BSBE Faculty

Appu Kumar Singh

Assistant Professor


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Phone: 512-679-2142


Link to Lab Webpage


Academic Background:

After obtaining an MSc in Biotechnology from IIT Roorkee, Dr. Appu Kumar Singh completed his Ph.D. in the lab of Dr. Sangaralingam Kumaran at IMTECH, Chandigarh, in 2014. Subsequently, he joined the lab of Dr. Alexander Sobolevsky as a postdoctoral fellow and was later promoted to the status of associate research scientist at Columbia University, New York. Dr. Singh joined as a faculty in the BSBE department at IIT Kanpur, in December 2019.


Research Interests:

Dr. Singh’s lab is primarily focused on developing a comprehensive understanding of membrane-spanning calcium ion channels, including TRP channels. These channels facilitate calcium signaling that controls a myriad of physiological functions including neuronal excitability, muscle contraction, bone formation, enzymatic activity, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. Therefore, the tight regulation of intra- and extracellular Ca2+ levels is crucial for living organisms. Indeed, alteration in the calcium homeostasis leads to a number of devastating diseases, including cancers.


Currently, Dr. Singh uses cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, in addition to other complementary biophysical techniques such as electrophysiology and fluorescence spectroscopy, to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the bases of calcium ion channel function in both normal, and diseased states. He plans to reveal the structures of calcium ion channels in different gating states and then use this structural information to develop molecular models of their inhibition by pharmacological entities. Going forward, he is particularly interested in harnessing cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structures and subcellular organizations of ion channels isolated from, and visualized directly in diseased tissues, including those from cancerous tissues. This approach will provide unprecedented molecular insights into the roles of ion channels in disease and would substantially accelerate the development of novel drugs.