Keck School Faculty

Vasu Punj, PhD
Vasu Punj, PhD
Associate Professor of Research Medicine
NRT G511 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
Associate Professor (Medicine), Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine.

Research Interests: Vasu’s research is focused on the development of genomic-based strategies for treatment and diagnosis of various diseases with an emphasis on the following three major areas:
• Inference of genomic signatures associated with disease diagnosis and
trailered treatments.
• Mechanisms of drug-target resistance in various diseases.
• Functional genomics and system biology of lung

Building on these research interests, he has developed innovative computational approaches to test hypotheses to investigate progression and therapeutic responses in several disease models.
The underlying premises of his research is to derive biologically relevant information from complex data-sets to understand the overall impact of genomic information on biomedical science.

Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells from ferret somatic cells Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2020 Feb 19. . View in PubMed

Recent nanotechnological interventions targeting PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway: A focus on breast cancer Semin Cancer Biol. 2019 12; 59:133-146. . View in PubMed

A truncating mutation in the autophagy gene UVRAG drives inflammation and tumorigenesis in mice Nat Commun. 2019 12 12; 10(1):5681. . View in PubMed

Quantitative electrodiagnostic patterns of damage and recovery after spinal cord injury: a pilot study Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2019; 5:101. . View in PubMed

Transcriptional regulation of autophagy-lysosomal function in BRAF-driven melanoma progression and chemoresistance Nat Commun. 2019 04 12; 10(1):1693. . View in PubMed

RTD-1 therapeutically normalizes synovial gene signatures in rat autoimmune arthritis and suppresses proinflammatory mediators in RA synovial fibroblasts Physiol Genomics. 2019 12 01; 51(12):657-667. . View in PubMed

Publisher Correction: Epigenetic changes in myelofibrosis: Distinct methylation changes in the myeloid compartments and in cases with ASXL1 mutations Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 20; 8(1):17311. . View in PubMed

MicroRNA profiling in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell exposed to the Phaleria macrocarpa (Boerl) fruit ethyl acetate fraction (PMEAF) through IIlumina Hi-Seq technologies and various in silico bioinformatics tools. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Mar 01; 213:118-131. . View in PubMed

MacroH2A12 inhibits prostate cancer-induced osteoclastogenesis through cooperation with HP1a and H1. 2. Oncogene. 2018 10; 37(43):5749-5765. . View in PubMed

Regulation of Breast Cancer-Induced Osteoclastogenesis by MacroH2A12 Involving EZH2-Mediated H3K27me3. Cell Rep. 2018 07 03; 24(1):224-237. . View in PubMed

Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 Promotes the Recruitment and Polarization of Macrophages in CancerCell Rep. 2018 11 20; 25(8):2177-2191. e7. . View in PubMed

JUN-Mediated Downregulation of EGFR Signaling Is Associated with Resistance to Gefitinib in EGFR-mutant NSCLC Cell Lines Mol Cancer Ther. 2017 08; 16(8):1645-1657. . View in PubMed

BMP signaling orchestrates a transcriptional network to control the fate of mesenchymal stem cells in mice Development. 2017 07 15; 144(14):2560-2569. . View in PubMed

Epigenetic changes in myelofibrosis: Distinct methylation changes in the myeloid compartments and in cases with ASXL1 mutations Sci Rep. 2017 07 28; 7(1):6774. . View in PubMed

Genome-wide analysis suggests a differential microRNA signature associated with normal and diabetic human corneal limbus Sci Rep. 2017 06 14; 7(1):3448. . View in PubMed

MMP-9 facilitates selective proteolysis of the histone H3 tail at genes necessary for proficient osteoclastogenesis Genes Dev. 2016 Jan 15; 30(2):208-19. . View in PubMed

NANOG Metabolically Reprograms Tumor-Initiating Stem-like Cells through Tumorigenic Changes in Oxidative Phosphorylation and Fatty Acid Metabolism Cell Metab. 2016 Jan 12; 23(1):206-19. . View in PubMed

Promoter Methylation Analysis Reveals That KCNA5 Ion Channel Silencing Supports Ewing Sarcoma Cell Proliferation Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Jan; 14(1):26-34. . View in PubMed

EpCAM based capture detects and recovers circulating tumor cells from all subtypes of breast cancer except claudin-low Oncotarget. 2015 Dec 29; 6(42):44623-34. . View in PubMed

Whole-exome sequencing and genome-wide methylation analyses identify novel disease associated mutations and methylation patterns in idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome Oncotarget. 2015 Dec 01; 6(38):40588-97. . View in PubMed

Linker histone H12 establishes chromatin compaction and gene silencing through recognition of H3K27me3. Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 19; 5:16714. . View in PubMed

NUMB phosphorylation destabilizes p53 and promotes self-renewal of tumor-initiating cells by a NANOG-dependent mechanism in liver cancer Hepatology. 2015 Nov; 62(5):1466-79. . View in PubMed

Cooperation between SMYD3 and PC4 drives a distinct transcriptional program in cancer cells Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Oct 15; 43(18):8868-83. . View in PubMed

Interaction between bone marrow stromal cells and neuroblastoma cells leads to a VEGFA-mediated osteoblastogenesis Int J Cancer. 2015 Aug 15; 137(4):797-809. . View in PubMed

NOTCH reprograms mitochondrial metabolism for proinflammatory macrophage activation J Clin Invest. 2015 Apr; 125(4):1579-90. . View in PubMed

Brca1 Mutations Enhance Mouse Reproductive Functions by Increasing Responsiveness to Male-Derived Scent PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0139013. . View in PubMed

Expression profiling of circulating tumor cells in metastatic breast cancer Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Jan; 149(1):121-31. . View in PubMed

Nanocapsules loaded with iron-saturated bovine lactoferrin have antimicrobial therapeutic potential and maintain calcium, zinc and iron metabolism Nanomedicine (Lond). 2015; 10(8):1289-314. . View in PubMed

Differentiation of human limbal-derived induced pluripotent stem cells into limbal-like epithelium Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Sep; 3(9):1002-12. . View in PubMed

NEMO is essential for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-encoded vFLIP K13-induced gene expression and protection against death receptor-induced cell death, and its N-terminal 251 residues are sufficient for this process J Virol. 2014 Jun; 88(11):6345-54. . View in PubMed

Targeting Myc in KSHV-associated primary effusion lymphoma with BET bromodomain inhibitors Oncogene. 2014 May 29; 33(22):2928-37. . View in PubMed

A pilot genome-scale profiling of DNA methylation in sporadic pituitary macroadenomas: association with tumor invasion and histopathological subtype PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e96178. . View in PubMed

Orchestration of host-pathogen interaction: relevance of iron in generation of potent anti-Mtuberculosis immunity. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2014; 15(12):1095-104. . View in PubMed

Iron chelation and drug resistance in cancer and tuberculosis Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2014; 15(12):1093-4. . View in PubMed

Genome-wide profiling identifies a DNA methylation signature that associates with TET2 mutations in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma Haematologica. 2013 Dec; 98(12):1912-20. . View in PubMed

Gene dysregulation by histone variant H2AZ in bladder cancer. Epigenetics Chromatin. 2013 Oct 16; 6(1):34. . View in PubMed

The TBC1D15 oncoprotein controls stem cell self-renewal through destabilization of the Numb-p53 complex PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e57312. . View in PubMed

Nanoparticles in the treatment and diagnosis of neurological disorders: untamed dragon with fire power to heal Nanomedicine. 2012 May; 8(4):399-414. . View in PubMed

Genome-wide sperm deoxyribonucleic acid methylation is altered in some men with abnormal chromatin packaging or poor in vitro fertilization embryogenesis Fertil Steril. 2012 Feb; 97(2):285-92. . View in PubMed

Pluripotency factor-mediated expression of the leptin receptor (OB-R) links obesity to oncogenesis through tumor-initiating stem cells Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jan 17; 109(3):829-34. . View in PubMed

A computational profiling of changes in gene expression and transcription factors induced by vFLIP K13 in primary effusion lymphoma PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e37498. . View in PubMed

A20 is induced by Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-encoded viral FLICE inhibitory protein (vFLIP) K13 and blocks K13-induced nuclear factor-kappaB in a negative feedback manner J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun 17; 286(24):21555-64. . View in PubMed

Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-encoded viral FLICE inhibitory protein (vFLIP) K13 cooperates with Myc to promote lymphoma in mice Cancer Biol Ther. 2010 Nov 15; 10(10):1033-40. . View in PubMed

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-encoded viral FLICE inhibitory protein (vFLIP) K13 suppresses CXCR4 expression by upregulating miR-146a Oncogene. 2010 Mar 25; 29(12):1835-44. . View in PubMed

X-linked ectodermal dysplasia receptor is downregulated in breast cancer via promoter methylation Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Feb 15; 16(4):1140-8. . View in PubMed

Integrated microarray and multiplex cytokine analyses of Kaposi's Sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus viral FLICE Inhibitory Protein K13 affected genes and cytokines in human blood vascular endothelial cells BMC Med Genomics. 2009 Aug 06; 2:50. . View in PubMed

Molecular and biotechnological advances in milk proteins in relation to human health Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2009 Aug; 10(4):308-38. . View in PubMed

Induction of CCL20 production by Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus: role of viral FLICE inhibitory protein K13-induced NF-kappaB activation Blood. 2009 May 28; 113(22):5660-8. . View in PubMed

A nuclear role for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-encoded K13 protein in gene regulation Oncogene. 2008 Sep 04; 27(39):5243-53. . View in PubMed

Coat-tether interaction in Golgi organization Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Jul; 19(7):2830-43. . View in PubMed

Proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in cell lines derived from Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors and synergizes with TRAIL Cancer Biol Ther. 2008 Apr; 7(4):603-8. . View in PubMed

Adenoviral-mediated gene transfer of ectodysplasin-A2 results in induction of apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest in osteosarcoma cell lines Cancer Gene Ther. 2007 Nov; 14(11):927-33. . View in PubMed

K13 blocks KSHV lytic replication and deregulates vIL6 and hIL6 expression: a model of lytic replication induced clonal selection in viral oncogenesis PLoS One. 2007 Oct 24; 2(10):e1067. . View in PubMed

Induction of spindle cell morphology in human vascular endothelial cells by human herpesvirus 8-encoded viral FLICE inhibitory protein K13 Oncogene. 2007 Mar 08; 26(11):1656-60. . View in PubMed

Internalization of bacterial redox protein azurin in mammalian cells: entry domain and specificity Cell Microbiol. 2005 Oct; 7(10):1418-31. . View in PubMed

Dehydroepiandrosterone inhibits the progression phase of mammary carcinogenesis by inducing cellular senescence via a p16-dependent but p53-independent mechanism Breast Cancer Res. 2005; 7(6):R1132-40. . View in PubMed

A novel RARbeta isoform directed by a distinct promoter P3 and mediated by retinoic acid in breast cancer cells Cancer Res. 2004 Dec 15; 64(24):8911-8. . View in PubMed

Microbial-based therapy of cancer: a new twist to age old practice Cancer Biol Ther. 2004 Aug; 3(8):708-14. . View in PubMed

Bacterial cupredoxin azurin as an inducer of apoptosis and regression in human breast cancer Oncogene. 2004 Mar 25; 23(13):2367-78. . View in PubMed

Bacterial cupredoxin azurin and its interactions with the tumor suppressor protein p53 Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Dec 05; 312(1):109-14. . View in PubMed

Energy-generating enzymes of Burkholderia cepacia and their interactions with macrophages J Bacteriol. 2003 May; 185(10):3167-78. . View in PubMed

Redox proteins in mammalian cell death: an evolutionarily conserved function in mitochondria and prokaryotes Cell Microbiol. 2003 Apr; 5(4):225-31. . View in PubMed

The bacterial redox protein azurin induces apoptosis in J774 macrophages through complex formation and stabilization of the tumor suppressor protein p53 Infect Immun. 2002 Dec; 70(12):7054-62. . View in PubMed

Bacterial redox protein azurin, tumor suppressor protein p53, and regression of cancer Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Oct 29; 99(22):14098-103. . View in PubMed

Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula causing a myelopathy Spinal Cord. 2002 Sep; 40(9):438-42. . View in PubMed

Adenylate kinase as a virulence factor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa J Bacteriol. 2001 Jun; 183(11):3345-52. . View in PubMed

Phagocytic cell killing mediated by secreted cytotoxic factors of Vibrio cholerae Infect Immun. 2000 Sep; 68(9):4930-7. . View in PubMed

An immunoassay for detection of heat-stable proteases from thermoduric psychrotrophic Bacillus sppof dairy origin. Microbiol Res. 2000 Sep; 155(3):197-203. . View in PubMed

Isolation and partial characterization of a thermostable extracellular protease of Bacillus polymyxa B-17 Int J Food Microbiol. 1998 Jul 21; 42(3):139-45. . View in PubMed

An immuno-dot blot assay for detection of thermostable protease from Pseudomonas spAFT-36 of dairy origin. Lett Appl Microbiol. 1997 Oct; 25(4):300-2. . View in PubMed

Immune response to phospholipase-A fractions of Salmonella typhi on experimental typhoid infection in mice Acta Microbiol Pol. 1996; 45(3-4):261-7. . View in PubMed

Immunological responses to phospholipase-A of Salmonella typhi Acta Microbiol Immunol Hung. 1995; 42(3):237-46. . View in PubMed

Lactic acid production from molasses by Sporolactobacillus cellulosolvens Acta Microbiol Immunol Hung. 1995; 42(4):331-8. . View in PubMed

Factors affecting intra and extracellular phospholipase A production by Salmonella typhi Acta Microbiol Pol. 1994; 43(2):175-80. . View in PubMed

Detection of Entamoeba histolytica antigens in stool in amebiasis Indian J Gastroenterol. 1993 Jul; 12(3):77-9. . View in PubMed

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