Picture of  Meena Sakharkar

Meena Sakharkar Associate Professor

3D.01.16 Health Sciences


Dr. Sakharkar is a member of the Drug Discovery and Development Research Group. She joined the college in 2014 following her appointment as a professor at the Graduate School of Life and Environmental Science at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. Dr. Sakharkar obtained her PhD from the National University of Singapore, followed by postdoctoral training at Stanford University. She teaches courses on pharmaceutical biotechnology, pharmacogenomics, personalised medicine, and drug design.



Dr. Sakharkar’s research interests are in drug target identification and validation using multiple cross-disciplinary approaches. Currently, her lab is investigating the role of PPAR gamma and its targets in breast cancer and Parkinson’s disease. She also has an active research program that involves designing novel antibiotic-phytochemical drug conjugates by using fragment-based drug design for treating bacterial infections in dairy cattle. Her research is funded by Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, NSERC, Government of Saskatchewan, SaskMilk, and Mitacs.


  • Nilofer C, Sukhwal A, Mohanapriya A, Sakharkar MK*, Kangueane P. (2019) Small protein-protein interfaces rich in electrostatic are often linked to regulatory function. J Biomol Struct Dyn. Sep 9 : 1-20
  • Prabaharan CB, Yang AB, Chidambaram D, Rajamanickam K, Napper S, Sakharkar MK* (2019) Ibrutinib as a potential therapeutic option for HER2 overexpressing breast cancer - the role of STAT3 and p21. Invest New Drugs. 2019 Aug 2
  • Sakharkar MK*, Kashmir Singh SK, Rajamanickam K, Mohamed Essa M, Yang J, Chidambaram SB (2019) A systems biology approach towards the identification of candidate therapeutic genes and potential biomarkers for Parkinson's disease. PLoS One. 5;14(9):e0220995
  • Bhat A, Mahalakshmi AM, Ray B, Tuladhar S, Hediyal TA, Manthiannem E, Padamati J, Chandra R, Chidambaram SB, Sakharkar MK* (2019) Benefits of curcumin in brain disorders. 45(5):666-689.
  • Chidambaram SB, Rathipriya AG, Bolla SR, Bhat A, Ray B, Mahalakshmi AM, Manivasagam T, Thenmozhi AJ, Essa MM, Guillemin GJ, Chandra R, Sakharkar MK* (2019) Dendritic spines: Revisiting the physiological role. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 92:161-193.
  • Rajamanickam K, Yang J, Sakharkar MK*(2018) Gallic acid potentiates the antimicrobial activity of tulathromycin against two key bovine respiratory disease (BRD) causing-pathogens, Frontiers in Pharmacology. 4;9:1486
  • Chidambaram SB, Bhat A, Ray B, Mani S, Kumar S.P.M, Manivasagam T, Justin A, Thenmozhi, Essa MM, Guillemin GJ, Sakharkar MK* (2018) Cocoa beans improve mitochondrial biogenesis via PPARg/PGC1a dependent signaling pathway in MPP+ intoxicated human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) Nutritional Neuroscience. 12:1-10
  • Sakharkar MK*, Rajamanickam K, Chandra R, Khan HA, Alhomida AS, Yang J. (2018) Identification of novel drug targets in respiratory diseases: an essential step in applying biotechnologic techniques to develop more effective therapeutic treatments. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. 12:1135-1146.
  • Chen L, Krol ES, Sakharkar MK, Khan HA, Alhomida AS, Yang J (2017) Residues His172 and Lys238 are Essential for the Catalytic Activity of the Maleylacetate Reductase from Sphingobium chlorophenolicum Strain L-1. Scientific Reports 2017; 7:18097. 
  • Mazumder M, Ponnan P, Das U, Gourinath S, Khan HA, Yang J, and Sakharkar MK*. (2017). Investigations on Binding Pattern of Kinase Inhibitors with PPARγ: Molecular Docking, Molecular Dynamic Simulations, and Free Energy Calculation Studies. PPAR Research. 2017:6397836.

 * corresponding author