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Pradipta Ghosh, MD

Taking the first steps: Those who knew Pradipta as a child would agree that she is easily bored if not constantly challenged. Building a knowledge base that is very broad and deep was her way to take on the challenge in exploring anything that she knew little or nothing about. After graduating as the Best Outgoing Student in a nationwide ranking, from the top medical school in India, Pradipta came to US in 2001 in search of the next challenge, that of a career in biomedical science. This twist in career was prompted by a famous quote that she had stumbled upon -- "Medicine is not only an art; it is also a science. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided". Determined to get trained in a good laboratory, she applied to Universities in US with little or no hope of hearing back. Her dream materialized when her resume trickled through the system and fell in the hands of Stuart Kornfeld at Washington University St Louis, MO, a seasoned physician-scientist and a great mentor, an astute judge of character and talent, who agreed to give Pradipta an opportunity to train in his laboratory. Pradipta was quick to realize that this rare opportunity comes with extraordinary challenges ahead because she was about to enter a dual-career path, that of a physician-scientist, with no prior training as a scientist and years of rigorous internship, residency and fellowship in US ahead of her. She was introduced to experimental medicine in the Kornfeld laboratory, where she took the very first steps in her scientific career. Soon her vocation became her passion and what followed during the next 18 months was nothing short of magic. Her work investigated how adaptor proteins, GGAs and AP1&2, affected sorting of Mannose-6 Phosphate Receptors (MPRs) and directly led to the discovery of a layer of complexity in the multi-step sorting of the receptor in-and-out of the Golgi. Through her publications within the next year, a novel paradigm emerged in the field of protein trafficking where series of ying-yang phospho- and dephosphorylation events regulate each step of receptor trafficking based on the temporospatial distribution of the respective kinases or phosphatases. If St Louis winters were cold, or summers hot, Pradipta would not know because she was in the lab round-the-clock acquiring the scientific tools and building her technical expertise. She recalls that the learning curve was steep, but she enjoyed every moment of the journey, gaining unique perspective and broadening her horizon with every passing day. She describes her time spent in the Kornfeld lab as the most formative years of her scientific career because it served as a solid foundation for the years to come.

Building on the foundation: In 2003, Pradipta moved to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to begin her clinical training in Internal Medicine. After fast-tracking through her internship and residency in the physician-scientist training pathway, she joined the UC San Diego Gastroenterology Fellowship Program in 2005. A year later, she began her postdoctoral research training in the George Palade laboratories under the mentorship of Dr. Marilyn G. Farquhar, PhD Equipped with the skills of a biochemist, this is where she honed her skills as a cellular and molecular biologist, and further broadened her horizon by incorporating systems biology, computational modeling and bioinformatics into her research program. Her postdoctoral work on a newly discovered protein, GIV/Girdin, established the presence of a novel class of signaling molecules and unraveled hitherto unknown functions of these molecules in cell biology and pathophysiology. In 2008 she graduated from the Gastroenterology fellowship program and joined as an Assistant Professor on tenure track in the department of Medicine at UC San Diego. Ongoing work in her laboratory seeks to identify novel signal amplifiers (a new class of molecules that she christened GEMs, guanine nucleotide exchange modulators) in a systematic and unbiased way using a three-pronged approach. Using these approaches her laboratory has already identified new rheostats with surprising functions during cellular processes such as membrane-trafficking, autophagy, survival, apoptosis, mitosis, differentiation and migration. Once systematically applied, these approaches have the real potential to revolutionize our understanding of signal transduction and the diverse biological processes and disease states that they control. 

Emergence of a new paradigm: Pradipta's group was one of the original discoverers of this GEM signaling system beginning with the discovery of GIV-GEM, and subsequently extending to 3 other members such as NUCB1/2 and Daple-GEMs. We showed that GEMs serve as vital platforms for intracellular communication networks; they coordinate cellular responses and organellar function in cells responding to environmental signals initiated by diverse classes of receptors, thereby allowing non-GPCRs to engage with and modulate trimeric-GTPases. Using the powerful synergy of cell, molecular and structural-biology, molecular imaging, systems biology and bioinformatics, her group showed the crucial importance of the GEM system in coordinating diverse cellular processes and revealed the mechanistic basis of their GEM action. As a physician-scientist, she relentlessly pursued why/how aberrations in the GEM system spur diseases such as cancer progression, fibrosis and insulin resistance and provided impetus to developdrugs targeting the GEMs in disease states.

This paradigm of intracellular GTPase signaling that is modulated by GEMs is strikingly different from how trimeric-GTPases were previously believed to function in cells. Published and ongoing molecular, structural and systems biology, and molecular imaging studies spearheaded by her lab have confirmed this paradigm and revealed its importance in diseases such as cancers, fibrosis and diabetes. These studies showed that the GEM-GTPase system doesn't just transduce signals; rather, like the Internet communication protocols which link devices worldwide, they serve as network-protocols for intracellular communication at diverse intracellular microdomains. GEMs route signals between organelles and facilitate communication with the cell's exterior.

The leap into the unknown where science led: In launching the Institute for Network Medicine (iNetMed), Pradipta's goal is to not only reveal the importance of GEMs in health and diseases, but also unravel other molecules like GEMs that support a complete system of network-protocols for cellular communication; in short, she seeks to decode the cell's communication network using a transdisciplinary team-based approach, the Consortium for Cell-Inspired Systems Engineering (ConCISE). The iNetMed also supports the complete pipeline for network-based target identification and validation through our own Center for Precision Computational Systems Network (PreCSN) initiative and the HUMANOID™ Center of Research Excellence (CoRE), a center dedicated to building human organoid-based disease models. While network-based drug discovery can offer precision in targeting, HUMANOID allows personalized disease-modeling platforms for drug screening. Pradipta's overall vision is to drive disruptive research in biology, medicine and engineering using the fundamentals of network biology, systems engineering and medicine, with the ultimate goal of enhancing, enriching and improving human existence.

Come discover with the gang! Pradipta's laboratory has experience and expertise in most cell biological and translational approaches, including live cell imaging, designing and working with FRET probes, protein purification and analysis, protein-protein interaction assays, biochemical and pharmacological assays and in the use of animal models. Pradipta has had a successful training record at UCSD, mentoring several undergraduate, predoctoral students, and postdoctoral associates. 

As recently as April 2021, Pradipta withdrew from all clinical services to devote 100% of her effort to her research programs. Prior to that, every Friday morning, she used to see patients in a subspeciality outpatient clinic (Hepatology) or performs procedures in endoscopy suits at the VA Medical Center, La Jolla

Pradipta's Research Mentors:

  • (August 2001 - May 2003): Stuart A. Kornfeld, MD (Washington U in St. Louis, MO)
  • (September 2006 - November 2008): Marilyn G. Farquhar, PhD (UC San Diego, CA)

Professional Experience: 

2009 - 2012 Assistant Professor (tenured track), Dept of Medicine, UC San Diego, CA
2012 - 2016 Associate Professor (tenured), Dept Medicine, UC San Diego, CA
2015 - 2016 Associate Professor (tenured), Dept of Cell & Mol Medicine, UC San Diego, CA
2016-present Professor (tenured), Dept Medicine, UC San Diego, CA. 
2016-present Professor (tenured), Dept of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego, CA. 

Awards & Honors

  • 1995 President’s Gold Medal in Physics (Indian Association of Physics Teachers) 
  • 1998 Paul Harrison Prize in Neurology, CMC Vellore, India
  • 1999 Ruthmeyer’s gold medal in Microbiology, CMC Vellore, India
  • 1999 Edward Gault Gold Medal in Pathology, CMC Vellore, India
  • 2000 John S. Carman Gold Medal in Surgery, CMC Vellore, India
  • 2000 Kutumbiah Prize in Internal Medicine, CMC Vellore, India
  • 2000 Ida Scudder Gold Medal in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, CMC Vellore.
  • 2000 Gold Medal for the Best Outgoing Student for Overall Performance, Indian Medical Association                 (IMA) 
  • 2000 Gold Medal for the Best Outgoing Student in Medicine, Indian Medical Association (IMA) 
  • 2000 Gold Medal for the Best Outgoing Student in Surgery, Indian Medical Association (IMA) 
  • 2006 NIH training Grant (trainee), Dept of Medicine, Div of Gastroenterology, UC San Diego, CA.  
  • 2008 American Gastroenterology Association Research Scholar Award (Foundation for Digestive Health                 and Nutrition, FDHN) 
  • 2009 Career Awards for Medical Scientists (Burroughs Wellcome Foundation)
  • 2009 Gregory J. Gurtner Memorial Lecturer, Washington Univ, St Louis, MO 
  • 2010 Clinical Scientist Development Award (CSDA, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation)
  • 2010 RSA(AGA) Rising Star, Europe-US Joint Session Lecturer, DDW, New Orleans, LA
  • 2013 Clinical Research Mentor Award (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation).
  • 2013 Mentor on DOD Visionary fellowship award (CDMRP)
  • 2013 Medical Student Research Mentor Award (American Heart Association)
  • 2015 Translational and Clinical Cancer Research Award (Moores Cancer Center, UCSD)
  • 2016 Edward Malinkrodt-PSTP Visiting Professorship (Washington University, St. Louis, MO)
  • 2016        Elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI)

Laboratory and Area Safety Manager

​ ​
Celia Espinoza, Ph.D
Lab Manager
LinkedIn: Profile Link
​ ​

Student Research Assistants​ ​ ​ ​

Ananta Silas
Student Research Assistant

Profile Link

Jung Liew

Student Research Assistant


David Chen
Student Research Assistant
LinkedIn: No link

Ella McLaren
Student Research Assistant
LinkedIn: Profile Link

Postdoctoral Fellows / Graduate Students  

Saptarshi Sinha, PhD
Doctorate in Systems Biology
Departments of Physics and Microbiology; Current position: Fellow, Computational Immunology.
Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-Present)

Amer Ali, Ph.D.
Doctorate of Pharmacology,
Hiroshima University (Japan). 
Postdoctoral Scholar
(2019 - present)

 Gajanan D. Katkar, Ph.D.
Doctorate of Biochemistry
University of Mysore; India.
Postdoctoral Scholar
(2019 - present)

Mahitha Shree
Master of Science (MS)
University of Mysore
Research Associate
(2019- present)

Vanessa Castillo
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 
University of California,
San Diego
Research Associate
(2019- present)

Daniele Parisi, Ph.D
Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)
Bioinformatics, drug development, computational modeling,  

/TU Dresden

(2021- present)

LinkedIn:                                Profile Link

​Suchismita Roy, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
2018- present
LinkedIn:                                       Profile Link

​Madhubanti Mullick, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
2020- present
LinkedIn:                                 Profile Link

​ ​ ​ ​BS/MS Students

​Jane E. Coates

2018- present
Profile Link

​Yashaswat Malhotra

2019 - present
Profile Link

​Daniel Toobian

2019 - present

​Brandon Biagas

2020 - present

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Christine (Ziqi) Yu
Undergraduate student
2020- present

Adel Adel
Undergraduate student
2019- present

Ghid Bahoo
Undergraduate student
2019- present

Fun Corner

Lab holiday parrt - Dec 2021

Jane's farewell party - 2021

COVID protocol - six feet apart 2021. 

​ ​ ​ ​
2018: CMM Christmas Party

 ​ ​2019: Lee and Boadi

2018: Left-to-Right, Nick, Jason and Lee

2018: Lab group
​ ​
2013: Good old days

2012: Candid moments

Past Lab Members

Priti P. Maity, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow   (2020 – 2021)                                   Email:
LinkedIn:                                Profile Link

Karolin Meyer, PhD
Doctorate in Medical Sciences  (University of Groningen, The Nederlands)
Fellow, Cancer Immunology.
Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2020)
Current status: Postdoctoral Fellow

Jason Ear, Ph.D. (2015-2020)
NCI T32 Fellow (2015-2016)
ACS fellow (2016-2020)
Current status: Tenure-track Assistant Professor, Cal State, Calpoly

Navin Rajapakse (2017-2020)
SDSU-UCSD exchange student (2017-2018)
Staff Research Associate, Ghosh Lab (2019-2020)
Current status: Research Assoc. BioTheryX

Kwaku (Boadi) Agyekum, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow (2018-2019)
Current status: LinkedIN-Boadi

Rachel Lui
UG Student Research Associate (2017-2020)
Current status: LinkedIN-Rachel_Lui 

Pranavi Chhamarthi
Undergraduate Student, UCSD
Student Research Assistant (2015-2020)
Current status: LinkedIN-Pranavi_C

Julie Choi
Undergraduate Student, UCSD
Student Research Assistant (2018 - 2020)
Current status: LinkedIN-JulieChoi

Brian Long Nguyen 
Undergraduate Student Ghosh Lab (2019-2020)
Current status: LinkedIN-Brian_Nguyen

Karolin Meyer, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2020)
Current status: LinkedIN_KarolinMeyer

Bruna DeFreitas (2019-2020)
Lab Manager/SRA
Current status: SRA, Moores Cancer Center

Lee Andrew Boland Swanson
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student,
NIDDK Predoctoral Fellow (2015-2018)
Current status: Postdoctoral fellow, UCSD

Nicholas (Nick) Kalogriopoulos
Biomedical Sciences Graduate student,
(2013- 2019)
NCI Cancer Cell Biology Predoctoral Fellow (Aug 2014-July 2016)
Current Status: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford 

Alyse Steves Ph.D. (Apr 2019- Nov 2019)
Doctorate in Genetics and Molecular Biology; Emory University, Atlanta GA.
Cancer Biology and Omics (CBIO) T32 Fellow 
Current: Scientist I

Cristina Rohena Ph.D. (2015-2019)
Doctorate in Cell and Structural Biology (UTHSC at San Antonio)
Fellow, Moores Cancer Center.
Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-Present)
Cancer Therapeutics (CT2) T32 Fellow, Moores Cancer Center 
Current: Scientist, Leica Microsystems

Ying Dunkel 
MD & PhD in Pathology,
China Medical University
Staff Research Associate,
Ghosh Lab (October, 2010-June 2019)

Yash Mittal, M.D, (2016-2018)
UCSD School of Medicine; Internal Medicine Residency (Yale), Gastroenterology Fellowship (UCSD). 
Current: Graduated GI Fellowship program UC San Diego; Staff Physician: Scripps Gastroenterology.

Linda P. Joosen, B.Sc, Molecular Biology
Staff Research Associate (2016 - 2018)
Specialization: Molecular Cytology, Genetics and Cell biology; Live cell imaging
Current position: Field Sales, Confocal microscopes, Leica, U.K. 

Evelyn Yang
Undergraduate Student Research Assistant, UCSD
Current status: Forensic Studies, DC. 

Camille Delbrook

Undergraduate Student Research Assistant, UCSD

Somya Moyya
Undergraduate Student Research Assistant, UCSD

Trina Amog
Undergraduate Student Research Assistant
Ghosh Lab (2014-2016)
Current status: Dermatology scribe, UCSD. 

Daniel Tang
Undergraduate Student Research Assistant, UCSD
Current Status: Community relations affiliate SFP 49'ers

Anokhi Saklecha
Undergraduate Student, UCSD
Student Research Assistant (2015-2018)
Current status: Intern at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, United States

Precious Moman
Undergraduate Student, SDSU
Student Research Assistant (2016-2016)
Current status: enrolled in BS at SDSU

Jasmine (Ping-Ping) Wong (2008-2010)
Undergraduate Student, Biology
(Currently working for Pfizer)

Jessica L. Mendez (2009-2010)
Undergraduate Student, Biology
Current Status: Medical Student, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Patrick Kiertrsunthorn (2009-2010)
Undergraduate Student, Biology
Current Status: Medical Student, University of Alabama

Michelle Aida (2009-2010)
Undergraduate Student, Biology
Current Status: Intern Pharmacist at Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, CA

Jason Ear
Undergraduate student trainee, Ghosh Lab (2008-2010);
McNair Scholar
Current Status: Postdoc Fellow, UCSD.

Victor Tran (2008-2012)
Undergraduate Student, Biochem and Cell Biology

Ghid Bahoo
Undergraduate student
2019- 2021

Christine Leiva (2010 - 2012)
"Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar"
Undergraduate Student, Hum Biol and Cell Biology

Andrew Ong
Masters Student, Biology
Ghosh Lab (Dec, 2008-2012)
Current Status: Medical student, St. Louis University

Melanie B. Laederich, PhD
PhD in Cellular and Developmental biology,
Oregon Health & Science University,
Postdoctoral Fellow, Ghosh Lab (June, 2012-2013)

Nina Sun
(Lab Manager; May 2013 - May 2019)

Yelena Pavlova
(Lab Manager; Mar 2009-April 2013)

Edgar Zatik Zatikyan
Undergraduate Student (2012-2013)

Dademos Taye
Undergraduate Student (2012-2013)

Priya Chakrabarti
Undergraduate Student (2011-2013)

Shabnam Pedram
Masters in Biology Student, (2011-2013)
Current Status:                                                                              Graduate: Ostrow School of Dentistry, USC

Jeremy Lin
Masters in Biology Student (2012-2013)

Margaret Chiu
Medical Student (2013-Present)
AHA Student Research Award (2013-2014)

Gary S. Ma
Medical Student, UCSD
Doris Duke Research Fellow (2013-2014)
Current Status:                                          
Chief Medical Resident in Internal Medicine, UC San Diego

Fang He, MD, PhD
Visiting Scholar, Ghosh Lab (2014-2015)
Current Status:                                          
Associate Professor, Center of Infectious Diseases, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, PRC

Inmaculada Lopez-Sanchez, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2015)
AHA Fellow (2014-2015)
Current Status:                                          
Recipient of Juan de la Cierva Fellowship; CICbioGUNE, Spain

I-Chung Lo, PhD
Doctorate in Cell Biology
National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2016)
Current Position:                                          
Staff Scientist at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, CA.

Arjun Patel
MS Biology student
Ghosh Lab (2014-2015)
Current Position: Medical Student (M.D)

Harsharan Dhillon
Undergraduate Student
Ghosh Lab (2013-2016)

Ninvita Givarkes
Undergraduate Student, UCSD
Ghosh Lab (2015-2016)

Lawrence Liu
Undergraduate Student
Ghosh Lab (2013-2015)

Nicolas Aznar, PhD.                                          
Postdoctoral fellow (2011-2016) Current status: Faculty at the National Center For Scientific Research (CNRS), Lyon, FRANCE

 Priyal Thakur
Masters Student in Bioengineering
Ghosh Lab (2013-2014)

Magda Holda
Undergraduate Student
Bioengineering: Biotech
Ghosh Lab (April 2011-Jun 2014)

Priyanka Mehlawat
Research Assistant (Volunteer)
Ghosh Lab 2014-2015
Current Status: Scientist, Eli Lilly, San Diego

Olivia Chang
Undergraduate student, UCSD
Student Research Assistant, Ghosh Lab (2014-2015)

Krishna Midde, PhD
PhD in Biochemistry and Chemistry
University of Northern Texas Health Health Sciences (UNTHSC)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Ghosh Lab (June 2013-2015)
Current Position: Staff Scientist, Ventana, Inc., Tucson Arizona.

Jacky W. Lu
Undergraduate Student, UCSD
Student Research Assistant (2015-Present)
Senior Honors Thesis Program (2016-2016)

Firooz Kabir
Undergraduate Student
Ghosh Lab (2013-2016)

Blaze B. Lim
Bachelor of Science (BS)
University of California,
San Diego
Research Associate
(2017- 2019)

Yohan Penny
Undergraduate student trainee, Ghosh Lab (Nov 2009-March 2011)
Current Status: Research Associate ROKA Bioscience, San Diego, CA.

Changsheng Lin, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Ghosh Lab (2009-2010
Current Status: Postdoctoral fellow at The David J Gladstone Research Institute, San Francisco, CA

Yash Mittal (2009-2012)
Graduate Medical Student, UC San Diego
Sarah Rogers Fellow, 2010
Current Status: First year medical student, Yale University School of Medicine

Daniel Toobian

2019 - 2021 (MS Biology)

Christine (Ziqi) Yu
Undergraduate student
2020- 2021

Jane E. Coates

2018- present
Profile Link

Albert Nguyen
Student Research Assistant (2020-21)

Profile Link