Dipannita Dutta joined NCATS in 2017 as a research scientist on the Thymine Team within the Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation. Dutta currently develops and optimizes both biochemical and cell-based assays for automated, high-throughput screening in collaboration with intramural NIH researchers and extramural pharmaceutical partners. Her research background in microscopy and protein trafficking allows her to focus on high-content imaging and phenotypic screening.
Prior to joining NCATS, Dutta was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, where she studied endocytic pathways under the supervision of Julie G. Donaldson, Ph.D., in the Cell Biology and Physiology Center. In Donaldson’s laboratory, Dutta used cellular biology techniques and microscopy to study clathrin-independent endocytosis. She worked on multiple projects to understand the intracellular cross-talk mechanism between clathrin- and non-clathrin-mediated endocytic pathways and the biology of receptor internalization and recycling. She then became a research fellow and led an independent project developing an RNAi-interference-based screen, for which she designed phenotypic screening strategies to look for regulators of clathrin-independent endocytosis.
Dutta earned her master’s degree in physiology at the University of Calcutta, India, with a specialization in immunology and microbiology, studying the incidence of bacteria in drinking water, aquaculture and drug resistance in bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. She completed her doctoral degree at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel, under Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg, Ph.D. Her graduate research introduced her to cell biology and enabled her to observe intracellular protein trafficking and cellular signaling pathways by protein-protein interaction studies in mast cells.
Dutta currently is involved in multiple projects identifying therapeutic avenues for lysosomal storage disease, cancer and spinal muscular atrophy. She is developing assays for understanding the functional activity of glucocerebrosidase in lysosomes, ubiquitination of proteins for degradation, and lysosomal proton pump functionality. She also is actively involved in developing cell-based assays in cell lines, complex neurons and stem-cell-differentiated astrocytes, for which she miniaturized assays for high-throughput screening of compounds. She successfully developed a protocol to differentiate astrocytes and scale up the production by automation.