Purdue plant genomics researcher gives HudsonAlpha seminar

Kranthi Varala, PhD, a member of the faculty at Purdue University, presented a HudsonAlpha Research Seminar on December 6 titled “Ripples in transcriptional networks: Dynamic regulatory networks in plant nitrogen signaling.”

Dr. Varala obtained his PhD in plant genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champagne and recently joined the faculty at Purdue University. His thesis research focused on applying omics approaches to complex and crucial questions in plant biology such as genetic diversity in crop species and the genetic basis of agronomically important traits. During his postdoc at New York University, he worked on the molecular mechanisms of a key transcriptional regulator that integrates carbon and nitrogen signaling. He later expanded this work, using de novo network inference and systems biology approaches, to dissect the transcriptional cascade triggered by an abrupt change (nitrogen supply) in the environment. This research identified many novel regulators of the N-signal response and placed multiple known N-signal regulators in a temporal context. His current research goal is to elucidate the general mechanisms underlying transcriptional responses to external signals and how these immediate/transient changes lead to long term adjustments in growth and maturation.

Kankshita Swaminathan, PhD, hosted the seminar. Deanna Church, PhD, of 10X Genomics will give the next presentation on Wednesday, December 13, at noon in the HudsonAlpha auditorium. More information on HudsonAlpha Research Seminars, including an upcoming schedule, can be found at