Dr. Arpita is presently working as Senior Scientific Officer in the Department of In Vitro Carcinogenesis and Cellular Chemotherapy (IVCCC) at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), Kolkata (since September 2018). She has more than 14 years of rich research experience in field of Chemistry and Biology-Chemistry interface.
Dr. Chandra was born and brought up in Kolkata and she completed her schooling from United Missionary Girls High School (Kolkata), graduated with Chemistry (Hons.) from Jogmaya Devi College under the University of Calcutta, got her Master degree in Inorganic Chemistry from the Visva Bharati University in 2004 and qualified for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) with Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for her doctoral research. She was awarded her doctorate degree in 2010 in Chemistry (Inorganic) from the University of Calcutta.
Before joining her research career at CNCI, she had 3½ years of undergraduate teaching experience (April 2015 – September 2018) as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Rammohan College, University of Calcutta. She is fluent with teaching of undergraduate chemistry courses at the University of Calcutta and familiar with course delivery adaptable to various learning styles. During her teaching career she had acted as the Departmental In-Charge (July 2016 – June 2017) and also Head of Department of Chemistry at Rammohan College, Kolkata (July 2017-August 2018). As a recognition of her outstanding academic career and administrative capabilities, Dr. Chandra was included as Member of Governing Body of different undergraduate colleges such as Rammohan College (Kolkata), City College (Kolkata), Basanti Devi College (Kolkata) and Shyama Prasad College (Kolkata).
In September 2018, Dr. Arpita Chandra had joined as Senior Scientific Officer at the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute. During her doctoral study, she had developed her interest towards the application of chemistry in the field of cancer biology. Her post-doctoral work was based on overcoming multidrug resistance in cancer. Her current research work concentrates on establishment of chemotherapeutic agent for cancer treatment which will not only be more potent but still safer to use, and economically more viable with easy synthesis and isolation routes. Her research includes development of numerous customised less toxic novel or repurposed organic or inorganic molecules for targeting different apoptotic pathways, overcoming multidrug resistance, inhibiting angiogenesis and hindering metastasis etc. Her lab focuses on synthesis of 3d-metal (with special emphasis on trace elements present in human body like, cobalt, copper etc.) centred Schiff base complexes, that can act as DNA-chelating, apoptosis inducing chemotherapeutic agents. They are also currently dealing with a hypoxia-activated prodrug by exploiting the redox behaviour of a promising significantly non-toxic cobalt compound as a drug carrier. Simultaneously, they are also acting on the development of different hydroxamic acid derivatives for their, anti-metastatic, and anti-angiogenic properties. These hydroxamic acid derivatives has epigenetic modulatory property and can act as HDACi (Histone deacetylases inhibitor). The overarching goal of her research is to address the shortcomings of presently available chemotherapeutic drugs.
During her career in teaching and research, Dr. Arpita Chandra had delivered several scientific lectures and acted as examiner and reviewer and attended national and international seminars and received awards for her presentation and outstanding work. She had published several research papers and book chapters with reputed international publishing house like American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, springer-nature etc. A multidimensional disease like cancer can be treated with multifaceted approaches. Chemotherapy is one such modality where single/ multiple chemotherapeutic drugs having enormously diverse compositions are used to treat malignancy. Her group is focusing on combatting cancer through this approach and aim to develop cost effective therapeutic solutions for different cancers.