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Gibson Group: Mukul Mahanti


Dr. Mukul Mahanti has joined Dr. Elizbeth Fullam research group, in collaboration with Prof. Mathew Gibson, for a one-year research program. Mukul completed his undergraduate study in Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata, India with an integrated BS-MS degree in chemistry in the year 2014. After that he moved to Lund University, Sweden where he completed his PhD study and research under the guidance of Prof. Ulf J Nilsson in the field of medicinal organic chemistry. After his successful defence in 2019 he continued for about 10 months as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Nilsson´s group and thereafter he switched to a company called Spagonanomedical in Sweden in August 2020 for industrial experience. Whilst at Spagonanomedical Mukul completed a 1 year contract and worked on synthesising of macromolecules and nanomaterials.  

Research Interests

During PhD, Mukul's work was mostly based on designing and synthesising inhibitor molecules for galectin protein. Galectins are a family of carbohydrate binding proteins (i.e. lectins) known by their affinity for β-galactoside. They play important roles in cell-cell communication, cell-matrix adhesion, cell growth regulation, intracellular processes, inflammation, fibrosis and immunity as well as cancer. While working with galectin chemistry, Mukul developed a method on doing N-arylation of carbohydrate amines by using aryne chemistry and went on to published a paper showing the useful application of the method in medicinal chemistry. 

In addition to that, Mukul developed a synthetic route and synthesised a library of quinoline, indolizine and coumarin based carbohydrate derivatives which provide an attractive starting point for the development of galectin inhibitors potentially interfering with pathological lymphangiogenesis, autophagy, and tumor progression. Also this showed that guloside derivatives can also be not only potential but also selective inhibitors for galectin-1. Mukul also developed sulfonamide based galactoside derivates as selective inhibitors for galecntin-9N 

Apart from inhibitor design, Mukul also worked on thermodynamics and structural study of galectin-3 protein by synthesising sulfide, sulfoxide and sulfone based galactoside derivatives. The results showed how stepwise oxidation brings forth enthalpic and entropic changes on binding in the protein pocket.


  • Kishore Vaigyanik Prostahan Yojana (KVPY) scholarship (2008) 
  • National Eligibility Test (NET) exam (2013) (All Indian Rank 36) 
  • Fysiographen (Swedish) grant (2017)  
  • Received best poster presentation award. (Galacto Meet, Lisbon, 2019). 


  • EMBO Workshop (Nice, France) (11/2016)  
  • European Carbohydrate Conference (Barcelona, Spain) (07/2017) 
  • CARBO-XXXII (IIT-Kharagpur, India) (12/2017)  
  • Swedish Chemical Society, (Lund, Sweden)(09/2018) 
  • International Carbohydrate Symposium (ICS) (Lisbon, Portugal (07/2018) 
  • Galacto Meet (Lisbon, Portugal) (11/2019) 


1. Mukul Mahanti, Kumar Bhaskar Pal, Rohit Kumar, Derek Logan, Hakon Leffler and Ulf J. Nilsson*. Sulferoxidation state in the ligand alters ligand-galectin-3 complex conformation. Communicated. 
2.   Mukul Mahanti, Kumar Bhaskar Pal, Hakon Leffler and Ulf J. Nilsson* ACS Med. Chem.Lett. 2020, 11, 34-39. Epimers Switch Galectin-9 Domain Selectivity: 3N-Aryl Galactosides Bind the C-Terminal and Gulosides Bind the N-Terminal. 
3. Mukul Mahanti†, Kumar Bhaskar Pal,,Hakon Leffler and Ulf J. Nilsson*. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3786. A Galactoside-Binding Protein Tricked into Binding Unnatural Pyranose Derivatives: 3-Deoxy-3- Methylene Gulosides Selectively Inhibit Galectin-1. †These authors have contributed equally
4. Kumar Bhaskar Pal, Mukul Mahanti, Ulf J. Nilsson*, Org. Lett., 2018, 20, 616-619. Arynes in the Monoarylation of Unprotected Carbohydrate Amines.  †These authors have contributed equally
5. Kumar Bhaskar Pal, Mukul Mahanti, Xiaoli Huang, Stella Persson, Anders P. Sundin, Fredrik R. Zetterberg, Stina Oredsson, Hakon Leffler, Ulf J. Nilsson*, Org. Biomol. Chem. 2018, 16, 6295-6305. Quinoline-galactose hybrids bind selectively with high affinity to a galectin-8 N-terminal domain. †These authors have contributed equally

Mulul Mahanti, Anders Sundin, Hakon Leffler, Ulf J Nilsson. Sulfonamide-derivatised galactosides target an unexplored binding site in galectin-9N. To be submitted.

7. Mukul Mahanti, Soumendranath Bhakat, Ulf J. Nilsson1and Pår Söderhjelm, Chemical Biology and Drug Design, 2016, 88, 159-177. Flap Dynamics in Aspartic Proteases: A Computational Perspective.
8. Kumar Bhaskar Pal, Mukul Mahanti, Hakon Leffler, Ulf J Nilsson. Int.J.Mol.Sc. 2019, 20 (15), 3786. 3-Deoxy-3-Methylene Gulosides Selectively Inhibit Galectin-1. This author has contributed equally
9. Rituparna Das, Mukul Mahanti, Balaram Mukhopadhyay. Carbohydrate Research, 2014, 399, 18, 15-20. Concise synthesis of the tetrasaccharide repeating unit of the O-polysaccharide isolated from Edwardsiella tarda PCM 1156 strain.
10. Gabriella Kervefors, Kumar Bhaskar Pal, Gergely L. Tolnai, Mukul Mahanti ,Hakon Leffler ,Ulf J. Nilsson, Berit Olofsson. Helv.Chim.Acta, 2021, 104, e2000220. Synthesis and Biological Studies of O3‐Aryl Galactosides as Galectin Inhibitors. G
11. Mukul Mahanti, Soumendranath Bhakat. A fascinating progress and future perspective on the discovery and development of non-structural protein antagonists targeting HCV: The story in a casing. Manuscript


Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Kolkata, India - BS-MS Degree Chemistry (2014

Lund University, Sweden - Medicinal Organic Chemistry (PhD) 2019

Tel: 07840355820,
Lab no. MAS 107, Room MAS 104.

Email: mukul dot mahanti at warwick dot ac dot uk