Phone: +61 7 3845 3956
Dr Indrajit Das received his PhD in 2012 from Griffith University with an `Award for Academic Excellence’. His PhD research identified the cross-talk between inflammation and protein misfolding induced Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress. Upon completion of his PhD, he undertook postrdoctoral studies at MRC LMB, (Cambridge, UK),where he identified the first selective inhibitor of regulatory phosphatases (Sephin1) to safely and selectively manipulate cellular stress for therapeutic benefit. In his current role as a Research Officer at QIMRB, Dr Das is focussing on understanding and developing strategies to target stress proteins to boost anti-tumour immunity and thereby increase the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Dr Das has published 17 peer-reviewed articles with a total of over 900 citations, with first and co-authored publications in highly ranked journal including Science, Cell, Nature Medicine, Nature protocols, Immunity and Journal of Experimental Medicine. Dr Das is a named co-inventor of two patents with the EPO (awarded in 2016) for his scientific contributions to identify strategies to selectively inhibit regulatory phosphatases.
Current QIMR Berghofer appointment
- 2017 – current: Research Officer
- 2013 – 2016: Early Career Fellow, Neurobiology Division, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB), UK
Current Area of Research
Dr Das is based in the Immunology in Cancer and Infection Laboratory, where his research is focused on identifying novel immuno-suppressive molecules that regulate immune response to cancer and infection. Currently he is working towards understanding how stress response in tumour microenvironment (TME) blocks the development of protective innate and adaptive anti-tumour immune responses. A major focus of his current research is to understand how sustained ER stress responses sculpt the function, expansion and differentiation of immunosuppressive myeloid cells. One of his current research goals is to identify if pharmacological inhibition of the stress induced eIF2α phosphatase disable ER stress sensors to reprogram in immunosuppressive myeloid cells and to activate exhausted effector immune cells to boost anti-tumour immunity.
Dr Das is also involved in identifying the role of inhibitory ligands, nectins and nectin-like molecules, highly expressed on tumour cells and tumour infiltrating myeloid cells which restrain anti-tumour immunity and promote tumour growth and metastasis. He and his colleagues have demonstrated that loss of CD155, a nectin-like molecule, led to reduction in tumour growth and improved responses to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. His is currently investigating if the expression of these inhibitory ligands in TME could be used as a biomarker for therapeutic efficacy of current immunotherapy, using multiplex fluorescent immunohistochemistry (mIHC). His main research goal is to identify novel combinatorial approaches to strengthen the immune system to achieve long term remission in patients by allowing sustained cytotoxic immune responses.
Dr Das discovered the small molecular inhibitor to safely and selectively modulate regulatory phosphatases for therapeutic benefit. These findings were published in Science (Das et al., 2015, cited 150 times so far) and featured in Editor’s choice in Science Signaling, Research highlights in Nat Chem Biol, Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, and Nat Rev Drug Discov and the article was recommended by Faculty of 1000. He was awarded the `MRC Special Award’ for 2 consecutive years. This scientific discovery led to Sephin1 being awarded the orphan drug designation by FDA and is currently in Phase 1 clinical study (InFlectis BioScience, France). Dr Das has also identified strategy to rationally target regulatory phosphatases for which he is a named co-inventor in two successful patents with the EPO (awarded in 2016).
- 2018 – current: The Australian Society for Immunology (ASI)
- 2018– current: Australian Society for Medical Research
- 2013 – 2016: Post-doc society Cambridge Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology
- 2008: The Eskitis Institute, Griffith University
- 2014: MRC Special Award Scheme (SAS), Medical Research Council Laboratory Of Molecular Biology
- 2013: MRC Special Award Scheme (SAS), Medical Research Council Laboratory Of Molecular Biology
- 2012: Griffith University Award of Academic Excellence, Griffith University
- 2012: MMRI Research Higher Degree Award for Best Student, Mater Medical Research Council
- 2011: Griffith Graduate Research School Conference Travel Grant, Griffith University
- 2008: Finalist Young Investigator Award (Basic Science), Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA)
- 2008: Griffith University Award of Academic Excellence, Griffith University
- 2012: Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University, Australia
- 2008: Master of Science with Honours in Clinical Biochemistry (First Class Hons), Griffith University, Australia
- 2006: Master of Science in Biotechnology, Griffith University, Australia
- 2004: Bachelor of Science, Bangalore University, India