School of Life Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi -110067, India.

Formerly: Rector, JNU (2002-2005)

Room No.      : 211
Off. Phone    : 26717600
Residence     : 26717555

E-mail           :


Ph.D                           All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, (1977).
                          All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. (1973).
B.Sc (Hons)
               Delhi University, Delhi (1970).


Sept. 2005 to Sept 2007          :            Visiting Professor
At US Environmental Protection Agency Research Triangle Park,
                                                        North Carolina, USA

Jan 1992 to date                    :             Professor
School of Life Sciences, JNU, New Delhi

July 2002 to June 2005            :             Rector (Pro-Vice chancellor / Vice President)
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi

Jan 2001 to July 2002              :            Dean
School of Life Sciences (SLS), JNU, New Delhi 110 067

Nov 1999 to July. 2001            :            Visiting Professor
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Center
                                                        of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, Morgantown, WV, USA

Jan 1990 to Jan 1992              :            Visiting Professor
                                                        Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh
                                                        School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

April 1985 to Jan 1990             :            Associate Professor

Feb 1984 to April 1985             :            Senior Research Officer
National Institute of Immunology
, New Delhi.

July 1978 to Feb 1984              :           Visiting Research Associate / Fellow
at NIA, National Institutes of Health, USA

July 1967 to May 1976             :           National Science Talent Scholar
Obtained B.Sc (Hons), M.Sc. and Ph.D.Degrees during this period

Area of Research

Immune responses in lungs: Modulation by environmental or occupational exposure to airborne pollutants like Diesel Exhaust Particles and Silica dust. A mouse model of BCG lung infection has been standardized and used for dissecting the innate and adaptive immune responses in the lung. US patent filed for a new technique to isolate and quantitatively estimate uptake of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) in cells and tissues. Effect of exposure to DEP and crystalline micro fine silica particles on susceptibility to mycobacterial infections.

Nano-toxicology / Nanosciences: Nanoparticles interactions with the living systems. Modulation of lung physiology / immune responses by carbon nano-tubes and their derivatives, nano-diamonds and ultra-fine carbon particles, in vivo and in vitro.

Erythrocyte turnover and susceptibility of blood erythrocytes of different ages to stress and anemia inducing agents like toxic metal ion pollutants and leishmania infection. We have devised a new and unique technique to identify erythrocytes of defined age groups in blood circulation. This has opened up possibilities of studying age related changes in circulating erythrocytes.

Research Projects

  1. DST project, entitled, "Role of lymphocytes in erythrocyte destruction", June 1997 to June 2000.

  2. WHO Grant, Development of an immunodiagnostic test for tuberculosis based upon detection of secretory antigens of M. tuberculosis, Jan. 1998. Jan 1998 to Jan 2000.

  3. Potts Memorial Foundation (USA) Grant on a urine antigen detection assay for tuberculosis. Jan. 1998 to Dec 2000.

  4. CSIR Grant on “Modulation of Natural Killer Cell activation by Tumor Cells and Tumor derived Products”.Jan.1999 to Jan.2002.

  5. DST project, entitled, "Mechanism and patho-physiological relevance of cell mediated lysis of erythrocytes", Sept.2001 to Sept.2004.

  6. UGC project, entitled, "Tuberculosis antigen detection in urine; role of antibody affinity in sensitivity of the assay", July 2001 – June 2003.

  7. UGC University of Excellence project “Modulation of toll like receptor (TLR) expression on leukocytes involved with localized innate and adaptive immune response in lungs, and its functional implications”, March 2002 to March 2007.

  8. CDC, (Center of Disease Control and Prevention, USA) Research Contract on “Innate local immunity in lungs and its modulation by air-borne particulate. April 2002. 

  9. ICMR project entitled, "Influence of diesel exhaust particulate material on disease susceptibility and local immune responses in lungs", Feb 2003-Feb.2006.

Awards and honours

  1. National Science Talent Scholarship Award Government of India, 1967.

  2. Science Exhibition Award, for first rank, Delhi University, 1967, 1968, 1969.

  3. Professor T.R. Seshadri Award, for first rank, Delhi University, 1970.

  4. NIH Visiting Fellowship / Associateship, NIA, NIH, USA, 1978-1984.

  5. Visiting Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa., USA.  Two years starting from Jan 1990.

  6. Elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, January 1993.

  7. Appointed Secretary of the 10th International Congress of Immunology, New Delhi (to be held in 1998), Dec.1993.

  8. Guest Editor for a special issue of the Journal of Biosciences (Indian Academy of Sciences), devoted to Immunology in India (1995 / 1996).

  9. Secretary, Indian Immunology Society, Dec. 1995.

  10. Awarded, NII Senior Scientist Oration Award by Indian Immunology society in its XXII Annual Conference held at JNU, New Delhi, Dec.1995.

  11. Visiting Scientist, under Indo-US VAP program, Department of Microbiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.  April 21, 1996 to May 4, 1996.

  12. Elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, July, 1997.

  13. Chairman, Education Committee and Member Program Committee, 10th International Congress of Immunology, New Delhi Nov.1998.

  14. Visiting Professor / Senior NRC Award by the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, USA,  National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morgantown, West Virginia, USA. Dec.1999 – July 2001.

  15. Dean, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Jan 2001 – June 2002.

  16. Rector (Pro-Vice Chancellor), JNU, July 2002.

  17. Elected Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, Dec.2002.

  18. Visiting Professor / Senior NRC Award by the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, USA,  US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Sept 2005-Sept.2007.


  1. Member, American Association of Immunology, April 1982.

  2. Member, New York Academy of Science, 1983.

  3. Member, American Society of Microbiology, January 1984.

  4. Life Membership, Indian Society of Immunology, 1984.

  5. Invited Charter Member, Society of Natural Immunity (USA), 1987.

  6. Life Member, Indian Society of Cell Biology, 1993.

  7. Member of the Editorial Board of “Natural Immunity", official journal of the Society of Natural Immunity, USA. (1994).

  8. Member, Society for Scientific Values, Delhi Jan. 2002

  9. Member, ICMR Task Force in Immunology, April 2002.

  10. Member Selection Committee VII (Animal Sciences), INSA, New Delhi. November, 2003.

  11. Member, Advisory Committee, Department of Biotechnology, Calicut University, Kerala, 2003.

  12. Member, Advisory Committee, Department of Biotechnology, GJ University, Hisar.

  13. Member, Advisory Committee, Department of Biotechnology, GJ University, Hisar, 2004.

  14. Member, UGC committee on Intellectual Property Right in Indian Universities, UGC, New Delhi 2004.

  15. Member, Editoreal board, UGC Handbook on Research Output in Indian Universities, UGC, Delhi 2004.

  16. Member, Industrial Research and Development Board, Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT), Delhi 2004-05.

  17. Member, Higher education panel for collaboration between the University Grants Commission and NASSCOM, Feb 2005.

  18. Member, UGC committee for evolving the Intellectual Property Right (IPR) Cells in Indian Universities, Feb. 2005.

Selected Publications

  1.  Lalitha, P.V., Biswas, S., Pillai, C.R. and Saxena, R.K. (2008) Production and characterization of Domain I+II and AMA-1 ectodamain from Indian P. falciparum alleles.  Vaccine (in press)

  2. Saxena, R.K., Gilmour, M.I. and Hays, M.D. (2008) Isolation and quantitative estimation of diesel exhaust and carbon black particles ingested by lung epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages in vitro. BioTechniques 44, 799-805.

  3. Khandelwal, S. and Saxena, R.K. (2008) A role of phosphatidylserine externalization in clearance of young erythrocytes exposed to stress but not in eliminating aging populations of erythrocyte. Experimental Gerontology (in press)

  4. Saxena, R.K., Williams, W., McGee, J.K., Daniels, M.J., Boykin, E. and Gilmour, M.I. (2007) Enhanced in vitro and in vivo toxicity of poly-dispersed acid-functionalized single-wall carbon Nanotubes. Nanotoxicology 1: 291-300

  5. Saxena, R.K., Williams, W. and Gilmour, M.I. (2007) Suppression of basal and cytokine induced expression of MHC, ICAM 1 and B7 markers on mouse lung epithelial cells exposed to diesel exhaust particles. Am. J. Biochem. Biotechno  3 (4) : 187-192

  6. Khandelwal, S. and Saxena, R.K. (2007) Reduced expression of CD47 during murine erythrocyte senescence and its role in erythrocyte clearance from circulation.  Transfusion 47(9): 1725-32.

  7. Khandelwal, S. and Saxena, R.K. (2006) Assessment of survival of aging erythrocyte in circulation and attendant changes in size and CD147 expression by a novel two step biotinylation method. Experimental Gerontology 41 :855-61

  8. Siegel, P.D., Saxena, R.K., Saxena, Q.B., Ma, J.K.H., Ma, J.Y.C., Yin, X., Casternova, V., Al-Humadi, N., and Lewis, D.M., (2004). Effect of diesel exhaust particulate on immune response: Contribution of particulate vs. organic soluble components. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health. (A), 67: 221-31.

  9. Das, A., and Saxena, R.K., (2004). Enhanced activation of murine NK cells by IL2 in presence of circulating immune complexes.  Current Science. 87: 780-783.

  10. Saxena, R. K., Choudhry, V., Nath, I., Das, S.N., Paranjape, R.S., Babu, G., Ramlingam, S., Mohanty, D., Vohra, H., Thomas, M., Saxena, Q.B., and Ganguly, N.K., (2004). Normal ranges of some select lymphocyte subpopulations in peripheral blood of normal healthy Indians: Results of a task force study. Current Sciences, 86: 969-975.

  11. Das, A., and Saxena, R.K., (2004).  Role of interaction between Ly49 inhibitory receptors and cognate MHC I molecules in IL2 induced development of NK cells in murine bone marrow cell cultures. Immunology Letters, 94: 209-214.

  12. Ghosh, S., and Saxena, R.K., (2004). Early effect of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection on Mac-1 and ICAM-1 expression on mouse peritoneal macrophages, Experimental Molecular Medicine 36: 387-395.

  13. Das, A., Dhillon, S., and Saxena, R.K., (2003). Modulation of NK cell activation by tumor cells: Role of receptors for MHC I molecules.  In “Progress in Hematologic Oncology”, \ (ed. Lalit Kumar) The Advanced Research Foundation, New York. pp 191-198.

  14. Saxena, R.K., Valliyathan, V., and Lewis, D.M., (2003).  Evidence for LPS-induced differentiation of RAW264.7 murine macrophage into dendritic like cells. J. Biosciences, 28: 129-134.

  15. Saxena, R.K., Saxena, Q.B., Weissman, D.M., Simpson, J., Bledsoe, T.A., and Lewis, D.M., (2003). Effect of diesel exhaust particulate (DEP) on Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) lung infection in mice and the attendant changes in lung interstitial lymphoid subpopulations and IFN gamma response. Toxicological Sciences, 73: 66-71.

  16. Saxena, R.K., Valliyathan, V., and Lewis, D.M., (2003). Evidence for LPS-induced differentiation of RAW264.7 murine macrophage into dendritic like cells. J. Biosciences 28: 129-134.

  17. Saxena, Q.B., Saxena, R.K., Siegel, P.D., and Lewis, D.M., (2003). Identification of organic fractions of diesel exhaust particulate (DEP) which inhibit nitric oxide (NO) production from a murine macrophage cell line Toxicology Letters, 143: 317-22.

  18. Choudhry, V., and Saxena, R.K., (2002).  Detection of M. tuberculosis antigens in urinary proteins of tuberculosis patients. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 21: 1-5.

  19. Saxena, R.K., Wiessman, D., Simpson, J., and Lewis, D.M., (2002). Murine model of BCG lung infection: Dynamics of lymphocyte subpopulations in lung interstitium and tracheal lymph nodes. J. Biosciences, 27: 145-153.

  20. Saxena, R.K., Wiessman, D., Saxena, Q.B., Simpson, J., and Lewis, D.M., (2002). Kinetics of changes in lymphocyte subpopulations in the lungs and draining lymph nodes of mice after intrapulmonary infection with M. bovis (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) and identity of cells responsible for IFNg responses. Clin. Exp. Immunol., 128: 405-410.

  21. Siddiqui, S.M., Orme, I.M. and Saxena, R.K. (2000) Efficacy of culture filtrate protein preparations from some Indian isolates of M. tuberculosis to activate T cells derived from healthy donors. Int. J. Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases 4 (10): 1-8.

  22. Saxena, R.K. and Chandrasekhar, B. (2000).A novel non-phagocytic mechanism of erythrocyte destruction involving direct cell mediated lysis.  International J. Hematology 71: 227-237.

  23. Dhillon, S. and Saxena, R.K. (1999).Upregulation of KIR expression on murine bone marrow cells by IL2 and paraformaldehyde fixed tumor cells. Immunology Letters 170: 153-167.

  24. Saxena, R.K. (1998).Continuing Education in Immunology. Immunol. Today. 19:437.

  25. Saxena, R. K. (1997).Ontogeny of inhibitory receptors for MHC molecules on NK cells.  Immunology Today 18:146

  26. Haridas, V. and Saxena, R.K. (1995).Role of MHC I antigens  in modulating the performance  of  murine  tumor cells in cold target competition assays. Immunology 84: 86-90.

  27. Haridas, V. and Saxena, R. K. (1995).Interferon modulation of levels of class I MHC antigens on some tumor cell lines and its correlation with inhibition assays. Cellular Immunology 161:256-261.

  28. Prabhu, A., Sarin, A. and Saxena, R.K. (1993).Antigen specific suppressor influence of the carbohydrate determinants of the antigens derived from M. tuberculosis (M. tb) on T cell proliferative response.  Immunology and Infectious Diseases 3:189-194.

  29. Prabhu, A., Sarin, A. and Saxena, R.K. (1993).B cell mitogenic activity of dinitrophenyl derivative of M. tuberculosis antigens. Cellular Immunology 149:422-432.

  30. Udaykumar and Saxena, R.K. (1992).Acid induced changes in the immunoreactivity of specific antigen and antibody in CIC from TB sera.  J. Clin. Lab. Analysis. 6:194-200.

  31. Udaykumar, Sarin, R. and Saxena, R.K. (1991).Analysis of circulating immune complexes (CIC) in tuberculosis: Levels of specific antibodies and antigens in CIC and relationship with serum antibody.  FEMS Microbiology Immunology, 76:135-142.

  32. Sarin, A., Adler, W.H. and Saxena, R.K. (1989).  Lack of optimal activation of natural killer levels by interleukin-2 in rat spleen cells: Evidence for suppression.  Cellular Immunology 122: 548-554.

  33. Saxena, R.K., Saxena, Q.B. and Adler, W.H. (1988).  Properties and characterization of a rat spleen cell derived factor which induces resistance to NK cell lysis in YAC lymphoma cells.  J. Immunol. 141: 1782-1787.

  34. Saxena, R.K., Saxena, Q.B. and Adler, W.H. (1984).  Interleukin-2 induced activation of natural killer activity in spleen cells from old and young mice.  Immunology, 51:719-726.

  35. Saxena, R.K., Saxena, Q.B. and Adler, W.H. (1982).  Defective T-cell response in beige mutant mice.  Nature (London), 295:24-25.

  36. Saxena, R.K., Saxena, Q.B. and Adler, W.R. (1981).  Modulation of natural cytotoxicity by alloantibodies. V.  The mechanism of selective augmenting effect of anti H-2 antisera on the natural killer activity of mouse spleen cells.  Cellular Immunology, 65:115-130.

  37. Saxena, R.K. and Adler, W.H. (1979).  Modulation of natural cytotoxicity by alloantibodies. I. Alloantiserum enhancement of cytotoxicity of mouse spleen cells towards a human myeloid cell line.  J. Immunol. 123: 846-851.

  38. Saxena, R.K. and Talwar, G.P. (1977).  An anterior pituitary factor which stimulates thymidine incorporation in isolated thymocytes.  Nature (London), 268: 57-58.

Ph.D. students

  1. Dr. Apurva Sarin  (May 1989) Interleukin-2 Induced Activation of MHC Non-restricted Killer Lymphocytes in Rat System

  2. Dr. Uday Kumar  (May 1990) Characterization of specific antibodies and immune complexes in the sera of tuberculosis patients.

  3. Dr. Anila Prabhu  (Jan. 1993) Modulation of Immune Reactivity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens by chemical and Enzymatic Modifications.

  4. Dr. Valsala Haridas  (Feb. 1995) Role of Major Histocompatibility Antigens in Determining the Susceptibility of Tumor Target Cells to Lymphokine Activated Killer Cells.

  5. Dr.  Niti Puri         (July 1996) Purification and Characterization of Two Novel Cytokines Released by Activated Mouse Spleen Cells.

  6. Dr. B. Chandrasekhar (Feb. 1998) Homeostatic erythrocidal mechanisms in primary and secondary lymphoid organs

  7. Dr. Aparna Raval (June. 1998) Purification of a novel human cytokine which augments class I MHC expression on tumor cells and comparison of its mechanism of action with gamma interferon

  8. Dr. Sohita Dhillon (April 1999) Modulation of interleukin-2 activation of natural killer cells by tumor cells and tumor derived factors.

  9. Dr. Vidita Choudhry        (Feb. 2001) Analysis of antigens secreted by M. tuberculosis and their detection in body fluids of tuberculosis patients

  10. Dr. S. M. Siddiqui (Dec. 2001) Immune response to culture filtrate proteins of some contemporary Indian clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis

  11. Dr. Shamik Ghosh (Nov. 2002) Modulation of macrophage function due to M. tuberculosis infection

  12. Dr. Asmita Das (Nov. 2003) Modulation of NK activation by interaction with tumor target cells

  13. Ms. Tuhina Gupta (July 2005) Localized immune responses in lungs of mice intratracheally infected with BCG (Bacillus Calmatte-Guerin): Modulation by air borne fine particulate matter

  14. Dr. Sanjay Khandelwal (Nov 2007) Turnover of circulating murine erythrocytes: Role of CD47 and CD147 expression and phosphatidylserine asymmetry in cell membrane

 Other contributions:

Some research articles of Prof. Rajiv K. Saxena can be read at:

Prof. Saxena’s contributions to Literature and Poetry can be seen at: