Sharad Ramanathan

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
FAS Center for Systems Biology
Northwest Laboratories Building, Room 365.20
52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

tel: (617) 384-7852

Research Interests:

Our laboratory studies how cells and organisms make decisions. To arrive at a decision, organisms must measure multiple environmental signals and interpret them appropriately. The questions we are interested in are how cells and organisms interpret their environment, how this interpretation depends on prior experiences, as well as the spatial, temporal modulation and the statistics of environmental cues. We want to achieve a quantitative understanding of the underlying signaling and transcriptional circuits that lead to discrete decisions. Since our goal is to uncover general design principles of the circuits that underlie decision making, our lab works on several model systems. Our recent work has focused on the yeast Sacchromyces cerevisiae, but we are now working on circuits that make developmental decisions in mammalian cells and behavioral decisions in the worm C. elegans. We are also developing several new optical and micro-fluidic techniques to interrogate the dynamics of signaling and transcriptional networks in single cells.


Selected Publications:

Hallatschek, O., Hersen, P., Ramanathan, S., and Nelson, D. (2007). Genetic drift at expanding frontiers promotes gene segregation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104(50): 19926-30.

Nachman, I., Regev, A., and Ramanathan, S. (2007). Dissecting Timing Variability in Yeast Meiosis. Cell 131: 544-556.

Ramanathan, S., and Broach, J. (2007). Do cells think? Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 64: 1801-4.

McClean, M.N., Mody, A., Broach, J., and Ramanathan, S. (2007). Decision Making in MAP Kinase pathways. Nat. Genet. 39: 409-414.

Hersen, P., McClean, M.N., Mahadevan, L., and Ramanathan, S. (2008). Signal Processing by the HOG MAP kinase pathway. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 10: 1073.

Mody, A., Weiner, J., and Ramanathan, S. (2009). Modularity of MAP kinases allows deformation of their signaling pathways. Nature Cell Biology 11: 484-491.


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