Abishek Muralidhar

Abishek Muralidhar

Senior Scientist


Commercial product development from biotech research

As a Senior Scientist in the Proteins and Enzymes team, my main focus is the development of extraction and purification strategies and analysis of high value proteins and enzymes. I am a trained molecular biologist, biochemist and microbiologist with experience in different aspects of commercial product development, going from conception to launch. I enjoy the challenge of working on varied projects with different requirements and seeing my team’s work make a real world impact.

I have always been fascinated by the biochemical processes that help organisms survive and thrive in different habitats. My role enables me to apply this fundamental fascination and understanding of these processes to different projects as well as work with talented and inspiring people along the way. 

My previous research has focussed on recombinant protein bioprocess and assay development for point-of-care diagnostic devices for SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) and tuberculosis detection. Some of the other areas I have worked on include screening for high value enzymes from extremophilic organisms, understanding plant microbial interactions, and studying abiotic stresses in algae and plants.

Areas of expertise
  • Extraction of nucleic acids and proteins from different substrates
  • Purification and functional characterization, analysis of proteins and enzymes
  • Bioprocess development
  • Molecular cloning and expression of proteins of interest
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction, Quantitative PCR and RT-qPCR assay design and development
  • Isolation and culturing of bacteria, archaea, fungi and algae from different habitats
  • Genomic and metagenomic sequencing and phylogenetic analysis
  • Plant-microbial interactions, study of plant growth promoting and pathogenic microbes
  • Abiotic stress tolerance in algae and plants
  • Doctor of Philosophy; Ecology; University of Canterbury, New Zealand; 2014
  • Post Graduate Diploma; Biological Sciences; University of Auckland, New Zealand; 2010
  • Master of Science; Applied Microbiology; VIT University, Vellore, India; 2009
  • Bachelor of Science; Plant Biology and Biotechnology; University of Madras, Chennai, India; 2007
Selected publications
  • Muralidhar, A., Broady, P.A., MacIntyre, D.P., Wilcox, M.D., Garrill, A. and Novis, P.M (2014). Morphological and phylogenetic characterization of seven species of Vaucheria, including two new species, from contrasting habitats in New Zealand. Phytotaxa 186, 117–136
  • Muralidhar, A., Shabala, L., Broady, P.A., Shabala, S.N. and Garrill, A. (2015). Mechanisms underlying turgor regulation in the estuarine alga Vaucheria erythrospora (Xanthophyceae) exposed to hyperosmotic shock. Plant, Cell and Environment 38, 1514–1527
  • Muralidhar, A., Swadel, E., Spiekerman, M., Suei, S., Fraser, M., Ingerfeld, M., Tayagui, A.B., Garrill, A. (2016). A pressure gradient facilitates mass flow in the oomycete Achlya bisexualis. Microbiology, 162, 206–213
  • Boykin, L.M., ….., Muralidhar, A., Mayall, K., Tairo, F., Ndunguru, J. (2019). Tree Lab: Portable Genomics for Early Detection of Plant Viruses and Pests in Sub-Saharan Africa. Genes, 10, 632
  • Stanton, J.L., Muralidhar, A.., Rand, C.J. & Saul, D.J. (2019). Rapid extraction of DNA suitable for NGS workflows from bacterial cultures using the PDQeX. Biotechniques 66(5), 208-213
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