Piyali Mandal Piyali Mandal  
US Training at Einstein: 2003 - 2005
Position: Visiting Fellow (Graduate Researcher, Nov. 2003 - Aug. 2004, Consultant, Jun. 2005 - Aug. 2005)
Home Country: India
Position in Home Country: Graduate Student, All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi, India
India Mentor: Dr. Uma Banerjee
US Host Lab Mentor: Dr. Joshua D. Nosanchuk
Current Position: Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

Ms. Mandal worked on characterization of melanin producing primary isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans phenotypically and genotypically and also studied the protective effect of melanin production against the potent antifungal Amphotericin-B. Her work also included studying the ultrastructural differences in the melanin producing and the melanin lacking strains of Cryptococcus neoformans by Electron Microscopy. This collaborative research was conducted with Dr. Joshua D. Nosanchuk as the US collaborator, in collaboration with Dr. Arturo Casadevall at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA. Her training and work experience from AITRP benefitted her to a great extent in her Ph.D. thesis back in India. Her work at AITRP resulted in four publications (Fems Microbiology Letters, Journal of Clinical Microbiology and BMC Microbiology) and several presentations at national and international conferences. After defending her thesis Ms. Mandal joined as a Post Doctoral Fellow in University of Iowa, Iowa, USA and is currently working on determining mechanisms by which Francisella tularensis evade killing by human neutrophils.

Awards & Fellowships:
  1. Foreign Travel Grant Award from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, 2005
  2. Joint Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-University Grants Commission (CSIR-UGC), Junior Research Fellowship & Lectureship (Dec 2001)
  3. GATE 2001, IIT Kanpur, India
Publication from AITRP research:
  1. Joshua D. Nosanchuk, David Van Duin, Piyali Mandal, Philip Aisen, Alfred M. Legendre, and Arturo Casadevall. 2004. Blastomyces Dermatitidis produces melanin in vitro and during infection. Fems Microbiology Letters, 239: 187-193
  2. Piyali Mandal, Uma Banerjee, Arturo Casadevall and Joshua D. Nosanchuk. 2005. Dual infections with Pigmented and Albino Strains of Cryptococcus neoformans in Patients with and without Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in India. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 43: 4766-72
  3. William F Paolo Jr, Ekaterina Dadachova, Piyali Mandal, Arturo Casadevall, Paul J Szaniszlo and Joshua D Nosanchuk. 2006. Effects of disrupting the polyketide synthase gene WdPKS1 in Wangiella [Exophiala] dermatitidis on melanin production and resistance to killing by antifungal compounds, enzymatic degradation, and extremes in temperature. BMC Microbiology, 6: 55
  4. Piyali Mandal, Uma Banerjee, Tara Shankar Roy, Taposh Kumar Das, Immaculata Xess, Joshua D. Nosanchuk. 2007. Differences in the cell wall architechture of melanin lacking and melanin producing Cryptococcus neoformans clinical isolates from India: An electron microscopic study. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, 38: 662-666
  1. Piyali Mandal, Joshua D Nosanchuck, Macaluso Frank, Tara Sankar Roy, Immaculata Xess, Uma Banerjee. Are the albino C. neoformans actually melanin producers: an electron microscopic study. PO267; The 16th congress of the international society for human and animal mycology (ISHAM). Paris; June 25 - 29, 2006 [Poster Presentation]
  2. Piyali Mandal, Uma Banerjee, Arturo Casadevall and Joshua D. Nosanchuk. Not all are colourful! Melanin lacking Cryptococcus neoformans clinical isolates: An Indian Experience. 6th International Conference on Cryptococcus and cryptococcosis, Boston, USA; June 2005 [Poster presentation]
  3. David Van Duin, Piyali Mandal, Arturo Casadevall, Joshua D Nosanchuk. Blastomyces Dermatitidis produces melanin in vitro and during infection. IDSA Sept-Oct, Boston; 2004 [Poster presentation]

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