Punekar, N.S.

Dr. N. S. Punekar

E-mail: nsp [at] iitb.ac.in

Prof. NS Punekar has been one of the founding members of the Biotechnology Centre which has today become the Department of Biosciences & Bioengineering. Prof. Punekar brought his expertise in fungal biology to the department’s research profile. His work on metabolism and expression of proteins in Aspergillus niger led to many novel discoveries and industry collaborations. Prof. Punekar’s teaching has been appreciated by students over the years as well and his passion for science, especially biochemistry led to the publication of an e-textbook that has been downloaded over 4.5 million times. Links to the e-book and an interview about it can be found here:



He also served as the Head and guided the department ably during this time.

We gratefully acknowledge his contributions to the department in the areas of research, teaching and leadership.

Research Interest

  • Microbial Biochemistry and Molecular Enzymology (Major fields) Microbial Metabolic Regulation, Understanding Metabolism through biochemical & recombinant DNA techniques, Fungal Molecular Genetics and its Applications to Metabolic Engineering

Academic Background

  • B.Sc.1976, Karnatak University, Dharwad
  • M.Sc. 1978, Karnatak University, Dharwad
  • Ph.D. 1984, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Involvement with International Olympiad

  • National Scientific Committee Member – 33rd International Chemistry Olympiad, Mumbai 2001
  • National Scientific Committee Member – 19th International Biology Olympiad, Mumbai 2008


Molecular Enzymology, Industrial microbial metabolism, Research Philosophy

Professional Experience

  • Post Doctoral Fellow :1983-87 : Institute for Enzyme Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.
  • Senior Research Scientist :1987-88 Research Centre, Hoechst India Limited, Bombay 400 080.
  • Professor : 2001-2021, BSBE IIT Bombay.
  • Career Development Fellow – Rockefeller Foundation:1996-98 : Plant Pathology Dept., University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA (summers only)
  • Editorial Board Member – IJBB, IJBT, IJEB  (2005 onwards)
  • First Dean of Academic and Students at IIT Dharwad, 2016-17

Publications (Five most recent)

  • (2019) Autophagy is important to the acidogenic metabolism of Aspergillus niger. Baljinder Kaur and Narayan S. Punekar. PLoS ONE 14 (10): e0223895. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223895 [Link]
  • (2019) 2-Oxoglutarate cooperativity and biphasic ammonium saturation of Aspergillus niger NADP-glutamate dehydrogenase are structurally coupled Nupur Agarwal, Walvekar AS and Punekar NS, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 669: 50–60. [Link]
  • (2019) Characterization of 4-guanidinobutyrase from Aspergillus niger, Tejaswani Saragadam, Sunil Kumar and Narayan S. Punekar, Microbiology, 165:396-410. [Link]
  • (2018) Structural basis for the catalytic mechanism and a-ketoglutarate cooperativity of glutamate dehydrogenase Prem Prakash, Narayan S. Punekar, and Prasenjit Bhaumik, J. Biol. Chem. 293:6241–6258. [Link]
  • (2016) Contribution of arginase to manganese metabolism of Aspergillus niger, Sarita Keni, Narayan S. Punekar, Biometals, 29:95–106 DOI 10.1007/s10534-015-9900-6 [Link]


  • ENZYMES: Catalysis, Kinetics and Mechanisms ISBN 978-981-13-0784-3 ISBN 978-981-13-0785-0, Springer Nature, Singapore, 2018

List of Patents

  • Branched chain alkyl esters of 2-[4-(2-piperidino-ethoxy)-benzoyl]-benzoic acid, processes for their preparation and their use as spasmolytic agents. N.S. Punekar and five others from Hoechst India Limited. Indian Patent, 255/BOM/88, September 07, 1988; and European Patent, 88 117 521.0, October 21, 1988
  • Affinity resins for use in protein purification on the basis of anthraquinone dye-ligands. N.S. Punekar and six others from CIBA Specialty Chemicals Limited. European Patent, Patent Priority date, 08.04.2005 (EP)Member, Core Committee of Department of Biotechnology, N.Delhi, for framing National Syllabus for Masters in Biotechnology
  • Novel recombinant protein expression system involving a strong, constitutive promoter of citrate synthase from Aspergillus. N.S. Punekar and Kashyap Dave from IIT-Bombay, Powai, Mumbai. Indian Patent, Patent Application No. 2542/MUM/2009 date of filing 03.11.2009
  • Process for the Production of Lactic Acid from Aspergillus, N.S. Punekar and Khyati Dave from IIT-Bombay, Powai, Mumbai. Indian Patent, Patent Application No. 2077/MUM/2014, date of filing 26.06.2014