Professor Nitin Mantri
Associate Professor Mantri is an internationally recognised expert in plant functional genomics and pharmacology, traditional medicine research. He is the leader of The Pangenomics Lab and Program Manager for Master of Biotechnology.
My basic training is in Plant Functional Genomics. However, I strategically extended my research to Medicinal Plants and Functional foods to improve health of Australians. I have published over 100 Refereed Articles and successfully obtained over $10.5 million funding in these areas.
Professional Awards and Distinctions
- 2021 Chair of the International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Phytochemistry
- 2021 Appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia
- 2020 Chair of the Medicinal Cannabis Conference
- 2019 Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (School of Science)
- 2016 Teaching Achievement Award (85+ category)
- 2013 Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (School of Applied Sciences)
- 2013 RMIT ECR Travel Award
- 2010 RMIT ECR Award
Media statements / interviews (selected 2014 onwards)
- 2021: Chickpea gene editing work. SiriusXM 143: Top of Mind with Julie Rose. A daily, live news talk and interview show heard in the US by over 26 million listeners.
- 2021: Chickpeas are in peril. Gene editing could save them. Experience Magazine Boston, USA
- 2020: MGC Pharma partners with RMIT to Build Digital Cannabis Database. The Green Fund
- 2019: Education is key if the medical cannabis industry is to grow and prosper. Starinvesting
- 2019: MGC Pharma and RMIT develop the 'Google of medicinal cannabis' to support R&D and NPD. NutraIngredients-Asia and IT NEWS
- 2019: CannHub – A Medicinal Cannabis Hub. Ozdial
- 2018: RMIT University and MGC Pharmaceuticals partnership to launch international medicinal cannabis research hub. Biotech Capital
- 2018: More Discoveries on Horizon in Medical Cannabis Research. Kalkine Media
- 2018: ‘Cannabusiness and Academia; Building for the Next Generation’ – CannaTech Sydney 2018.
- 2018: Prime Time: Cannatech Sydney Day 1. Mary’s Publications
- 2017: Announcing our Medical Cannabis research collaboration with RMIT University: A step forward in Cannabis research. Medium.com
- 2017: Can weed fight melanoma? MGC pays RMIT University to find out. Stockhead.com.au
- 2014: Steps Towards Bioactive Honey. SBS Radio October 2014
- Program Manager for Master of Biotechnology (MC111), RMIT University
- Founding Chair of the Next Generation Sequencing Facility, RMIT University
- Founding Chair of the Medicinal Cannabis Research Facility, RMIT University
- Leader of The Pangenomics Lab, RMIT University
- Founding Member of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Network, RMIT University
- Core Member of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Program, RMIT University
- Board Member (Past), College of Science Engineering and Health, RMIT University
Committees (external - recent)
- 2021: Organizing Committee, 11th World Gene Convention, May 16-18, 2022, Osaka, Japan https://www.bitcongress.com/wgc2022/Committee.asp
- 2020 - 2021: Conference Chair, International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Phytochemistry, Melbourne, Australia, July 12-14, 2021.
- 2020: Conference Chair, Online Conference on Cannabis and Cannabinoids (Cannabis-2020).
Reports, ministerial addresses and consulting
- 2021: AYUSH Information Cell, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, invited me to submit a White Paper on ‘Challenges and Opportunities for Ayurveda and Yoga in Australia’
- 2021: Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), Victoria and Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia (MCIA) sought my consultation regarding the development of the cannabis industry in Victoria.
- 2021: Invited by Director, Office of Drug Control, Australian Government Department of Health for targeted consultation on reforms associated with regulation of medicinal cannabis use and permits.
- 2021: Consulted DJPR Victoria on ‘Building clinical evidence for the global medicinal cannabis market’
- 2020: Victorian Government invited me to the Export Roundtable Discussion on Medicinal Cannabis to consult on developing Victoria as export hub for cannabis products
- 2019: Malaysian Ministry of Health sent 4 senior Health Policy Officials through DJPR Victoria to consult with me on Medicinal Cannabis Research and Regulation Policy. The delegates included Deputy Director, Licensing, Pharmacy Enforcement Division, Senior Principal Assistant Director, Schedules Substances Control Section, Principal Assistant Director, Scheduled Substances Control Section, and Senior Principal Assistant Director, Legislation, Pharmacy Enforcement Division.
Review panels (internal)
Led Major Review of the Master of Biotechnology Program in 2018.
Reviewer of funding applications for:
- Australian Research Council (2013 onwards) – reviewed various applications including ARC Discovery Projects, Linkage Projects, Future Fellowships and DECRA.
- Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology – invited reviewer for funding applications (Israeli-Italian Call for Proposals on Scientific & Technological Cooperation)
- Qatar National Science Fund – invited reviewer for funding applications
Editorial Board of leading Journals
- Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group): IF – 4.57; SJR Q1
- Frontiers in Plant Science (Frontiers Group): IF 4.4; SJR Q1
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences (MDPI Publishers): IF – 4.56; SJR Q1
- Frontiers in Genetics (Frontiers Group): IF 3.26; SJR Q1
- Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (Elsevier): IF – 2.5; SJR Q2
A/Prof Mantri has established research partnerships and received over $10.5 million dollars funding in collaboration with various Australian industries namely, GRDC, Horticulture Australia Ltd, Strawberries Australia, Sanitarium Health Foods, Stiefel Research Australia, Kenkay Pharmaceuticals, Skybury Coffee Pty Ltd, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Global Health Retreat, The Good Brew Co and MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Board Member (Past), College of Science Engineering and Health, RMIT University.
- Founding Member, Medical Cannabis Council, Australia.
- Organizing Committee, International Phytomedomics and Nutriomics Consortium. http://ipnc.info/
- Member, Climate Change Genomics Consortium.
Technologies delivered (last 5 years)
- Identification of microbes in bathing water from global hot springs:
Hot Springs are popular wellness destinations globally. They however do not completely know the nature of beneficial microbes present in hot springs water and how microbial content changes after customer bathing. I worked with Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria (largest in Australia and awarded ‘Best in the world’) and Global Hotsprings Retreats to determine natural and customer introduced microbial content in their bathing water through which a comprehensive microbial profile and physiochemical characteristics of their hot spring water samples was delivered.
- International Library of Cannabinoids:
In 2018, MGC Pharmaceuticals commissioned a project to develop a ‘Medicinal Cannabis Database’ that can be used by growers, patients, doctors and researchers to curate information about strains and their clinical use. I collaborated with Dr Maria Spichkova to recruit 2 batches of 5-6 Master of Information Technology students in 2018 and 2019 to deliver the ‘International Library of Cannabinoids’ (https://cannabinoidslibrary.com).
- PMeV detection kit developed for Skybury Coffee Pty Ltd:
Skybury Coffee is largest papaya producer in Australia (produces 60%). An exotic pathogen, Papaya Meleira Virus was introduced in Australia in 2017-2018 posing serious threat to this industry. They approached me to develop a rapid field detection test as one of my students developed biosensor for a wheat pathogen. In just over a year, we developed a Lateral Flow Device based assay that they are now using to screen for ‘disease free clones’ before they are planted in the field. The first-year crop planted after testing with our assay is currently free of this disease.
- Kombucha research for The Good Brew Co:
The Good Brew Co is one of the largest kombucha manufactures in Australia. They are interested in comparing microbial composition and health benefits of their kombuchas to other commercial brands. We used Next Gen Sequencing to analyse the complete bacterial, archaeal and fungal profile of 40 commercial kombuchas. We also performed comprehensive physio-chemical analysis of the kombuchas (normal and herb infused). The Good Brew kombuchas were found to lower Glycemic Index post meal by 15%. Our analysis indicate that it may be due to higher amount of glucanobacteria in their kombuchas.
- 2012 Grad Cert Tertiary Teaching and Learning (RMIT University, Australia)
- 2007 PhD in Applied Biotechnology (RMIT University, Australia)
- 2003 M.Sc. in Agricultural Biotechnology (Marathwada Agricultural University, India)
- 2000 B.Sc. Agriculture (Marathwada Agricultural University, India)
- Hussain, J.,Cohen, M.,O'Malley, C.,Mantri, N.,Li, Y.,Mueller, J.,Greaves, R.,Wang, X. (2023). Detections of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticide metabolites in urine and sweat obtained from women during infrared sauna and exercise: A pilot crossover study In: International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 248, 1 - 9
- Schanknecht, E.,Bachari, A.,Nassar, N.,Piva, T.,Mantri, N. (2023). Phytochemical Constituents and Derivatives of Cannabis sativa; Bridging the Gap in Melanoma Treatment In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24, 1 - 34
- Mahmoudinoodezh, H.,Telukutla, S.,Bhangu, S.,Bachari, A.,Cavalieri, F.,Mantri, N. (2022). The Transdermal Delivery of Therapeutic Cannabinoids In: Pharmaceutics, 14, 1 - 16
- Kaashyap, M.,Ford, R.,Mann, A.,Varshney, R.,Siddique, K.,Mantri, N. (2022). Comparative Flower Transcriptome Network Analysis Reveals DEGs Involved in Chickpea Reproductive Success during Salinity In: Plants, 11, 1 - 20
- Hussain, J.,Cohen, M.,Mantri, N.,O'Malley, C.,Greaves, R. (2022). Infrared sauna as exercise-mimetic? Physiological responses to infrared sauna vs exercise in healthy women: A randomized controlled crossover trial In: Complementary therapies in medicine, 64, 1 - 11
- Kaashyap, M.,Kaur, S.,Ford, R.,Edwards, D.,Siddique, K.,Varshney, R.,Mantri, N. (2022). Comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of two RIL parents with contrasting salt responsiveness identifies polyadenylated and non-polyadenylated flower lncRNAs in chickpea In: Plant Biotechnology Journal, 20, 1402 - 1416
- Rani, A.,Dike, C.,Mantri, N.,Ball, A. (2022). Point-of-Care Lateral Flow Detection of Viable Escherichia coli O157:H7 Using an Improved Propidium Monoazide-Recombinase Polymerase Amplification Method In: Foods, 11, 1 - 17
- Pang, Z.,Wang, Y.,Mantri, N.,Wang, Y.,Hua, X.,Quan, Y.,Zhou, X.,Jiang, Z.,Qi, Z.,Lu, H. (2022). Molecular phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy position of 161 Camellia species in China In: Taiwania, 67, 560 - 570
- Kaashyap, M.,Cohen, M.,Mantri, N. (2021). Microbial diversity and characteristics of kombucha as revealed by metagenomic and physicochemical analysis In: Nutrients, 13, 1 - 14
- Behera, B.,Dehury, B.,Rout, A.,Mantri, N., et al, . (2021). Metagenomics study in aquatic resource management: Recent trends, applied methodologies and future needs In: Gene Reports, 25, 1 - 14
- Bioprogramming the behaviour of nanoparticles in live cells by nanoscopy. Funded by: ARC Discovery Projects 2021 from (2021 to 2024)
- Development of specific and sensitive method for identification of PMeV. Funded by: Innovation Connections Grant 2017 from (2018 to 2019)
- Production and testing of novel bioactive honeys and honey-based cosmetic formulations. Funded by: ARC Linkage Grant pre-2014 Round 2 from (2013 to 2017)
- Genomics Approaches for Stress Tolerant Chickpea. Funded by: Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education Contract from (2012 to 2017)
- DNA-marker development for flavour compounds in strawberry. Funded by: Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited Industry Call Grant Pre-2014 from (2012 to 2015)
11 PhD Completions and 2 Masters by Research Completions11 PhD Current Supervisions