Welcome to the Laboratory Site of Anjana Rao, Ph.D.

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rao-web1.jpgOur research has been focused on understanding how signalling pathways control gene expression, using T cells and other cells of the immune system as models. There are several aspects to our research. We are particularly interested in a pathway of gene expression that is regulated by calcium influx into many different types of cells, including cells of the immune system, neurons, and cells in heart, muscle, bone and skin: it involves a calcium sensor in the endoplasmic reticulum, STIM, which couples to a calcium channel in the plasma membrane, ORAI. The increased calcium concentration in the cytoplasm activates a phosphatase, calcineurin, which dephosphorylates and sends a transcription factor, NFAT, to the nucleus. NFAT turns on a large number of genes, in a manner appropriate to the cell type and mode of stimulation. We have also used T cells to study how gene expression programmes are modulated by stress pathways and during cell differentiation. Finally, we are investigating how the TET family of 5-methylcytosine hydroxylases affects DNA methylation patterns and gene expression in embryonic and haematopoietic stem cells. TET proteins appear to be essential regulators of ES cell pluripotency, and their dysegulation is frequently associated with cancer.

News & Events 

11/11/2010 - San Diego Metropolitan Magazine
La Jolla Institute to Develop Unique Genomics Research Lab
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10/11/2010 - KPBS Public Broadcasting
La Jolla Institute Shares Unique Genomic Lab
NIH $12.6 Million Grant to La Jolla Institute to Build Genomic Lab & Library
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10/11/2010 - San Diego Business Journal
Center Receives Federal Grant of $12.6M
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10/08/2010 - Bioscience Technology
La Jolla Institute to Develop San Diego's First Center for RNAi Genomics Research
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10/08/2010 - BioSpace
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology Receives Major National Institutes of Health (NIH) Award to Develop San Diego's First Center for RNAi Genomics Research
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10/08/2010 - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
La Jolla Institute to Develop San Diego's First Center for RNAi Genomics Research
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10/08/2010 - GenomeWeb Daily News
La Jolla Institute Wins $12.6M From NIH for San Diego's First RNAi Screening Center
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10/08/2010 - North County Times
BIOTECH: La Jolla Institute Gets $12.6M for RNA Technology
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10/08/2010 - San Diego Daily Transcript
La Jolla Institute Granted RNAi Screening Center
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10/08/2010 - San Diego Union Tribune
La Jolla Institute Gets $12.6 Million to Study RNA
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10/08/2010 - Xconomy
La Jolla Institute Nabs $12.6M RNAi Grant
Article link | .pdf