Devi Thiagarajan, PhD, Associate Research Scientist

Devi Thiagarajan, PhDIncidences of metabolic syndrome have increased at alarming rates worldwide. Epigenetics plays an important role in the development and predisposition of particular symptoms of metabolic diseases.

I received my Ph.D. in epigenetics.  I have successfully used this skill to delineate the mechanism of metabolic syndrome. During my postdoctoral training, I researched the secondary complications of diabetes in the heart, by associating the polyol pathway and how it results in the ectopic lipid accumulation in the heart. Subsequently, I was involved in studying the epigenetic events leading to increased cancer susceptibility in aging population. In addition to cancer studies, I examined the general mechanisms of cellular senescence.

As an Associate Research Scientist in the Diabetes Research Program, my main focus is to study the role of senescence in metabolic syndrome including heart diseases and obesity.


  1. Thiagarajan D, Vedantham S, Ananthakrishnan R, Schmidt AM, Ramasamy R (2016). Mechanisms of transcription factor acetylation and consequences in hearts. Biochim Biophys Acta. Dec; 1862 (12):2221-2231. Review.
  2. Thiagarajan D, Ananthakrishnan R, Zhang J, O'Shea KM, Quadri N, Li Q, Sas K, Jing X, Rosario R, Pennathur S, Schmidt AM, Ramasamy R. (2016) Aldose Reductase Acts as a Selective Derepressor of PPAR and the Retinoic Acid Receptor. Cell Rep. Apr 5;15(1):181-96.
  3. Daffu G, Shen X, Senatus L, Thiagarajan D, Abedini A, Hurtado Del Pozo C, Rosario R, Song F, Friedman RA, Ramasamy R, Schmidt AM.(2015) RAGE Suppresses ABCG1-Mediated Macrophage Cholesterol Efflux in Diabetes. Diabetes. Dec;64(12):4046-60.
  4. Vedantham S, Thiagarajan D*, Ananthakrishnan R, Wang L, Rosario R, Zou YS, Goldberg I, Yan SF, Schmidt AM, Ramasamy R. (2014) Aldose reductase drives hyperacetylation of Egr-1 in hyperglycemia and consequent upregulation of proinflammatory and prothrombotic signals. Diabetes. Feb;63(2):761-74.
  5. Suri D, Veenit V, Sarkar A, Thiagarajan D, Kumar A, Nestler EJ, Galande S, Vaidya VA. (2013). Early stress evokes age-dependent biphasic changes in hippocampal neurogenesis, BDNF expression, and cognition. Biol Psychiatry. Apr 1;73(7):658-66.
  6. Thiagarajan D, Dev RR, Khosla S. (2011). The DNA methyltranferase Dnmt2 participates in RNA processing during cellular stress. Epigenetics. Jan;6(1):103-13.
  7. Sowpati DT, Thiagarajan D*, Sharma S, Sultana H, John R, Surani A, Mishra RK, Khosla S.(2008). An intronic DNA sequence within the mouse Neuronatin gene exhibits biochemical characteristics of an ICR and acts as a transcriptional activator in Drosophila. Mech Dev. 2008 Nov-Dec; 125(11-12):963-73.

*- equal contributing first authorship