Faculty & Staff

Lolitika Mandal
Assistant Professor
Room No. 4F10
Sector 81
IISER Mohali

Phone: 0172-2293170
Email: lolitika[at]iisermohali.ac.in

Lolitika Mandal

Research summary

Developmental  Genetics  Laboratory  at  IISER  (MOHALI)  is  interested  in  Hematopoiesis, Cardiogenesis and Molecular pathways in stem and progenitor cell development.


Ongoing Project: Molecular genetic dissection of signaling pathways involved in hematopoietic niche maintenance in Drosophila. A proposal funded by WELLCOME DBT Alliance.


Stem cells are the source of virtually all highly differentiated cells that are replenished during the lifetime of an animal. The critical balance between stem and differentiated cell populations is crucial  for  the  long-term  maintenance  of  functional  tissue  types. A microenvironment  that  is supportive of stem cells is commonly referred to as a stem cell niche. Although, several signaling molecules emanating from the niche has been identified for regulation of stem cell state and function, the information regarding niche maintenance is still in its infancy. We are interested to know the mechanistic basis of niche maintenance.


Last  decade  established  Drosophila  as  the  best  invertebrate  model  system  for  studying hematopoiesis.  Due  to  the  limited  access  of  mammalian  hematopoietic  niche  this  amenable system allows us to unravel molecular regulation of stem cell progenitors and its relation with the niche. The power of Drosophila as a model organism is very well established, most notably its genetics and developmental biology. Taking advantage of these strengths our group also aims in unraveling   novel   genes   and   mechanisms   that   controls   hematopoietic   progenitors   cell specification and differentiation. Given the high degree of conservation of blood development between Drosophila and the vertebrates, we hope that the ability to manipulate the function of such  genes  in  Drosophila  would  aid  in  understanding  function  and  dysfunction  in  human hematopoiesis.

Selected Publications

  • Mondal BC, Mukherjee T, Mandal L, Evans CJ, Sinenko SA, Martinez-Agosto JA, Banerjee U. Interaction between  differentiating  cell-  and  niche-derived  signals  in  hematopoietic  progenitor  maintenance. Cell. 2011 Dec 23;147(7):1589-600. Joint First author.
  • Mukherjee T, Kim WS, Mandal L, Banerjee U. Interaction between Notch and Hif-alpha in development and survival of Drosophila blood cells. Science. 2011 Jun 3;332(6034):1210-3.
  • Grigorian M, Mandal L, Hakimi M, Ortiz I, Hartenstein V. The convergence of Notch and MAPK signaling specifies the blood progenitor fate in the Drosophila mesoderm. Dev Biol. 2011 May 1;353(1):105-18.
  • Grigorian  M,  Mandal  L,  Hartenstein  V.  Hematopoiesis  at  the  onset  of  metamorphosis:  terminal differentiation and dissociation of the Drosophila lymph gland. Dev Genes Evol. 2011 Aug;221(3):121-31.
  • Sinenko SA, Mandal L, Martinez-Agosto JA, Banerjee U.Dual role of wingless signaling in stem-like hematopoietic precursor maintenance in Drosophila. Dev Cell. 2009 May;16(5):756-63.
  • Mandal L, Martinez-Agosto JA, Evans CJ, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U. A Hedgehog- and Antennapedia- dependent  niche  maintains  Drosophila  haematopoietic  precursors.  Nature.  2007  Mar  15;446(7133): 320-4.
  • Hartenstein V, Mandal L.The blood/vascular system in a phylogenetic perspective. Bioessays. 2006 Dec;28(12):1203-10. Review.
  • Mandal L, Dumstrei K, Hartenstein V.Role of FGFR signaling in the morphogenesis of the Drosophila visceral musculature.  Dev Dyn. 2004 Oct;231(2):342-8.
  • Mandal L, Bannerjee U, Hartenstein V. Evidence for a fruit fly hemangioblast and similarities between lymph-gland hematopoiesis in fruit fly and mammal aorta-gonadal-mesonephros mesoderm. Nat Genet. 2004 Sep;36(9):1019-23.
  • Cory  J.  Evans,  Sergey A.  Sinenko,  Lolitika  Mandal,  Julian A.  Martinez-Agosto  and  Utpal  Banerjee. Genetic Dissection of Hematopoiesis Using Drosophila as a Model System. Cardiovascular Development. Advances in Developmental Biology. Edited by Rolf Bodmer.