Faculty & Staff

Manickam Sugumaran, PhD

Professor of Biology - Protein Chemistry and Enzymology.


photo of Manickam Sugumaran

Areas of Expertise

Protein Chemistry, Enzymology


PhD, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, India, 1978
MS, Madras University, Madras, India, 1971
BS, Madras University, Madras, India, 1969

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Research Interests

Insects have great impact on agriculture, food industry and health. Manickam Sugumaran's laboratory is interested in studying three vital processes (cuticular sclerotization, insect immunity and wound healing) that are essential for the successful survival of insects. By elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes, one can develop new and novel insecticides that are environmentally safe. Hardening of the cuticle protects the insects from their environmental enemies and from dehydration. Arrest or even delay of this process has devastating consequences for insect viability. The lab has unraveled the molecular mechanisms of sclerotization that are partly responsible for the hardening of insects cuticle and discovered two new enzymes viz., quinone isomerase and quinone methide isomerase associated with this process. Currently he and his team are studying the molecular aspects of these and other enzymes such as phenoloxidases to develop new insecticides for future use. They are also examining the molecular mechanisms of melanogenesis and discovered new quinone methide intermediate in this process. This finding can lead to the development of new drugs for treatment of malignant melanoma and other melanin related disorders. Apart from insect control measures, Sugumaran is also interested in developing biological glues, natural hair coloring agents, skin color lightening agents, and prevention of oxidative browning of food products.

Current Grant Support

  • Sclerotin precursors of Dipterans. The National Institute of Health. Funded 1996-1999, $750,788 - M. Sugumaran, PI.