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Nitesh Shashikanth, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

An Engineer by background, biochemist by PhD training with a keen interest in the fundamentals of cell biology and biophysics of protein-protein interactions, I always seek to have a well-rounded understanding  of  bio-medical  research. I am interested in studying the molecular interactions and mechanisms that govern the interactions between claudins, the core tight junction proteins, with a focus on epithelial barrier function in in-vitro models, and translate into mouse models that mimic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

 

As a doctoral student with Prof. Deborah Leckband, my research focused on the biochemical and biophysical characterization of a class of membrane bound adhesion proteins known as cadherins, which are essential for cells to adhere to each other.  I was the first to reveal that cadherins are dynamically (allosterically) regulated by its cytoplasmic binding protein p120 catenin, a novel regulatory mechanism not observed before, and it established a new paradigm for cell-cell adhesion proteins.

 

In my postdoctoral fellowship at Dr. Jerrold Turner’s lab, I graduated a level above the adherens junctions: i.e., the tight junctions ? My research is focused on studying the molecular interactions and mechanisms that govern the interactions between claudins, the core tight junction proteins, with a focus on epithelial barrier function in in-vitro models, and translation into mouse models that mimic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Publications