Anshika Gupta


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.

I am currently engaged in the quest to understand respiratory illnesses that arise in patients with chronic tracheostomy support.


University of Pittsburgh
Postdoc (2023-)

PhD Candidate
(2016 - 2023)

Research Intern (2022)

UC San Diego
Research Intern (2015)

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

Identifying microbial markers of tracheostomy-associated tracheobronchitis 

Over 100,000 Americans require tracheostomy support every year. However,  the impact of tracheostomy tube insertion on susceptibility to microbial infections is unknown. In this study, we are using microbial genomics, inflammation profiling and clinical health markers to identify cases of active respiratory infection caused after tracheostomy insertions. 

Stay tuned!

A. Gupta, V. S. Cooper, & A.C. Zemke

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? Checkout our work below!

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

A. Gupta & J.A. Imlay.

Published at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

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 

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. 

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