Assistant Professor

Dr. Writoban Basu Ball

Department of Biological Sciences


  1. Host-pathogen interactions
  2. Functional characterization of mitochondrial contact sites
  3. Phospholipid trafficking of mitochondria



CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata


University of Burdwan, Burdwan


The Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College,
University of Calcutta

Professional Experience

  • 2014 - 2019 – Post-doctoral Research Associate – Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

Research Interest

  • Functional characterization and regulation of ‘Mitochondrial Membrane Contact Sites’ with special emphasis on phospholipid transport: Mitochondria establish contacts with other organelles like endoplasmic reticulum (ER)and vacuole, through membrane contact sites (MCSs). Although initial molecular characterization of these MCSs has been achieved, their mode of regulation and functional significance on mitochondrial physiology, as well as, on overall cellular physiology, is not properly understood. In our research, we will use the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as a model organism to uncover: 1) How these contact sites are regulated temporally, spatially and under different nutrient conditions, and 2) What is the functional significance of forming these contact sites? Are these required for transporting molecules from or into mitochondria? We will specifically investigate the role of these contact sites, if any, to the trafficking of mitochondrial phospholipids. We will employ cell biological, biochemical and molecular biological techniques to identify and characterize the structural and functional significance of MCSs , as well as, the phospholipid carrier pathways to and from mitochondria.
  • Role of mitochondria in innate immune response in host-pathogen interaction: Innate immune response is a central defence mechanism against invading pathogens. Of late, mitochondria have been identified as a hub for signalling molecules in innate immune response and they also actively participate in downstream effector responses. Mitochondria have also been found to contribute to innate immune activation following infection, cellular damage and stress. In addition to their functions in metabolism and programmed cell death, mitochondria appear to participate as a central platform in the innate immune system. We will investigate the roles played by mitochondria in eliciting innate immune responses in host-pathogen interactions using Leishmania donovani and murine macrophages as a model pathogen and host, respectively.

Awards & Fellowships

  • 2014 – CSIR-Research Associateship (RA) – Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR)
  • 2007 – Qualified ‘National Eligibility Test’ (NET) as CSIR-JRF – Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
  • 2006 – Secured 3rd rank in M.Sc. Biotechnology


  • The Society of Biological Chemists (India)

List of Publications

  • Ghosh, S., Basu Ball, W., Madaris, T. R., Srikantan, S., Madesh, M., Mootha, V. K., & Gohil, V. M. (2020). An essential role for cardiolipin in the stability and function of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(28), 16383-16390. doi:10.1073/pnas.2000640117
  • Ghosh, S., Iadarola, D.M., Basu Ball, W., and Gohil, V.M. (2019) Mitochondrial dysfunctions in Barth syndrome. IUBMB Life, 71, 791-801.
  • Basu Ball, W. *, Baker, C.D. *, Neff, J.K., Apfel, G.L., Lagerborg, K.A., Zun, G., Petrovic, U., Jain, M., and Gohil, V.M. (2018) Ethanolamine ameliorates mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiolipin-deficient yeast cells. J Biol Chem, 293, 10870-10883.
  • Basu Ball, W., Neff, J.K., and Gohil, V.M. (2018) The role of non-bilayer phospholipids in mitochondrial structure and function. FEBS Letters, 592, 1272-90.
  • Baker, C.D., Basu Ball, W., Pryce, E.N., and Gohil, V.M. (2016) Specific requirements of non-bilayer phospholipids in mitochondrial respiratory chain function and formation. Mol Biol Cell, 27, 2161-71.
  • Mukherjee, M. *, Basu Ball, W.* and Das, P.K. (2014) Leishmania donovani activates SREBP2 to modulate macrophage membrane cholesterol and mitochondrial oxidants for establishment of infection. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 55, 196-208.
  • Basu Ball, W.,* Mukherjee, M.,* Srivastav, S. and Das, P.K. (2014) Leishmania donovani activates uncoupling protein 2 transcription to suppress mitochondrial oxidative burst through differential modulation of SREBP2, Sp1 and USF1 transcription factors. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 48, 66-76.
  • Srivastav, S., Basu Ball, W., Gupta, P., Giri, J., Ukil, A., and Das, P.K. (2013) Leishmania donovani prevents oxidative burst mediated apoptosis of host macrophages through selective induction of suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins. J Biol Chem, 289,1092-105.
  • Sharma, G., Kar, S., Basu Ball, W., Ghosh, K. and Das, P.K. (2013) Curative effect of fucoidan on visceral leishmaniasis is mediated by activation of MAP kinases through specific protein kinase C isoforms. Cell Mol Immunol, 11, 263-74.
  • Kar, S.,* Palit, S.,* Basu Ball, W. and Das, P.K. (2012) Carnosic acid modulates Akt/IKK/NF-κB signaling by PP2A and induces intrinsic and extrinsic pathway mediated apoptosis in human prostate carcinoma PC-3 cells. Apoptosis, 17, 735-747.
  • Basu Ball, W., Kar, S., Mukherjee, M., Chande, A.G., Mukhopadhyaya, R. and Das, P.K. (2011) Uncoupling protein 2 negatively regulates reactive oxygen species generation and induces phosphatase-mediated anti-inflammatory response in experimental visceral leishmaniasis. J Immunol, 187, 1322-1332.
  • *Indicates equal author contribution

Contact Details

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