Sougat Misra

Sougat Misra

  • Assistant Research Professor
202 AVBS Building
Shortlidge Road

University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Selenium in human Health and Diseases
  • Redox Biology
  • Experimental cancer chemotherapeutics
  • Development of ex vivo organotypic slice cultures of human solid tumors as experimental model systems


I am trained as a toxicologist from the Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada from where I earned my Ph.D. in September 2011. There my research focus was to assess the toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic of different selenium compounds using primary isolated hepatocytes as a model system. Then I moved to the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Sweden initially as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Mikael Björnstedt, and was recruited later as an Assistant Professor in May 2015 until April 2019. During these years, my research work was focused on deciphering the mechanistic aspects of cytopathic effects of different selenium compounds. In parallel, I along with my colleagues have developed a state-of-the-art ex vivo organotypic tissue slice culture of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Current Research Interests

Cellular redox-regulatory processes play pivotal roles in human health and diseases. The central theme my research involves understanding “how ancillary redox-regulatory processes can be pharmacologically tuned in for therapeutic gain"? Selenium, an essential 'trace' element with diverse physiological functions, is at the core of my research, with specific focus on two independent but intertwined aspects.

1. Biological essentiality of a trace element is no counterargument against its cytotoxic effects. Indeed, selenium-containing molecules can be highly cytotoxic, specifically to cancer cells, depending on their metabolic transformations. In relation, a key focus of my research is to assess the efficacy of diverse selenium-containing small molecules as experimental cancer chemotherapeutics using relevant in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models. Moving beyond the traditional advances, new strategies are devised to bolster the anti-cancer efficacy of these selenium-containing small molecules. Range of approaches include, but not limited to, genetic and endogenous and synthetic small molecules-guided manipulation of their pharmacological properties by selective functional fine-tuning of their pharmacokinetic properties.

2. Systemic and cellular redox anomalies are signatures of many human diseases and conditions. The second aspect of my research evolves around how such human disease-related dysfunctions of systemic redox processes are therapeutically tractable? Selenoproteins are extremely important for the maintenance of cellular redox homeostasis. Together with selenoproteome, an extensive network of other key regulatory biomolecules supports cellular and systemic redox homeostatic processes. The overreaching goal is pharmacological manipulations of systemic redox imbalances in a specific manner, so that oxidative stress-associated diseases or conditions can be mitigated, managed, or cured based on the contextual causal or consequential relationship between the stressors and the pathophysiological disorders.


Selenoprotein P as biomarker of selenium status in clinical trials with therapeutic dosages of selenite
Nutrients, Brodin, O., Hackler, J., Misra, S., Wendt, S., Sun, Q., Laaf, E., Stoppe, C., Björnstedt, M., Schomburg, L., 2020

Selenium and selenoproteins in prostanoid metabolism and immunity
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Qian, Fenghua, Misra, Sougat, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2019

Ex vivo organotypic culture system of precision-cut slices of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
Scientific Reports, Misra, Sougat, Moro, Carlos F., Chiaro, Marco Del, Pouso, Soledad, Sebestyén, Anna, Löhr, Matthias, Björnstedt, Mikael, Verbeke, Caroline S., 2019

Characterization of the human RFX transcription factor family by regulatory and target gene analysis
BMC Genomics, Sugiaman-Trapman, D., Vitezic, M., Jouhilahti, E.-M., Mathelier, A., Lauter, G., Misra, S., Daub, C.O., Kere, J., Swoboda, P., 2018

Therapeutic potential of selenium compounds in the treatment of cancer, Selvam, Arun Kumar, Björnstedt, Mikael, Misra, Sougat, 2018

Selenocystine and cancer, Misra, Sougat, Björnstedt, Mikael, 2018

Organoseenium compounds in Biology and Medicine, Misra, Sougat, Bjornstedt, Mikael, 2017

Selenite promotes all-trans retinoic acid-induced maturation of acute promyelocytic leukemia cells
Oncotarget, Misra, Sougat, 2016

Quantification of low molecular weight selenium metabolites in human plasma after treatment with selenite in pharmacological doses by LC-ICP-MS
Fresenius Zeitschrift fur Analytische Chemie, Misra, Sougat, 2016

Selenite in Cancer Therapy, Misra, Sougat, Wallenberg, Marita, Brodin, Ola, Björnstedt, Mikael, 2015

Redox-active selenium compounds—from toxicity and cell death to cancer treatment
Nutrients, Misra, Sougat, Boylan, Mallory, Selvam, Arun, Spallholz, Julian E., Björnstedt, Mikael, 2015

Pharmacokinetics and toxicity of sodium selenite in the treatment of patients with carcinoma in a phase I clinical trial: The SECAR study
Nutrients, Brodin, O., Eksborg, S., Wallenberg, M., Asker-Hagelberg, C., Larsen, E.H., Mohlkert, D., Lenneby-Helleday, C., Jacobsson, H., Linder, S., Misra, S., Björnstedt, M., 2015

A human ex vivo system for the study of pancreatic injury and regeneration
Pancreatology, Moro, Carlos Fernández, Misra, Sougat, Pouso, Soledad, Wallenberg, Marita, Heuchel, Rainer, Löhr, Matthias, Björnstedt, Mikael, Chiaro, Marco Del, Verbeke, Caroline, 2014

Selenium induces a multi-targeted cell death process in addition to ROS formation
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Wallenberg, M., Misra, S., Wasik, A.M., Marzano, C., Björnstedt, M., Gandin, V., Fernandes, A.P., 2014

Selenium cytotoxicity in cancer
Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol., Misra, Sougat, Wallenberg, M, Misra, Sougat, Björnstedt, M, 2014

Induction of oxidative stress by selenomethionine in isolated hepatocytes of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Toxicol In Vitro, Misra, Sougat, Misra, Sougat, Hamilton, C, Niyogi, S, 2012

Methylselenol formed by spontaneous methylation of selenide is a superior selenium substrate to the thioredoxin and glutaredoxin systems
PLoS One, Misra, Sougat, Fernandes, AP, Wallenberg, M, Gandin, V, Misra, Sougat, Tisato, F, Marzano, C, Rigobello, MP, Kumar, S, Björnstedt, M, 2012

Tissue-specific accumulation and speciation of selenium in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to elevated dietary selenomethionine
Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C-Toxicol. Pharmacol., Misra, Sougat, Misra, Sougat, Peak, D, Chen, N, Hamilton, C, Niyogi, S, 2012