Anshika Gupta

Microbiologist with a Chemical Twist


A microbial engineer learning about the elegant solutions nature has devised to build innovative tools for a healthier planet. 

I am excited to translate the rules of biology and chemistry into therapeutics that address critical health challenges.

Currently, I'm engaged in the quest for discovering microbes and how DNA is protected from different sources that depend on oxygen for their toxicity. Although this quest has kept me fully occupied for the past six years, I also dance, act and explore national parks. 


University of Pittsburgh
Postdoctoral researcher

PhD Candidate
(2016 - 2023)

Research Intern (2022)

UC San Diego
Research Intern (2015)

IIT Delhi
B.Tech. - M.Tech. (2011-2016)

Is Streptonigrin's toxicity tied to oxidative stress?

Certain natural products produced by Streptomyces have potent antibacterial activity. A suggested mechanism of their toxicity is through the production of reactive oxygen species.  

But is it really? Stay tuned, in the works!

How a natural antibiotic uses oxidative stress to kill oxidant-resistant bacteria

A. Gupta & J.A. Imlay.

Manuscript under revision.

Oxidative DNA damage and repair

DNA damage by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is believed to be the major cause of aging, carcinogenesis, and the antimicrobial activity of macrophages. However, experimental evidence testing the survival of bacteria at natural doses of H2O2 fails to support this hypothesis. This begs the question:

Is DNA oxidation a lethal outcome in natural biological systems? Read to find out!

E. coli induces DNA repair enzymes to protect itself from low-grade hydrogen peroxide stress [paper]

A. Gupta & J.A. Imlay (2021).

Published at Molecular Microbiology

Solar disinfection of water systems

Traditional household disinfection approaches have relied on solar radiation. Researchers are now trying to use solar radiation to build low-cost and efficient water disinfection apparatus. 

What biological phenomena underlies the antimicrobial effect of solar radiation? 

Identifying the driving force of E. coli inactivation under UVA light: evidence for a complex photo-catalytic mechanism. [paper]

S. Giannakis, A. Gupta, C. Pulgarin, & J.A. Imlay (2022). 

Published at Water Research

Internship at ThermoFisher PPD, Richmond

Detecting anti-drug antibodies 

Assay development to test immunogenicity of clinical drugs [Article by Dept. of MCB]

[NDA restricted] 

Soil microbial community analysis (GEMS, UIUC)

Nitrogen fertilizer and soil microbial community

Internship at UCSD 

Mechanism of action of anti-fibriotic drug in diabetic kidney disease