Research Interests

Study the structure-function relationship of extremophilic proteins, cellular-adaptation mechanisms of stress-encountered microbes and proteins, cloning, over-expression, purification, functional and structural characterization, bioinformatics analysis, bioengineering of proteins and microbes, and biotechnological and industrial applications of extremophiles and extremozymes. 

Selected Publications

  • Bioengineering radioresistance by overproduction of RPA, a mammalian-type single-stranded DNA-binding protein, in a...
    R. Karan, P. DasSarma, E. Balcer-Kubiczek, R.R. Weng, C. Liao, W.V. Ng, S. DasSarma
    Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 98(4), 1737-1747, (2014)
  • Haloarchaeal gas vesicle nanoparticles displaying Salmonella SopB antigen reduce bacterial burden when administered...
    P. DasSarma, V.D. Negi, A. Balakrishnan, R. Karan, S. Barnes, F. Ekulona, D. Chakravortty,...
    Vaccine, 32(35), 4543-4549, (2014)
  • An improved genetic system for bioengineering buoyant gas vesicle nanoparticles from Haloarchaea
    S. DasSarma, R. Karan, P. DasSarma, S. Barnes, F. Ekulona, B. Smith
    BMC Biotechnol. 13:112, (2013)
  • Cloning, overexpression, purification, and characterization of a polyextremophilic β-galactosidase from the Antarct...
    R. Karan, M.D. Capes, P. DasSarma, S. DasSarma
    BMC Biotechnol. 13:3, (2013)
  • Amino acid substitutions in cold-adapted proteins from Halorubrum lacusprofundi, an extremely halophilic microbe fr...
    S. DasSarma, M.D. Capes, R. Karan, P. DasSarma
    PLoS One. 8(3):e58587 , (2013)
  • Function and biotechnology of extremophilic enzymes in low water activity
    R. Karan, M.D. Capes, S. DasSarma
    Aquat Biosyst. 8(1):4, (2012)
  • Stability of haloalkaliphilic Geomicrobium sp. protease modulated by salt
    R. Karan and S.K. Khare
    Biochemistry, 76 (6) 686-693 , (2010)
  • Gene identification and molecular characterization of solvent stable protease from a moderately haloalkaliphilic ba...
    R. Karan, R.K.M. Singh, S. Kapoor, S.K. Khare
    J Microbiol Biotechnol. 21, 129-135, (2011)
  • Interaction and nanotoxic effect of ZnO and Ag nanoparticles on mesophilic and halophilic bacterial cells.
    R. Sinha, R. Karan, A. Sinha, S.K. Khare
    Bioresource Technol. 102, 15161520, (2011)
  • A novel organic solvent tolerant protease from a newly isolated Geomicrobium sp. EMB2 (MTCC 10310): Production opti...
    R. Karan, S.P. Singh, S. Kapoor, S.K. Khare
    N Biotechnol. 28, 136-145 , (2011)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India, 2011.
  • Master of Science, Bioorganic Chemistry, Meerut University, Meerut, UP India, 2005.
  • Master of Science, Physical Chemistry, Meerut University, Meerut,India, 2003.
  • Bachelor of Science, Bio-Chemistry, Meerut University, Meerut, India, 2001.

Professional Profile

2018-Till: Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
2015-2018: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
2014-2015: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, USUHS, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
2011-2014: ASM and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA 

Scientific and Professional Memberships

  • Biotech Research Society of India (BRSI)
  • American Society of Microbiology (ASM), USA
  • Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) 


  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM) International Fellowship for Asia, 2011
  • International travel award, 2010 by CSIR, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST) Government of India
  • Award of Senior and Junior Research National Fellowship from CSIR, India
  • Award for publishing high impact factor research paper by IIT, Delhi, India
  • Reviewer of various international journals, Extremophiles, Process Biochemistry, International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Enzyme Engineering, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Academy Science Letters, Basic Microbiology 

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​KAUST catalysis Center (KCC)

  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)