October 2022:

The lab celebrated Halloween with a group costume – presenting…

The Sampath Lab Crayons

Congratulations to many lab members for their Travel Awards and Grants graciously sponsored by the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research (

Camille Duchamp – RCLR Research Grant

Bhavya Blaze – RCLR Travel Grant

Priyanka Sharma – RCLR Travel Grant

September 2022: Harini and Natalie attended the 2023 ICBL Conference in Montreal this month. Natalie’s abstract was chosen for a short talk, AND she won the best presentation award for this year! Congratulations Natalie – we are so proud of you!

Scroll through some of the pictures from the meeting and social events, below.

July 2022: Congratulations to Priyanka and the whole lab on the acceptance of our paper, Metabolic protection by the dietary flavonoid 7,8-dihydroxyflavone requires an intact gut microbiome in Frontiers in Nutrition. Read it here:

May 2022: Congratulations to our GH Cook Scholars Sarah Pfreundschuh, Nirali Trivedi, and Ranjita Suresh on the successful completion of their theses. We will miss you and wish you good luck in your onward journeys – keep in touch!

June 2022: Congratulations to Natalie and the whole lab on the acceptance of our paper, SCD1 is nutritionally and spatially regulated in the intestine and influences systemic postprandial lipid homeostasis and gut-liver crosstalk in BBA-Lipids. Read it here:

April 2022: Harini is promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure!! She is also awarded the Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence Award, as one of the university’s most distinguished young faculty members.

Celebrating at Rutgers Gardens
With Rutgers President, Dr. Jonathan Holloway, receiving the award
With Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Prabhas Moghe and Chair of Department of Nutritional Sciences, Dr. Joshua Miller, at the awards ceremony

March 2022: Natalie and Priyanka receive ASBMB travel awards to attend Experimental Biology; both give great oral presentations. Bhavya Blaze presents her work on OGG1 in skeletal muscle at EB 2022.

What a good looking bunch representing the Sampath Lab at EB 2022 in Philadephia

Our recent NIH grant is recognized by Rutgers and SEBS here:

February 2022: In a surreal return to in-person meetings, Harini gives an invited talk at the Big10 Lipids Alliance annual meeting in Champaign, IL on novel findings regarding SCD1 in the gut. It was so wonderful to meet colleagues old and new and talk lipids (almost) the whole time.

November-December 2021:Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations are loads of fun and provide a good excuse for some pictures. Congratulations to Joseph Woods on completing his BS in Biotechnology. Good luck Joseph!

Natalie is awarded the Carman Prize in Lipids 2021 – way to to Natalie!!

September-October 2021: It’s back to school, back to classes, teaching, graduate rotations, GH Cook students, and undergraduate researchers for the Sampath Lab. Read about our new members on the People page. September is also a busy ‘birthday month’, and the lab arranged several celebrations, including a surprise 5-year anniversary celebration for the lab. Fun was had by all 🙂

August 2021: Natalie’s paper is accepted in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology – Congratulations to all the co-authors!

Burchat N, Sharma P, Ye H, Komakula SSB, Dobrzyn A, Vartanian V, Lloyd RS and Sampath H (2021) Maternal Transmission of Human OGG1 Protects Mice Against Genetically and Diet-Induced Obesity Through Increased Tissue Mitochondrial Content. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 9:718962. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.718962

August 2021: Always nice when alumni come back and visit

July 2021: The lab has been awarded a 5-year R-01 grant by the National Institutes of Health to study the role of intestinal lipid metabolism in regulating systemic health. On that note, would you like to join our team? We are looking for talented postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students to join the lab to work on this exciting project.

See job posting at:

January-March 2021: COVID or no COVID, the lab has been keeping busy. Congratulations to the lab on the acceptance of two manuscripts:

Graduate student Sai Komakula had his paper on DNA repair in the adipocyte accepted at IJMS , and Priyanka Sharma had her paper on sexual dimorphism in metabolic responses accepted in Nutrients. Way to go!

Find these and all our papers at:

September 2020: The lab makes time for a socially-distanced pizza lunch to celebrate a multitude of September birthdays. The lab appears to be a magnet for those born in this month!

Three of us in this picture celebrate our birthdays in September!

Congratulations to alum Anupom Mondal and graduate student Natalie Burchat on the acceptance of their paper to BBA: Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. Read all about it here…

August 2020: Congratulations to Nutritional Sciences doctoral student Bhavya Blaze on passing her Qualifiers — yay!

The interesting year 2020

Well, when 2020 rolled around, we certainly couldn’t have envisioned the challenges it would bring to us all. However, in these uncertain times, we have managed to be healthy (touchwood) and productive.

In March, Natalie successfully defended her Research Proposal, in what would later be known as “The last time we all gathered together in person without masks.” Later, her abstract to the ASBMB annual meeting was chosen for a podium talk, only for the meeting to be canceled. However, Natalie gave an excellent virtual seminar on her work on intestinal desaturases at the ASBMB Spotlight Session in June. Check it out here (for a limited time):

Priyanka’s abstract to the ASN annual meeting was also chosen for a podium talk, as a finalist for the “Emerging Leaders in Nutrition” award – way to go, Priyanka! Hopefully, we will have a chance to present this work in person next year.

Tasleenpal Akal completed her MS thesis in Nutritional Sciences, which was conferred by Rutgers in May of 2020. Nice job, Tas!

Sai Komakula defended his Ph.D. thesis, supervised by Harini and Dr. Agnieszka Dobrzyn of the Nencki Institute in Warsaw, Poland. Sai defended his thesis via a virtual Zoom meeting, attended by over 75 participants from around the world. Following a grueling defense, Sai earned his doctoral degree, and we celebrated with multiple virtual celebrations. Thanks to all who attended his defense and the after-parties. Congratulations Dr. Komakula, and best wishes for your postdoctoral fellowship at University of Wroclaw.

Harini was awarded an American Heart Association Career Development Grant to pursue a role for intestinal desaturases in regulating whole-body metabolism. We are excited to use this timely award to increase our understanding of the intestine as a critical organ that regulates whole-body health.

In addition to staying productive and keeping essential strains and experiments going, lab members have descended fully into backyard gardening and homesteading activities.

As we take a deep breath (through a mask) and resume our research activities in full swing, the lab is now making plans for a socially-distanced celebration of lab birthdays that were missed during this shutdown. Happy birthday wishes to Deeptha and Bhavya.

December 2019

We wish you all a happy holiday season, and a great start to the New Year.Christmas-2019

November 2019

Priyanka presents the lab’s findings at the inaugural IFNH Research Day

Harini presents a talk at the annual RCLR Lipids Symposium, and several of the students and postdocs all present posters. Sai wins a poster award for his work on OGG1 and adipocyte differentiation. Great going Sai!

October 2019

A lab tradition continues…Halloween 2019.

The lab receives a Pilot grant from the NIH-Rutgers/PBRC Botanicals Research Center to study the mechanisms underlying sexual dimorphism in metabolic effects of a dietary flavonoid.

Botanicals center

The lab receives a New Jersey IFNH Seed Grant to study the dietary and genetic modulation of intestine-derived lipoproteins. Co-Investigators on this grant include Drs. Judith Storch (Rutgers, Nutrition), Loredana Quadr (Rutgers, Food Science), and Joseph Dixon (Rutgers, Nutrition)

IFNH logo


September 2019

Priyanka presents her work regarding sexual dimorphism in metabolic responses to a dietary flavonoid at the Big10 Lipids Conference at the University of Minnesota

Priyanka Big10 poster

Sai passes his doctoral qualifying exams at the Nencki Institute! Congratulations Sai!

July 2019

Harini and Anupom present lab findings at the Gordon Conference on the Molecular Biology of Lipids, held in beautiful Waterville Valley, NH.


Rutgers RiSE undergraduate scientist Gloria Awuku presents her summer work from the Sampath lab and wins a 5-minute presentation award!  Congratulations Gloria.

Gloria Awuku poster

Harini’s invited review in DNA Repair is published

“Roles of OGG1 in Transcriptional Regulation and Maintenance of Metabolic Homeostasis”


 June 2019

Harini is inducted into the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Conference on the Bioscience of Lipids (ICBL).

Steering Commitee

April 2019

Priyanka and Sai both receive travel awards from the Rutgers’ Center for Lipid Research to travel to meetings this year.  Great going!

Sai presented the lab’s work and parts of his thesis at the 12th Annual Nutrition, Endocrinology, and Food Science Graduate Student Conference, as an invited speaker.  Well done, Sai!Sai NEFS

March 2019

Graduate student Tasleen got married!  And the whole lab was glad to attend a lovely reception hosted by Tas’ parents.  Thank you for having us, and best wishes to the happy couple!

Tas wedding

At a cake and ‘champagne’ reception in the lab.


Group at Tas weddingThe whole group in Indian (and Chinese) attire, at the wedding reception.  Sampath Lab (above) and the extended lab (below).

February 2019

Postdoctoral Associate Dr. Priyanka Sharma and Harini Sampath publish an invited review in a Special Edition of the journal Cells, focused on mitochondrial DNA integrity and its role in health and disease.

January 2019

2019 is off to a great start, with Dr. Anupom Mondal being chosen as an INSPIRE associate. The INSPIRE Postdoctoral Program at Rutgers provides mentorship in teaching and career development for postdoctoral fellows. More about the program here:  Congratulations and best wishes to Anupom!

Graduate student Bhavya Blaze joins the lab as a doctoral-track student of Nutritional Sciences.  Welcome Bhavya!

December 2018: The lab celebrated many many holiday parties and events and made plans to travel and relax with family and friends for a few days, before beginning anew in 2019!  We wish you all a happy and safe holiday season!


dna christmas tree

November 2018: Sai successfully completes his doctoral qualifiers – Congratulations Sai on officially graduating to be the first doctoral candidate from the Sampath Lab!

Sai Thesis opening

November 2018: The lab presents 2 posters at the Rutgers Center for Lipid Research Lipid Symposium

RCLR group.jpg

October 2018: Harini receives a Research Innovation grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

October 2018: The graduate students dress up as C57Bl6 and obese Agouti mice for the departmental Halloween event.

Halloween 2018

October 2018: The lab bids a fond and teary farewell to Dr. Mary Falduto – we will miss you!

Mary farewell

October 2018: Harini appears on TV Asia’s Center Stage to talk about Nutrition Trends – How to Interpret Nutrition Guidelines for a Healthier YouTV-Asia 1

October 2018: Sai has a first-author publication in Nature Scientific Reports on the role of mitochondrial DNA repair in adipose tissue and its contribution to body weight regulation.  Great work!

September 2018: Harini co-chairs Session on Metabolism at the 3rd Central European Biomedical Congress in Krakow, Poland and gives a talk on DNA repair as a novel player in metabolic regulation.

August 2018: Tas passes her gruelling qualifiers.  Hooray Tas!

August 2018: Sai and Dr. Sampath attend the Kern Lipid Meeting in beautiful Vail, CO.  After a day of altitude adjustment, Sai presents his work both as a poster and an oral presentation.

Sai at poster at Kern

July 2018: Sai receives a Travel Award from the Kern Lipid Symposium and is chosen to give a short oral presentation.  Great going, Sai!

July 2018: Natalie passes her qualifiers with flying colors.  Congrats Natalie!

May 2018: Dr. Sampath presents the lab’s findings on OGG1 and metabolic disease at the Columbia Lipids Sympsium in NYC.

November 2017: Sai receives a travel award for his poster presentation at the RCLR Symposium.  Yay for Sai!


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