People

Principal Investigator

Partha Dutta, DVM, PhD

Partha Dutta, DVM, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology

Phone:  412-383-7787
Email:  duttapa@pitt.edu

 

Education

DVM, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, India, 2003
MS, Wichita State University, KS, 2006
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, 2010

Training

Postdoctoral Training, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2013
Instructor, Harvard Medical School, 2015

Postdocs and Fellows

Jonathan Florentin, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

1720 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Lab Phone: 412- 648-8469
Email: jflor@pitt.edu

Dr. Florentin received his master’s degree in Human Pathology and Infectious Diseases in 2009 from the Faculty of Medicine Aix-Marseille University, France. He was awarded with the French Ministry of Research and Technology fellowship in 2009 to study the impact of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) on a subset of cells of the innate immunity, the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in Dr. Ivan HIrsch lab at CRCM-INSERM (France). In 2013, he obtained his PhD in Human Pathology and Immunology from Aix-Marseille University, France. In 2013, he joined Michael Gale Jr. lab in Seattle, WA, USA, to study the relevance of dendritic cells in the context of West Nile Virus (WNV) and Dengue Virus infections (DenV). In 2015, he joined Dr. William Burlingham’s lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA to investigate the role of maternal microchimerism derived exosomes in antigen acquisition in the context of transplantation. He then joined Dr. Partha Dutta’s lab in the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, to work on change in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and function of inflammatory cells in pulmonary hypertension.

Publications

Zona L, Lupberger J, Sidahmed-Adrar N, Thumann C, Harris HJ, Barnes A, Florentin J, Tawar RG, Xiao F, Turek M, Durand SC, Duong FH, Heim MH, Cosset FL, Hirsch I, Samuel D, Brino L, Zeisel MB, Le Naour F, McKeating JA, Baumert TF. HRas signal transduction promotes hepatitis C virus cell entry by triggering assembly of the host tetraspanin receptor complex. Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Mar 13;13(3):302-13.

Florentin, J., Aouar, B., Dental, C., Thumann, C., Firaguay, G., Gondois-Rey, F., Soumelis,V., F. Baumert, T., A. Nunès, J., Olive, D., Hirsch, I., Stranska, R.* HCV glycoprotein E2 is a novel BDCA-2 ligand and acts as an inhibitor of IFN production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Blood 2012 Nov 29;120(23):4544-51.

Dental,C., Florentin, J., Aouar, B., Gondois-Rey, F., Durantel, D., Baumert, T. F., Nunes, J. A., Olive, D., Hirsch, I., and Stranska, R. Hepatitis C virus fails to activate NF-kappaB signaling in plasmacytoid dendritic cells. J Virol. 2012;86:1090-1096.

Liqun Lei, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

1720 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 571-776-9305
Email: leil@pitt.edu

Dr. Lei received her PhD degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in 2019 from the Chinese Academic of Sciences, China. During PhD in Dr. Chen’s lab at ShanghaiTech University (China), her research direction was DNA repair, focusing on the mechanism of mutagenesis triggered by the repair of genomic DNA, from which she found that APOBEC3s, one of the families of cytidine deaminase, can introduce new mutations during the repair process of a single-strand DNA break produced by Cas9 nickase. This research revealed the mechanism of mutagenesis induced by the repair of SSB in genomic DNA, and proposed the new strategies to further improve the editing specificity of CRISPR/Cas9 system. Dr. Lei gave an oral presentation in CSH-Asia Conference-2018 Genome Editing. In 2019, she joined Dr. Partha Dutta’s lab to investigate hematopoietic stem cell activation and differentiation in cardiovascular disease and the role of cellular metabolism in inflammation in the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

Publications
Liqun Lei, Hongquan Chen, Wei Xue, Bei Yang, Bian Hu, Jia Wei, Lijie Wang, Yiqiang Cui, Wei Li, Jianying Wang, Lei Yan, Wanjing Shang, Jimin Gao, Jiahao Sha, Min Zhuang, Xingxu Huang, Bin Shen, Li Yang and Jia Chen. APOBEC3 induces mutations during repair of CRISPR–Cas9-generated DNA breaks. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 2018, 25: 45-52

Bei Yang, Xiaosa Li, Liqun Lei and Jia Chen. APOBEC: from mutator to editorJ Genet Genomics, 2017, 44: 423-437 (Review)

Niranjana Natarajan, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

1720 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 412-624-4059
Email: nataraj1@pitt.edu

Niranjana received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2016. She worked in Dr. Jennifer Pluznick’s laboratory during her Ph.D., where she investigated the interplay of GPCRs and microbial metabolites in blood pressure regulation. She was awarded a predoctoral fellowship by the American Heart Association to pursue her graduate research. In 2016, she joined Dr. Richard Lee’s laboratory at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow to study the role of the complement system and inflammation in early cardiac regeneration. In 2019, Niranjana received a NIH F32 to support her postdoctoral research. In 2020, she joined Dr. Dutta’s lab in the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh to work on inflammation in cardiovascular disease.

Publications

Vujic A, Natarajan N and Lee RT. Molecular mechanisms of heart regeneration. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology, 2019

Natarajan N et al., Impact of dietary fat and sucrose consumption on cardiac fibrosis in mice and rhesus monkeys. JCI Insight 2019

Shubitowski TB, Poll BG, Natarajan N, et al. Short Chain Fatty Acid Delivery: Assessing Exogenous Administration of the Microbiome Metabolite Acetate in Mice, Physiological Reports 7 (4) e 14005.

Prasad H, Dang DK, Kondapalli KC, Natarajan N, et al. NHA2 promotes cyst development in an in vitro model of polycystic kidney disease. Journal of Physiology. 2019;597(2):499-519.

Natarajan N, et al. Complement Receptor C5aR1 Plays an Evolutionarily Conserved Role in Successful Cardiac Regeneration. Circulation. 2018;137(20):2152-65

Natarajan N, et al., Microbial short chain fatty acid metabolites lower blood pressure via endothelial G-protein coupled receptor 41. Physiological Genomics, 2016; 48 (11) 826-834.

Aisenberg WH, Huang J, Zhu W, Rajkumar P, Cruz R, Santhanam L, Natarajan N, et al. Defining an olfactory receptor function in airway smooth muscle cells. Scientific Reports 2016; 6:38231.

Natarajan N, and Lee RT, Basic research: Suffocating the heart to stimulate regeneration. Nature Reviews Cardiology, 2016. 14(1): p. 7-8.

Natarajan N, and Pluznick JL, Olfaction in the kidney: ‘smelling’ gut microbial metabolites. Experimental Physiology, 2016. 101(4): p. 478-81.

Natarajan N, and Pluznick JL. From microbe to man: the role of microbial short chain fatty acid metabolites in host cell biology. American Journal of Physiol., Cell Physiol. 307, C979–85 (2014).

Wei Z, Seldin MM, Natarajan N, et al. C1q/tumor necrosis factor-related protein 11 (CTRP11), a novel adipose stroma-derived regulator of adipogenesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 288, 10214–29 (2013).

Shepard BD, Natarajan N et al., A cleavable N-terminal signal peptide promotes widespread olfactory receptor surface expression in HEK293T cells. PLoS ONE 8, e68758 (2013).

Sathish Vasamsetti, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

1720 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 412-624-4059
Email: sathishv@pitt.edu

Dr. Vasamsetti received his masters degree in microbiology in 2008 from Acharya Nagarjuna University, India. He was awarded with CSIR junior research fellowship in 2009 to study the mechanisms of monocyte to macrophage differentiation along with the identification of key cellular targets during this process in cardiovascular disorders in Dr. Kotamraju S lab at CSIR-IICT (India).  In 2015, he was awarded with PhD in Biochemistry from Academic Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (AcSIR), India. In 2016, he joined Dr. Partha Dutta’s lab to investigate the differential regulation of tissue resident and monocyte-derived macrophages in myocardial infarction-induced insulin resistance in the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

Publications

Vasamsetti SB, Karnewar S, Kanugula AK, Kotamraju S.  Metformin inhibits monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation via AMPK mediated inhibition of STAT3 activation: Potential role in atherosclerosisDiabetes 2015; 64:2042-2055.

Gannarapu MR, Vasamsetti SB, Punna N, Kotamraju S, Banda N. Design and synthesis of novel 1-substituted-triazole linked 1,2-benzothiazine 1,1-dioxido propenone derivatives and their evaluation as potent anti-inflammatory agents and inhibitors of monocyte-to-macrophage transformation.  Med Chem Comm 2015:6:1494-1500.

Kanugula AK, Gollavilli PN, Vasamsetti SB, Karnewar S, Gopoju R, Ummanni R, Kotamraju S. Statin-induced inhibition of breast cancer proliferation and invasion involves attenuation of iron transport: Intermediacy of nitric oxide and antioxidant defence mechanisms. FEBS J. Aug;281(16):3719-38.

Sambasiva Rao P, Kurumurthy C, Veeraswamy B, Santhosh Kumar G, Poornachandra Y, Ganesh Kumar C, Vasamsetti SB, Kotamraju S, Narsaiah B. Synthesis of novel 1,2,3-triazole substituted-N-alkyl/aryl nitrone derivatives, their anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity. Eur J Med Chem. 2014 Jun 10; 80:184-91.

Gannarapu MR, Vasamsetti SB, Punna N, Royya NK, Pamulaparthy SR, Nanubolu JB, Kotamraju S, Banda N. Synthesis of novel 1,2-benzothiazine 1,1-dioxide-3-ethanone oxime N-aryl acetamide ether derivatives as potent anti-inflammatory agents and inhibitors of monocyte-to-macrophage transformation. Eur J Med Chem.2014 Mar 21;75:143-50.

Koppireddi S, Komsani JR, Avula S, Pombala S, Vasamsetti S, Kotamraju S, Yadla R. Novel 2-(2,4-dioxo-1,3-thiazolidin-5-yl)acetamides as antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory compounds. Eur J Med Chem. 2013 Aug; 66:305-13.

Graduate Students

Lee Ohayon

Graduate Student

LLO8@pitt.edu

Lee Ohayon received her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology Engineering in 2019 from Ort Braude academic college, Israel. During her undergraduate studies she was worked at Enzymotech delivering lipids at QC. She also did a research project in Characterization of mutations of PP13 protein in Dr. Sammar Marei’s lab at Ort Braude academic college, Israel. During her undergraduate studies she was awarded in research internship in Dr. Partha Roy’s lab at University of Pittsburgh to study the effect of Pfn1 on phosphoinositide and migration in cancer cells. She continued to conduct research in tissue engineering research in Prof. Sarit Sivan and Dr. Michal amit’s lab at Ort Braude academic college, Israel. In 2019 she matriculated into the Ph.D. program in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh and she joined Dr. Partha Dutta’s lab in the Vascular Medicine Institute.

Scott O’Neil

Medical Student

O’Neil.Scott@medstudent.pitt.edu

Scott O’Neil received his bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2016 from St. Lawrence University. During his undergraduate studies he was awarded two research internship opportunities at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals to study immune tolerance as a member of a rare disease team. He continued to conduct research regarding the role of innate immune cells in auto inflammatory conditions and mechanisms of immune tolerance with Dr. Joseph Erlichman’s lab at St. Lawrence University. In 2016 he matriculated into the medical school at the University of Pittsburgh and later joined Dr. Partha Dutta’s lab in the Vascular Medicine Institute where he is studying mechanisms of atherosclerosis and the role of innate immune cells.

Xinyi is a visiting scholar from Xiangya School of Medicine, P. R. China. She is a medical student of eight-year program, which means it will take eight years to get the M.D. In 2017, she participated in the Xiangya-University of Pittsburgh Research Program, and then joined Dr. Partha Dutta’s lab in the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, to investigate the pathogenesis of macrophage in cardiovascular diseases.

Undergraduate Students

Anagha Arunkumar

Undergraduate Student Researcher

ana115@pitt.edu

Anagha is an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry and Gender studies. Anagha became part of the Dutta lab in the summer of 2017 and works on genotyping mice and working with post-docs in their experiments.

Ankush Dasari

Undergraduate Student Researcher

ard119@pitt.edu

Ankush Dasari graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in 2019 and is currently a freshman attending the University of Pittsburgh in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Ankush is a pre-medical student double majoring in Biological Sciences and Computer Science. Having joined Dr. Dutta’s lab in the spring of 2020, Ankush is currently working on analyzing the propagation of myocardial infraction, and its associated effects on platelets.

Vaibhav Gupta

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Gupta.V@pitt.edu

Vaibhav Gupta graduated from Acton Boxborough Regional High School in 2018 and will graduate from University of Pittsburgh in 2022. He is an aspiring pre-medical and pre-public health student majoring in Molecular Biology and Cultural Anthropology in Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Vaibhav joined Dr. Dutta’s lab in spring of 2020, and is currently working on the role of EGFR, a transmembrane protein, in type-2 diabetes.

Aleef Mannan

Undergraduate Student Researcher

aam141@pitt.edu

Aleef Mannan graduated from State College Area High School in 2017, and is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. Aleef is a pre-medical student majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Chemistry, with a Certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. Aleef joined Dr. Partha Dutta’s lab in the fall of 2018, and works on the role of ATP-citrate lyase in atherosclerosis.

Ganesh Modugu

Undergraduate Student Researcher

grm47@pitt.edu

Ganesh Modugu graduated from South Brunswick High School in 2017 and began schooling at the University of Pittsburgh in 2021. As an aspiring pre-medical student, Ganesh is a neuroscience major candidate in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Ganesh joined Dr. Dutta’s lab in the fall of 2017, and works on the role of RBPJ, a transcriptional repressor protein, in atherosclerosis.