Research Areas:
Molecular Biology, Biochemistry


1. Grovenstein PB, Lankford KL, Wilson DA, Gaston KA, Perera S and Mitra M. Identification and molecular characterization of the second Chlamydomonas gun4 mutant, gun4-II. [v2; ref status: indexed,] F1000Research 2013, 2:142 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-142.v2). First Published: 19 Jun 2013, 2:142 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-142.v1).

 2. Grovenstein PB, Wilson DA, Lennox CG, Smith KP, Contractor AA, Mincey JL, Lankford KD, Smith JM, Haye TC and Mitra M. Identification and molecular characterization of a novel Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant defective in chlorophyll biosynthesis. [v2; ref status: indexed,] F1000Research 2013, 2:138 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-138.v2) First Published: 10 Jun 2013, 2:138 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-138.v1) (this article was selected as the featured article of the week by the journal).

3. Mitra M, Kirst H, Dewez D and Melis A. Modulation of the light- harvesting chlorophyll antenna size in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by TLA1 gene over-expression and RNA interference. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, November, 2012 367: 3430-3443.

4. Mitra M, Dewez D, Gines García-Cerdán J and Melis A. Polyclonal antibodies against the TLA1 protein also recognize with high specificity the D2 reaction center protein of PSII in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Photosynthesis Research, 2012, 112: 39-47.

5. Mitra M, Ng S and Melis A. The TLA1 protein family members contain a variant of the plain MOV34/MPN domain. American J. Biochem & Mol. Bio, January 2012, 2:1-18.

6. Mitra M and Melis A. Genetic and biochemical analysis of the TLA1 gene in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Planta, 2010, 231:729-740.

7a. Mitra M and Melis A. Optical properties of microalgae for enhanced biofuels production, Optics Express, 2008, 16: 21807-21820.

7b. The article mentioned in 7a (see above), was also selected out of all the articles published  every month in different journals published by Optical Society of America, for publication in “The virtual Journal for Bio Medical optics” published by Optical Society of America.

8. Tetali S, Mitra M and Melis A. Development of the light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is regulated by the novel TLA1 gene, Planta, 2007, 225: 813-829.

9. Ynalvez RA, Cunnusamy K, Xiao Y, Mitra M, Moroney JV. Identification, cloning and characterization of two closely related beta-carbonic anhydrases in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii 2006, FASEB JOURNAL 20 (4): A476-A477 Part 1.

10. Bartlett SG, Mitra M and JV Moroney. CO2 concentrating mechanisms. (A book chapter in the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration series titled "The structure and function of plastids"; March, 2006; pp 253-271; edited by Wise RR and Hoober JK; Springer).

11. Mitra M, Mason C, Lato SM, Ynalvez, RA, Xiao Y and Moroney JV. The three carbonic anhydrase families of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Canadian Journal of Botany, July 2005, 83: 780-795.

12. Mitra M, Lato S, Ynalvez R and Moroney JV. Identification of a new chloroplast carbonic anhydrase in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.  Plant Physiology, 2004, 135:173-182.


A.    Undergraduate and high school student conference research papers from the Mitra Lab (high school students are underlined) (most recent at the top)

1. Paper Title: Identification of a Novel Gene That Plays a Role in High Light Tolerance in the Green Micro-alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Authors: Kevin Nguyen, Ja’von Swint, Joel Page III, Kenneth Kim, Katherine Smith, Tai Truong, and Kasey Swilley

Supervisor: Dr. Mautusi Mitra; Proceedings National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), 2017 p407-417 (published on October 19###sup/sup### 2017).

2. Paper Title: Employing functional genomics to study chlorophyll biosynthesis in the green micro-alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Authors: Tashana C. Haye, Darryel A.Wilson, Abigail R. Lennox, Alisha A. Contractor.

Supervisor: Dr. Mautusi Mitra; Proceedings National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), 2013 p256-264 (published on 14###sup/sup### October, 2013).

3. Paper Title: Utilization of Functional Genomics to Study Regulation of Chlorophyll Biosynthetic Pathways in the Unicellular Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Authors: Kathryn D. Lankford, Kelsey A. Gaston, Phillip B. Grovenstein, and Surangi Perera

Supervisor: Dr. Mautusi Mitra; Proceedings National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), 2012 pp 589- 597 (published December 4###sup/sup###, 2012).

4. Paper Title: Functional genomics of eukaryotic oxygenic photosynthesis in the model unicellular green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Authors: Surangi Perera, Kelsey Gaston, Phillip Grovenstein, Justin Puckett, Yakema Sheats; Supervisor: Dr. Mautusi Mitra; Proceedings National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), 2011 p 805-813 (published on 27###sup/sup### February, 2012).

B.    Education based article:

1. Mitra M: Article title: A more effective evaluation method for higher education. Published in “The Evolllution” (a non-traditional education newspaper) on March, 23rd, 2012. Website address:

Volunteer Activities

1.     Served as a guest instructor for the GHP Ag Science program on June 28th 2019 at Berry College.


2.     Served as an academic reviewer for Microbiology and Botany K12 curriculum for GADOE, April 16###sup/sup### 2019.


3.     Served as a judge and moderator of the graduate oral presentation competition at the American Society of Plant Biologists southern sectional meetings in spring, 2019.


4.     Served at the American Society of Plant Biologists’ Exhibitor booth at the National Science Teachers Association at Atlanta, March 2018.


5.     Served in the UWG-ORSP panel and shared my experiences as a NSF-IOS panelist, spring 2017.


6.     Served as a judge and moderator of the graduate oral presentation competition at the American Society of Plant Biologists southern sectional meetings in spring, 2015 and in spring, 2017.


7.     Have conducted an outreach activity for 20 Chemistry majors enrolled in the course “Tools and Applications” at UWG on March 9th, 2015.


8.     Have served as a science fair judge at the West Georgia Regional Science & Engineering Fair, Carrollton, GA, spring 2014.


9.     Served as a judge for the undergraduate student research Poster competition at the SS- American Society of Plant Biologists meeting in 2014, Lexington, KY.


10.  In 2013 I conducted cell and molecular biology based-outreach activities for Lithia Springs High school students and IB Biology program students from the Carrollton High School and their Biology teacher.


11.  In fall 2012, I introduced a group of high school students from local schools in Carrollton (GA) to a 45 minutes University level class in Plant Molecular Biology on the “College for a day”.

12.  I have served as the chair of the “CO2 metabolism and Chloroplast biogenesis” session at the MidWest/South East Photosynthesis meeting at Marshall, Indiana in November 2011.

13.  My research lab has participated in July, 2011 in the Henry and Camille Dreyfus Foundation Inc. funded “Research Experience via Active Collaboration of High schools (REACH) program” at UWG to present lab’s research to a group of 24 motivated high school students and their teacher as they develop competitive science fair projects.

14.  My lab has participated for five years in the NSF funded, Georgia-Alabama Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program for increasing the number of minority students in STEM careers. I have mentored several LSAMP students. My lab has also participated for five years in the Uwise program which is a Georgia Board of Regents initiative to increase the number of STEM majors, particularly teachers in Georgia. In this program, a senior undergrad student (Bio major) in my lab was teamed up with a Fresh man (Bio major) to conduct research. I am a research mentor for the SRAP (Student Research Assistance Program) students and Honors College research students at UWG.

15.  At UWG, there were no Biology departmental seminars when I joined the department. My research lab started a Cell, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Research (CMB) club in the Department of Biology in fall, 2010, where the students presented their research and discussed interesting research articles in the field to get novel research ideas. This research club seminar series has been transformed into Biology Departmental seminar series in spring, 2012 and is open to the general interested public in Carrollton.

16.  I have created a scholarship in fall, 2011 for undergraduate and graduate research students conducting research in the field of Molecular Photosynthesis called “Molecular Photosynthesis Research Award” in the Biology Department. This award ($500) is given annually to one research student to present his/her research at national research conferences and is sustained by my personal fund.

17.   I took several initiatives to improve the research infrastructure in the Biology department/campus at UWG. Some of these initiatives are procuring a tax-free ethanol permit, getting Web of Science, acquiring a power generator for the department and the purchase of a Bio-Rad Real time PCR machine and a ChemiDoc XRS+ camera.

18.  Some of the students from my research lab have been accepted into STEM graduate programs (Ph.D.) with full funding at the University of Cambridge (UK), UC Berkeley Michigan State University and Kansas State University; two are working as research associates at Emory University and at Algenol biofuel respectively; two are in Pharmacy school, five others have entered Medical schools (Georgia Regents University, Mercer University in Georgia, Upstate Medical University, New York, and University of Florida, Gainesville). One high school student is a Biology major at University of Pennsylvania and the other graduated from UCLA with a Bio major degree and is currently in PA school at Penn State. One student has recently started working as a post market clinical specialist at ALKU Quality at Waltham, MA. Many of these successful students are first generation college graduates. Thus I have an established record of motivating students in pursuing STEM careers.

19.  I have created an undergraduate mentorship program that is bridging the former UWG biology majors, who have successful careers in STEM fields, with current UWG STEM majors. My former UWG Bio major students can share their career experiences and offer valuable mentorship to guide the UWG Biology major students in their career paths. Topics of interest in the program are: different jobs for Biology majors, preparation needed for such jobs, CV and personal statement writing, preparation for a job/school interviews and, even going through a “mock” interview” via Skype. As the program evolves, I will involve my research collaborators from other institutions, to seek out successful undergrads from their departments to join the program. The bridge currently operates informally via e-mails, phone, Skype, LinkedIn and social network (Face Book) and my research lab website.

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education