Dr. Sutapa Mahata is associated with the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, India as a DHR-Women Scientist. She is a 2010 Jamia Millia Islamia alumnus, with a Ph.D degree in Biosciences. She earned master’s in Biotechnology from Awadhesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa (M.P), India and bachelor degree in Biotechnology from the Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribag, Jharkhand, India. Before her arrival at CNCI she was Post Doctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida, India. Where she has studied crosstalk between stem cell signaling and GLI signaling in cervical cancer cells. She observed existence of an active GLI signaling operating in all the tested cervical cancer cell lines irrespective of the presence of HPV. Specific inhibition of GLI signaling by cyclopamine, or viral oncoprotein E6 by siRNA affected the expression of each other. Blocking GLI signaling along with transient silencing of E6 showed an additive effect against stemness-related functions of cancer cells under anchorage-independent conditions along with a remarkable loss of cell viability in adherent cultures. She suggests a cooperative interaction between GLI signaling with viral oncoprotein E6 in HPV positive cervical cancer cells. Loss of p53 as a consequence of HPV E6 is a probable connecting link between constitutively active GLI signaling observed during persistent HR-HPV infection. Therefore, targeting of both E6 and GLI can be a useful novel therapeutic strategy against cervical cancer cells that can synergistically and specifically attenuate cancer stem cells.
She was awarded with India’s prestigious two national fellowship awards; ICMR Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2010 and DHR-Women Scientist, 2018. While executing women scientist she reported for the first time the physical interaction of PIM1 and STAT3 proteins and this association is dissociated by the addition of curcumin in breast cancer cells. in silico analysis represented a strong interaction between PIM1 and curcumin which could disrupt the functional and physical interactions between heterodimeric STAT3-PIM1 complex which may lead to inhibition of tumor progression Hence, she explained curcumin can be considered as a good lead compound in the development of new inhibitors of PIM1-STAT3 pathway which is a potential target of anticancer drugs. This work grabs her Asia’s outstanding researcher award from ASTRA 2023.
She has almost 7 yrs of professional experience in research area. She has trained more than 10 Master’s students and trainees. As well, she is having a keen interest in discovering and evaluating anticancer activities of small molecules, both synthetic and natural/phytochemicals/plant extracts, and providing their effective mechanism to control the growth and progression of cancer cells. Dr. Mahata has published more than 35 articles, and book chapters in different peer-reviewed journals. She is also a reviewer in many peer-reviewed journals. She has attended more than 15 national and international conferences. She took part in the two national clinical trials, A Phase II, Randomized, Multicentric, Placebo Controlled Study on Polyherbal creams- “Praneem” and “Basant” on clearance of HPV.