Current Lab Members

Matthew Evans

Matthew Evans, Ph.D.

Small molecule inhibitors of Glucagonemia

My research stems from work done by Dr. Roger Unger’s lab here at UT Southwestern, in which he proved that excess glucagon, not lack of insulin, was responsible for diabetes mellitus. My goal is to identify small molecule inhibitors of glucagon secretion in order to lower blood glucose levels in vivo. An orally available alternative would greatly revolutionize the diabetes field.

Vural Tagal

Vural Tagal, B.S.

The SWI/SNF complex is a master regulator of gene expression, affecting at least 10 percent of the transcriptome. Because of its crucial role in controlling cell cycle, development, differentiation, and transcription, the SWI/SNF complex components function as tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). For that reason, not surprisingly, the ATPases BRM and BRG1 are frequently down regulated in many cancers and mutations of BRG1 are frequently present in lung cancer cell lines.

To identify BRG1-inactivating mutation-related targetable gene products, we developed and applied a high throughput cell-based one-well/one-gene screening platform with a genome-wide synthetic library of chemically synthesized small interfering RNAs. Using this approach, we have identified a set of molecular targets frequently present in lung cancer cells whose loss leads to increased sensitivity to certain classes of cytotoxic or targeted cancer therapy.

Aditya Kulkarni, Ph.D.

In collaboration with internal and external academic and clinical partners, I am involved in identifying naturally occurring or synthetic compounds that are selectively toxic to lung cancer specimens. I am interested in defining oncogene addiction profiles as well as common and rare molecular vulnerabilities across multiple cancer types. Integrating cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, bioinformatics and systems biology approaches, my goal is to establish and validate chemical/gene correlations and drug target identification platforms potentially useful in improving diagnostic and therapeutic outcomes.

Anirudh Sethi

Anirudh Sethi, Ph.D.

My postdoc work is a part of a large collaborative drug discovery undertaking, to identify new small molecules for lung cancer therapy, that involves several labs at UT Southwestern and in other research institutes in Texas. I am currently trying to identify the molecular targets and biological properties of a selected few small molecules that we have identified from a large panel of about 200,000 compounds. The work involves biochemical, pharmacological, cell biology, and genetics-based approaches to identify the cellular drug targets.

Soumya Krishnamurthy

Soumya Krishnamurthy, Ph.D.

My project involves characterization of small molecules that can serve as leads for molecular therapy against influenza virus infection. These findings will provide new insights into mechanisms by which the influenza virus evades host defense pathways that can be further targeted pharmacologically.

Iryna Zubovych

Iryna Zubovych, M.S.

I am looking for vulnerabilities of cancer cells compared to normal cells isolated from the same patient, trying to identify molecular markers/targets to selectively kill cancer cells. I am also a lab manager.