Shukti Chakravarti Lab

Lab Members

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  1. BulletShukti Chakravarti | Principal Investigator | Email:

  1. BulletRanjita GowdaNagaraj | Postdoctoral fellow | Email:

  1. BulletSherri-Gae Scott | Postdoctoral fellow | Email:

  1. BulletZhaoxia Li | Postdoctoral fellow | Email:

I received my Ph.D in 2010 in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where my thesis work focused on transcriptional regulation of cell identities in the adult and embryonic pancreas.

My research currently focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular biology of human corneal keratocytes. This involves

  1. Understanding signaling factors that regulate their cellular plasticity from quiescent keratocytes to activated fibroblasts (injury cell type) and the reversion of these fibroblasts to keratocytes.

  1. How this plasticity is associated with cell survival and is altered in keratocytes from diseased corneas such as Keratoconus.

  1. Identify and characterize a subset of stromal keratocytes that possess the ability to serve as stromal progenitor cells. Overall, I aim to contribute to the understanding of keratocyte biology, how they are regulated and subsequently altered in corneal stromal diseases, which may potentially lead to better therapeutic interventions.

I completed my graduate studies from the National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa, India in 2011. My current research focuses on the role of extracellular matrix protein, lumican in toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mediated host response to bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Lumican has been shown to bind CD14, the adaptor protein that transfers LPS to TLR4 and promote host innate immune response. I am investigating the CD14 binding site in lumican using directed mutagenesis and biochemical approaches. In a second project I am investigating the role of peptidoglycan recognition proteins in host response to bacterial infections of the cornea using gene-targeted mice deficient in these proteins.

Dr. Li attended Chongqing University of Medical School in China. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and PhD from Chongqing University of Medical school. Dr. Li’s research focuses on how extracellular matrix proteoglycans (lumican , decorin, biglycans and others) regulate innate immune responses in corneal infections and inflammatory bowel diseases.

The Shukti Chakravarti Laboratory is interested in the regulation of cellular functions and tissue homeostasis by the extracellular matrix. The laboratory investigates functions of collagen-associated extracellular matrix proteins and proteoglycans, lumican, fibromodulin and biglycan in maintaining connective tissue architecture and cellular functions. Lumican regulates collagen fibril structure such that gene targeted mice deficient in lumican manifest Ehlers Danlos Syndrome-like skin fragility, tendon weaknesses and corneal opacity. These ECM proteins also regulate host innate immune response, either by interacting with toll-like receptor (TLR) signals to promote sensing of pathogen-associated molecular patterns or presenting as danger signals themselves. Our investigation of the ECM centers on two barrier tissues, the cornea of the eye and the intestinal mucosa and submucosa.

Aaron Hsu, Johns Hopkins Undergraduate program. Aaron is involved in constructing mutated forms of lumican for structure/function analysis of lumican.

  1. BulletAaron Hsu | Undergraduate Student | Email:

Sudarshan Pinglay is a sophomore at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences majoring in molecular and cellular biology. He will be working on lumican interactions with cell surface proteins.

  1. BulletSudarshan Pinglay | Undergraduate Student | Email: