:1-17.
  2. Sayed IM, …. Das S. The interaction of enteric bacterial effectors with the host engulfment pathway control innate immune responses. Gut Microbes, 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1991776. PMID: 34719317.
  3. Long T, Abbasi N, Hernandez JH, Li Y, Sayed IM, Ma S, Iemolo A, Yee B, Yeo G, Telese F, Ghosh P, Das S, Huang WJM. RNA binding protein DDX5 directs tuft cell specification and function to regulate microbial repertoire and disease susceptibility in the intestine. Gut, 2021 Dec 1:gutjnl-2021-324984. PMID: 34853057
  4. 4. Tindle C, ….Ghosh P, Das S. Adult Stem Cell-derived Complete Lung Organoid Models Emulate Lung Disease in COVID-19. eLife. Aug 31st, 2021, 10:e66417.
  5. Sahoo D*†, Swanson L†, Sayed IM, … Das S* and Ghosh P*, AI-guided Discovery of a Barrier-Protective Therapy in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. (†Equally Contributed, *Corresponding authors)-Nature Communications. 2021 Jul 12;12(1):4246. PMID: 34253728. (Cited to GEN-https://lnkd.in/gt9uQAu).
  6. Sharma A, … Crotty-Alexander L*, Ghosh P* and Das S* E-cigarettes compromise the gut barrier, trigger inflammation. (*Equally Contributed), iScience 2021. Jan 6; 24(2):102035. PMID: 33537654.
  7. Sayed IM, Chakraborty A, Ali A, Sahan AZ, Huang W, Sahoo D, Ghosh P, Hazra TK, Das S. DNA glycosylase NEIL2 prevents Fusobacterium-mediated inflammation and DNA damage in colonic epithelial cells. Cells, MDPI, special issue 2020 Aug 28;9(9): E1980. PMID. 32872214.
  8. Sayed IM, Sahan AZ, …Hazra TK, Das S. Helicobacter pylori infection down-regulates the DNA glycosylase NEIL2, resulting in increased genome damage and inflammation in gastric epithelial cells. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jun 9:jbc.RA119.009981. PMID: 32518160.
  9. Sayed IM*, Suarez K*, Lim E*, Singh S*, … Das S. Host engulfment pathway controls inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The FEBS Journal. 2020 Jan 30. PMID: 32003126 (*equally contributed).
  10. Sarkar A, Tindle C, Pranadinata RF, ..Das S. ELMO1 Regulates Autophagy Induction and Bacterial Clearance During Enteric Infection. J Infect Dis. 2017 Dec19;216(12):1655-1666. PMID: 29029244.