Prof Sanjay Swarup

Prof. Swarup combines metabolomics with diverse approaches to understand plant and microbially-driven processes in environment and agriculture. His team is among the pioneers to have integrated genetics and metabolomics approaches to describe how rhizobacteria utilize plant phenolics in the rhizosphere to gain ecological advantage and introduced “rhizosphere metabolomics” approach. His team was among the first to develop a gene and metabolites ontology-based text mining tool for plants in 2005. They continue to publish papers in this field, with recent contributions being (i) the description of a novel chemical arms race in the rice blast disease using metabolomics approaches (Patkar et al 2015 Nat Chem Bio); (ii) a regulatory mechanism that explains how metabolites diversity is generated in innate immunity in plants (Rai et al 2016 Plant Physiol) and (iii) the volatiles pathways in Durian (Teh et al 2017 Nat Genetics). With an interest to understand microbiome processes, Prof Swarup’s team has been integrating nextgen sequencing and metabolomics approaches to study the functioning of complex open environments such as urban surface water systems (Saxena et al 2015 Environ Sci & Tech) and microbially-induced CO2 emissions from tropical peatlands (Mishra et al 2014 Biogeosciences).

Prof. Swarup holds PhD degrees in Genetics and in Plant Pathology from India and USA, respectively, with Postdoctoral experience at the Waksman Institute, USA and was a visiting scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs USA. He is currently an Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore and holds additional responsibilities as the Deputy Director, NUS Environmental Research Institute and Deputy Research Director at the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering. Prof. Swarup has more than 105 publications in leading international journals and book chapters and invited talks to his credit. He has been associated with the setting-up of two Research Centres of Excellence in Singapore and has managed interdisciplinary programs and PI projects worth nearly US $12 million in the past 10 years.