DBT CUSAT welcomes NAAC Peer Team! DBT CUSAT welcomes NAAC Peer Team! DBT CUSAT welcomes NAAC Peer Team! DBT CUSAT welcomes NAAC Peer Team! DBT CUSAT welcomes NAAC Peer Team!
Dr. Unnikrishnan Sivan
Dr. Unnikrishnan Sivan
DHR-NRI Faculty


Dr. Unnikrishnan Sivan started his research group at the Cochin University of Science and Technology, holding research funding from the Department of Health Research Government of India. His research group is interested in delineating the role of the neuronal niche in carcinogenesis using in vitro and in vivo models.

Before moving back to India, Dr. Unnikrishnan served as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, UK and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. His primary research goal is to understand the role of stem cell niche in tissue regeneration, carcinogenesis, and metastasis. At Karolinska Institutet (June 2014-December 2018), he explored how a cancer-initiating (stem) cell exploits the standard homeostasis mechanisms and micro-niches to benefit their survival and spatial organization during carcinogenesis.

To study the role of the vascular and neuronal network in cancer stem cell niche formation and maintenance, Dr. Unnikrishnan moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford, UK (January 2019- May 2021). Dr. Unnikrishnan successfully completed his Ph.D. (March 2014) in stem cells and regenerative medicine from Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum.

Research Interests
• Cancer Neuroscience
• Regenerative Medicine

1. Simon J., Karl A., Tina J., Xiaoyan S., Tim D., Unnikrishnan Sivan, et al., (2020) The molecular anatomy of mouse skin during hair growth and rest. Cell Stem Cell (29)1-17 (Impact factor: 24.633)

2. Junyu Chen, Unnikrishnan Sivan*, Sin Lih Tan et al., (2020) High-resolution 3D imaging uncovers organ-specific vascular control of tissue aging. Science Advances 2021; 7 (6): eabd7819 (2021) *Equal contributing first author (Impact factor: 14.136)

3. Xiaoyan S., Alexandra A., Unnikrishnan Sivan, et al., (2020) Coordinated hedgehog signaling induces new hair follicles in adult skin. eLife 9 e46756 (Impact factor: 8.14)

4. Unnikrishnan Sivan, Jessica A., Anjali K. (2019). Role of angiocrine signals in bone development, homeostasis and disease. Open Biology 9 (10), 190144 (Impact factor: 6.41)

5. Unnikrishnan Sivan, Alexandra Are, Simon Joost, Karl Annusver et al., (2021) Stem cells occupying different niches act as tumor-initiating cells for wound-induced squamous cell carcinoma in mouse skin. (Manuscript under submission)

6. Reshmi R, Unnikrishnan Sivan, KV Krishnan, Lissy K K,. (2017) Synthesis and characterization of silver nanoparticle incorporated gelatin-hydroxypropyl methacrylate hydrogels for wound dressing applications. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 44529: 1-9 (Impact factor: 3.125)

7. Unnikrishnan Sivan, Jayakumar K, and Lissy K Krishnan,. (2016). Matrix-directed differentiation of adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells to dermal-like fibroblasts and deposit extra cellular matrix. Journal of TERM 10(10): 546-558 (Impact factor: 3.963)

8. Anja F., Alexandra A., Simon J., Tina J., Unnikrishnan Sivan, et al.,. (2015) Dynamics of Lgr6+ stem cells in the hair follicle, sebaceous gland and interfollicular epidermis. Stem Cell Reports 5(5): 843-855 (Impact factor: 7.765)

9. Unnikrishnan Sivan, Jayakumar K, and Lissy Krishnan. (2014) Constitution of Fibrin-Based Niche for In Vitro Differentiation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Keratinocytes. BioResearch open access 3(6): 339-34 (Impact factor: 2.75)

10. V.M. Ragaseema, S. Unnikrishnan, V. Kalliyana Krishnan, and Lissy K. Krishnan. (2012) The antithrombotic and antimicrobial properties of PEG-protected silver nanoparticle coated surfaces. Biomaterials 33(11): 3083-3092 (Impact factor: 12.479)

11. Unnikrishnan Sivan, Kalliyana Krishnan, and Lissy K. Krishnan, (2016) Anti-Microbial and Non-Toxic Concentration of Silver nano Particles Support Differentiation of Adipose Derived Mesenchymal Cells to Fibroblast for Skin Tissue Engineering. Current Tissue Engineering 5: 1-10

Book Chapters
1. Unnikrishnan Sivan, Jessica De Angelis, Anjali P. Kusumbe. (2021). The Role of Vasculature in Cancer Stem Cell Niches. Book chapter in Advances in Stem Cells and Their Niches ISSN 2468-5097

Invited Talks
1. International Webinar entitled ‘’Biological Models in Modern Research" 2021 conducted by Govt. Arts College, Trivandrum.

2. ‘Biospectrum 2021; International virtual seminar on recent trends in biological sciences’ organized by Sree Sankara College Kalady, Ernakulam.

3. ‘Biogen 2020-International webinar series on Surviving the Pandemic’ organized by IQAC and Department of Biosciences Sree Sankara College Kalady, Ernakulam.

International Oral Presentations & selected Conference Proceedings
1. Unnikrishnan S. and Lissy Krishnan. “Differentiation of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells to keratinocytes using matrix directed approach” (Oral presentation). WITE 3rd international conference on “Strategies in tissue engineering-2012” Wurzburg, Germany.

2. Unnikrishnan S., Lynda V. Thomas, Remya S., Prabha D. Nair, and Maya Nandkumar “A Bio-Hybrid Co-Polymer Scaffold for Lung Tissue Engineering” (oral presentation), International Conference on Medical Materials Devices and Regenerative Medicine -2008, Katmandu, Nepal.

3. Lissy KK, Unnikrishnan Sivan, KV Krishnan. (2014) Construction of Skin Tissue on Biodegradable and Biomimetic Scaffold Using Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Journal of Wound repair and Regeneration 22(2): A49-49. 24th Annual Meeting of the Wound Healing Society-2014, Florida, USA

4. Unnikrishnan S. and Dr. Lissy K. Krishnan “Dermal ECM synthesis by Adipose Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (ADMSCs) on an in vitro niche” (poster presentation). Proc. Stem Cell Society Singapore 3rd Symposium (SCSS symposium 2011) Biopolis, Singapore.

Awards and Honors
1. Awarded DHR India NRI Fellowship and Research Grant (2021)

2. Receiver of Karolinska Institutet’s forskningsbidrag (Research Grant) for 2016 and 2017

3. Awarded Karolinska Institutet Sweden Postdoc Scholarship for Foreign researchers 2014-16

4. ICMR Junior Research Fellowship - Indian Council of Medical Research India –2006

5. Qualified National Level Eligibility Test for Ph.D. registration, SCTIMST, India- 2007

6. Kerala State Merit Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies 2002-2004

Research Team
Merin Johny
Athira M Menon
Courses Offered