Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science


Our research involves the engineering of treatments and the establishment of principles of the design of novel drugs and vaccines that would lead to improved health care. We focus on infectious diseases caused by pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis C virus, and mycobacterium tuberculosis, which today together affect hundreds of millions worldwide. Why are these pathogens more virulent than the ones, for instance, causing common cold? Why are some individuals successful in clearing these infections while others succumb? How do these pathogens develop resistance to drugs and evade vaccines? We develop mathematical models and simulations of the dynamics of infections caused by these pathogens that present a fundamental understanding of disease progression and the impact of intervention and provide a framework for rational therapy optimization with available drugs and facilitate the identification of guidelines for the design of new drugs and vaccines potent against these virulent, rapidly evolving pathogens. We aim to establish improved therapeutic protocols that impede therapy failure, minimize side effects, and personalize treatments, enabling more effective combat of infectious diseases.


28 Jun 2022:

Budhaditya and Harshbir's article on modeling the heterogeneity in outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infections is out on PLoS Pathogens. Way to go!

10 Mar 2022:

Ananthu's study unraveling transmission of HIV-1 being more virulent in heterosexual individuals than men-who-have-sex-with-men is out in PLoS Pathogens. Cheers, Ananthu!

Update: Multiple national and international news media outlets have covered the study.

Healthline AJMC MedicalNewsToday Medical Xpress Galileu Outrage SciTech Daily ... and many more

28 Feb 2022:

Our study on quantitative prediction of efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19 has been published in Nature Computational Science, and has been covered by The Hindu. Congratulations Pranesh and Rajat!

Update: Many major news media outlets reported on our findings!

News and Views - Nature Computational Science The Hindu Hindustan Times Times of India ET Health Xinhua Net Nature India Outlook India The Indian Express The Hans India ... and many more


  • Padmanabhan, P., Desikan, R., & Dixit, N. M. (2022). Modeling how antibody responses may determine the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Nature Computational Science. LINK

  • Padmanabhan, P., & Dixit, N. M. (2022). Evidence of increased Cathepsin B/L and decreased TMPRSS2 usage for cell entry by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. LINK

  • Garg, A. K., Mittal, S., Padmanabhan, P., Desikan, R., & Dixit, N. M. (2021). Increased B Cell Selection Stringency In Germinal Centers Can Explain Improved COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacies With Low Dose Prime or Delayed Boost. Frontiers in Immunology. LINK

  • Chatterjee, B., Sandhu, H. S., & Dixit, N. M. (2021). The relative strength and timing of innate immune and CD8 T-cell responses underlie the heterogeneous outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection. medRxiv. LINK

  • Padmanabhan, P., Desikan, R., & Dixit, N. M. (2021). Modelling the population-level protection conferred by COVID-19 vaccination. medRxiv. LINK

  • Padmanabhan, P., Desikan, R., & Dixit, N. M. (2020). The quantitative landscape of the neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2. medRxiv. LINK

  • Agrawal, S., Bhandari, S., Bhattacharjee, A., Deo, A., Dixit, N. M., Harsha, P., ... & Yasodharan, S. (2020). City-Scale Agent-Based Simulators for the Study of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions in the Context of the COVID-19 Epidemic. Journal of the Indian Institute of Science, 1-39. LINK

  • Padmanabhan, P., Desikan, R., & Dixit, N. M. (2020). Targeting TMPRSS2 and Cathepsin B/L together may be synergistic against SARS-CoV-2 infection. PLoS Computational Biology, 16(12), e1008461. LINK