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Uthayashanker Ezekiel, Ph.D., MB(ASCP)

Tenured Professor
Clinical Health Sciences


  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Yale University
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago
  • Ph.D. in Microbiology, Saint Louis University
  • Master of Science in Integrated Biology, Madurai Kamaraj University
  • Bachelor of Science in Zoology, Madurai Kamaraj University

Research Interests

Dr. Ezekiel’s laboratory is focused on understanding the fundamental processes, such as cell growth, metastasis, epigenetics, and signaling mechanisms, that distinguish normal from cancer cells. The major avenues of research are identification of anti-cancer activities of phytochemicals when used singly or in combination. The focus areas of research include (i) inhibition of chemoresistant metastatic cancer cells (ii) elicitation of anticancer activity by the modulation of epigenetic pathways (e.g., expression of microRNA activities, promoter methylation and histone modifications) and (iii) reversal or suppression of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) thereby inhibiting metastasis by modulating epigenetic pathways. Another area of research in Dr. Ezekiel’s laboratory is developing disease models using induced pluripotent cells (iPSC). His laboratory has gained significant expertise in reprogramming somatic cells into iPSC, which possess unique properties of self-renewal and differentiation into many cell lineages. Currently, the laboratory is focused on deriving iPSC from patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. The iPSC lines are being differentiated into neurons for developing disease models and understanding underlying defects that cause pathogenesis.

Publications and Media Placements

Ganapathy A and Ezekiel U. Phytochemical Modulation of MiRNAs in Colorectal Cancer. Medicines (Basel). 2019; 6(2): 1-18.

San K, Horita M, Ganapathy A, Chinnadurai G, and Ezekiel UR. Deregulated expression of microRNA-200b/c and SUZ12, a Polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit, in chemoresistant colorectal cancer cells. Genes & Cancer. 2017;17: 673–681

Beck DB, Subramanian T, Vijayalingam S, Ezekiel UR, Donkervoort S, Yang ML, Dubbs HA, Ortiz-Gonzalez XR, Lakhani S, Segal D, Au M, Graham JM Jr, Verma S, Waggoner D, Shinawi M, Bönnemann CG, Chung WK, Chinnadurai G. A pathogenic CtBP1 missense mutation causes altered cofactor binding and transcriptional activity. Neurogenetics. 2019; 20:129-43. PMCID: PMC8078134

Vijayalingam S, Ezekiel UR, Xu F, Subramanian T, Geerling E, Hoelscher B, San K, Ganapathy A, Pemberton K, Tycksen E, Pinto AK, Brien JD, Beck DB, Chung WK, Gurnett CA and Chinnadurai G. Human iPSC-Derived Neuronal Cells From CTBP1-Mutated Patients Reveal Altered Expression of Neurodevelopmental Gene Networks. Frontiers in Neuroscience.2020;14:1-19. PMCID: PMC7653094

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology