Dr. Mojibur R. Khan


Microbes of human body are indispensable for maintaining good health. The human gut is colonized by 100 trillion microbes belonging to few thousand species and by their enormous number of genes, they influence the physiology of the host. The gut microbiota is inherited from mother and subsequently modulated by diet, disease, aging, medication etc. Understanding the dynamic nature of the microbiota and its relation to physiology will help us to develop pro- & pre- biotics for targeted modulation for better health. The north-east of India is home to more than 200 distinct tribes with distinct genetic background and diverse food habits is an ideal place to undertake such studies. Our group has undertaken research to determine the gut bacterial profile of the tribal population of north-east of India to understand the genetic, dietary or environmental forces acting in shaping their profile and to explore beneficial gut bacteria in these population.

The key questions of this research are:

  1. What is the variation and similarity in the gut bacterial profile of the ethnic tribes of north-east of India?
  2. How is this variation or similarity related to other population of India and the world?
  3. Are there microbes in this population that are linked to some good or ill health effects?
  4. How to manipulate the gut bacterial profile for better health



2003(January) – 2006 (January): PhD

Institution: College of Life Sciences, University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin 4, Ireland.

1999-2001: MSc (Agricultural Biotechnology)

Institution: Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, India.


Assistant Professor (II): August 2011- till date.

Institution: Institute of Advance Study in Science and Technology, Guwahati, Assam.


Ramalingaswami Fellow: June 2011- till date.

Institution: Institute of Advance Study in Science and Technology, Guwahati, Assam.

Postdoctoral Scientist: February 2006- May 2011.

Institution: College of Life Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Senior Research Fellow: February 2002- October 2002

Institution: Soil Microbiology Laboratory, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, India.

  1. UCD Research and Innovation award, 2011.
  2. Presented the best student oral presentation award (Cash) in the Society of Irish Plant Pathologists meeting, 2005.


  1. Energy bioscience overseas fellowship (DBT-ICT centre for bioenergy, Mumbai) (Fellowship offered but declined).
  2. Ramalingaswami fellowship (DBT, Govt. of India).
  3. Postdoctoral fellowship from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (DAFF, Govt. of Ireland) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
  4. Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (DAFF, Govt. of Ireland) fellowship during PhD.
  5. Department of Biotechnology (DBT, Govt. of India) fellowship during MSc.
  6. University merit scholarship during BSc.
  7. State merit scholarship during 10+2.


  1. D Gogoi, AJ Choudhury, R Kandimalla, S Kalita, J Kotoky, YB Chaudhari, MR Khan, J Chutia, (2016) Penicillin impregnation on oxygen plasma surface functionalized chitosan/Antheraea assama silk fibroin: Studies of antibacterial activity and antithrombogenic property. Materials Science and Engineering C 60:475-484 JIF 3.09
  2. M Dehingia, TK Devi, NC Talukdar, R Talukdar, N Reddy, SS Mande, M Deka and MR Khan (2015) Gut bacterial diversity of the tribes of India and comparison with the worldwide data. Scientific Reports doi: 10.1038/srep18563 JIF 5.78
  3. AJ Choudhury, D Gogoi, J Chutia, R Kandimalla, S Kalita, J Kotoky, YB Chaudhari, MR Khan, K Kalita (2015) Controlled antibiotic-releasing Antheraea assama silk fibroin suture for infection prevention and fast wound healingSurgery doi:10.1016/j.surg.2015.07.022 JIF 3.38
  4. S Goyari, SH Devi, B Louis, MR Khan, CK Sharma, MC Kalita, NC Talukdar (2015) Unveiling the optimal parameters for cellulolytic characteristics of Talaromyces verruculosus SGMNPf3 and its secretory enzymesJournal of Applied Microbiology 119(1):88-98 JIF 2.479
  5. S Walter, A Kahla, C Arunachalam, A Perochon, MR Khan, S Scofield, and F Doohan (2015) A wheat ABC transporter contributes to both grain formation and mycotoxin tolerance. Journal of experimental Botany doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv048 JIF 5.26
  6. YB Chaudhari, NC Talukdar, NC Adhikary, MC Kalita, MR Khan (2015) Rice straw based evaluation of lignolytic and cellulolytic capabilities of novel strains of saprophytic fungi from Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. Energy & Fuels 29 (2) : 784–792 JIF 2.733
  7. S Sen, NC Talukdar, MR Khan (2015) A simple metabolite profiling approach reveals critical bio-molecular linkages in fragrant agarwood oil production from Aquilaria malaccensis– a traditional agro-based industry in the north east of India. Current Science 108 (1): 63-71 JIF 0.833
  8. SN Borah, D Goswami, J Lahkar, HK Sarma, MR Khan, S Deka (2014) Rhamnolipid produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa SS14 causes complete suppression of wilt by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi in Pisum sativum. BioControl: DOI 10.1007/s10526-014-9645-0 JIF 2.253
  9. KI Ansari, SM Doyle, J Kacprzyk, MR Khan, S Walter, JM Brennan, CS Arunachalam, PF McCabe, FM Doohan (2014) Light Influences How the Fungal Toxin Deoxynivalenol Affects Plant Cell Death and Defense Responses. Toxins 6(2), 679-692. JIF 2.13
  10. SS Ali, LR Gunupuru, GBS Kumar, MR Khan, S Scofield, P Nicholson, FM Doohan (2014) Plant disease resistance is augmented in uzu barley lines modified in the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1. BMC Plant Biology 14(1):227. JIF 4.35
  11. D Gogoi, D Barman, D Choudhury, M Khan, Y Chaudhari, M Dehingia, AR Pal, H Bailung and J Chutia (2014) Immobilization of trypsin on plasma prepared Ag/PPAni nanocomposite film for efficient digestion of protein. Materials Science and Engineering C 43 237–242. JIF 3.076
  12. SS Ali, S Kumar, FM Doohan, MR Khan (2013) Brassinosteroid enhances resistance to Fusarium diseases of barley. Phytopathology 103(12):1260-1267. JIF97
  13. SS Ali, MR Khan, E Mullins and FM Doohan (2013) Identification of Fusarium oxysporum Genes Associated with Lignocellulose Bioconversion Competency. BioEnergy Research 7(1): 110-119. JIF 3.39
  14. D Gogoi, A J Choudhury, J Chutia, A R Pal, M Khan, M Choudhury, P Pathak, G Das and D S Patil (2013) Development of advanced antimicrobial and sterilized plasma polypropylene grafted muga (Antheraea assama) silk as suture biomaterial. Biopolymers 101 (4):355-365. JIF 2.28
  15. SS Ali, MR Khan, E Mullins and FM Doohan (2012) The effect of wheat genotype on bioethanol production from straw and the implications for multifunctional crop breeding. Biomass and Bioenergy 42:1-9. JIF 3.41
  16. SS Ali, MR Khan, B Fagan, E Mullins and FM Doohan (2012) Exploiting the inter-strain divergence of Fusarium oxysporum for microbial bioprocessing of lignocellulose to bioethanol. AMB Express 2(16) DOI: 10.1186/2191-0855-2-16. JIF Not available yet
  17. E Smyth, R NevinJ McCarthy, MR Khan, M Dow, F O’Gara, and FM Doohan (2011) In vitro analyses are not reliable predictors of the plant growth promotion capability of bacteria; a Pseudomonas fluorescens strain that promotes the growth and yield of wheat. Journal of Applied Microbiology 111: 683-692 JIF 2.38
  18. C Petti, MR Khan and FM Doohan (2010) Lipid transfer proteins and protease inhibitors as key factors in the priming of barley responses to Fusarium head blight disease by a biocontrol strain of Pseudomonas fluorescensFunctional and Integrative Genomics 10(4):619-27. JIF 2.69
  19. MR Khan, E O’Brien, BF Carney, and FM Doohan (2010) A fluorescent pseudomonad shows potential for the control of net blotch disease of barley. Biological Control 54(1): 41-45 JIF 1.87
  20. MR Khan and FM Doohan (2009) Bacterium-mediated control of Fusarium head blight disease of wheat and barley and associated mycotoxin contamination of grain. Biological Control 48(1):42-47 JIF 1.87
  21. MR Khan and FM Doohan (2009) Comparison of the efficacy of chitosan with that of a fluorescent pseudomonad for the control of Fusarium head blight disease of cereals and associated mycotoxin contamination of grain. Biological Control 48(1):48-54 JIF 1.87
  22. S Walter, JM Brennan, C Arunachalam, KI Ansari, X Hu, MR Khan, F Trognitz, B Trognitz, G Leonard, D Egan and FM Doohan (2008) Components of the gene network associated with genotype-dependent response of wheat to the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol. Functional and Integrative Genomics. 8(4):421-427. JIF 2.69.
  23. S Kildea, V Ransbotyn, MR Khan, B Fagan, L Gerald, E Mullins and FM Doohan (2008) Bacillus megaterium shows potential for the biocontrol of septoria tritici blotch of wheat. Biological Control 47(1): 37-45 JIF 1.87
  24. C Petti, MR Khan and FM Doohan (2008) Investigating the mechanisms underpinning bacterium-mediated control of FHB disease. Cereal Research Communications 36:689-693. JIF 0.624
  25. FM Doohan, C Arunachalam, S Jiang, MR Khan, D Egan, G Erard and S Walter (2008) The wheat response to deoxynivalenol: Does maintenance of hormone homeostasis and alleviation of oxidative stress play an important role in toxin tolerance? Cereal Research Communications 36:233-237. JIF 0.624
  26. MR Khan, S Fischer, D Egan, and FM Doohan (2006) Biological Control of Fusarium Seedling Blight Disease of Wheat and Barley. Phytopathology 96(4): 386-394 JIF 2.97
  27. D Thakuria, NC Talukdar, C Goswami, S Hazarika, RC Boro and MR Khan (2004) Characterization and screening of bacteria from rhizosphere of rice grown in acidic soils of Assam. Current Science, 86(7): 978-985 JIF 0.833
  28. MR Khan, NC Talukdar and D Thakuria (2003) Detection of Azospirillum and PSB in rice rhizosphere soil by protein and antibiotic resistance profile and their effect on grain yield of rice. Indian Journal of Biotechnology, 2 (2): 246-250 JIF 0.510


Patents filed

  1. M R Khan, S Sen, N C Talukdar (2014) A method for production of fragrant compounds from Aquilaria malaccensis. Patent filed with Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademark, Kolkata. Patent application number is 1277/KOL/2014.

Technology developed

Four novel bacterial strains with demonstrated anti-fungal properties for the treatment of crops to alleviate the detrimental effects of blight and head blight disease.



  1. Effect of traditional dietary habits on human gut microbes: dairy products of Nepali population and traditional rice beer of tribes of Assam on gut bacterial profile [Funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India under unit of excellence programme. Total grant is Rs 133 lakhs][Involved as Principal Investigator].
  2. Study on intestinal microbiota of ethnically diverse tribal population of India: enhancing our understanding on effect of host genotype, diet and ecology. [Funded by DBT. Total grant is Rs 80 lakhs][Involved as Principal Investigator].
  3. Agrawood production from Aquilaria agallocha- studies from a biotechnological perspective on an ancient and important plant based industry of north east India. [Funded by DBT. Total grant is Rs 7 lakhs][Involved as mentor of DBT-RA].
  4. Institutional biotech hub [Funded by DBT. Total grant is Rs 27 lakhs][Involved as Co-ordinator].
  5. Exploration of microbial resources of north-east India: generation of metagenomic DNA bank, construction of metagenomic libraries and screening for genes of interest [Funded by DBT. Total grant is Rs 70 lakhs][Involved as Principal Investigator].
  6. Antifungal properties of biosurfactants produced by the native bacterial strains and their application to control certain fungal diseases of field crops of Assam. [Funded by DBT. Total grant is Rs 44 lakhs][Involved as Co-Principal Investigator].
  7. Exploration of microbial diversity (culturable) associated with Tea Rhizosphere Soil of Assam and Darjeeling (WB), and utilization for the production of plant growth promoting substances and bio-control of prominent fungal diseases and pests in tea [Funded by DBT under RGYI scheme. Total grant not declared yet][Involved as Co-Principal Investigator].


Dr. Supriyo Sen (DBT-Postdoctoral fellow)

Dr. Rupamoni Thakur (N-PDF, SERB, DST)

Dr. Sailendra Goyari (N-PDF, SERB, DST)

Mr. Yogesh B. Chaudhari (PhD student)

Miss Madhusmita Dehingia (PhD student)

Miss Priyanka Sarkar (PhD student)

Miss Rabiya Sultana (PhD student)

Mr. Bhuwan Bhaskar (PhD student)

Miss. Tulsi Joishy (PhD student)


Interested students with good academic and research record can send their biodata throughout the year for doctoral and postdoctoral positions. Candidates having UGC/CSIR/DBT/ICMR fellowships will get preference.

Contact: mojibur[dot]khan[at]gmail[dot]com