Dr. Swathi Arur
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Genetics
Work in the Arur Lab utilizes the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and germ line development to study ERK signaling. A long-term goal of the lab is to understand how active ERK2 controls and co-ordinates multiple different developmental events in one tissue. We find that downstream to ERK2 the linear RAS-ERK pathway becomes an intricate network of signaling molecules, with at least 30 direct effectors, each of which functions in its own signaling module to govern an ERK dependent event. We also find extensive signal-integration and cross-talk of ERK with other signaling pathways such as the wnt signaling pathway, the chromatin modification machinery, the miRNA processing cascade. Unraveling in a systematic way, how each ERK substrate regulates different biological processes during normal development will a) uncover novel functions of each substrate protein in a specific biological process and b) also allow us to understand the role of phosphorylation on each substrate in both developmental disorders and oncogenesis, where likely the downstream ERK substrates are key drivers of the disease. Students will use a combination of developmental, genomic, reverse genetic and transgenic technologies in the course of their studies to derive various models and test them. Further detail is on our lab web page.
Office: MDA BSRB S11.8116a (Unit 1010)
Title: Assistant Professor
Ph.D. - All India Institute for Medical Sciences - 2002