Rajanikanth Vangipurapu PhD


Postdoctoral Fellow

Saint Louis University

Rajani received his Ph.D. in Cell physiology and Biochemistry from Osmania University. He then continued his scientific training as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Dr. Yogendra Sharma and Prof Patrick Hogan where he focused on understanding functional aspects of calcium binding proteins and calcium signaling events in T-cells and other cell types. Being a basic biochemist and with expertise in understanding the calcium signalling cascade events in the cell, exploring the structure and functional aspects of various proteins and the ligand/small molecule-induced alterations in them has remained his primary interest. Such investigations pave the way for the development of potent drugs.

Rajani has now joined the lab of Dr. Fran Sverdrup to study aberrant expression of DUX4 in skeletal muscle in FSHD. Skeletal muscles rely on calcium for their proper function and in some studies, the dysregulation of calcium has been implicated as contributing to FSHD pathophysiology. In a recent study, the Sverdrup published that inhibiting p38alpha/beta MAP kinase isoforms suppressed the expression of DUX4. Rajani is keen to explore the mechanism of action of p38 inhibitors and to gain a wider understanding of the gene regulatory signatures of FSHD with an aim of developing small molecule drugs.

See also: https://biochem.slu.edu/people/sverdrup/