Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Thirumaran s/o Thanabalu

Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Assoc Prof Thirumaran s/o Thanabalu

A/Prof Thirumaran Thanabalu is currently in the School of Biological Sciences which he joined in 2001. He received his BSc(Hon), MSc and Ph.D. degrees from the National University of Singapore. His research interest include Wiskott Aldrich Proteins, WASP, N-WASP and its interacting proteins. He worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at IMCB (Singapore), Dept. of Pathology (University of Cambridge), IMA (Singapore) before assuming his position at NTU.

PhD National University of Singapore 1992
MSc National University of Singapore 1990
BSc(Hons) National University of Singapore 1987
Research Interests
The actin cytoskeleton plays an essential role in cell proliferation, migration and differentiation; cellular processes essential for embryogenesis, wound repair, angiogenesis and immune response. The Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASP) and its homologue N-WASP are key downstream components which link multiple signaling pathways to actin cytoskeleton remodeling. The founding member of the WASP family is implicated in the Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, an X-linked recessive disorder characterized by recurrent bacterial infection, eczema and immunodeficiency. WASP and N-WASP N-WASP regulate the actin cytoskeleton by modulating the activity of Arp2/3 complex.
Current Projects
  • Evaluation of N-WASP Inhibitors in Promoting Wound Healing
  • Regulation of WAS protein (Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome Protein) by its interacting proteins
  • Role of Functional food and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Atopic Dermatitis
  • Role of N-WASP in breast development and breast cancer
  • Role of N-WASP in cancer associated fibroblast
  • Role of actin cytoskeleton regulators in Vinculin patch assembly and cell adhesion
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: Role of N-WASP in cell proliferation and tumorigenesis
  • The role of N-WASP in skeletal muscle formation and regeneration
Selected Publications
  • Munn AL, Thanabalu T. (2009). Verprolin: a cool set of actin-binding sites and some very HOT prolines. IUBMB Life, 61(7), 707-712.
  • Thanabalu, T. Rajmohan, R. Meng, L. Ren, G. Vajjhala, P. Munn, A. (2007). Verprolin function in endocytosis and actin organisation: roles of the Las17p (yeast WASP)-binding domain and a novel C- terminal actin-binding domain. The FEBS Journal, 274(16), 4103-25.
  • Misra A, Lim RP, Wu Z, Thanabalu T. (2007). N-WASP plays a critical role in fibroblast adhesion and spreading. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 364(4), 908-12.
  • Lim RP, Misra A, Wu Z, Thanabalu T. (2007). Analysis of conformational changes in WASP using a split YFP. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 362(4), 1085-9.
  • Thanabalu T. (2007). Functional analysis of Verprolin proteins using S .cerevisiae mutant strain. 23rd International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology.

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