Venugopalan Nair, PhD
- ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Neurology
Research Topics:Apoptosis/Cell Death, Cell Biology, Epigenomics, Gene Expressions, Genomics, Molecular Biology, Oxidative Stress, Parkinson's Disease, Signal Transduction, Stem Cells
It is well-known that signaling components constituting a network of pathways control cellular processes. However, how these components are precisely regulated to achieve signaling specificity within individual cells and respond to internal and external stimuli is not well understood. Alterations in intrinsic signaling pathways in response to stimuli have been shown to play an important role in the dysregulated cell division and cell death found in many human diseases. Since the decisions of cell division and cell death are made at the cellular level, understanding the intrinsic signaling mechanisms at the single cell level will be important for developing therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases where abnormal cell growth and loss have been implicated. By combining cellular, molecular, genomic, and bioinformatics techniques, we have demonstrated that spatial and temporal regulation of signaling components play an important role in cell cycle progression, cell death, and survival. We reported for the first time a dopamine agonist-mediated transactivation of the Akt/PI3K signaling pathway; a differential single cell response to oxidative stress, that determines cell death or survival; temporal interaction of LSD1, a demethylating enzyme, with DNA during cell cycle progression; and the cell cycle-dependent expression of miR-137, a microRNA expressed only in mitotic cells. New technologies are also being developed in the lab to understand genomic diversity at the cellular level and ultimately improve the detection and treatment of diseases.