Dr. Kumar obtained her Ph.D from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, USA, where she elucidated the structure-function activity of fadL, a bacterial Long Chain Fatty Acid binding protein. Following her Ph.D, Dr. Kumar did her post-doctoral studies under Dr. Neil Nathanson, at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, on the regulation of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor (mAChR). She was subsequently associated with Ceptyr Inc., a Biotech company where she worked in the High Throughput Screening (HTS) division that focused on developing drugs against Diabetes.

Dr. Kumar is currently an Professor at the School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, where her research focuses on identification and characterization of Natural Product Lead molecules and understanding their role in:

  • Regulating Matrix Metalloproteinases and oncogenic signaling systems and elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying this process
  • Modulating the complex processes involved in wound healing
  • Pathogenesis and virulence with specific emphasis on Quorum Sensing
  • Cardio-protection to enable their use in combination therapies
  • Regulating Inflammasomes and the inflammatory signaling cascades in disease states

Ongoing research interests also include understanding the role played by miRNAs in regulating oncogenesis and exploring the potential of their use independently, or in combination therapies, along with Natural Products. 

Research Support :

Grant funded in the Science Research Scheme (SRS),(2014) Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, Govt. Of Kerala:  Elucidating the Molecular Mechanisms of Anacardic Acid Mediated Regulation of Matrix Metalloproteinases in Cancer

Positions and Honours :

  • Research Fellow, 1994-1996, MDS Pharma, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • Research Scientist, 1996 - 2004, Ceptyr Pharmaceuticals Inc., Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • Professor, 2007-Current, Amrita School of Biotechnology
  • Organizing and Program committee member, International Conference on Biotechnology for Innovative Applications (Amrita BioQuest  2013), Amritapuri, India.



Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Publication Type Title


Journal Article

Dr. Jyotsna Nambiar, Bose, C., Meera Venugopal, Dr. Asoke Banerji, Patel, T. B., Dr. Geetha Kumar, and Dr. Bipin G. Nair, “Anacardic acid inhibits gelatinases through the regulation of Spry2, MMP-14, EMMPRIN and RECK”, Experimental Cell Research, vol. 349, pp. 139-151, 2016.[Abstract]

Earlier studies from our laboratory have identified Anacardic acid (AA) as a potent inhibitor of gelatinases (MMP-2 and 9), which are over-expressed in a wide variety of cancers (Omanakuttan et al., 2012). Disruption of the finely tuned matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activator/inhibitor balance plays a decisive role in determining the fate of the cell. The present study demonstrates for the first time, that in addition to regulating the expression as well as activity of gelatinases, AA also inhibits the expression of its endogenous activators like MMP-14 and Extracellular Matrix MetalloProteinase Inducer (EMMPRIN) and induces the expression of its endogenous inhibitor, REversion-inducing Cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK). In addition to modulating gelatinases, AA also inhibits the expression of various components of the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) pathway like EGF, Protein Kinase B (Akt) and Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK). Furthermore, AA also activates the expression of Sprouty 2 (Spry2), a negative regulator of EGF pathway, and silencing Spry2 results in up-regulation of expression of gelatinases as well as MMP-14. The present study thus elucidates a novel mechanism of action of AA and provides a strong basis for utilizing this molecule as a template for cancer therapeutics.

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Journal Article

L. S. Nadler, Dr. Geetha Kumar, and Nathanson, N. M., “Identification of a basolateral sorting signal for the M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells”, Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 276, pp. 10539–10547, 2001.


Journal Article

L. S. Nadler, Dr. Geetha Kumar, Hinds, T. R., Migeon, J. C., and Nathanson, N. M., “Asymmetric distribution of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells”, American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology, vol. 277, pp. C1220–C1228, 1999.


Journal Article

V. G. Chinchar, Turner, L. A., and Dr. Geetha Kumar, “Hemin and cyclic AMP stimulate message-dependent translation in lysates from Friend erythroleukemia cells.”, Experimental hematology, vol. 17, pp. 405–410, 1989.

Publication Type: Conference Paper

Year of Publication Publication Type Title


Conference Paper

A. Omanakuttan, Dr. Geetha Kumar, and Dr. Bipin G. Nair, “Ecdysterone Mediates Wound Healing in a Nitric Oxide Dependent Manner in 3T3L1 Fibroblasts.”, in The XXXIX All India Cell Biology Conference , 2015.[Abstract]

Ecdysteroids are insect moulting hormones which are structurally different from mammalian steroids, but have been shown to have several beneficial effects in mammals. Ecdysterone is known to enhance wound healing in rabbits by a faster granulation tissue formation and epithelial cell proliferation. In this study, we focused our efforts on elucidating the molecular mechanism involved in Ecdysterone mediated wound healing. In order to achieve this, we employed an in vitro wound healing assay using 3T3L1 cells treated with Ecdysterone, isolated from Sesuvium portulacastrum. The assay demonstrated that Ecdysterone enhanced in vitro wound healing activity in a dose dependent manner. Further studies demonstrated that Ecdysterone enhanced cell proliferation and cell migration in a nitric oxide dependent manner. Additionally, fluorescence studies with DAF FM diacetate, a specific indicator for nitric oxide, demonstrated that Ecdysterone enhances nitric oxide (NO) production in a dose dependent manner through activation of Nitric oxide Synthase (NOS). These results demonstrate that Ecdysterone can enhance the wound healing process in a nitric oxide (NO) dependent manner

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Publication Type: Patent

Year of Publication Publication Type Title



E. Schaefer, Dr. Bipin G. Nair, and Dr. Geetha Kumar, “Key pad for Medical Devices”, 2012.


Year Title
2012 Key pad for Medical Devices, Design No. 244105, The Patent Office, Government of India_ Certificate of Registration of Design, 2012.
NIRF 2017