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Dr. Tadmiri Venkatesh

Dr. Tadmiri Venkatesh, Professor of Biology and Member of Area Group III. His research focuses on the molecular genetics of cellular signalling and pattern formation in the Drosophila nervous system.

 

RESEARCH: Molecular Genetics
Molecular genetics of cellular signalling and pattern formation in the Drosophila nervous system.
The major focus of our research is to understand the genetic and molecular basis of pattern formation in the nervous system. The nervous system of multicellular organisms is a complex network of diverse cell types with unique positions and patterns of connectivity. Understanding how these intricate patterns develop is a central problem in cell and developmental biology. During the development of the nervous systems of both invertebrates and vertebrates environmental cues and cellular interactions play important roles in the determination of cellular phenotypes and in pattern formation. The compound eye of Drosophila is well suited for studying the cellular and molecular basis of pattern formation. Our genetic screens for mutations affecting pattern formation in the developing eye have led us to the discovery of a new gene, rap (retina aberrant in pattern). Our analysis demonstrates that rap gene function is critical for normal eye pattern formation. Several lines of evidence suggest that rap acts early to regulate the initial steps in ommatidial formation is required only in the cell R8 for normal pattern formation, consistent with the notion that rap acts at the beginning of pattern formation. Our present studies are aimed at a genetic and molecular analysis of the rap gene with a view to understand the molecular nature of the rap gene product, its expression pattern and identify other gene products that interact with the rap gene. A significant portion of our research efforts are also directed towards understanding the molecular and genetic basis of the prune- Killer of prune interaction and its role in GTP homeostasis during development. We have recently shown that the prune locus encodes a protein with similarities to the mammlian GTPase activating proteins(GAP).

 

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Contact Information:
Dr. Tadmiri Venkatesh
Department of Biology, Room MR-526
City College of New York
138th Street & Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031
t. 212.650.8469
t. 212.650.8561 Lab
venky@ccny.cuny.edu
Other Locations: MR-615