Utpal BanerjeeDepartment of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA F1000 Faculty Member (since 10 June 2002)
Irving and Jean Stone Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
Co-Director, Broad Stem Cell Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles
HHMI Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
1977 BSc (Hons) Chemistry, St Stephens College, Delhi University, India
1979 MSc, Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India
1984 PhD, Chemistry (Sunney I Chan), California Institute of Technology
1984-1988 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Biology (advisor: Seymour Benzer), California Institute of Technology
AWARDS AND HONORS
2010, 2006, 2002 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors Award
2010 Genetics Society of America Elizabeth W Jones Award for Excellence in Education
2009 Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
2008 Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2006 Elected President of the Drosophila Board
2004 Professor Mager Memorial Lecturer, University of Jerusalem, Israel
2003 Deans Recognition Award, UCLA
2000 Gold Shield Faculty Prize, UCLA
2000 One of the Top 20 Professors of the Bruin Century, UCLA Today
1999 Kalfayan Memorial Lecture, University of North Carolina
1998 Margaret E Early Medical Research Trust Award
1997 Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award, UCLA
1997 Eby Award for the Art of Teaching, UCLA
1996 Investigator Award, McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience
1993 American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award
1992 Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Biology, UCLA
1990-1992 Alfred P Sloan Foundation Award
1989 McKnight Foundation Scholars Award
1986-1988 Life Sciences Research Foundation Award Burroughs Wellcome Fund Fellow
1983-1986 Del E Webb Postdoctoral Fellowship
1977-1978 Certificate of Merit, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
1977 Sheshadri Memorial Award of the Delhi University
1976 National Paper Reading Prize
1974 National Science Talent Award
Earlier work from Banerjees laboratory identified the Son of sevenless (Sos) gene that links RTKs to the oncogene Ras. His laboratory has also identified novel means by which different signal transduction cascades combine to distinguish between neural and non-neural cell types. They have also made critical discoveries in identifying transcription factors and signaling components that are responsible for the hematopoiesis in Drosophila.
Blood Stem Cell Maintenance: Banerjees research focuses on the maintenance of blood stem cells, specifically hematopoietic stem cells that are maintained within a microenvironment where signals from a niche are important for the maintenance of quiescence within a precursor population. Lack of such a niche-derived signal will cause loss of 'stemness', resulting in increased proliferation and eventual differentiation. His research examines this phenomenon in the Drosophila hematopoietic organ using genetic technologies available in this model organism.
Results from Banerjees lab have shown that the 'stemness' of these cells is maintained through the combined action of a Niche Signal, that is generated by Hedgehog (Hh), a local signal generated by Wingless/Wnt and a reverse signal from the differentiated cells to the stem cells. His team has termed this combined action the Equilibrium Signal. Several important concepts underlying Drosophila blood development have allowed them to propose this system as an appropriate genetic model for vertebrate hematopoiesis, and these molecular mechanisms are being explored in the laboratory.
Stress Response Systems: Banerjees studies have led to the investigation of multiple stress response systems. Myeloid blood cells are ideal for the study of response to many kinds of stresses. Hypoxia-related factors and free radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a role both in hematopoietic development and in stress response. Similarly, his lab has found that the NF-kB derived inflammatory response plays a major role in the way blood cells respond to injury at distant sites. Banerjees emerging view from these studies is that basic developmental mechanisms are co-opted again for stress, injury and inflammatory responses by the myeloid hematopoietic system. Genetic analysis will allow his team to understand the interrelationship between these important biological phenomena that have great relevance to diseases and disorders in humans.
Metabolic Control in Cancer Pathways: Banerjee and his researchers are also interested in the study of metabolic control in cancer pathways. In the past, his lab has identified components of signal transduction pathways that participate in oncogenesis. In addition, they have examined the role of the mitochondrion in controlling cell cycle, particularly that when cells become transformed they choose alternate means of metabolism (a phenomenon referred to as the Warburg effect). Also of interest to Banerjee and his team is studying the effect of signal transduction pathways on the control of cellular metabolism and the proper balance between cellular growth and metabolism that goes awry in cancer.
Utpal Banerjee has been added to your "Faculty I'm Following" page in MyF1000
Follow/Unfollow any Faculty via their recommendations, biography pages, or MyF1000