Dr. Parvathy Venugopal serves as Assistant Professor at the School of Biotechnology. She earned her PhD from Genetic Reproduction and Development Institute, France. Her PhD work contributed towards identification of new genes involved in epithelial growth and morphogenesis in Drosophila Melanogaster.  She also worked with human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory of Dr. Maneesha Inamdar, JNCASR, India, where she contributed to the derivation and characterization of human embryonic stem cells and their differentiation into cardiomyocytes.

Genes that control epithelial growth and morphogenesis play an important role in normal and cancer development. An epithelial- mesenchymal transition (EMT) allows a polarized epithelial cell to undergo biochemical changes that allow it to assume a mesenchymal phenotype. EMT occurs during normal development and during tumor progression. What are the important differences between normal and pathophysiological EMT. Dr. Parvathy aims to understand the signaling machinery within the epithelial cells that coordinates EMT through studying the function of certain genes involved in epithelial growth and polarity in normal and cancer cells.


  • 2006: Masters, Biotechnology
    Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India
  • 2014: PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology
    Genetic Reproduction and Development Institute, France

Conferences and Workshops Attended

  • 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, San Diego, USA, 2014
  • International Conference on Regulation and dynamics of Biological Membrane, Porquerolles, 2013
  • 26th Annual French Drosophila Conference at Clemont Ferrand, 2012
  • Attended the Basic course on digital flow cytometry training organized by ‘BD-NCBS center of excellence in flow cytometry’ at NCBS, Bangalore, India, 2009.
  • Teaching assistant for the Third Bangalore Stem Cell course and workshop conducted by JNCASR and NCBS, Bangalore, India, 2008.
  • Participant in the First Annual Meeting of SCRFI and International Conference on Stem Cell Research, Bangalore, India, 2007.
  • Teaching assistant for the Second Bangalore Stem Cell course and workshop conducted by JNCASR and NCBS, Bangalore, India, 2006.


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


Dr. Parvathy Venugopal, Veyssière, H., Couderc, J. - L., Richard, G., Vachias, C., and Mirouse, V., “Multiple functions of the scaffold protein Discs large 5 in the control of growth, cell polarity and cell adhesion in Drosophila melanogaster”, MC Dev Biol, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 10, 2020.[Abstract]

Scaffold proteins support a variety of key processes during animal development. Mutant mouse for the MAGUK protein Discs large 5 (Dlg5) presents a general growth impairment and moderate morphogenetic defects.

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Dr. Parvathy Venugopal, Chakraborty, S., and Inamdar, M. S., “Analysis of long-term culture properties and pluripotent character of two sibling human embryonic stem cell lines derived from discarded embryos”, In Vitro Cellular {&} Developmental Biology - Animal, vol. 46, pp. 200–205, 2010.[Abstract]

We had earlier reported the derivation and characterization of two new sibling human embryonic stem cell lines BJNhem19 and BJNhem20, from discarded grade III embryos of Indian origin. We report here the characteristics of the two sibling cell lines after long-term continuous culture for over 2 yr during which they have been passaged over 200 times. We show that both cell lines adapt well to culture on various mouse and human feeders as well as in feeder-free conditions. The cells show normal diploid karyotype and continue to express all pluripotency markers. Both cell lines differentiate to derivatives of all three germ layers in vitro. However as reported earlier, BJNhem19 is unable to generate teratomas in nude or SCID mice or differentiate to beating cardiomyocytes when tested over several passages during long-term stable culture. On the other hand, the cardiac differentiation capacity of BJNhem20 is greatly increased, and it can generate beating cardiomyocytes that proliferate when isolated and cultured further. In conclusion, the two cell lines have maintained a stable phenotype for over 2 yr and are indeed immortal. Their derivation from grade III embryos does not seem to have any adverse effect on their long-term phenotype. The cells can be obtained for research purposes from the UK Stem Cell Bank and from the authors. More »»


Dr. Parvathy Venugopal, “Consensus guidance for banking and supply of human embryonic stem cell lines for research purposes.”, Stem Cell Rev Rep, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 301-14, 2009.


M. S. Inamdar, Dr. Parvathy Venugopal, Srinivas, M. S., Rao, K., and VijayRaghavan, K., “Derivation and Characterization of Two Sibling Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines from Discarded Grade III Embryos”, Stem Cells Dev, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 423-433, 2008.[Abstract]

Human embryonic stem (hES) cells are a valuable tool for studying human development in addition to their potential applications in regenerative medicine and drug discovery. The role of genetic background and epigenetic influences in development as well as in response to external influences such as drugs and therapies is well recognized. The great ethnic diversity in the Indian subcontinent translates to interindividual variability in drug response and disease susceptibility. For these reasons, new hES cell lines representing Indian genetic diversity will be valuable in studies of tissue-differentiation, cellular-function and for aspects of characterization of responses to drugs. We have derived two new hES cell lines, BJNhem19 and BJNhem20 from the inner cell mass (ICM) of discarded grade III human embryos that were not suitable for in vitro fertility treatment. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) isotype analysis shows that they are genetically distinct from existing hES cell lines. Short tandem repeat (STR) analysis shows that the two cell lines are derived from sibling embryos. These cell lines show an undifferentiated phenotype in culture for more than 65 passages, show normal karyotype and express pluripotency markers such as TRA-1-60, TRA-1-81, stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4), alkaline phosphatase, DNMT3B, GABRB3, GDF3, OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, TERF1, TDGF, LEFTA, THY1, and REX1. While both cell lines can differentiate into derivatives of all three germ layers in vitro, only BJNhem20 can form teratomas when transplanted into mice. We observe an increased frequency of cardiomyocyte differentiation from BJNhem20 embryoid bodies in feeder-free cultures upon induction with DMSO. Cardiomyocytes purified from such cultures survive and show rhythmic contractions for several weeks in culture. These hES cell lines have been accepted for deposit in the U.K. Stem Cell Bank and will be a useful resource for the international stem cell community. More »»


Dr. Parvathy Venugopal, Mahadevan, A., K., S. S., Inamdar, M. S., and Siva, K., “Human BCAS3 Expression in Embryonic Stem Cells and Vascular Precursors Suggests a Role in Human Embryogenesis and Tumor Angiogenesis”, PLoS ONE, vol. 2, no. 11, p. e1202, 2007.[Abstract]

Cancer is often associated with multiple and progressive genetic alterations in genes that are important for normal development. BCAS3 (Breast Cancer Amplified Sequence 3) is a gene of unknown function on human chromosome 17q23, a region associated with breakpoints of several neoplasms. The normal expression pattern of BCAS3 has not been studied, though it is implicated in breast cancer progression. Rudhira, a murine WD40 domain protein that is 98% identical to BCAS3 is expressed in embryonic stem (ES) cells, erythropoiesis and angiogenesis. This suggests that BCAS3 expression also may not be restricted to mammary tissue and may have important roles in other normal as well as malignant tissues. We show that BCAS3 is also expressed in human ES cells and during their differentiation into blood vascular precursors. We find that BCAS3 is aberrantly expressed in malignant human brain lesions. In glioblastoma, hemangiopericytoma and brain abscess we note high levels of BCAS3 expression in tumor cells and some blood vessels. BCAS3 may be associated with multiple cancerous and rapidly proliferating cells and hence the expression, function and regulation of this gene merits further investigation. We suggest that BCAS3 is mis-expressed in brain tumors and could serve as a human ES cell and tumor marker. More »»