Rohatgi Lab
Group Photo

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  Principal Investigator
Rajat Rohatgi

A.B. Biochemical Sciences, Harvard University
M.D. Harvard Medical School
Ph.D. Harvard Medical School

Assistant Professor of Medicine and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry.
Attending Physician, Thoracic Oncology Clinic, Stanford Cancer Center.


  Current Lab Members
  PhD Students ::
Karolin Dorn
Diploma in Biology, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg

Project: My research focuses mainly on the Hedgehog pathway component Smoothened and how this 7-pass transmembrane protein transduces the signal to downstream Hedgehog components. The approach I am using is the identification of Smo binding partners that are involved in Hedgehog signaling by mass spectrometry. I am further interested in cilia and cilia related diseases (=ciliopathies), especially in those that are caused by defective Hedgehog Singaling (“Hedgehogopathies”).


Sigrid Nachtergaele
B.S. University of Chicago

Project: Generally I am interested in how endogenous small molecules influence cell signaling pathways. Currently my focus is on a class of cholesterol metabolites, oxysterols, and how they regulate Hedgehog signaling as well as other signaling processes.


Giovanni Luchetti

B.S. Biology New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
M.S. Chemistry New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology


  Postdocs ::
Andres Lebensohn
B.A. University of California at Berkeley
Ph.D. Harvard University

Project: Since the discovery of the Hedgehog signaling pathway over thirty
years ago, the field has come a long way in identifying its key components, establishing its crucial role in fundamental developmental processes and uncovering its implication in various types of cancer. Yet, the biochemical mechanisms through which the Hedgehog signal is transduced remain largely unknown. My research focuses on the upstream steps of the pathway, asking how the Hedgehog receptor Patched works and how it transmits the signal to the GPCR-like protein Smoothened. I have undertaken biochemical and cell biological approaches to understand how the events triggered by binding of ligand to the receptor are orchestrated at the primary cilium, a solitary sensory projection present in most cells, where many components of the pathway are concentrated.

I am currently supported by the Novartis-sponsored fellowship from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation.

In my spare time I used to surf, but now I mostly just try to keep up with being
a father to our baby boy Gabi


Ramin Dubey
Ph.D. University of Southern California
M.S. Panjab University, India

Project: Resistance and toxicity to chemotherapy drugs remain major hurdles in cancer treatment. My research is focused on using unbiased genetic screening strategies for finding new players that govern resistance and sensitivity towards small molecule therapeutics. We conduct forward genetic screens with human cells to identify genes that affect sensitivity to a drug or to find targets of those anticancer compounds that show promising biological activity but their cellular target has not been identified. Apart from discovering new biology that governs action of small molecule therapeutics, we believe that our research will also lead to development of new strategies for pre-clinical unbiased profiling of drug candidates.


  Research Assistant ::
Casey Hughes
B.S.University of Colorado at Boulder


  Administrative Assistants ::
Deanne Daly
  Alumni ::

Cindy Liu (former Research Assistant)
Present Position:
Scientist, Theranos Inc.


Eric Humke (former Postdoc)
Present Position: Assistant Medical Director at Genentech

  Sara Peyrot (former Postdoc)