Sharad Ramanathan sharad picture

FAS Center for Systems Biology

Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology



Mail: Northwest Building, room 435.20; 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138



Our laboratory studies how cells and organisms make decisions. To arrive at a decision, organisms must measure multiple environmental signals and interpret them appropriately. The questions we are interested in are how cells and organisms interpret their environment, how this interpretation depends on prior experiences, as well as the spatial, temporal modulation and the statistics of environmental cues. We want to achieve a quantitative understanding of the underlying signaling and transcriptional circuits that lead to discrete decisions. Since our goal is to uncover general design principles of the circuits that underlie decision making, our lab works on several model systems. Our recent work has focused on the yeast Sacchromyces cerevisiae, andt we are now working on circuits that make developmental decisions in mammalian cells and behavioral decisions in the worm C. elegans. We are also developing several new optical and micro-fluidic techniques to interrogate the dynamics of signaling and transcriptional networks in single cells.

Selected Publications:

Hersen P., McClean M.N., Mahadevan L., Ramanathan, S., (2008) Signal Processing by the HOG MAP kinase pathway. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA May 14, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0710770105

Hallatschek O., Hersen, P., Ramanathan, S., and Nelson, D. (2007) Genetic drift at expanding frontiers promotes gene segregation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104 (50), 19926-30

Nachman,  I., Regev, A., and Ramanathan, S. (2007) Dissecting Timing Variability in Yeast  Meiosis. Cell 131, 544-556.

Ramanathan, S., and  Broach, J. (2007). Do cells think? Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 64, 1801-4 .

McClean,  M. N., Mody, A., Broach, J., and  Ramanathan, S. (2007). Decision Making in MAP Kinase  pathways. Nat. Genet. 39,  409-414.

Detwiler PB., Ramanathan, S., Sengupta, A., Shraiman BI. (2000). Engineering Aspects of Enzymatic Signal Transduction: Photoreceptors in the Retina. Biophys J, December 2000, p. 2801-2817, Vol. 79, No. 6.

Ramanathan lab website


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