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Director's Profile

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Dr. Naveen Kumar was born on July 19, 1975, in Alwar, Rajasthan. He obtained his B.V.Sc. & A.H. and M.V.Sc. degrees from the College of Veterinary Sciences, Bikaner. He completed his Ph.D. in 2006 from CCS Haryana Agriculture University Hisar while being a DAAD scholar at the Department of Diagnostic Virology, Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Insel-Riems, Germany, where he studied the persistence of the FMD virus in cattle. He then worked as a postdoc at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA, from 2006–2011, where he worked on understanding the interactions of influenza virus with host cell signaling pathways, besides developing a reverse genetics system and animal model for Pichinde virus, a model virus to study the pathogenesis of Lassa hemorrhagic fever virus. He has also been a visiting fellow (2017) at Department of Infection and Pathway Medicine, Edinburgh Medical School, University of Edinburgh, UK.

In 2011, he joined the ICAR and worked in the capacity of Senior Scientist, Principal Scientist, and Head of the National Centre for Veterinary Type Cultures, ICAR-NRC on Equines, Hisar, before joining as Director, National Institute of Virology, Pune in March 2024.

Dr. Naveen is a renowned virologist who has made some basic and fundamental contributions in the area of virus-host interactions. He has identified several key cellular kinases and epigenetic modifiers (MNK1, SERCA, FPPS, eIF4E, ALK5, p38, ROCK1, methyl transferases, etc.) as viral host-dependency factors (HDFs).

These HDFs serve as novel drug targets with a minimal tendency to induce antiviral drug resistance. He is a pioneer in analyzing drug resistance against host-directed antiviral agents and elucidating the molecular mechanisms thereof. Due to his extensive publication record, he is considered as one of the top researchers in this field.

He was the first to isolate the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) in India and developed India’s first lumpy skin disease vaccine (Lumpi-ProVacInd) which has been commercialized, and the technology has been transferred to at least four major vaccine manufacturers in India. The vaccine is much more safe and efficacious as compared to other LSD vaccines being used all over the globe. He also isolated wild-type, Delta, and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 from human patients and developed ANCOVAX, a vaccine to prevent coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection (COVID-19) in animals. India became the third country after the USA and Russia to develop the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for animals.

He is the recipient of several awards, such as the Award of Excellence in Agriculture Research for the development and commercialization of India’s first LSD vaccine (Lumpi-ProVacInd) (2023); the India Animal Health Awards 2023 (Young Scientist) for exemplary contribution to the growth and development of animal health in India (2023); the Commonwealth Professional Fellowship by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, UK (2016); Societal Innovation Award from the National Research Development Corporation, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India for the development of an indigenous vaccine against Johne’s disease (2016); DAAD fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Bonn, Germany (2004) and Gold Medal for first place in MVSc (2002).

He is a United Nations (WOAH/FAO)-designated expert on lumpy skin disease; Member (eminent scientist) of the Board of Management (BOM) of Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar, Haryana (2021-2023) and External member of the University Research Committee, Shri Krishna Ayush University, Kurukshetra, Haryana. He is the section editor of the Journal “Virulence” and has been a reviewer for several international journals.

Selected Publications

1.   Kumar N, Zin Z, Liang Y, Ly H and Liang Y. (2008). NF-B signaling differentially regulates influenza viral RNA synthesis. Journal of Virology. 82:9880-9889.
2.   Lan S, McLay L, Wang J, Kumar N, Ly H, and Liang Y. (2009). Development of infectious clones for virulent and avirulent Pichinde viruses – a model virus to study arenavirus-induced hemorrhagic fevers. Journal of Virology, 83, 6357-6352.
3.  Sharma S, Mulick S, Kumar N, Suryavanshi A and Ruse B. (2011). An Anti-inflammatory role of VEGFR2/Src kinase inhibitor in HSV-1 induced immunopathology, Journal of Virology, 85, 5995-6007.
4.  Kumar N, Liang Y, Parslow TG and Liang Y. (2011). Tyrosine kinase inhibitors block multiple steps of influenza A virus replication. Journal of Virology, 85, 2818-27.
5.  Sharma S, Sundararajan A, Suryawanshi A, Kumar N, Tamara VP Kuchroo VK, Thomas PG, Sangster MY and Rouse BT. (2011). Tim-3/Galectin-9 interaction regulates influenza A virus specific humoral and CD8 T cell responses. Proc. Natl . Acad. Sc., USA, 108, 19001-19006.
6.  Kumar N, Liang Y, Parslow TG and Liang Y. (2011). Receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors that block replication of influenza A and other viruses. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 55, 5553-59. 7.  Kumar N, Wang J, Lan S, Danzy S, Schelde LM, Seladi, J, Ly H and Liang Y. (2012). Characterization of virulence-associated determinants in the envelope glycoprotein of Pichinde virus, Virology, 433, 97-103.
8.  Wang J, Danzy S, Kumar N, Ly H and Liang Y. (2012). Biological Roles and Functional Mechanisms of Arenavirus Z Protein in Viral Replication. Journal of Virology, 86, 9794-801.
9.  Khandelwal, N, Chander Y and Rawat KD, Riyesh T, Sharma S, Jindal N, Tripath BN*, Barua S* and Kumar N*. (2017). Emetine inhibits replication of RNA and DNA viruses without generating drug-resistant virus variants, Antiviral Research, 144, 196-204 (*Corresponding author).
10.  Kumar N*, Sharma S, Barua S, Tripathi BN and Rouse BT. (2018). Virological and Immunological outcomes of coinfections. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 31, e0011-17 (*Corresponding author).
11. Kumar R, Khandelwal, N, Riyesh T, Tripath BN, Maherchandani S, Kashyap SK, Barua S and Kumar N*. (2018). MNK1 inhibitor as an antiviral agent suppresses buffalopox virus replication, Antiviral Research, 160, 126-136. (*Corresponding author).
12.  Khandelwal, N, Chander Y, Dedar RK, Goyal MK, Sharma S, Riyesh T, Gulati BR, Tripathi BN, Barua S*, Kumar N*, (2020). Antiviral activity of Apigenin: Novel mechanistic insights and drug resistance considerations. Antiviral Research. 181, 104877 (*Corresponding author).
13.  Kumar N*, Sharma S*, Kumar R, Barua S, Tripathi BN, Ly H, Rouse BT (2020). Host-directed antiviral therapy. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 31:e00111-17 (page 1-35). (*Corresponding author).
14.  Kumar, R, Khandelwal, N, Chander Y, Riyesh T, Gulati BR, Tripathi BN, Barua S*, Kumar N*, (2021). Emetine suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication by inhibiting interaction of viral mRNA with eIF4E. Antiviral Research Antiviral Research, 189, 105056-59 (*Corresponding author).
15.  Khandelwal, N, Chander Y, Riyesh T, Gulati BR, Tripathi BN, Barua S*, Kumar N* (2021). Studies of growth characteristics and cross-neutralization of wild-type and Delta SARS-CoV-2 from Hisar (Haryana). Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2021.771524. (*Corresponding author).
16.  Kumar R, Chander Y, Khandelwal N, Nagori H, Verma A, Rawat KD, Shringi BN, Singh N, Tripathi BN, Barua S, Kumar N* (2022). ROCK1/MLC2 inhibition induces decay of viral mRNA in BPXV infected cells. Scientific Reports, 2022, 12, 17811. (*Corresponding author).
17.  Chander Y, Kumar R, Khandelwal N, Nagori H, Verma A, Shringi BN, Singh N, Tripathi BN, Barua S, Kumar N* (2022). Resistance Evolution against Host-directed Antiviral Agents: Buffalopox Virus Switches to Use p38-ϒ under Long-term Selective Pressure of an Inhibitor Targeting p38-α. Molecular Biology and Evolution 39, msac177. (*Corresponding author).
18.  Kumar R, Chander Y, Khandelwal N, Barua A, Godara B, Nagori H, Verma A, Pal Y, Gulati BR, Tripathi BN, Barua S*, Kumar N* (2022). S-adenosylmethionine dependent methyltransferase inhibitor DZNep blocks transcription and translation of SARS-CoV-2 genome with a low tendency to select for drug-resistant viral variants. Antiviral Research, 197, 105232. (*Corresponding author).
19.  Chander Y, Kumar R, Khandelwal N, Singh N, Shringi BN, Barua S*, Kumar N*, (2022). Role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling in virus replication and potential for developing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs. Reviews in Medical Virology, DOI:10.1002/rmv.2217 (*Corresponding author).
20.  Kumar N*, Barua S*, Kumar R, Khandelwal N, Kumar A, verma A, Yadav L, Godara B, Chander Y, Riyesh T, Sharma DK,Pathak A, Kumar S, Dedar RK, Mehta V, Gaur M, Bhardwaj B, Vyas V, Chaudhary S, Yadav V, Bhati A, Kaul R, Bashir A, Andrabi A, Yousuf RW, Koul A, Kachhawa S, Tiwari HA, Gupta MK, Kumar R, Misri J, Kumar A, Mohanty AK, Nandi S, Singh KP, Pal Y, Dutt T, Tripathi BN*. (2023). Evaluation of the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of a new live-attenuated lumpy skin disease vaccine in India. Virulence, 14(1), 2190647 (*Corresponding author).

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