Rupangi Vasavada, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Translational Research & Cellular Therapeutics. Prior to joining City of Hope, Dr. Vasavada was at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and before that, at University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor and Master of Science in zoology and endocrinology from Delhi University in India.
Dr. Vasavada’s research is centered on understanding the pathophysiology of diabetes and finding ways to treat the disease. Her research focuses on biological factors that enhance the preservation and regeneration of functional beta cells for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Recent work in her lab is directed toward understanding the role of extracellular vesicles as functional and molecular biomarkers in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Vasavada has been a standing member of the National Institutes of Health Cellular Aspects of Obesity and Diabetes study section and has served on study sections with JDRF and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Her research has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health, and has also received funding from JDRF, ADA and other philanthropic organizations.
1993, Postdoctoral Training, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
1988, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
1979, M.S., University of New Delhi, Delhi, India
1977, B.S., University of New Delhi, Delhi, India
2018-present, Associate Professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2012, Associate Professor of Medicine (with tenure), Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, NY
2012, Associate Professor, The Mindich Child Health & Development Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY
2009-2012, Associate Professor (with tenure), Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine
Dept. of Cell Biology and Physiology, (secondary appointment), University of Pittsburgh, PA
2006-2009, Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine
Dept. of Cell Biology and Physiology, (secondary appointment), University of Pittsburgh, PA
1998-2005, Research Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA
1993-1998, Research Associate, Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Filipowska J, Kondegowda NG, Leon-Rivera N, Dhawan S, Vasavada RC. LGR4, a G Protein-Coupled Receptor with a Systemic Role: From Development to Metabolic Regulation. Front Endocrinol. 2022; 13:867001. PMID: 35707461.
Jimenez-Gonzalez M, Li R, Pomeranz LE, Alvarsson A, Marongiu R, Hampton RF, Kaplitt MG, Vasavada RC, Schwartz GJ, Stanley SA. Mapping and targeted viral activation of pancreatic nerves in mice reveal their roles in the regulation of glucose metabolism. Nat Biomed Eng. 2022 Jul 14. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35835995.
Li R, Kondegowda NG, Filipowska J, Hampton RF, Leblanc S, Garcia-Ocana A, Vasavada RC. Lactogens Reduce Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Induced Rodent and Human β-Cell Death and Diabetes Incidence in Akita Mice. Diabetes. 69(7):1463-1475 (2020). PMID: 32332156.
Sacaan AI, Thibault S, Hong M, Kondegowda NK, Nichols T, Li R, Rosselot C, Evering W, Fenutria R, Vitsky A, Brown T, Finkelstein M, Garcia-Ocaña A, Khan N, Stewart AF, Vasavada RC. CDK4/6 Inhibition on Glucose and Pancreatic Beta Cell Homeostasis in Young and Aged Rats. Mol. Cancer Res. 15:1531-1541 (2017). PMID: 28760782
Mozar A, Lin H, Williams K, Chin C, Nagesha Guthalu NK, Stewart AF, Garcia-Ocana A, Vasavada RC. Parathyroid Hormone-Related peptide (1-36) enhances beta cell regeneration and increases beta cell mass in a mouse model of partial pancreatectomy. PLOS One. 11:e0158414 (2016). PMID: 27391423
Lakshmipathi J, Alvarez-Perez JC, Rosselot C, Casinelli GP, Stamateris R, Rausell-Palamos F, O’Donnell CP, Vasavada RC, Scott DK, Alonso LC, Garcia-Ocaña A. PKC ζ activity is essential for pancreatic beta cell replication during insulin resistance by regulating mTOR activation and cyclinD2 expression. Diabetes 65:1283-1296 (2016). PMID: 26868297
Kondegowda NG, Fenutria R, Pollack I, Orthofer M, Garcia-Ocaña A, Penninger J, Vasavada RC. Osteoprotegerin and Denosumab stimulate human beta cell proliferation through inhibition of the Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand (RANKL) pathway. Cell Metabolism 22:77-85 (2015). PMID: 26094891
Stewart AF, Hussain MA, Garcia-Ocaña A, Vasavada RC, Bhushan A, Bernal-Mizrachi E, Kulkarni RN. Human Beta Cell Proliferation and Intracellular Signaling: Part 3. Diabetes 64:1872-1885 (2015). PMID: 25999530
Wang P, Fiaschi-Taesch NM, Vasavada RC, Scott DK, Garcia-Ocaña A, Stewart AF. Advances and Challenges in Human Beta Cell Proliferation for Diabetes. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 11:201-212 (2015). PMID:25687999
Alvarez-Perez JC, Rosa TC, Casinelli GP, Valle SR, Lakshmipathi J, Rosselot C, Rausell-Palamos F, Vasavada RC, Garcia-Ocaña A. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) ameliorates hyperglycemia and corrects ß-cell mass in IRS2 deficient mice. Molecular Endocrinology 28:2038-2048 (2014). PMID:25361392
Mozar A*, Guthalu NK*, Pollack I, Fenutria R, Vasavada RC. The role of PTHrP in pancreatic beta cells and implications for diabetes pathophysiology and treatment. Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism 12:165-177 (2014). (* contributed equally)
Alvarez-Perez JC, Ernst S, Demirci C, Casinelli GP, Mellado-Gil JM, Rausell-Palamos F, Vasavada RC, Garcia-Ocaña A. Hepatocyte Growth Factor/c-Met Signaling Is Required for ß-Cell Regeneration. Diabetes 63:216-223 (2014). PMID: 24089510
Guthalu NK, Mozar A, Otero A, Chin C, Garcia-Ocaña A, Vasavada RC. Lactogens protect rodent and human beta cells against glucolipotoxicity-induced cell death through Jak2/Stat5 signaling. Diabetologia 55:1721-1732 (2012). PMID: 22382519
Demirci C, Ernst S, Taylor R, Valle S, Becker D, Alonso LC, Vasavada RC, Garcia-Ocaña A. Loss of c-Met in pancreatic ß-cells leads to incomplete maternal ß-cell adaptation and gestational diabetes. Diabetes 61:1143-1152 (2012). PMID: 22427375
Metukuri MR, Zhang P, Alonso L, Takane K, Strom SC, O’Doherty RM, Stewart AF, Vasavada RC, Garcia-Ocaña A, and Scott DK. ChREBP mediates glucose-stimulated beta cell proliferation. Diabetes 61:2004-2015 (2012). PMID: 22586588
Williams K, Abanquah D, Joshi-Gokhale S, Lin H, Guthalu NK, Zhang XY, Bisello A, Stewart AF, Garcia-Ocaña A, Vasavada RC. Systemic administration of parathyroid hormone-related peptide 1-36 stimulates endogenous beta cell growth while preserving function in adult mice. Diabetologia 54:2867-2877 (2011). PMID: 21800111
Velazquez-Garcia S, Valle SR, Takane KK, Rosa TC, Demirci C, Mellado-Gil JMD, Ernst S, Scott D, Vasavada RC, Alonso LC and Garcia-Ocaña A. Activation of Protein Kinase C Zeta (ζ) in Pancreatic β-Cells In Vivo Improves Glucose Tolerance and Induces β-Cell Expansion Via mTOR Activation. Diabetes 60:2546-2559 (2011). PMID: 21911744
Mellado-Gil JMD, Rosa TC, Demirci C, Gonzalez-Pertusa JA, Velazquez-Garcia S, Ernst S, Vasavada RC, Stewart AF, Alonso LC and Garcia-Ocaña A. Disruption of HGF/c-met signaling enhances pancreatic beta cell death and accelerates the onset of diabetes. Diabetes 60: 525-536 (2011). PMID: 20980460
González-Pertusa JA, Dubé J, Valle SR, Rosa TC, Takane KK, Mellado-Gil JM, Perdomo G, Vasavada RC, García-Ocaña A. Novel pro-apoptotic effect of hepatocyte growth factor: Synergy with palmitate to cause pancreatic beta cell apoptosis Endocrinology 151:1487-1498 (2010). PMID: 20176723
Guthalu NK, Zhang XY, Williams K, Mozar A, Vasavada RC. Growth factor mediated regulation of beta cell survival. The Open Endocrine Journal 4:80-95 (2010).
Zhang H, Zhang J, Pope CF, Crawford L, Vasavada RC, Jagasia SM, Gannon M. Gestational diabetes resulting from impaired β-cell compensation in the absence of FoxM1, a novel downstream effector of placental lactogen. Diabetes 59:143-152 (2010). PMID: 19833884
Harb G, Vasavada RC, Cobrinik D, Stewart AF. The retinoblastoma protein and its homolog p130 regulate the G1/S transition in pancreatic beta cells. Diabetes 58:1852-1862 (2009). PMID: 19509021
Cozar-Castellano I, Harb G, Selk K, Takane KK, Sicari B, Law B, Zhang P, Scott DK, Fiaschi-Taesch N, Vasavada RC, Stewart AF. Lessons from the first comprehensive molecular characterization of cell cycle control in rodent insulinoma cell lines. Diabetes 57:3056-3068 (2008). PMID: 18650366
Vasavada RC, Wang L, Fujinaka Y, Takane KK, Rosa T, Mellado-Gil JM, Garcia-Ocaña A. Protein kinase C-ζ markedly enhances β-cell proliferation: An essential role in growth factor-mediated β-cell mitogenesis. Diabetes 56:2732-2743 (2007). PMID: 17686945
Fujinaka Y, Takane K, Yamashita H, Vasavada RC. Lactogens promote beta cell survival through JAK2/STAT5 activation and BclXL upregulation. J Biol Chem 282:30707-30717 (2007). PMID: 17728251
Vasavada RC, Cozar-Castellano I, Sipula D, Stewart AF. Tissue-specific deletion of the retinoblastoma protein in the pancreatic beta cell has limited effects on beta cell replication, mass and function. Diabetes 56:57-64 (2007). PMID: 17192465
Vasavada RC, Gonzalez-Pertusa JA, Fujinaka Y, Fiaschi-Taesch NM, Cozar I, Garcia-Ocaña A. Growth factors and pancreatic beta cell proliferation. International Journal of Cell Biology and Biochemistry 38:931-950 (2006). PMID: 16168703
Cozar-Castellano I, Fiaschi-Taesch N, Bigatel TA, Takane KK, Garcia-Ocaña A, Vasavada RC, Stewart AF. Molecular control of cell cycle progression in the pancreatic beta-cell. Endocr Rev. 27:356-370 (2006). PMID: 16638909
For more publications, please visit the Dr. Vasavada's NCBI link HERE.