Dr.Rahul Pralhad Hepat

After my post-graduation in Biotechnology at SGB, Amravati University, Amravati MH. I received my initial research experience in Molecular systematics of fungi at Agharkar Research Institute, Pune. I obtained a PhD in Insect Molecular Virology from Andong National University, South Korea. My PhD and part of my postdoctoral research was focused on how insect viruses (polydnaviruses) control host gene expression at post- transcriptional and translational level. During my postdoc at University of Kentucky USA, I had opportunity to research on molecular mechanism of insect hormones during their development. Thereafter, I proposed to take my virology expertise to apply it to a new challenge in understanding host-baculovirus molecular interaction in Dr. David Theilmann’s lab at Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, BC. I contributed to innovative molecular virology approaches to understand host-range studies of two closely related baculoviruses which differs in their infectivity in insect host. Since then I have focus my research interest in understanding the mechanism underlining the insect interaction with its viral and other pathogens, somehow specializing in insect virology and pathology.

In 2019, I obtained Assistant Professor II position, at Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, India. Research in my lab deals with the golden silk producing species of silkworm (A. assamensis) and its interaction with pathogen in a broad sense. I’m interested in understanding how Muga silkworm respond to pathogens, but also how other factors (other pathogens, different host plant, etc.) can influence in the interaction. I’m also interested in the discovery of novel insect viruses that could also influence in insect’s physiology and response to pathogens. I do have strong interest in application of silk in biotechnological applications.

Area of Specialization: Insect Molecular Virology; Seri-Biotechnology; Insect physiology & Pathology; Multi-Omics (Transcriptomics, proteomics & metabolomics); host gene expression control

Research Topics:

  1. Insect-Pathogen interactions
  2. Seri-Biotechnology
  3. Development of new Bioinsecticides

Academics-

2013

Ph.D. in Bioresource Sciences

(Insect Molecular Virology)

Andong National University

Andong, South Korea

 2007

M.Sc. in Biotechnology

SGB Amravati University

Amravati, India

2005

B.Sc. in Microbiology

SGB Amravati University

Amravati, India


Employment-

  2019- till date

Assistant Professor II (Seri-Biotechnology)

Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology

(IASST)Guwahati, India

2015-2018

Post-doctoral scientist (NSERC) AAFC-AAC Canada

Summerland Research and Developmental centre

Summerland, BC, Canada

  2014-2015

Post-doctoral Fellow

Department of Entomology

University of Kentucky, USA

  2013-2014

Post-doctoral Fellow

Insect Physiology & Molecular biology Lab

Andong National University, South Korea

2008-2010

Research Student

Mycology & Plant Pathology Group

Agharkar Research Institute

Awards and Achievement-

  1. 2015-2018-Visiting Postdoctoral fellowship by Natural Science Engineering Research Council Canada (NSERC) Canada
  2. 2014-2015-Postdoctoral Fellowship by University of Kentucky, USA
  3. 2013-2014- Postdoctoral fellowship by Andong National University Korea
  4. 2013-Best SCI yearly award, in the ANU from Bio-bk21, Korea
  5. 2012-Best SCI yearly award, in the ANU from Bio-bk21, Korea
  6. 2012-Best oral presentation award, Korean Applied Entomological Society, Korea
  7. 2011-2013-Brain Korea Fellowship (BK 21), PhD grant award by Department of Science & Technology, Republic of Korea
  8. 2010-Travel award for attending PhD interview at Max-Planks Research School for Evolutionary Biology Plon, Germany
  9. 2008-2011-Research Studentship, Agharkar Research Institute (DST), Pune (MS) India

Publications:

  1. Rahul Hepat, Martin Erlandson, Robert Harrison, Leslie Willis and David Theilmann (2019) Role of Plutella xylostella nucleopolyhedrovirus-CL3 ie2 in host range adaptation (preparation for submission in J. Virology)
  2. Yonggyun Kim and Rahul Hepat (2016). Baculoviral p94 homologs encoded in Cotesia plutellae bracovirus suppress both immunity and development of the diamondback moth, Plutellae xylostella. Insect Sci. 23(2), 235-244.
  3. Rahul Hepat and Yonggyun Kim (2014). JH responsiveness of hemocyte does not depends on the JH nuclear receptor, Met, in Tribolium castaneum. J. Insect. Physiol. 63, 40-47.
  4. V Prasad, Rahul Hepat and Yonggyun Kim (2014). Selectivity of a translation-inhibitory factor, CpBV15β in host mRNAs and subsequent alterations in host development and immunity. Dev. Comp. Physiol. 44, 152-162.
  5. Bongi choi, Rahul Hepat and Yonggyun Kim (2014). RNA interference of a heat shock protein, Hsp70, loses its protection role in indirect chilling injury to the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part A
  6. Rahul Hepat, Ji-Joon Song, Daeweon Lee and Yonggyun Kim (2013). A Viral histone H4 joins to eukaryotic nucleosomes and alters host gene expression. J. Virol. 87, 11223-11230.
  7. Youngtae Kim, Rahul Hepat and Yonggyun Kim (2013). A copy of host cystatin of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, is encoded in a polydnavirus, Cotesia plutellae. J. Asia-Pac Entomol 16, 445-449.
  8. Rahul Hepat and Yonggyun Kim (2013). A viral factor, CpBV15a, interacts with a translation initiation factor, eIF2, to suppress host gene expression at a post-transcriptional level. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 114, 34-41.
  9. Jiwan Kim, Rahul Hepat, Daeweon Lee and Yonggyun Kim (2013). Protein tyrosine phosphatase encoded in Cotesia plutellae bracovirus4 suppresses a larva-to-pupa metamorphosis of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part A 166, 60-69.
  10. Rahul Hepat, Daeweon Lee and Yonggyun Kim (2013). Juvenile hormone regulates an expression of a late gene encoded in a polydnavirus, Cotesia plutellae bracovirus. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part A 165, 214-222.
  11. Rahul Hepat and Yonggyun Kim (2012). In vivo transient expression for the functional analysis of polydnaviral genes. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 111, 152-159.
  12. Shiv M Singh, Lal S. Yadav, Paras N. Singh, Rahul Hepat, Rahul Sharma & Singh, Sanjay (2012). Arthrinium rasikravindrii sp. nov. from Svalbard, Norway. Mycotaxon 122, 449-460.
  13. Rahul Hepat and Yonggyun Kim (2011). Transient expression of a viral histone H4 inhibits expression of cellular and humoral immune-associated genes in Tribolium castaneum. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 415, 279-283.
  14. Rajeshkumar, Kunhiraman C.; Sharma, Rahul; Hepat, Rahul P.; Swami, Santosh V.; Singh, Paras Nath; Singh, Sanjay K. (2011). Morphology and phylogeny of Pseudocercospora kamalii sp. nov., a foliar pathogen on Terminalia from India. Mycotaxon 117, 227-237.
  15. Rajeshkumar, Kunhiraman C.; Hepat, Rahul P.; Gaikwad, Subhash B.; Singh, Sanjay K. (2011). Pilidiella crousii sp. nov. from the northern Western Ghats, India. Mycotaxon 115, 155-162.
  16. Singh, Sanjay K., Lal S. Yadav, Paras N. Singh & Rahul Hepat (2009). A new species of Gonatophragmium from Western Ghats, India. Mycotaxon 110, 183-187.
  1. Development of an integrated multi-omics analysis platform, and its application to elucidate the differential process of silk coloration in Muga silkworm, Antherariaassamensis Heifer
  2. Isolation and molecular characterization of novel insect viruses from Muga silkworm

Team members:

Dr. Rahul Hepat (Assistant Professor II, Seri-Biotechnology)

Dr. Kamatchi S (Assistant Professor II, Biophysics)

Dr. Rajiv Bora (Inspire faculty DBT)

Mr. Monalisa Kalita (DIRI PhD student)

Mr. Pranjal Bharali (Field assistant)

Mr. Subrata Goswami (Technical assistant II)

Mr. Lakshmi kt Soud (Lab assistant)

Interested in joining lab please contact directly through email to Dr. Rahul Hepat rhepat[at]gmail[dot]comrahulhepat[at]iasst[dot]gov[dot]in