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Subbiah Pugazhenthi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine


The central focus of Dr. Pugazhenthi's research is molecular mechanism of cell death. Common pathological mechanisms are being studied in two disease models, namely, loss of insulin-producing beta cells in diabetes and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s brain. Transcriptional regulation of cytoprotective genes are examined in cultured human islets and in human neural stem-derived neurons. The long-term goal is to enhance cell survival through modulation of transcription factors under conditions of oxidative stress and inflammation.

  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatic Beta Cells
  • Apoptosis
  • Transcription Factors
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neural stem cells

Selected Publications

  1. Antiapoptotic actions of exendin-4 against hypoxia and cytokines are augmented by CREB. (2012)
    Velmurugan K, Balamurugan AN, Loganathan G, Ahmad A, Hering BJ, Pugazhenthi S.
    Endocrinology. 153(3):1116-28, 2012
  2. Modulation of apoptosis pathways by oxidative stress and autophagy in beta cells. (2012)
    Wang M, Crager M and Pugazhenthi S. Experimental Diabetes Research.
    In Press.
  3. Downregulation of CREB expression in Alzheimer’s brain and in Abeta-treated rat hippocampal neurons. (2011)
    Pugazhenthi S, Wang M, Pham S, Sze C-I and Eckman CB.
    Molecular neurodegeneration. 6: 60-75, 2011
  4. Varicella-zoster virus infection of differentiated human neural stem cells. (2011)
    Pugazhenthi S, Nair S, Velmurugan K, Liang Q, Mahalingam R, Cohrs RJ, Nagel MA, Gilden D.
    J Virol. 85(13): 6678-86, 2011
  5. Anti-inflammatory action of exendin-4 in human islets is enhanced by phosphodiesterase inhibitors: potential therapeutic benefits in diabetic patients. (2010)
    Pugazhenthi U, Velmurugan K, Tran A, Mahaffey G, Pugazhenthi S.
    Diabetologia. 53(11):2357-68, 2010
  6. Induction of anti-apoptotic genes linked to NF-B signaling with cytokine exposure in human islets and in a mouse beta cell line. (2009)
    Sarkar S, Kutlu B, Velmurugan K, Kizaka-Kondoh S, Lee CE, Wong R, Valentine A, Davidson HW, Hutton JC, Pugazhenthi S.
    Diabetologia. 52: 1092-1101, 2009
  7. Dominant negative mutant forms of CREB induce apoptosis and decrease the anti-apoptotic action of growth factors in human islets.  (2007)
    Sarkar S, Gunter J, Bouchard R, Reusch JE-B, Wiseman A, Gill RG, Hutton JC, Pugazhenthi S.
    Diabetologia. 50:1649-59, 2007

Graduate Schools
Ph.D., University of Delhi, India (1986)
M.S., University of Madras, India (1975)
Undergraduate School
B.S., University of Madras, India (1972)




Kalpana Velmurugan, PhD ​Postdoctoral Fellow