Dr. Swathi Alagesan

Dr. Swathi Alagesan

DST-INSPIRE Faculty Fellow, Synthetic Biology

Research Focus Keywords

Synthetic biology, Flux Analysis, Metabolic Engineering


Dr. Swathi Alagesan completed Bachelors in Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering. Subsequently, she joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay for a PhD. Under the guidance of Prof. Pramod Wangikar, she worked on studying the circadian rhythms in cyanobacteria. For her postdoctoral work, she joined Dr. Nigel Minton’s group at the Synthetic Biology Research Centre, University of Nottingham. During this time she was involved in generating synthetic biology parts and using them for metabolic engineering of autotrophic bacteria. In 2017, she joined Anna University as a DST-INSPIRE Faculty. She moved to IBAB in 2020 and her current research is focussed on generating various synthetic biology tools, and using the insights obtained from flux analysis to engineer microorganisms for optimizing behaviour.


  1. B.E. (Biotechnology) – Delhi College of Engineering, Delhi, India (2006-2010)
  2. Ph.D – IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India (2010-2015)
  3. Post-doctoral research – University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK (2015-2017)

Professional Experience

  1. DST-INSPIRE Faculty – Anna University, Chennai, India (2017-2020)
  2. DST-INSPIRE Faculty Scientist – IBAB, Bengaluru, India (2020- present)

Research Interest

In-depth understanding of the underlying metabolism of an organism is critical for rationalized metabolic engineering. Hence, in our lab, we focus on

  1. Understanding the underlying metabolism of micro-organisms through flux analysis – We mainly carry out 13C-based metabolic flux analysis where a 13C labelled carbon substrate is fed to the micro-organism and based on the labelling profile of metabolites within the cell, the flux through different pathways is studied. This gives key insights into the organism’s preferential metabolism under different growth conditions and also aids in rationalizing engineering strategies.
  1. Developing synthetic biology tools for metabolic engineering of autotrophic micro-organisms – Well characterized libraries of genetic elements are essential for building robust controllable synthetic circuits. We, at IBAB, are involved in developing such synthetic biology parts and tools for controlling gene expression in a predictable manner.

Looking for students having a research aptitude, who wish to work in the field of synthetic biology. If interested, please contact me at a_swathi@ibab.ac.in


  1. Swathi Alagesan*, Erik KR Hanko*, Naglis Malys*, Muhammad Ehsaan, Klaus Winzer, Nigel P Minton
    Functional genetic elements for controlling gene expression in Cupriavidus necator H16.
    Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 84 (19), e00878-18, (2018) (*equal contribution)
  2. Swathi Alagesan, Nigel P Minton, Naglis Malys
    13C-assisted metabolic flux analysis to investigate heterotrophic and mixotrophic metabolism in Cupriavidus necator H16. 
    Metabolomics, 14(1), 9, (2018)
  3. Swathi Alagesan, Sandeep B. Gaudana, Pramod P. Wangikar
    Rhythmic oscillations in KaiC1 phosphorylation and ATP charge in nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 under continuous light.
    Biological Rhythm Research, 47(2): 285-301, (2016)
  4. Swathi Alagesan, Sandeep B. Gaudana, Avinash Sinha, Pramod P. Wangikar
    Metabolic Flux analysis of Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 under mixotrophic conditions.
    Photosynthesis Research, 118(1-2): 191-8, (2013)
  5. Swathi Alagesan, Sandeep B. Gaudana, Krishnakumar S., Pramod P. Wangikar
    Model based optimization of high cell density cultivation of nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria.
    Bioresource Technology, 148:228-233, (2013)
  6. Sandeep B. Gaudana, Swathi Alagesan, Madhu Chetty, Pramod P. Wangikar
    Diurnal rhythm of a unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacterium under mixotrophic conditions and elevated carbon dioxide.
    Photosynthesis Research, 118: 51-7, (2013)
  7. Sandeep B. Gaudana, Krishnakumar S., Swathi Alagesan, Madhuri G Digmurti, Ganesh A. Viswanathan, Madhu Chetty, Pramod P. Wangikar
    Rhythmic and sustained oscillations in metabolism and gene expression of Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 under constant light.
    Frontiers in Microbiology, 4:374, (2013)


Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology
Biotech Park, Electronic City Phase I,
Bengaluru 560100,


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