Udai Pandey, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Human Genetics & Neurology

Education & Training

  • Graduate School - Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, India – PhD – Medical Genetics
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship – University of Pennsylvania – Neurology
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Developmental Neurobiology

Research Grants

NIH Grants:  R21, R01

Research Summary

Dr. Pandey’s laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of human neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and traumatic brain injury. We have been using mammalian neuronal cells, Drosophila and patient-derived iPSC lines to examine the contribution of pathogenic mutations that lead to ALS pathogenesis. Several RNA-binding proteins have been implicated in human neurodegenerative diseases, such as polyglutamine expansion diseases and ALS. TDP-43, FUS, Matrin-3, VCP, and other RNA-binding proteins have been linked to ALS and suggest that defective RNA metabolism is central to ALS pathogenesis. The Pandey lab developed cellular and Drosophila models of ALS by expressing human and fly versions of disease-causing genes that regulate RNA metabolism. These models recapitulate several key features of the human disease, including neuromuscular junction defects, cytoplasmic accumulation of mutant protein, and behavioral defects. The Pandey lab is now performing genetic and small molecule screens to identify modifiers of neurodegenerative phenotypes in vivo. Discovery of these modifiers will enhance our understanding of mechanisms of ALS and will help in identifying new pathways for therapeutic drug development. The Pandey lab provides an exciting environment for training the next generation of physician-scientists and scientists interested in studying the molecular pathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases.

Representative Publications

  1. Anderson A, Gochenaur L, Singh A, Grant R, Patel K, Watkins S, Wu J, Pandey UB. Traumatic injury induces Stress Granule Formation and enhances Motor Dysfunctions in ALS Models. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Apr 15; 27(8):1366-1381.
  2. Bakthavachalu B, Huelsmeier J, Sudhakaran I, Hillebrand J, Singh A, Petrauskas A, Thiagarajan D, Sankaranarayanan M, Mizoe L, Anderson EA, Pandey UB, Ross E, VijayRaghavan K, Parker R, Ramaswami M. RNP-granules assembly via Ataxin02 disordered domains is required for long-term memory and neurodegeneration. Neuron. 2018 May 16; 98(4):754-766    *Previewed in ‘Neuron’
  3. Guo L, Kim HJ, Wang H, Monaghan J, Freyermuth F, Sung JC, O'Donovan K, Fare CM, Diaz Z, Singh N, Zhang ZC, Coughlin M, Sweeny EA, DeSantis ME, Jackrel ME, Rodell CB, Burdick JA, King OD, Gitler AD, Lagier-Tourenne C, Pandey UB, Chook YM, Taylor JP, Shorter J. Nuclear-Import Receptors Reverse Aberrant Phase Transitions of RNA-Binding Proteins with Prion-like Domains. Cell. 2018 Apr19; 173(3):677-692
  4. Daigle JG, Krishnamurthy K, Ramesh R, Casci I, Monaghan J, McAvoy K, Godfrey GW, Daniel D, Johnson E, Monahan Z, Shewmaker F, Pasinelli P, Pandey UB. Pur alpha ameliorates FUS toxicity and regulates cytoplasmic stress granule dynamics. Acta Neuropathologica. 2016 Jan 4
  5. Scaramuzzino C, Casci I, Parodi S, Lievens PMJ, Milioto C, Polanco MJ, Chivet M, Mishra A, Badders N, Aggarwal N, Grunseich C, Sambataro F, Basso M, Fackelmayer FO, Taylor JP, Pandey UB and Pennuto M. Protein arginine methyltransferase 6 enhances polyglutamine-expanded androgen receptor function and toxicity in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. Neuron. 2015 Jan 7; 84(7)
  6. Pandey UB, Nie Z, Batlevi Y, McCray BA, Ritson GP, Nedelsky NB, Schwartz SL, DiProspero NA, Knight MA, Schuldiner O, Padmanabhan R, Hild M, Berry DL, Garza D, Hubbert CC, Yao TP, Baehrecke EH, Taylor JP. HDAC6 rescues neurodegeneration and provides an essential link between autophagy and the UPS. Nature. 2007 Jun 14; 447(7146):860-4.     *Previewed in Neuron and selected for ‘must read paper’ by faculty 1000 biology.