Esser-Kahn Group

Saikat Manna

Saikat spent most of his childhood in a small city in the eastern part of India. He completed his Bachelor's and Master's in India, majoring in chemistry, and came to the United States with the hope of doing better science.  He completed his Ph.D. focused on synthetic chemistry to study multivalent interactions and development of protein and antibody based macromolecular therapeutics. Saikat enjoys travelling and hiking. He is also an avid aquarist.

Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona; 2016
Professor Stuart Lindsay, Professor Peiming Zhang (co-advisors)
Applications of Multivalent Interactions in Recognition Imaging and Delivery of Therapeutics

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; 2010
Professor Manish Bhattacharjee

Calcutta University, India; 2008

“Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.” —Thomas Huxley

Saikat's current postdoctoral research involves interrogating the immune system using chemical tools. He has worked on designing macromolecular immune activators that can be applied to tailor immune responses for application in vaccines and cancer immunotherapy. In this context, a major focus of his research involves developing materials that activate TLR and the NLRP3 inflammasome pathways in innate immune cells.

Bio-Inspired Mechanically Adaptive Materials Through Vibration-Induced Crosslinking

Wang, Z., Wang, J., Ayarza, J. et al. Bio-inspired mechanically adaptive materials through vibration-induced crosslinking. Nat. Mater. (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41563-021-00932-5

Receptor–Ligand Kinetics Influence the Mechanism of Action of Covalently Linked TLR Ligands

Kimani FW, Ajit J, Galluppi A, Manna S, Howitz WJ, Tang S, Esser-Kahn AP. ACS Chem. Biol. 2021, 16, 2, 380–388. Feb 1, 2021. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.0c00924

Pathogen-like Nano-assemblies of Covalently Linked TLR Agonists Enhance CD8 and NK Cell Mediated Anti-Tumor Immunity.

Saikat Manna, Sampa Maiti, Jingjing Shen, Wenjun Du, Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. ACS Cent. Sci. 2020, 6, 11, 2071–2078. Oct 27, 2020. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.0c01001

From Glucose to Polymers: A Continuous Chemoenzymatic Process

Maiti, S., Manna, S., Banahene, N., Pham, L., Liang, Z., Wang, J., Xu, Y., Bettinger, R., Zientko, J., Esser‐Kahn, A.P. and Du, W. Angewandte Chemie Int Ed. Volume 59, Issue43 Pages 18943-18947. Oct 19, 2020. doi: 10.1002/anie.202006468

Tuning Subunit Vaccines with Novel TLR Tri-Agonist Adjuvants to Generate Protective Immune Responses Against Coxiella burnetii.

Adrienne P. Gilkes, Tyler J. Albin, Saikat Manna, Medalyn Supnet, Sara Ruiz, Janine Tom, Alexander J. Badten, Aarti Jain, Rie Nakajima, Jiin Felgner, D. Huw Davies, Samuel A. Stetkevich, Albert Zlotnik, Eric Pearlman, Aysegul Nalca, Philip L. Felgner, Aaron P. Esser-Kahn and Amanda M. Burkhardt. J Immunol February 1, 2020, 204 (3) 611-621; DOI:

Linked Toll-Like Receptor Triagonists Stimulate Distinct, Combination-Dependent Innate Immune Responses

Tyler J Albin, Janine K Tom, Saikat Manna, Adrienne P Gilkes, Samuel A Stetkevich, Benjamin B Katz, Medalyn Supnet, Jiin Felgner, Aarti Jain, Rie Nakajima, Algis Jasinskas, Albert Zlotnik, Eric Pearlman, D Huw Davies, Phillip L Felgner, Amanda M Burkhardt, Aaron P Esser-Kahn. ACS Cent. Sci. 2019, 5, 7, 1137–1145. Jun 27, 2019. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.8b00823

Mitigation of Hydrophobicity-Induced Immunotoxicity by Sugar Poly(orthoesters)

Sampa Maiti, Saikat Manna, Jingjing Shen, Aaron P. Esser-Kahn, and Wenjun Du. Mitigation of Hydrophobicity-Induced Immunotoxicity by Sugar Poly(orthoesters). Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2019.

Immunomodulation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome through Structure-Based Activator Design and Functional

Saikat Manna, William J. Howitz, Nathan J. Oldenhuis, Alexander C. Eldredge, Jingjing Shen, Fnu Naorem Nihesh, Melissa B. Lodoen, Zhibin Guan , and Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. Immunomodulation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome through Structure-Based Activator Design and Functional. ACS Central Science. 2018. Vol. 4 (8), Pg. 982-995.

Applications of Immunomodulatory Immune Synergies to Adjuvant Discovery and Vaccine Development

Janine K. Tom, Tyler J. Albin, Saikat Manna, Brittany A. Moser, Rachel C. Steinhardt, Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. Applications of Immunomodulatory Immune Synergies to Adjuvant Discovery and Vaccine Development. Trends in Biotechnology.