Prashanth Rangan


  • Prashanth Rangan

    BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

    Dr. Rangan’s laboratory focuses on understanding how the stem cell fate is initiated, maintained and terminated. Stem cells have the capacity to both self-renew and differentiate. Improper differentiation or self-renewal can result in a loss of homeostasis, which has been implicated in cancer and degenerative diseases. We investigate germline stem cells (GSCs) in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. In the developing embryo and ovary, we are able to study each aspect of the stem cell life cycle - initiation, maintenance, and differentiation. We are specifically interested in understanding the role of small RNAs, non- coding RNAs, and translational regulators within this system. The Rangan laboratory has three main research focus areas: (i) What is the role of heterochromatin formation in small RNA production? (ii) What are the targets of translational regulators that are required for GSC maintenance? (iii) What is the role of non-coding RNA in maintaining a stem cell fate? Many mechanisms governing these processes in our system have been shown to be widely conserved, thus making our findings broadly applicable.