Sangeeta Dhawan

Sangeeta Dhawan, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope

Sangeeta Dhawan, Ph.D.

Research Focus :
  • Epigenetics
  • Islet development, function, and survival
  • Diabetes pathogenesis
  • Beta-cell regeneration
Sangeeta Dhawan received her Ph.D. in molecular and developmental biology from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, where she studied the developmental regulation of silk gland formation in the silkworm Bombyx mori. She did her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and UCLA. Her training at UCLA focused on understanding the mechanisms of beta cell mass regulation, This work was supported by an advanced postdoctoral fellowship from JDRF. She is also a recipient of the Start-up Award and the Smookler Award for Diabetes Research from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, as well as a Transition Award from JDRF. She has served as a reviewer for journals such as Diabetes, and Regulatory Peptides.
  • 2017-present, Assistant Professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope
  • 2015-2017 Adjunct Associate Professor, Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, Department of Medicine/Endocrinology University of California Los Angeles.
  • 2008-2014 Assistant Researcher, Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, Department of Medicine/Endocrinology University of California Los Angeles

Degrees

  • 1995 -1887, B.Sc., Biochemistry, Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University, New Delhi, India
  • 1995 - 1997, M.Sc., Biochemistry, South Campus, Delhi University, New Delhi, India
  • 2003, Ph.D., Developmental biology of the silkgland in the silkworm Bombyx Mori, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Fellowship

  • 2005 - 2008, Postdoctoral Fellow, Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, Department of Medicine/Endocrinology University of California Los Angeles
  • 2004-2005, Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • 2003-2004, Postdoctoral Fellow, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical, Center Harvard Medical School
Dr. Dhawan's group is interested in understanding the biology of the insulin producing beta cells. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes result from the loss of beta cells, making beta cell replenishment a very important therapeutic goal. Approaches to this end include generating beta cells from stem/iPS cells, as well as protecting and regenerating the endogenous beta cells. The successful outcome of each of these approaches demands the generation of abundant numbers of functional beta cells that are survival competent in the diabetic milieu. With this in mind, the research in Dhawan laboratory focuses on understanding the epigenetic and cellular signaling pathways that regulate the formation, function, regeneration and survival of pancreatic beta cells during development, and under circumstances that warrant the repair/regeneration of beta cells In addition, these studies aim to identify and characterize beta cell subpopulations and their role in glucose homeostasis. The Dhawan’s lab is also interested in the dyregulation of epigenetic processes in beta cells during diabetes pathogenesis. The Dhawan lab used mouse genetics, lineage tracing, islet culture and high throughput sequencing techniques to address these questions.
  • Rodnoi P., Rajkumar M., Md Moin A.S., Georgia S.K., Butler A.E., Dhawan S. Neuropeptide Y expression marks partially differentiated beta-cells in mice and humans. JCI Insight. 2017; 2(12).
  • Dhawan S., Dirice E., Kulkarni R.N., Bhushan A. Inhibition of TGF-β Signaling Promotes Human Pancreatic β-Cell Replication. Diabetes. 2016; 65(5):1208-18.
  • Dhawan, S., Tschen, S.I., Zeng, C., Guo, T., Hebrok, M., Matveyenko, A., Bhushan, A. (2015)  DNA methylation directs functional maturation. Of pancreatic beta cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 125(7): 2851-2860.
  • Zhou, X., Dhawan, S., Fu H., Kundu, S., Kim, S.K., Bhushan, A. (2013) Polycomb and trithorax regulation of Ink4a to regenerate beta cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 123 (11): 4849-4858.
  • Papizan, J.B., Singer, R.A*., Tschen, S.I.*. Dhawan, S*. , Friel, J.M., Hipkins, S.B., Magnuson,  M.A., Bhushan, A., Sussel., L. (2011) Nkx2.2 repressor complex regulates islet  beta cell  specification and prevents beta to alpha cell reprogramming. Genes and Development . 25(21): 2291-2305.
  • Dhawan, S., Georgia, S., Tschen, S.I., Bhushan A. (2011) Pancreatic beta cell identity is  maintained by DNA methylation-mediated repression of Arx . Developmental Cell. 20  (4): 419-429.
  • Dhawan, S., Tschen, S.I., Bhushan A. (2009) Bmi-1 regulates Ink4a/Arf locus to  control pancreatic beta cell proliferation. Genes and Development. 23(8):906-11.
  • Tschen, S. I., Dhawan, S., Gurlo T., Bhushan A. (2009) Age-dependent decline in beta cell proliferation restricts the capacity of beta cell regeneration in mice. Diabetes 58(6):1312-20.
 
  • 2012 - present, Member, American Society for Cell Biology
  • 2011 - present, Member, Society for Developmental Biology
  • 2009 - 2015, Affiliate, Beta cell Biology Consortium, NIDDK/NIH
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