Dr Dibesh Karmacharya

Adjunct Senior Fellow

School of the Environment
Faculty of Science

Overview

Dibesh Karmacharya has a Conservation Biology degree from Wayne State College, USA and a PhD on Conservation and Microbiome Genetics from Griffith University, Australia. He worked extensively in the US for Caliper Lifesciences in New Jersey as a research scientist (transgenic animal models). He promoted Genomics and Proteomics technology platforms for GE Healthcare Lifesciences in the US and Canada. He founded the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN), a wildlife genetics and clinical epidemiology research center and is the Chairman and Executive Director of the Organization. He also founded Intrepid Nepal Pvt. Ltd.-a molecular diagnostics-based Biotechnology Company, and Intrepid Cancer Diagnostics-a leading cancer diagnostic laboratory. He leads several innovative researches in Nepal including building Nepal’s first genetic database of wild tigers through Nepal Tiger Genome Project. He is the Principal Investigator of PREDICT Nepal project-an emerging pandemic threat project. He also founded BIOVAC Nepal Pvt. Ltd. - a vaccine research, development and manufacturing company. He specializes in One Health and Conservation Genetics.

Research Interests

  • Conservation genetics and One Health disease dynamics
    population genetics, microbiome genetics, disease dynamics, One health research, vaccine research and development, genomics

Research Impacts

Nepal Tiger Genome Project: The Nepal Tiger Genome Project (NTGP), a two year (June 2011- 2013) research project to build genetic database of wild Bengal tigers of Nepal. NTGP is a collaborative effort of the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, the Nepal Government’s Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, the University of Idaho and Virginia Tech. The project used the latest genetic technology in Nepal for wildlife conservation and has built Nepal’s first geo-spatial genetic database of Bengal tigers from throughout the Terai Arc landscape.

Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project: Nepal Fish Biodiversity Project (2016-2019) worked on building fresh water fish genetic database by using novel environmental DNA (eDNA) based genomic tool. So far, working closely with US Forest Service, USAID and IFC (World Bank), we have built one of the largest fresh water fish genetic database in the Asian region, covering two major Himalayan rivers and their tributaries. The information gathered is providing valuable assessment for hydropower development.

PREDICT- Emerging Disease Research using One Health: We have been conducting Nepal’s longest running One Health virus surveillance program since 2012 called PREDICT Nepal. This project has systematically collected human and animal samples from both rural and urban wildlife interfaces to detect, track, and better understand the emergence of new zoonotic pathogens from wildlife and animals (livestock, poultry) that could pose a threat to human health. We conducted seasonal, concurrent sampling of animals and humans in rural and urban communities as well as year-round, hospital-based syndromic sampling in clinical patients of Nepal. Altogether, 26,217 samples were collected from 3,293 animals (bats, birds, rodents and nonhuman primates) and 2,048 humans during eight years of the project. These samples were screened for five viral families—paramyxo-, corona-, influenza-, filo-, and flaviviruses. Behavioral data collected in the clinical and community settings will help identify potential behavioral risk factors that contribute to virus spillover.

Publications

  • Manandhar, Prajwol, Manandhar, Sulochana, Sherchan, Adarsh M., Joshi, Jyoti, Chaudhary, Hemanta K., Dhakal, Bimala, Napit, Rajindra, Shrestha, Bishwo, Rajbhandari, Pragun G., Shrestha, Seily, Pradhan, Saman M., Chaudhary, Ashok, Puri, Dhiraj, Khadka, Smriti, Pradhan, Nikita, Poudel, Ajit, Moravek, Jessie A., Risal, Deepak, Basnyat, Nilu, Cardinale, Pablo, Philipp, David, Claussen, Julie E., Gillette, David, Shakya, Sushan M., Prajapati, Genuine, Bertola, Laura and Karmacharya, Dibesh (2023). Environmental DNA (eDNA) based fish biodiversity assessment of two Himalayan rivers of Nepal reveals diversity differences and highlights new species distribution records. PLOS Water, 2 (6), e0000099. doi: 10.1371/journal.pwat.0000099

  • Mazuecos, Lorena, Contreras, Marinela, Kasaija, Paul D., Manandhar, Prajwol, Grąźlewska, Weronika, Guisantes-Batan, Eduardo, Gomez-Alonso, Sergio, Deulofeu, Karelia, Fernandez-Moratalla, Isabel, Rajbhandari, Rajesh Man, Sojka, Daniel, Grubhoffer, Libor, Karmacharya, Dibesh, Gortazar, Christian and de la Fuente, José (2023). Natural Clerodendrum-derived tick repellent: learning from Nepali culture. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 90 (1-2), 83-98. doi: 10.1007/s10493-023-00804-4

  • Manandhar, Prajwol, Napit, Rajindra, Pradhan, Saman M., Rajbhandari, Pragun G., Moravek, Jessie A., Joshi, Pranav R., Shrestha, Rima D. and Karmacharya, Dibesh (2023). Phylogenetic characterization of canine distemper virus from stray dogs in Kathmandu Valley. Virology Journal, 20 (1) 117, 1-7. doi: 10.1186/s12985-023-02071-6

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Publications

Journal Article