Skip to Content

School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

Sujit Pujhari, Ph.D.

Title: Research Assistant Professor
Director of Viral Vector Core
Department: Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
School of Medicine Columbia
LinkedIn: My LinkedIn profile
picture of Sujit Pujhari


M.Sc. Life Sciences: Sambalpur University, Jyotivihar, Odisha, India

Ph.D. Virology : Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Postdoctoral: Pennsylvania State University (USA)

                             Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization International Vaccine Center, University of Saskatchewan



As you are reading this, either you are experiencing or have recently experienced how a virus can bring the world to a standstill. I believe that there is no need to introduce you to this topic. Also, you must have acknowledged that it is no easy task to fight and control the spread of virus without a vaccine, rapid and reliable diagnostic tests, and a better understanding of the disease pathogenesis to treat patients.

Although viruses are scary, they are an excellent tool for understanding and underpinning the basic biological processes and for the development of candidates for gene therapy. Viral vectors (mainly AAV and lentiviral vectors) are increasingly useful in neuroscience research for interrogating cellular, molecular and neurocircuit functions. Our laboratory has a diverse research portfolio that all fits under a broad umbrella of fighting infectious and non-infectious diseases that make use of traditional and modern tools and technologies. Expertise of working with human, veterinary, and mosquito vector systems provide us an added advantage to understand human disease from a unified health perspective and can be adapted to whatever system gives us the clearest understanding and best solution to our questions. The current focus of our laboratory is to 1) Engineer and develop AAV and lentivirus vectors for neuroscience and infectious disease research. 2) Develop and establish human brain organoid as a model to study the molecular mechanisms of psychiatric and other neurological disorders and 3) Develop Virus Reporter Particles (VRPs) and diagnostic ELISAs for fighting emerging and re-emerging viral diseases.

Selected Publications

Kumar S, Hol F, Pujhari S, Ellington C,  Narayanan HV,  Li H,  Rasgon JL, Prakash M. Vectorchip: Microfluidic platform for  highly parallel bite by bite profiling of mosquito-borne pathogen transmission. Nature Communications (Accepted, 2021)

Pujhari S, Paul S, Ahluwalia J and Rasgon JL. Clotting disorder in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2. Rev Med. Virol.2021 May;31(3):e2177. (Corresponding author)

Pujhari S, Rasgon JL. Mice with humanized-lungs and immune system – an idealized model for COVID-19 and other respiratory illness. Virulence. 2020 Dec;11(1):486-488. (Corresponding author)

Pujhari S, Brustolin M, Macias VM, Nissly RH, Nomura M, Kuchipudi SV, Rasgon JL. Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) mediates Zika virus entry, replication, and egress from host cells. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2019;8(1):8-16.

Brustolin M, Pujhari S, Henderson CA, Rasgon JL. Anopheles mosquitoes may drive invasion and transmission of Mayaro virus across geographically diverse regions. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Nov 7;12(11): e0006895. (Co-first author)

Chaverra-Rodriguez D, Macias VM, Hughes GL, Pujhari S, Suzuki Y, Peterson DR, Kim D, McKeand S, Rasgon JL. Targeted delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein into arthropod ovaries for heritable germline gene editing. Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 1;9(1):3008.

Pujhari S, Zakhartchouk AN. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus envelope (E) protein interacts with mitochondrial proteins and induces apoptosis. Arch Virol. 2016 Jul;161(7):1821-30.

Pujhari S, Rasgon JL, Zakhartchouk AN. Anti-apoptosis in porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus. Virulence. 2016 Jul 3;7(5):610-1. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2016.1162371. (Corresponding author)

Hansra S, Pujhari S, Zakhartchouk AN. Exploration of New Sites in Adenovirus Hexon for Foreign Peptides Insertion. Open Virol J. 2015 May 29; 9:1-6.

Pujhari S, Kryworuchko M, Zakhartchouk AN. Role of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathways in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) replication. Virus Res. 2014 Dec 19; 194:138-44.

Pujhari SK, Prabhakar S, Ratho R, Mishra B, Modi M, Sharma S, Singh P. Th1 immune response takeover among patients with severe Japanese encephalitis infection. J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Oct 15;263(1-2):133-8.

Pujhari S, Baig TT, Hansra S, Zakhartchouk AN. Development of a DNA-launched replicon as a vaccine for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Virus Res. 2013 May;173(2):321-6.

Pujhari SK, Ratho RK, Prabhakar S, Mishra B, Modi M. TNF-α promoter polymorphism: a factor contributing to the different immunological and clinical phenotypes in Japanese encephalitis. BMC Infect Dis. 2012 Jan 26; 12:23.

Find Dr. Pjuhari on Google Scholar

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.