Vipul Navinchandra Panchal's picture

Vipul Navinchandra Panchal

Researcher, postdoctoral researcher
  • E-mailvipul.panchal@uib.no
  • Visitor Address
    Jonas Lies Vei 91
    5009 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7804
    5020 Bergen

I am a molecular and structure biologist by training. After receiving my Ph.D. in 2018 from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), India I joined Prof. Ruth Brenk at the University of Bergen, Norway. Here, my research focuses on evaluating the drug therapeutic potential of regulatory RNA elements of mRNA in bacteria. As the drug therapeutic potential of RNA elements has just begun to realize, there is a need to develop RNA-focused assays that could facilitate their assessment as a potential drug target. This has a larger implication in terms of expanding the existing tiny "druggable landscape". 

With this in focus, my current research focuses on exploring the potential of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) riboswitch as a novel class of antibacterial drug target. Riboswitches are structured noncoding RNA elements, residing in the 5'-untranslated region of the mRNA and regulate the expression of the immediate downstream genes (cis-mode of action) in a ligand-dependent manner. As the TPP riboswitch is absent in humans and prevalent across bacteria, identifying a drug-like compound specific to it could lead to a novel drug target. Towards this, I have already developed a novel dual molecular reporter assay and carried out high-throughput screening (HTS).

We are currently working on to establish a structure-activity relationship for verified hits from the HTS. Meanwhile, I am also working on virtual HTS against TPP riboswitch. With this comprehensive approach, I expect to deliver potent drug-like compounds targeting the TPP riboswitch.

Drug Discovery get-together

In March 2023, we had a Drug Discovery meeting to showcase the research that is going on Bergen and to connect the groups active in this area. Nearly 50 people had signed up of the meeting and we had 9 different talks covering topics from target discovery all the way to clinical trials.

Alumni talk

In Jan 2023, at dept. of Biochem, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, I delivered a talk entitled "mRNA as a small molecule drug target- a new realization for the old messenger". 

JPIAMR Therapeutics workshop: Feeding the AMR Therapeutics Pipeline

In April 2020, I discussed the potential of bacterial riboswitches as antibacterial drug targets in an invited talk entitled "Novel HTS strategies that explore the non-coding RNA space by targeting TPP riboswitches".

  • Show author(s) (2023). RNA-binding is an ancient trait of the Annexin family. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 18 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Riboswitches as Drug Targets for Antibiotics. Antibiotics. 1-22.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Fragment-Based Drug Discovery for RNA Targets. ChemMedChem.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

  • Vipul Panchal, Sushil Kumar, Shaikh Nausad Hossain, Dileep Vasudevan. (2021) Structure analysis of thymidylate synthase from white spot syndrome virus reveals WSSV-specific structural elements. Int J Biol Macromol. 167:1168-1175
  • Panchal V, Jatana N, Malik A, Taneja B, Pal R, Bhatt A, Besra GS, Thukral L, Chaudhary S, Rao V. (2019) A novel mutation alters the stability of PapA2 resulting in the complete abrogation of sulfolipids in clinical mycobacterial strains. FASEB Bioadv. 1(5):306-319.
  • Bothra A, Arumugam P, Panchal V, Menon D, Srivastava S, Shankaran D, Nandy A, Jaisinghani N, Singh A, Gokhale RS, Gandotra S, Rao V. (2018) Phospholipid homeostasis, membrane tenacity and survival of Mtb in lipid-rich conditions is determined by MmpL11 function. Sci Rep. 8(1):8317.
  • Laddha NC, Dwivedi M, Mansuri MS, Singh M, Gani AR, Yeola AP, Panchal VN, Khan F, Dave DJ, Patel A, Madhavan SE, Gupta R, Marfatia Z, Marfatia YS, Begum R. (2014) Role of oxidative stress and autoimmunity in onset and progression of vitiligo. Exp Dermatol. 23(5):352-3.


  • Bruna Schuck de Azevedo, Vipul Panchal, Ruth Brenk. Structure-based drug design of Pseudomonas aeruginosa’s 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase inhibitor. BioCat conference-2022, Norway
  • Panchal, V. N., Bothra, A., Chaudhary, S., & Rao, V. Molecular basis for missense-mutation induced functional loss in Mtb PapA2, 24th Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography, IUCR-2017, Hyderabad, India.
  • A Bothra, A Prabhakar, V Panchal. “Mmpl family of genes regulate the biogenesis and maintenance of cell wall glycolipidsthe potent virulent factors for M. tuberculosis pathogenesis” at Keystone symposium (2015), Colorado, United States

A successful track record for research funding includes grants such as,

  • Research funds (2024-2025), L. Meltzer's University Fund
  • Medical Research Grant (2024-2025), University of Bergen
  • Instruct-ERIC (2023), HORIZON EUROPE
  • BioCat Research visit Grant (2022 & 2021) from The Norwegian Graduate School in Biocatalysis (for a Visit to the CZ-openscreen, Czechia)
  • Research Stays Abroad grant (2020) from The Research Council of Norway (for a Visit to the University of Sherbrooke, Canada)
  • Senior Research Fellowship - CSIR (2015-2018), India
  • Junior Research Fellowship - CSIR (2011-2014), India

As a part of the not-for-profit organization- Science and Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI) team, I organize various events focused on career opportunities in India.