Xaralabos Varelas, PhD
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Biochemistry & Cell Biology

PhD, University of Alberta
BSc, McGill University

Pronouns: he/him/his

Research in the Varelas lab is focused on gaining insight into the molecular mechanisms by which cell fate is coordinated with cell proliferation and survival during animal development and disease. The lab is particularly interested in understanding the roles and regulation of the transcriptional regulators YAP and TAZ (YAP/TAZ), which are key effectors of the Hippo signaling pathway.

YAP/TAZ integrate cell polarity and mechanical cues with information relayed by growth factors and chemicals to direct essential processes and maintain organ homeostasis. The lab is incorporating genetic and biochemical approaches to define how YAP/TAZ control developmental events, and how dysregulation of YAP/TAZ activity contributes the etiology of various diseases, such as cancer.

Boston University
BU-BMC Cancer Center

Boston University
Pulmonary Center

Boston University
Center for Regenerative Medicine

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Boston University
Genome Science Institute

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Defining age-associated alterations in oral squamous cell carcinoma
04/01/2023 - 03/31/2027 (Key Person / Mentor)
NIH/National Institute on Aging

Defining the Beta-catenin/CBP axis in head and neck cancer
12/07/2020 - 11/30/2025 (Multi-PI)
PI: Xaralabos Varelas, PhD
NIH/National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research

Defining epithelial polarity cues that direct cell fate
02/15/2020 - 01/31/2025 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Defining molecular signals that influence airway basal cell renewal and growth
01/01/2020 - 06/30/2023 (Key Person / Mentor)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Intercepting aberrant YAP/TAZ activity for the treatment of lung cancer
12/29/2017 - 06/30/2023 (PI)
Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Mechanobiology of Lung Fibrosis
04/03/2019 - 03/31/2023 (Subcontract PI)
Mayo Clinic NIH NHLBI

Understanding aberrant YAP signaling in squamous cell lung cancer
07/01/2017 - 12/31/2022 (PI)
American Cancer Society, Inc.

Mechanotransduction and YAP/TAZ Signaling in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
01/01/2018 - 12/31/2021 (Subcontract PI)
The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc. NIH NHLBI

Defining non-nuclear roles for Yap in the development of multi-ciliated cells
04/01/2018 - 03/31/2021 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

YAP/TAZ-NRG1 crosstalk in airway epithelial cell fate control
03/01/2019 - 02/28/2021 (Key Person / Mentor)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Showing 10 of 25 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2023 Defining the ß-catenin/CBP-catenin/CBP axis in head and neck cancer 5R01DE030350-03
2023 Defining epithelial polarity cues that direct cell fate 5R01HL124392-09
2022 Defining the ß-catenin/CBP-catenin/CBP axis in head and neck cancer 5R01DE030350-02
2022 Defining epithelial polarity cues that direct cell fate 5R01HL124392-08
2021 Enhancement and Cloud Deployment of CaDrA, a software tool for Candidate Driver Analysis of Multiomics Data 3R01DE030350-01A1S1
2021 Defining the ß-catenin/CBP-catenin/CBP axis in head and neck cancer 1R01DE030350-01A1
2021 Defining epithelial polarity cues that direct cell fate 5R01HL124392-07 17
2020 Defining epithelial polarity cues that direct cell fate 2R01HL124392-06 17
2019 Defining non-nuclear roles for Yap in the development of multi-ciliated cells 5R21HD094012-02
2018 Defining non-nuclear roles for Yap in the development of multi-ciliated cells 1R21HD094012-01
Showing 10 of 15 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Reed ER, Jankowski SA, Spinella AJ, Noonan V, Haddad R, Nomoto K, Matsui J, Bais MV, Varelas X, Kukuruzinska MA, Monti S. ß-catenin/CBP activation of mTORC1 signaling promotes partial epithelial-mesenchymal states in head and neck cancer. Transl Res. 2023 Oct; 260:46-60.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37353110
  2. Federico A, Kern J, Varelas X, Monti S. Structure learning for gene regulatory networks. PLoS Comput Biol. 2023 May; 19(5):e1011118.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37200395; PMCID: PMC10231840; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1011118;
  3. Ning B, Tilston-Lunel AM, Simonetti J, Hicks-Berthet J, Matschulat A, Pfefferkorn R, Spira A, Edwards M, Mazzilli S, Lenburg ME, Beane JE, Varelas X. Convergence of YAP/TAZ, TEAD and TP63 activity is associated with bronchial premalignant severity and progression. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2023 May 08; 42(1):116.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37150829; PMCID: PMC10165825; DOI: 10.1186/s13046-023-02674-5;
  4. Khan MM, Frustino J, Villa A, Nguyen BC, Woo SB, Johnson WE, Varelas X, Kukuruzinska M, Monti S. Total RNA sequencing reveals gene expression and microbial alterations shared by oral pre-malignant lesions and cancer. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 24.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36993637; PMCID: PMC10055367; DOI: 10.1101/2023.03.24.534064;
  5. Tilston-Lunel AM, Varelas X. Polarity in respiratory development, homeostasis and disease. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2023; 154:285-315.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37100521; DOI: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2023.02.004;
  6. Burgess CL, Huang J, Bawa P, Alysandratos KD, Minakin K, Morley MP, Babu A, Villacorta-Martin C, Hinds A, Thapa BR, Wang F, Matschulat AM, Morrisey EE, Varelas X, Kotton DN. Generation of human alveolar epithelial type I cells from pluripotent stem cells. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 20.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36711505; PMCID: PMC9882278; DOI: 10.1101/2023.01.19.524655;
  7. Raslan AA, Pham TX, Lee J, Hong J, Schmottlach J, Nicolas K, Dinc T, Bujor AM, Caporarello N, Thiriot A, von Andrian UH, Huang SK, Nicosia RF, Trojanowska M, Varelas X, Ligresti G. Single Cell Transcriptomics of Fibrotic Lungs Unveils Aging-associated Alterations in Endothelial and Epithelial Cell Regeneration. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 20.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36712020; PMCID: PMC9882122; DOI: 10.1101/2023.01.17.523179;
  8. Kern JG, Tilston-Lunel AM, Federico A, Ning B, Mueller A, Peppler GB, Stampouloglou E, Cheng N, Johnson RL, Lenburg ME, Beane JE, Monti S, Varelas X. Inactivation of LATS1/2 drives luminal-basal plasticity to initiate basal-like mammary carcinomas. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 28; 13(1):7198.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36443313; PMCID: PMC9705439; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-34864-8;
  9. Rohban MH, Fuller AM, Tan C, Goldstein JT, Syangtan D, Gutnick A, DeVine A, Nijsure MP, Rigby M, Sacher JR, Corsello SM, Peppler GB, Bogaczynska M, Boghossian A, Ciotti GE, Hands AT, Mekareeya A, Doan M, Gale JP, Derynck R, Turbyville T, Boerckel JD, Singh S, Kiessling LL, Schwarz TL, Varelas X, Wagner FF, Kafri R, Eisinger-Mathason TSK, Carpenter AE. Virtual screening for small-molecule pathway regulators by image-profile matching. Cell Syst. 2022 Sep 21; 13(9):724-736.e9. PMID: 36057257; PMCID: PMC9509476; DOI: 10.1016/j.cels.2022.08.003;
  10. Shirai T, Sekai M, Kozawa K, Sato N, Tanimura N, Kon S, Matsumoto T, Murakami T, Ito S, Tilston-Lunel A, Varelas X, Fujita Y. Basal extrusion of single-oncogenic mutant cells induces dome-like structures with altered microenvironments. Cancer Sci. 2022 Nov; 113(11):3710-3721.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35816400; PMCID: PMC9633292; DOI: 10.1111/cas.15483;
Showing 10 of 78 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 78 publications over 19 distinct years, with a maximum of 8 publications in 2017 and 2020 and 2021 and 2022

Contact for Mentoring:

72 E. Concord St
Boston MA 02118
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