Xaralabos Varelas, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Biochemistry

PhD, University of Alberta

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.

Understanding aberrant YAP signaling in squamous cell lung cancer
07/01/2017 - 06/30/2021 (PI)
American Cancer Society, Inc.

Intercepting aberrant YAP/TAZ activity for the treatment of lung cancer
12/29/2017 - 12/28/2020 (PI)
Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Specification and patterning of the developing airway by cell polarity regulated cues
06/01/2017 - 05/31/2020 (PI)
March of Dimes Foundation

Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Multi-cilia Development
06/01/2017 - 05/31/2020 (PI)
March of Dimes Foundation

Defining non-nuclear roles for Yap in the development of multi-ciliated cells
04/01/2018 - 03/31/2020 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

Defining Epithelial Cell Polarity Cues That Direct Cell Fate
08/15/2014 - 04/30/2019 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Mechanobiology of Lung Fibrosis
12/01/2014 - 11/30/2018 (PI)
Mayo Clinic NIH NHLBI

Defining Epithelial Cues Contributing to Sjogren's Syndrome
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

Regulation of the Ciliated Cell Program in Airway Progenitors
06/01/2016 - 05/31/2018 (PI)
Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York NIH NHLBI

Defining aberrant epithelial cell polarity-regulated cues in breast cancer
09/01/2014 - 08/31/2017 (PI)
Department of Defense/Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity

Showing 10 of 16 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.

  1. Lagares D, Santos A, Grasberger PE, Liu F, Probst CK, Rahimi RA, Sakai N, Kuehl T, Ryan J, Bhola P, Montero J, Kapoor M, Baron M, Varelas X, Tschumperlin DJ, Letai A, Tager AM. Targeted apoptosis of myofibroblasts with the BH3 mimetic ABT-263 reverses established fibrosis. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Dec 13; 9(420). PMID: 29237758.
  2. Wasserman GA, Szymaniak AD, Hinds AC, Yamamoto K, Kamata H, Smith NM, Hilliard KL, Carrieri C, Labadorf AT, Quinton LJ, Ai X, Varelas X, Chen F, Mizgerd JP, Fine A, O''Carroll D, Jones MR. Expression of Piwi protein MIWI2 defines a distinct population of multiciliated cells. J Clin Invest. 2017 Oct 02; 127(10):3866-3876.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28920925.
  3. Hicks-Berthet J, Varelas X. Integrin-FAK-CDC42-PP1A signaling gnaws at YAP/TAZ activity to control incisor stem cells. Bioessays. 2017 Oct; 39(10). PMID: 28891248.
  4. Toyama T, Looney AP, Baker BM, Stawski L, Haines P, Simms R, Szymaniak AD, Varelas X, Trojanowska M. Therapeutic Targeting of TAZ and YAP by Dimethyl Fumarate in Systemic Sclerosis Fibrosis. J Invest Dermatol. 2018 Jan; 138(1):78-88.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28870693.
  5. Alsaqer SF, Tashkandi MM, Kartha VK, Yang YT, Alkheriji Y, Salama A, Varelas X, Kukuruzinska M, Monti S, Bais MV. Inhibition of LSD1 epigenetically attenuates oral cancer growth and metastasis. Oncotarget. 2017 Sep 26; 8(43):73372-73386.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29088714.
  6. Dieffenbach PB, Haeger CM, Coronata AMF, Choi KM, Varelas X, Tschumperlin DJ, Fredenburgh LE. Arterial stiffness induces remodeling phenotypes in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells via YAP/TAZ-mediated repression of cyclooxygenase-2. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Sep 01; 313(3):L628-L647. PMID: 28642262.
  7. Szymaniak AD, Mi R, McCarthy SE, Gower AC, Reynolds TL, Mingueneau M, Kukuruzinska M, Varelas X. The Hippo pathway effector YAP is an essential regulator of ductal progenitor patterning in the mouse submandibular gland. Elife. 2017 May 11; 6.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28492365.
  8. Rohban MH, Singh S, Wu X, Berthet JB, Bray MA, Shrestha Y, Varelas X, Boehm JS, Carpenter AE. Systematic morphological profiling of human gene and allele function via Cell Painting. Elife. 2017 03 18; 6.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28315521; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.24060;.
  9. Jorgenson AJ, Choi KM, Sicard D, Smith KM, Hiemer SE, Varelas X, Tschumperlin DJ. TAZ activation drives fibroblast spheroid growth, expression of profibrotic paracrine signals, and context-dependent ECM gene expression. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2017 Mar 01; 312(3):C277-C285.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27881410; DOI: 10.1152/ajpcell.00205.2016;.
  10. Zhang L, Yang CS, Varelas X, Monti S. Altered RNA editing in 3'' UTR perturbs microRNA-mediated regulation of oncogenes and tumor-suppressors. Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 16; 6:23226.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26980570; PMCID: PMC4793219; DOI: 10.1038/srep23226;.
Showing 10 of 36 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 36 publications over 13 distinct years, with a maximum of 8 publications in 2017

In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Cancer biology
Cell Polarity
Epithelial biology
Hippo pathway signaling
Lung development and disease
TGF-beta pathway signaling
Wnt signaling
Contact for Mentoring:

72 E. Concord St Silvio Conte (K)
Boston MA 02118
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