Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor


Ph. D.,  Plant Molecular Biology (1998), Durham University, United Kingdom
M. Phil.,  Biochemistry and Genetics (1998), Kurukshetra University (India)
M. Sc.,  Botany (1987), Kurukshetra University (India)
B. Sc.,  Medical (1985), Maharishi Dayanand University (India)

Teaching (Courses Developed and Taught)

  • STOCKCH 597A - Phyto/Bioremediation
  • STOCKCH 591A - Plant Biotechnology
  • STOCKCH 792A/892A - Seminar in plant Sciences
  • FFSY 197PSISS - GM Crops: Facts, Myths and Controversies
  • NatSci 499 F - Icons 4 (Integrated Scientific Research)
  • PLANTSOIL385 - Introductory Biotechnology lab
  • PLNTSOIL290A - Principles of Modern Biotechnology

Research Specialties

  • γ-glutamyle cycle and Glutathione homeostasis in plants for improved oxidative stress tolerance and Nitrogen use efficiency in agricultural crops
  • Engineering non-food crops for phytoremediation of heavy metals and metalloids
  • Molecular and physiological strategies for developing arsenic free rice
  • Molecular and biochemical mechanisms of abiotic stress (including heavy metals, drought, high temperature, salinity and nutrient stress) tolerance in plants
  • Metabolic engineering of oil seed crops (Camelina sativa, Crambe abyssinica, and Brassica juncea) for biofuels and value-added bioproducts.
  • Fate and transport of metal-based Nanoparticles toxicity in Agricultural crops

Honors and Awards

Faculty Honor/ Recognition for Patent Awards, May 2011 and May 2012.
Faculty Research/ Healey Endowment Award, University of Massachusetts Amherst, April 2005.
Award of Excellence for outstanding Research, Division of Environmental Chemistry, American Chemical Society, New Orleans, March, 2003.
Best presentation award at an international conference "Heavy Metals in Plants: Ecosystem to Biomolecules", University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2002.
Commonwealth Scholarship award by Commonwealth Commission London (U.K.), October 1994 to December 1997.

Selected Publications

Bibin Paulose, Sudesh Chhikara, Joshua Coomey, Ha-il Jung, Olena Vatamaniuk and Om Parkash Dhankher. A γ-Glutamyl Cyclotransferase Protects Arabidopsis Plants from Heavy Metal Toxicity by Recycling Glutamate to Maintain Glutathione Homeostasis. The Plant Cell, 25: 4580–4595 (2013).

Chuanxin Ma, Sudesh Chhikara, Baoshan Xing, Craige Musante, Jason C. White, and Om P. Dhankher. Physiological and Molecular Response of Arabidopsis thaliana to Nanoparticle Cerium and Indium Oxide Exposure. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2013, 1, 768−778.

Kundan Kumar, Kareem A. Mosa, Sudesh Chhikara, Craig Musante, Jason C. White and Om Parkash Dhankher. Two Rice Plasma Membrane Intrinsic Proteins, OsPIP2;4 and OsPIP2;7, are Involved in Transport and Providing Tolerance to Boron Toxicity. Planta, 239:187-98 (2013).

Sudesh Chhikara, Indrajit Dutta, Pawan Jaiwal, and Om Parkash Dhankher. Developing an Agrobacterium-mediated stable transformation method for industrial oilseed crop Crambe abyssinica ‘BelAnn’. Industrial Crops and Products 37: 457– 465 (2012).

Kareem A. Mosa, Kundan Kumar, Sudesh Chhikara, Joseph Mcdermott, Zijuan Liu, Craig Musante, Jason C. White, Om Parkash Dhankher. Members of rice plasma membrane intrinsic proteins subfamily are involved in arsenite permeability and tolerance in plants. Transgenic Res. 21:1265–1277 (2012).

Om Parkash Dhankher, Sharon Dotty, Richard B Meagher, and Elizabeth Pilon-Smits. Phytoremediation, Pollutants and Heavy metal toxicity. In: Plant biotechnology and agriculture: Prospects for the 21st Century, Eds: Arie Altman and Paul Hasegawa. Elsevier Press. (2012).

Richa Dave, Pradyumna Kumar Singh, Preeti Tripathi, Manju Shri, Garima Dixit , Sanjay Dwivedi, Debasis Chakrabarty, Prabodh Kumar Trivedi, Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Om Prakash Dhankher, Francisco Javier Corpas, Juan B. Barroso, Rudra Deo Tripathi. Arsenite Tolerance is Related to Proportional Thiolic Metabolite Synthesis in Rice (Oryza sativa L.). Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 64(2): 235-42 (2012).

Sudesh Chhikara, Darshana Chaudhary, Om Parkash Dhankher and Pawan K Jaiwal. Combined expression of barley II chitinase and type I ribosomal inactivating protein in transgenic Brassica juncea provides protection against fungus Alternaria brassicae. Plant Tissue and Organ Culture 108(1): 83-89 (2012).

Anirudha Dixit and Om Parkash Dhankher. A Novel Stress-Associated Protein ‘AtSAP10’ from Arabidopsis thaliana Confers Tolerance to Nickel, Manganese, Zinc, and High Temperature Stress. PLoS One, 6(6) e20921: 1-13 (2011).

Asma Zulfiqar, Sudesh Chhikara, Bibin Paulose, and Om Parkash Dhankher. Identifying Genes/Gene Networks Involved in Chromium Metabolism and Detoxification in Crambe abyssinica. Environmental Pollution 159: 3123-3128 (2011).

Sudesh Chhikara, Bibin Paulose, Jason White and Om Parkash Dhankher. Understanding the Physiological and Molecular Mechanism of Persistent Organic Pollutant Uptake and Detoxification in Cucurbit Species (Zucchini and Squash). Environ Sci. & Technol.  44: 7295-7301 (2010).

Dwivedi S, Tripathi, R.D., Tripathi P., Kumar A., Dave, R., Mishra S., Singh R., Sharma D., Rai U.N., Chakrabarty D., Trivedi P.K., Adhikari B.A., Bag M.K., Dhankher Om P., and Tuli R. Arsenate Exposure Affects Amino Acids, Mineral Nutrient Status and Antioxidants in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes. Environ. Sci. Technol. 44: 9542–9549 (2010).

Bibin Paulose, Suganthy Kandasamy and Om Parkash Dhankher. Expression Profiling of Crambe abyssinica under Arsenate Stress Identifies Genes and Gene Networks involved in Arsenic Metabolism and Detoxification. BMC Plant Biology 10:108 (2010).

Seema Misra, R.D. Tripathi, Sudhakar Srivastava, Sanjay Dwivedi, Prabodh K. Trivedi, Om Parkash Dhankher, and A. Khare. Thiol metabolism play significant role during cadmium detoxification by Ceratophyllum demersum L. Bioresource Technology, 100: 2155-2161 (2009).

Ackmez Mudhoo, Sanjay K. Sharma, Zhi-Qing Lin, and Om Parkash Dhankher. Phytoremediation of Arsenic-Contaminated Environment. In: Green Chemistry for Environmental Sustainability. Eds: Madhoo and Sharma, CRC Press, pp 127-149 (2009).

Rakesh Minocha, P. Thangavel, Om Parkash Dhankher and Stephanie Long. Separation and quantification of monothiols and phytochelatins from a wide variety of cell cultures and tissues of trees and other plants using high performance liquid chromatography.  J. Chromatography A, 1207: 72-83 (2008).

Katty E. Smith, Raymond A. Putnam, Clifford Phaneuf, Guy R. Lanza, Om Parkash Dhankher, and John M. Clark. Selection of plants for optimizations of vegetative strips treating runoff pollutants from turfgrass. J. Environ. Quality, 37: 1855-1861 (2008).

Bibin Paulose, Pawan K. Jaiwal, and Om Parkash Dhankher. Heavy Metal Transporters in Plants. In: Plant Membrane and Vacuolar Transporters. Eds: Jaiwal, Singh, and Dhankher, CABI International 2008, Oxfordshire UK, pp 213-238 (2008).

Richard B. Meagher, Aron P. Smith, Melissa Pischke, Tehrung Kim, Om Parkash Dhankher, and Andrew C.P. Heaton. Multigene Strategies for Engineering the phytoremediation of mecrcury and arsenic. Z. Xu et al (eds): Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture 2006 and Beyond, 49-60 (2007) Springer.

Om Parkash Dhankher, Barry P. Rosen, Elizabeth C. McKinney and Richard B. Meagher. Hyperaccumulation of arsenic in the shoots of Arabidopsis silenced for arsenate reductase, ACR2. PNAS 103: 5413-5418 (2006).

Yujing Li, Om Parkash Dhankher, Laura Carreira, Aaron P. Smith and Richard B. Meagher. The shoot-specific expression of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase directs the long-distance transport of thiol-peptides to root conferring tolerance to mercury and arsenic. Plant Physiology 141; 288-298 (2006).

Om Parkash Dhankher. Arsenic in Plants: an Inside Story. New Phytologist 168:503-505 (2005).

Tehrung Kim, Rebecca S. Balish, Andrew C.P. Heaton, Elizabeth C. Mckinney, Om Parkash Dhankher, and Richard B. Meagher. Engineering a root-specific, repressor-operator gene complex. Plant Biotechnology, 3 (6): 571-582 (2005).

Om Parkash Dhankher, Yujing Li, Andrew C.P. Heaton and Richard B. Meagher. Strategies for phytoremediation of mercury and arsenic. In: Subsurface Contamination Remediation: Accomplishments of the Environmental Management Science Program; Berkey, E., Zachry, T., Eds.; American Chemical Society Symposium Series 904; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, pp 96-116 (2005).

Anne Marie, Om Parkash Dhankher, Bonnie McCaig and Richard B. Meagher. Ancient classes of plant metallothioneins bind nutrient and toxic metals differentially. Plant Molecular Biology 58(6): 839-55 (2005). Om Parkash Dhankher and J.A. Gatehouse. Tissue-specific and developmental regulation of stress-induced Pisum sativum HSP70 promoter in transgenic tobacco. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 10(1): 49-58 (2004) (with cover page).

Om Parkash Dhankher, Barry P. Rosen, Mark Fuhrmann and Richard B. Meagher. Increased cadmium tolerance and accumulation by plants expressing bacterial arsenate reductase. New Phytologist 159(2): 431-441 (2003).

Om Parkash Dhankher and J.A. Gatehouse. Non-systemic induction of polyphenol oxidase in pea and chickpea after wounding. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 9: 125-129 (2003).

Om Parkash Dhankher, Yujing Li, Barry P. Rosen, Jin Shi, David Salt, Julie F. Senecoff, Nupur A. Sashti and Richard B. Meagher. Engineered tolerance and hyperaccumulation of arsenic in plants by combining arsenate reductase and γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase expression. Nature Biotechnology 20 (11): 1140-1145 (2002). (Highlighted in the FACULTY of 1000).

Om Parkash Dhankher, J.E. Drew and J.A. Gatehouse. Characterization of a pea hsp70 gene which is both developmentally and stress regulated. Plant Molecular Biology 34: 345-352 (1997).

Books Edited/Published

Book Title: Plant Membrane and Vacuolar Transporters. Eds: Jaiwal, P.K., Singh, R.P. and Dhankher, Om Parkash. CABI International Publishers, Oxfordshire UK, ISBN 978-1-84593-402-6, 371 pages (2008).

Book Title: Genetic manipulation in plants for mitigation of climate change. Eds: Jaiwal PK, Singh RP and Dhankher Om Parkash. Springer Publishers (In press).

Patents (US and International) Awarded

US Patent: US 7,816,579. “Metal Resistant Plants, Methods of Manufacture, and Methods of use Thereof.” Inventor: Om Parkash. Awarded October 2010.
US Patent: US 7,951,992. Genes for Improving Tolerance to Heavy Metals and Environmental Stresses.” Inventor: Om Parkash and Anirudha Dixit. Awarded May 2011.
US patent: US 7,700,827. “Metal Resistant Plants and Phytoremediation of Environmental Contamination.” Inventors: Richard B. Meagher, Om Parkash Dhankher and Yujing Li. Awarded April 2010.

Outreach and Professional Services

Associate Editor, Frontier’s Agricultural Biological Chemistry (Chemistry Section), 2013-current.
Editor, Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants (International Journal) published by Elsevier (2004-2009).
Member Editorial Board, Plant and Soil Journal, published by Springer Netherlands (2007-2011).
Member Editorial Board, International Jour. of Phytoremediation, published by Taylor & Francis Group (2009- present).
Scientific Advisory Board, Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments and Water held each year at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mid October (2005- present).
Executive committee member, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), Elected member from NEASPB section for three-year term (2012-2015)
Executive committee member, ASPB Northeast section (NEASPB), Elected member twice for three-year term (2007-2009; 2011-2014).