The team working on the Project.

Dibesh Karmacharya

Principal Investigator

Dibesh Karmacharya has a conservation biology degree from Wayne State College (US). He worked on transgenic animal models as a Research Associate for Caliper Life sciences of Princeton, New Jersey (USA). He also promoted GE Healthcare’s Genomics and Proteomics platforms as consultant in New England (US) and Toronto (Canada). He is one of the founders of the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, a Kathmandu based Clinical epidemiology and wildlife genetics research center. He also heads Intrepid Nepal Private Limited, a biotechnology company based in Nepal that focuses on molecular diagnosis. He served as Principal Investigator to several research projects such as Nepal Tiger Genome Project and Snow Leopard Genetics. He has published several papers on HIV/AIDS, conservation genetics and molecular diagnosis. He has extensive experience building modern laboratories in resource strapped countries like Nepal.

Nicolai Stoehr

U.S. Forest Service

Water Resource Management and Country Coordinator Nepal , U.S. Forest Service International Programs , Nicolai Stoehr has been representing the U.S. Forest Service in Nepal since December 2015. Since then he has worked closely with USAID/Nepal and other partners to develop and implement activities to build Nepalese capacity to identify and conserve freshwater biodiversity resources and support sustainable water resource management. After earning his Master’s degree in Geography and Development Studies from RWTH Aachen University in Germany, Nicolai worked as a researcher with an environmental engineering firm. He conducted water basin management analysis for Germany’s Ministry of Environment, including the first national-level hydropower potential analysis since the early 1900s. Nicolai then took his GIS/Remote Sensing expertise abroad, workingfor international organizations and NGOs in Botswana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Palestine, and Liberia with particular focus on sustainable development and environmental protection.

Dr. David Gillette

Senior Fulbright Scholar

David has been a member of the faculty at the University of North Carolina Asheville since 2008, where he teaches courses on Stream Ecology, Fish Ecology, Research Design and Analysis, and Wildlife Ecology and Management. His research investigates the effects of human activities on rivers and streams, as well as the success of practices aimed at mitigating those impacts, and restoring ecosystems. He has authored or co-authored over 20 publications on topics such as impacts of dams and dam removal, patterns of change over time, and loss of connections among ecosystem components on fish and invertebrate communities of rivers and streams in the United States and in Nepal. David has worked with the aquatic biodiversity of Nepal since 1995, when he came to the country to serve as a Fisheries Extension Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps. While there, he conducted research to evaluate different methods of pond fish production, then carried out trainings to teach local fish farmers about these methods. After returning to the US, David earned a Masters degree from Emporia State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. In fall of 2015, David returned to Nepal with his family as a Senior Fulbright Researcher affiliated with Kathmandu University, where he is collaborating with Nepalese colleagues on a study examining effects of climate change on fishes of the Kaligandaki / Narayani River basin, in addition to assisting with environmental DNA work in the Karnali River.

Dr. Deep Narayan Shah

Freshwater Biodiversity Expert

Deep Narayan Shah completed his MSc in Environmental Science with specialization in Water Resources Development and Planning from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Later, he did his PHD in Natural Science focusing on aquatic biodiversity and climate change at regional level from Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Dr. Shah has authored or co-authored over 12 publications in the peer reviewed international journals with high impact factors,several articles in the conference proceedings, published two books related to freshwater biodiversity conservation, and prepared guidelines for monitoring wetlands in Ganges-Brahmaputra river basins. He has extensive field experience and has conducted expeditions to China Mainland and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Nepal Himalaya, including east to west Terai region for the river and its biota study. Dr. Shah also teaches courses at Tribhuvan University and The University of Northampton at Bachelors and Masters level in Environmental Sciences. Besides teaching and research activities, he has managerial experience too. Dr. Shah has worked as a Manager for the CSUWN project implemented under Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MFSC). He has also worked at different institutes/universities (Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), ICIMOD, HKH BENSO, SEN, NAST, KU, HimBioClic, NAMIetc). He is contributing as Field Research Coordinator in Karnali.

Dr. Santosh Dulal

Scientific Manager

Santosh Dulal, PhD is a scientist with extensive experience and professional knowledge in the life science industry and research space. Dr. Dulal got his education and training in Nepal, South Korea, and USA, with focus on biological sciences. He was awarded with Ph.D. in molecular microbiology from NM State University, USA with dissertation on the bacterial antibiotic resistance mechanisms. Dr. Dulal further scaled scientific and research experience with post-doctoral training from CGIBD, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA focusing translational research on gut microbiome and colorectal cancer. He received his master’s in molecular biology from Sun Moon University & Medy-Tox Inc., South Korea. Currently, Dr. Dulal is a scientific manager at CMDN and is engaged in various public health and wildlife research projects. Dr. Dulal has multiple peer-review publications, actively serves as peer-reviewer/editor, visiting faculty and research advisor.

Sulochana Manandhar

Laboratory Manager

Sulochana Manandhar graduated with a master’s degree in medical microbiology from the Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University in 2009. Since then, she has been working as a Laboratory Manager/ Senior Research Associate at CMDN. Utilizing her years of lab and management experiences, she leads the laboratory in all aspects to makes sure an efficient and timely accomplishment of overall molecular based projects of CMDN. She has received several national and international trainings in techniques of molecular biology, population genetics, microbial genetics, immunehistochemistry, epidemiology and statistics. She has been involvement in researches/diagnostics in various fields including biomedical science, public health, conservation biology, veterinary science and cancer biology. She has published several manuscripts in peer reviewed high indexed journals.

Adarsh Man Sherchan

Wildlife Genetics Program Manager

Adarsh Man Sherchan graduated in the applied sciences (Biotechnology) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. He joined CMDN in 2013 as Research Associate and has been Wildlife Genetics Program Manager since early 2014. He is vastly experienced in the molecular genetics of Nepali Wildlife (small and large mammals such as Tigers, Snow Leopards, Wolfs, Elephants etc,) and also specializes in molecular forensics with over 15 projects successfully completed thus far. Sherchan is currently involved in both the field and lab setup of the Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project

Rachya Kayastha

Project Coordinator

Rachya Kayastha is a Registered Lab Animal Technician (RLAT) accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). She attained her Biotechnology Degree and Minor in Chemistry from Fitchburg State University, MA, USA. She performed cytotoxicity assays at Center for Devices & Radiological Health (CDRH) under the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). As an Associate Scientist at BioReliance - Sigma Aldrich, USA, she performed in-vivo toxicity tests on small rodents for drug assessments following USDA, AWA, GLP and IACUC standards. She is currently working in CMDN as the Project Coordinator overseeing ‘Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project’ and will be involved in overall coordination and management of NFBP.

Jyoti Joshi

Laboratory Coordinator

Jyoti Joshi is a M.Sc. graduate in Biotechnology from Mahidol University, Thailand and has published in the Journal of Aquaculture. She has worked as Research Assistant at the Center for shrimp Molecular Biology and Biotechnology specializing in pathogen detection, diagnosis and histopathology studies. She is currently a Research Associate at CMDN, with expertise in Wildlife research covering genetic based wildlife population studies, Wildlife Forensics’ and Primary screening of cervical cancer with HPV 16/ 18 genotyping based public health research. Jyoti currently heads the lab research of Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project (www.fish.org.np) .

Susmita Bhattarai

Laboratory Coordinator

Susmita Bhattarai graduated from Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal with a master’s degree in Biotechnology. She studied and worked as a Graduate Researcher at School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD) - Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Since 2015, she has been involved in various projects of Public Health Genetics (HPV/ HCV/ HIV/HBV) and Wildlife Genetics as a Research Associate at Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN). She is trained in the field of molecular genetics & microbial genetics and is currently leading projects like Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project (www.fish.org.np), Diagnostic molecular genetics study of different human viruses and multiple other molecular biology related projects at CMDN.

Prajwol Manandhar

Bioinformatics Research Associate

Prajwol Manandhar has a M.Sc. degree in Bioinformatics from University of Tampere (Finland). He joined CMDN in 2015 as a Bioinformatics Associate. He has since been involved in projects related to Wildlife Genetics, especially overseeing the bioinformatics sectors of wild tiger gut micro biome, fish meta-barcoding from eDNA and wildlife forensic cases. He utilizes various bioinformatics methods such as sequence analysis, phylogenetics, protein structure modeling, and works in Linux and develops automated tools with python programming language. He has huge interest in genetics research studies of the center related to wildlife conservation.

Tarka Raj Bhatta

Senior Research Associate

Tarka Raj Bhatta graduated with Masters in Biotechnology from Central Department of Biotechnology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He worked as a Research Trainee for seven months at School of life Sciences (SLS) in Cellular and Molecular Immunology Laboratory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He has been working as a Senior Research Associate in Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) for the last three years. Currently he is actively leading different projects related to Zoonotic diseases, Wildlife genetics, Fish eDNA and Molecular Forensics including Public Health in CMDN. He works with the world’s most dangerous viruses and aims to discover some new viruses in context of Nepal, PREDICT II project. He has several publications on avian influenza and molecular forensics and has carried out numerous trainings in public health programs.

Bimala Dhakal

Research Associate

Ajay Narayan Sharma

Senior Research Associate

Ajay Narayan Sharma completed his MSc in Biotechnology from HNB Garhwal University Srinagar, India in 2012. After that he started to work as Research Associate at CMDN/INPL in the Molecular Biology lab. With his expertise in Wildlife Molecular Genetics, Wildlife forensics and interests in virology he enthusiastically piloted various Wildlife projects and DNA bar-coding project at CMDN. He has received various training on GIS, DNA Sequencing and other Molecular techniques from Leiden University, The Netherlands. He has co-authored various research articles in peer reviewed journals. Currently, he is involved in PREDICT project, eDNA Metabarcoding and FISH DNA BARCODING projects.

Bishwo Shrestha

Field Manager

Bishwo Parakram Shrestha has been contributing to CMDN since its establishment as a Field Manager. He has master’s degree in Economics and Law. His outgoing personality, knowledge regarding various subject matter and leadership skills has led him to successfully accomplish many deals and projects for CMDN/INPL.

Rameshwor Ghimire

Field Officer

Rameshwor Ghimire completed his Master degree in Environmental Science from CDES, TU. He performed his Master Degree Thesis work in BAT of Dang-Dekhuri Valley, Mid-Western Nepal. He has been involved in research field study since 2009. He joined CMDN in 2013 as Field Team Member in PREDICT-I, Nepal, USAID Project and now is working as Field Officer in PREDICT-II. The main role of Ghimire in PREDICT-II is field coordination, developing field sampling procedure, sample generation for lab from field and logistics & data management. Recently he was involved as a field member in Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project.

Dhiraj Puri

Vet Technician

Dhiraj Puri completed his Vet Technician Course from Dhaulagiri Technical School. He joined CMDN as a Vet Technician in 2015 for PREDICT-II, Nepal, USAID Project. The main role of Puri is sample generation from field for different projects. Recently he was involved in field work of Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project.