Sharad Ramanathan

Sharad Ramanathan

Llura and Gordon Gund Professor of Neurosciences and of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Professor of Applied Physics, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
Sharad Ramanathan Photo
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, but 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:

Furchtgott LA, Melton S, Menon V, Ramanathan S. Discovering sparse transcription factor codes for cell states and state transitions during development. eLife; 6:e20488 (2017).

Jang S, Choubey S, Furchtgott L, Zou LN, Doyle A, Menon V, Loew EB, Krostag AR, Martinez RA, Madisen L, Levi BP, Ramanathan S. Dynamics of embryonic stem cell differentiation inferred from single-cell transcriptomics show a series of transitions through discrete cell states. eLife; 6:e20487 (2017).

Yao, Z., Menon, V., Mich, J.K., Ku, S., Krostag, A., Martinez, R.A., Furchtgott, L., Mulholland, H., Bort, S., Fuqua, M.A., Gregor, B.W., Hodge, R.D., Jayabalu, A., May, R.C., Melton, S., Nelson, A.M., Ngo, N.K., Shapovalova, N.V., Shehata, S.I., Smith, M.W., Tait, L.J., Thomsen, E.R., Ye, C., Glass, I.A., Thompson, C.L., Phillips, J.W., Grimley, J.S., Levi, B.P., Wang, Y., Ramanathan,S., A Single-Cell Roadmap of Lineage Bifurcation in Human ESC Models of Embryonic Brain Development. Cell Stem Cell 20(1):120-134 (2017).

Close JL, Yao Z, Levi BP, Miller JA, Bakken TE, Menon V, Ting JT, Wall A, Krostag AR, Thomsen ER, Nelson AM, Mich JK, Hodge RD, Shehata SI, Glass IA, Bort S, Shapovalova NV, Ngo NK, Grimley JS, Phillips JW, Thompson CL, Ramanathan S, Lein E. Single-Cell Profiling of an In Vitro Model of Human Interneuron Development Reveals Temporal Dynamics of Cell Type Production and Maturation. Neuron 93(5):1035-48 (2017).

Thomsen, E.R., Mich, J.K., Yao, Z., Hodge, R.D., Doyle, A.M., Jang, S., Shehata, S.I., Nelson, A.M., Shapovalova, N.V., Levi, B.P., Ramanathan, S., Fixed single-cell transcriptomic characterization of human radial glial diversity. Nature Methods 13(1) 87093 (2016).

Kocabas, A.1, Shen, C., Guo, Z.G., Ramanathan, S., Controlling interneuron activity in Caenorhabditis elegans to evoke chemotactic behavior, Nature (2012) 490 273-277.


Contact Information

Northwest Laboratories Building, Room 435.20
52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617 384-7852

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