Dr. Ruchi Bansal, Assistant Professor
Targeted Therapeutics - The Liver Lab
Biomaterials Science and Technology 
Technical Medical Centre, Faculty of Science and Technology
Room no. ZH245
7500AE, Enschede, The Netherlands
Phone: +31534893115
Webpage: http://bansal-liverlab.com/
Email: r.bansal@utwente.nl
Researcher unique identifier(s): D-4796-2016
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ruchi_Bansal5
ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2470-5876; Google scholar

BIOGRAPHY

Ruchi Bansal is an assistant professor at University of Twente, The Netherlands. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry from Delhi University, India. In 2012, She obtained her PhD from Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Targeting, University of Groningen. Her PhD project was focused on designing of novel strategies to target interferon gamma and its signaling domain to the target pathogenic cells in the chronic diseases (liver fibrosis and Cancer). During the last stages of her PhD, she received two prestigious grants Sheila Sherlock research fellowship (from European association for the study of liver diseases, EASL) and The Ruth and Richard Julin’s Foundation Swedish research grant for postdoctoral research at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Her research project was focused on “Pathogenesis of Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced and alcohol-induced liver diseases”. In October 2012, she started as a senior postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Biomaterials Science and Technology at University of Twente. In 2014, she received a prestigious VENI grant (from NWO, ZonMw) to pursue her research on “Development of novel targeted nano-therapeutics for the treatment of liver diseases”. She has received several awards/honors for her pioneering work and several research grants for pursuing her research. Ruchi has established her independent research team “The Liver Lab” focused on Liver diseases: from pathogenesis to nanotherapeutics at the University of Twente, The Netherlands.

RESEARCH THEME

Understanding underlying mechanisms for the development of advanced targeted Nano-theranostics for diagnosis and therapy for liver diseases.

Liver diseases are a growing health problem, with a worldwide mortality of around 1.2 million deaths per year attributable to cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. Liver injury caused by chronic viral infections (mainly HBV and HCV), excessive alcohol consumption, metabolic disorders (fatty diet and obesity) leads to liver inflammation, followed by the development of fibrosis (scar tissue formation and loss-of-liver-function) and further progressing to liver carcinoma. Hepatic stellate cells (liver myofibroblasts) are known as producers of fibrosis, and inflammatory macrophages are known as regulators of fibrosis. The cross-talk between these cells plays a crucial role in the progression of liver diseases. The molecular mechanisms leading to aberrant activation of these cells and the regulatory cellular processes involved are incompletely understood, and therefore molecular therapies for the treatment of liver fibrosis are not yet available for clinical use. Therefore, there is an urgent unmet need to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in the disease pathogenesis. On the basis of the understanding, it will therefore be possible to develop new in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo models for the disease modeling, and design new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases.
The primary goal of research is to design, develop and evaluate the novel approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases and she ambitiously aim to bring these novel therapies to the market for the clinical applications as future personalized medicines.

RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

 *Corresponding author; †Equal contribution

2019

1.    Sacchi M, Bansal R*†, Rouwkema J*†. Bioengineered 3D models to recapitulate tissue fibrosis. Trends in Biotechnology 2019, submitted, review (IF 13.75).

2.    Van der Heide D, Weiskirchen R, Bansal R*. Therapeutic targeting of hepatic macrophages for the treatment of liver diseases. Frontiers in immunology 2019, tentatively accepted, review. (IF 5.5).

3.    Akcora BO, Gabriel A†, Perez AO†,  Bansal R*. Pharmacological inhibition of STAT3 pathway ameliorates acute liver injury in vivo via inactivation of inflammatory macrophages and hepatic stellate cells. FASEB BioAdvances 2019, accepted (in press).

4.    Cu K, Bansal R, Mitragotri S, Fernandez Rivas D. Delivery Strategies for Skin: Comparison of nanoliter jets, needles and topical solutions. Ann Biomed Eng. 2019 Oct 15. doi: 10.1007/s10439-019-02383-1. (IF 2.78)

5.    Nagórniewicz B, Mardhian D, Storm G, Prakash J†, Bansal R*†. Engineered Relaxin as theranostic nanomedicine to diagnose and ameliorate liver cirrhosis. Nanomedicine. 2019 Apr; 17: 106-118. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2018.12.008. (IF 5.57).

6.    Akcora BO, Dathathri E, Perez AO, Gabriel A, Storm G, Prakash J, Bansal R*. TG101348, a selective JAK2 antagonist ameliorates hepatic fibrogenesis in vivo. FASEB J. 2019 Aug; 33(8): 9466-9475. doi: 10.1096/fj.201900215RR. (IF 5.39).

7.    Mohanty SK, Lobeck I, Donnelly B, Dupree P, Walther A, Mowery S, Coots A, Bondoc A, Sheridan RM,  Poling HM, Temple H, McNeal M, Sestak K, Bansal R, Tiao G. Rotavirus reassortant induced murine model of liver fibrosis parallels human biliary atresia. Hepatology. 2019 Aug 23. doi: 10.1002/hep.30907 (IF 14.97).

8.    Booijink R, Bansal R*. The Autotaxin-Lysophosphatidic Acid axis as a novel therapeutic target for liver fibrosis. OBM Hepatology and Gastroenterology 2019, 3(2): 14. doi: 10.21926/obm.hg.1902024. Review

9.    Kuninty PR, Bansal R, De Geus SWL, Mardhian DF, Schnittert J, van Baarlen J, Storm G, Bijlsma MF, van Laarhoven HW, Metselaar JM, Kuppen PJK, Vahrmeijer AL, Östman A, Sier CFM, Prakash J. ITGA5 inhibition in pancreatic stellate cells attenuates desmoplasia and potentiates efficacy of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Science Advances 2019, 5 (9): eaax2770. doi: 0.1126/sciadv.aax2770 (IF 12.80).

10. Geremia I, Bansal R, Stamatialis D. Mixed matrix hemodialysis membrane for achieving endotoxin free dialysate combined with high removal of uremic toxins from human plasma. Acta Biomater. 2019 May; 90: 100-111. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.04.009 (IF 6.64).

11. Schnittert J, Bansal R, Mardhian DF, van Baarlen J, Östman A, Prakash J. Integrin α11 in pancreatic stellate cells regulates tumor stroma interaction in pancreatic cancer. FASEB J. 2019 May;33(5):6609-6621. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802336R (IF 5.39).

12. Schnittert J, Bansal R, Prakash J. Targeting Pancreatic Stellate Cells in Cancer. Trends Cancer. 2019 Feb; 5(2): 128-142. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2019.01.001 (IF 9.23) Review.

13. Heinrich MA, Bansal R, Lammers T, Zhang YS, Michel Schiffelers R, Prakash J. 3D-Bioprinted Mini-Brain: A Glioblastoma Model to Study Cellular Interactions and Therapeutics. Adv Mater. 2019 Apr; 31(14): e1806590. doi: 10.1002/adma.201806590. (IF 25.81).

2018

14. Kurniawan DW, Jajoriya AK, Dhawan G, Mishra D, Argemi J, Bataller R, Storm G, Mishra DP, Prakash J†, Bansal R*†. Therapeutic inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase in inflammatory macrophages using PLGA nanoparticles for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. J Control Release. 2018 Oct 28; 288: 227-238. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.09.004 (IF 7.9).

15. Mardhian D, Storm G, Bansal R†, Prakash J†. Nano-targeted relaxin impairs fibrosis and tumor growth in pancreatic cancer and improves the efficacy of gemcitabine in vivo. J Control Release. 2018 Nov 28; 290: 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.09.031 (IF 7.9).

16. Schnittert J, Bansal R, Storm G, Prakash J. Integrins in wound healing, fibrosis and tumor stroma: High potential targets for therapeutics and drug delivery. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2018 Apr; 129: 37-53. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2018.01.020 (IF 15.52) Review.

17. Akcora BO, Storm G, Bansal R*. Inhibition of canonical WNT signaling pathway by β-catenin/CBP inhibitor ICG-001 ameliorates liver fibrosis in vivo through suppression of stromal CXCL12. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2018 Mar; 1864(3): 804-818. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2017.12.001 (IF 4.33).

18. Binnemars-Postma K, Bansal R, Storm G, Prakash J. Targeting the Stat6 pathway in tumor-associated macrophages reduces tumor growth and metastatic niche formation in breast cancer. FASEB J. 2018 Feb; 32(2): 969-978. doi: 10.1096/fj.201700629R (IF 5.39).

2017

19. Bansal R*, Nakagawa S, Yazdani S, Baarlen J van, Venkatesh A, Koh AP, Song WS, Goossens N, Watanabe H, Beasley MB, Powell CA, Storm G, Kaminski N, van Goor H, Friedman SL, Hoshida Y, Prakash J. Integrin alpha 11 in regulation of myofibroblasts phenotype: Implication for fibrotic diseases. Experimental and molecular medicine Exp Mol Med. 2017 Nov 17; 49(11): e396. doi: 10.1038/emm.2017.213 (IF 4.7).

20. Yazdani S, Bansal R, Prakash J. Drug targeting to myofibroblasts: Implications for fibrosis and cancer. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2017 Nov 1; 121: 101-116. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2017.07.010 (IF 15.52).

21. Akcora BO, Storm G, Prakash J, Bansal R*. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor BIBF1120 ameliorates inflammation, angiogenesis and fibrosis in CCl4-induced liver fibrogenesis mouse model. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 14; 7: 44545. doi: 10.1038/srep44545 (IF 4.01).

2016

22. Berg van den PJ*†, Bansal R*†, Daoudi K, Steenbergen W, Prakash J. Preclinical detection of liver fibrosis using dual-modality photoacoustic/ultrasound system. Biomed Opt Express. 2016 Nov 14; 7(12): 5081-5091. doi: 10.1364/BOE.7.005081 (IF 3.9).

23. Bansal R*, Nagórniewicz B, Prakash J. Clinical advancements in the targeted therapies against liver fibrosis. Mediators Inflamm. 2016; 2016: 7629724. doi: 10.1155/2016/7629724 (IF 3.5) Review.

24. Poosti F, Bansal R, Yazdani S, Prakash J, Beljaars L, van den Born J, de Borst MH, van Goor H, Hillebrands JL, Poelstra K. Interferon gamma peptidomimetic targeted to interstitial myofibroblasts attenuates renal fibrosis after unilateral ureteral obstruction in mice. Oncotarget. 2016 Aug 23; 7(34): 54240-54252. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.11095 (IF 5.2)

25. Chen M, Jagya N, Bansal R, Frelin L, Sällberg M. Prospects and progress of DNA vaccines for treating hepatitis B. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016 May; 15(5): 629-40. doi: 10.1586/14760584.2016.1131615 (IF 4.5) Review.

2015

26. Bansal R*, Baarlen J van, Storm G, Prakash J. The interplay of the Notch signaling in hepatic stellate cells and macrophages determines the fate of liver fibrogenesis. Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 14; 5: 18272. doi: 10.1038/srep18272 (IF 4.01).

27. Bansal R*, Frelin L, Brenndörfer ED, Storm G, Prakash J, Sällberg M. Hepatitis C Virus Nonstructural 3/4A Protein Dampens Inflammation and Contributes to Slow Fibrosis Progression during Chronic Fibrosis In Vivo. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 1; 10(6): e0128466. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128466 (IF 2.8).

28. Hu Q, Rijcken CJ, Bansal R, Hennink WE, Storm G, Prakash J. Complete regression of breast tumour with a single dose of docetaxel-entrapped core-cross-linked polymeric micelles. Biomaterials. 2015; 53: 370-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.02.085 (IF 10.2).

29. Poosti F, Bansal R, Yazdani S, Prakash J, Post E, Klok P, Van den Born J, de Borst MH, Van Goor H, Poelstra K, Hillebrands JH. Selective delivery of interferon gamma to renal interstitial myofibroblasts: A novel strategy for the treatment of renal fibrosis. FASEB J. 2015 Mar; 29(3): 1029-42. doi: 10.1096/fj.14-258459 (IF 5.39)

2014 and before

30. Bansal R*, Prakash J, de Ruiter M, Beljaars L, Poelstra K. Targeting of Interferon gamma peptidomimetic to disease-inducing cells inhibits liver fibrogenesis. J Control Release. 2014 Apr 10; 179: 18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.01.022 (IF 7.9)

31. Bansal R*, Prakash J, de Ruiter M, Poelstra K. Targeted recombinant fusion proteins of IFNγ and mimetic IFNγ with PDGFβR bicyclic peptide inhibits liver fibrogenesis in vivo. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 24; 9(2): e89878. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089878 (IF 2.8).

32. Bansal R, Tomar T, Ostman A, Poelstra K, Prakash J. Selective targeting of Interferon gamma to stromal fibroblasts and pericytes as a novel therapeutic approach to inhibit angiogenesis and tumor growth. Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 Nov; 11(11): 2419-28. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0758 (IF 4.9).

33. Bansal R*, Prakash J, de Ruiter M, Beljaars L, Poelstra K. Peptide-modified albumin carrier explored as a novel strategy for a cell-specific delivery of interferon gamma to treat liver fibrosis. Mol Pharm. 2011 Oct 3; 8(5): 1899-909. doi: 10.1021/mp200263q (IF 4.4).

34. Bansal R*, Post E, Proost JH, de Jager-Krikken Alie, Poelstra K, Prakash J. PEGylation improves pharmacokinetic profile, liver uptake and efficacy of Interferon gamma in liver fibrosis. J Control Release. 2011 Sep 25; 154(3): 233-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.05.027 (IF 7.9).

35. Bansal R*, Prakash J, Post E, Beljaars L, Schuppan D, Poelstra K. Novel engineered targeted Interferon gamma blocks hepatic fibrogenesis in mice. Hepatology. 2011 Aug; 54(2): 586-96. doi: 10.1002/hep.24395 (IF 14.97).

“Research highlight” published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2011; 8(7): 359 (IF2018: 23.57). Highlighted as “key scientific article” in Global Medical Discovery.  

36. Prakash J, Bansal R, Post E, de Jager-Krikken A, de Hooge, MH, Poelstra K. Albumin-binding and tumor vasculature determine the anti-tumor effect of 15-deoxy-delta12, 14-Prostaglandin-J2 in vivo. Neoplasia. 2009 Dec;11(12):1348-58 (IF 3.8).

37. Gupta P, Tayal R, Durgapal H, Rath S, Acharya SK, Panda SK. Development of highly sensitive Bicistronic vector based non-radioactive antigen-specific cytotoxicity assay. J Immunol Methods. 2009 Sep 30;349(1-2):28-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2009.08.001 (IF 1.9). Published with maiden name, Tayal R

38. Chaudhuri V, Tayal R, Nayak B, Acharya SK, Panda SK. Occult hepatitis B virus infection in chronic liver disease: full-length genome and analysis of mutant surface promoter. Gastroenterology. 2004 Nov;127(5):1356-71. (IF 19.23) Published with maiden name, Tayal R          

PATENT

Bansal R, Poelstra K, Beljaars L, Prakash J. Interferon-gamma analogues for the treatment of liver fibrosis. European patent application (EP 09181049.9); US application (US 61/302973) and PCT application (PCT/NL2010/050897).

Bansal R. Targeting Macrophages Using Novel Liposomal Formulations for the Treatment of Alcoholic Liver Diseases. US application (US62/549981).

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Hind Rattan (Jewel of India) Award 2019, the highest Indian diaspora honor (highly prestigious) given annually to non-resident persons of Indian origin (NRI’s) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hind_Rattan). The award presented at the annual congress on the eve of India’s republic day.
  • Young Investigator award ($1000), American association for study for liver diseases (AASLD) Liver meeting, November 2018, San Francisco, USA.
  • Young Investigator award (€750), United European Gastroenterology week, Oct 2018, Vienna, Austria.
  • National Scholar Award, United European Gastroenterology week, Oct 2017, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Young Investigator award (€1000), United European Gastroenterology week, Oct 2017, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Young Investigator award (€1000), United European Gastroenterology week, Oct 2016, Vienna, Austria.
  • EASL Young Investigator award, EASL The International Liver Congress, 2016, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Young Investigator award (€1000), United European Gastroenterology week, Oct 2015, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Junior scholar award for attending Viral Hepatitis Congress (VHC), 2015, Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Young Investigator award (€1000), United European Gastroenterology week, Oct 2014, Vienna, Austria.
  • EASL Young Investigator award (€650), EASL The International Liver Congress, 2013, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • AASLD Presidential Poster of Distinction award, American association for Study for Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver meeting, November 2011, San Francisco, USA.
  • EASL Young Investigator award (€650), EASL monothematic conference, 2011, Petersburg, Germany.
  • EASL Young Investigator award (€650), EASL The International Liver Congress, 2011, Berlin, Germany.
  • Selected for Federation of Innovative Drug Research (FIGON) National PhD competition.
  • 2nd Best Poster Presentation award (€500) at FIGON Dutch Medicine Days, Netherlands.
  • EASL Young Investigator award (€650), EASL The International Liver Congress, 2010, Vienna, Austria.

INVITED LECTURES

  • Invited speaker at 26th Annual Scientific Meeting of Indian National Association for Study of the Liver 2018.
  • Invited speaker at 11th CLINAM European Foundation for Clinical Nanomedicine 2018, Switzerland.
  • Invited speaker at 15th European symposium for Controlled Drug Delivery 2018, Netherlands.
  • Invited faculty lecture at ESPGHAN monothematic Conference: Management of Progressive Liver Diseases 2018, Belgium.
  • Invited lecture at All India Institute of Medical Sciences 2018, India.
  • Invited lecture at Aachen 2018, Germany.
  • Invited lecture at Fibrosis Club Groningen 2017, Netherlands.
  • Invited lecture at Pharmaceutica Conference 2016, Madrid, Spain.
  • Invited MIRA lecture 2015, University of Twente, Netherlands
  • Invited lecture at Erasmus Medical Centre 2015, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Invited lecture at Young investigator forum at The International Liver congress 2013, European Association for the Study for the Liver diseases (EASL), Amsterdam, Netherlands.

TEACHING AND SUPERVISION:

  • Coordinator and teacher in Controlled Drug and Gene delivery Master course (since 2015).
  • University teaching qualification (Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs) successfully completed in 2017.
  • Tutor and project coordinator for Biomedical Technology bachelor’s M1 module.
  • Tutor for Biomedical Technology bachelor’s M11 module.
  • UT supervisor for 8 master internships and supervisor for 5 Capita Selecta assignments.
  • Currently Co-promotor/supervisor for 4 PhD students (2 as primary supervisor and 2 as co-supervisor).
  • Master projects: supervising 7 Master thesis projects (ongoing).
  • Bachelor projects: supervising 2 bachelor thesis projects (Saxion and ATLAS) ongoing until August 2019.
  • Supervised number of master (8) and bachelor (6) students as a primary supervisor (2012-2018).
  • Supervised PhD’s and postdoctoral researcher technically as an unofficial supervisor (2012-2018).

INSTITUTIONAL AND EDITORIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Faculty council board member, University of Twente since 2018.
  • Young Academy member at University of Twente (YA@UT) since 2018.
  • Twente Graduate school (TGS) bridging grant and award jury member at University of Twente.
  • Affiliated guest researcher (since Feb 2019) at University of Groningen.
  • Part of Workgroup focused on UT ranking, University of Twente.
  • Female faculty Network Twente (FFNT) member, University of Twente.
  • External Member of bachelor project evaluation Committees, University of Twente.
  • External Member of master project evaluation Committees, University of Twente.
  • External member of master project evaluation committee, University of Groningen.
  • Editor for the special research issue (Macrophages in liver disease) in Frontiers in Immunology.
  • Scientific committee for The International liver meeting, EASL 2018-2021.
  • Scientific committee for International Conference On Nanomedicine And Nanobiotechnology 2019.
  • Editorial board member in Scientific reports, Nature publishing group.
  • External reviewer for scientific grant applications: MRC Medical Research Council, UK; National Science Center Poland (NCN); ANR French National Research, France; FRRB Regional Foundation for Biomedical Research, Italy.
  • Reviewer for high-impact international scientific journals such as Journal of Hepatology, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Journal of Controlled Release, BBA-Molecular basis of Disease, Molecular pharmaceutics, Journal of Pathology, Scientific reports, Theranostics, Cell reports, Journ