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Department of Pathology

Host-pathogen interaction involving actin cytoskeleton regulation
Interplay between Arf and Rho GTPases
Pathogen mediated Autophagy mechanisms


Vikash Singh graduated from Mumbai University with a B.Sc in Biotechnology. He further pursued M.Sc in Biotechnology at KIIT Bhubaneswar.  He received the Visiting fellowship from ETH Zurich to perform his master's research project in the lab of Prof. Dr. Wolf. D Hardt in the Microbiology department. Before joining Dr. Vassilis Koronakis lab in Department of Pathology, he completed his PhD at Humboldt University, Berlin studying how Salmonella intercepts host autophagy machinery in order to obtain nutrients intracellularly. He passed his PhD exam with excellent grades. 

He was also a part of ZIBI graduate School of Infection Biology in Berlin. Further he was a VSRP 2010 batch at TIFR, Mumbai. Recently, he also received the Newton-Bhaba fellowship to give a guest talk on Antimicrobial resistance at CSIR Chandigarh.


Pathogens take control over Host Actin Cytoskeleton

My current work involves deciphering signaling pathways with-in the host cells that are hijacked by Gram negative bacteria such as Salmonella, EPEC, and Shigella etc. to facilitate their own invasion and survival in host cells. To cause disease these pathogens must establish intracellular infections, which they achieve by delivering virulence proteins into target host-epithelial cells. These virulence proteins or “effectors” act in cohort by hijacking master regulators of Ras family small GTPases (e.g. Rho, Arf and Rab GTPases). By manipulating Rho and Arf GTPases that control the host cell’s actin cytoskeleton, these pathogens are able to remodel the host cell surface plasma membrane and trigger their own uptake into the cells.

Cellular Process involving Actin Cytoskeleton

The actin cytoskeleton provide the driving forces for establishing the morphological diversity and dynamics of mammalian cells. In addition to providing the driving force responsible for functions in protruding and contracting cell membranes for motility,cell division or differentiation, the cytoskeleton plays a key role in movement of intracellular membranes of organelles and vesicle. Therefore, am also interested in elucidating the actin dynamics and keys components of cytoskeleton that play an essential role in autophagosome formation, and pathogen related autophagy. Phospholipids that are generated at these phagosomal membranes have been shown to be key regulators in recruiting numerous actin components driving the process. Thus, we are establishing new techniques to analyze the underlying protein complexes and lipid-mediated signalling using in vitro reconstitution and biomimetic approaches.



Key publications: 

 Host-pathogen interplay

  1. EPEC Recruits a Cdc42-Specific GEF, Frabin, To Facilitate PAK Activation and Host Cell Colonization. Vikash Singh, Peter Hume, Anthony Davidson and V Koronakis.2020 mBio  DOI.10.1128/mBio.01423-20
  2. Pathogenic Escherichia coli hijacks GTPase-activated p21-activated kinase for actin pedestal formation. Vikash Singh, Anthony Davidson, Peter Hume and V Koronakis.2019 mBio 10:e01876-19.
  3. Rapid Isolation of intact Salmonella-containing vacuoles using paramagnetic nanoparticles. Vikash Singh., Schwerk, P., & Tedin, K. (2018).Gut Pathogens, 10(1), 33 (corresponding author)
  4. Swiss Army Pathogen: The Salmonella Entry Toolkit. Peter J Hume, Vikash Singh, Anthony Davidson, V Koronakis. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology;Jul, 2017.
  5. MYO6 is targeted by Salmonella virulence effectors to trigger PI3-Kinase signalling and pathogen invasion into host cells. A B. E. Brooks, Daniel Humphreys, Vikash Singh, A C. Davidson, S D.Arden, Folma Buss, Vassilis Koronakis. PNAS; Feb 2017
  6. Salmonella co-opts host cell chaperone-mediated autophagy for intracellular growth. Vikash Singh, Johannes Finke-Isami, Amanda C. Hopper-Chidlaw, Peter Schwerk, A. Thompson, Karsten Tedin. JBC;Dec, 2016
  7. Inhibition of WAVE Regulatory Complex Activation by a Bacterial Virulence Effector Counteracts Pathogen Phagocytosis.  Daniel Humphreys, Vikash Singh, Vassilis Koronakis. Cell Reports;Oct, 2016.
  8. The Salmonella Typhimurium effector protein SopE transiently localizes to the early SCV and contributes to intracellular replication. Pascale Vonaesch, Steven Cardini, Vikash Singh, Manja Barthel, W.D Hardt. Cellular Microbiology;Jul, 2014
  9. Salmonella Serovars and Their Host Specificity. Vikash Singh. Journal of Veterinary Biology;Dec, 2013.

1. Arf6 Can Trigger Wave Regulatory Complex-Dependent Actin Assembly Independent of Arno. Vikash Singh, Anthony Davidson, Peter Hume and V Koronakis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 2457

2.Arf GTPase interplay with Rho GTPases in regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. V Singh, AC Davidson, P Hume, D Humphreys and V Koronakis. Small GTPases; May, 2017.

Organic Chemistry Application

1. Utilizing a series of fac- Re(CO) 3 core based quinonoid containing complexes for photophysical and cell imaging studies. Deepak Gupta, Vikash Singh, Stephan Hohloch, Malaichamy Sathiyendiran, Karsten Tedin, Biprajit Sarkar. Polyhedyron ;Jul 2015.

Educational/ teaching tips

Scientific Writing: Strategies and Tools for Students and Advisors. Vikash Singh and Philipp Mayer. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education; Sept, 2014






Post Doctoral Research Associate
Dr. Vikash  Singh

Contact Details

Department of Pathology
University of Cambridge
Tennis Court Road
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
Immune system