Prachee Avasthi

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Prachee Avasthi
Prachee Avasthi.jpg
Prachee Avasthi
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
University of Utah
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, San Francisco
University of Kansas Medical Center

Prachee Avasthi (born 1979) is a Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Science Communicator at Dartmouth College and a co-founder, chief scientific advisor, and incoming CSO at Arcadia Science in Berkeley, California.[1] She works on upwardly motile Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and is on the Board of Directors of eLife.

Early life and education[edit]

Avasthi studied integrative physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. During her undergraduate program she worked on insect classification and synaptic plasticity.[2] She became more interested in the brain, and earned her PhD in neuroscience under the supervision of Wolfgang Baehr at the University of Utah.[3][4] During her doctoral studies she investigated how cilia help our eye's photoreceptors detect light. She was a postdoctoral researcher with Wallace Marshall at the University of California, San Francisco.[5] Here she began work on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a model organism for studying cilia.[6] Cilia function requires normal cilia length and motility, and Avasthi identified that the dopamine binding G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) were the most regularly involved with flagellar length regulation.[7]

Research and career[edit]

Avasthi uses Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular green alga, to investigate the assembly of cilia. She was particularly interested in the cellular machinery needed to maintain cilia, and used small molecule chemical inhibitors to identify important features in ciliary transport. Avasthi found that actin, a cytoskeleton protein, was required for intraflagellar transport (IFT) regulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.[8] The actin is recruits IFT to basal bodies during the elongation of flagella; and without actin the flagellar length is lost.[8] She saw the same impacts using a myosin inhibitor, which suggests that actin may use a myosin pathway.[8]

In 2015 Avasthi started her own research group at the University of Kansas Medical Center, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health.[9][10] She combines chemical biology and biochemistry with genetics to understand the mechanisms that regulate assembly of the cilium.[9] In 2018 she was awarded an NIH R35 Outstanding Investigator Award.

Academic service[edit]

Avasthi is enthusiastic about reforming scientific research culture, helping early career researchers set up their own laboratories. She launched New PI Slack, an online space for over a thousand new Principal investigators to share notes and ideas.[11][12] Avasthi supports preprints and the reform of scientific publishing, and is on the Board of Directors of eLife and ASAPbio.[13][14][15] In her laboratory she leads a preprint journal club, where members of her group read and review new material, providing feedback to authors.[16]


  1. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Prachee Avasthi Explores How Cells Build and Maintain Cilia". The Scientist Magazine®. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  3. ^ "People". Avasthi Lab. 2015-05-08. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  4. ^ "Bio: Prachee Avasthi". Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  5. ^ "People | Laboratory of Cell Geometry - Wallace Marshall, UCSF". Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  6. ^ "Prachee Avasthi's passion for supporting her peers leads to her selection as the first early career researcher on eLife's Board of Directors". Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  7. ^ Avasthi P, Marley A, Lin H, Gregori-Puigjane E, Shoichet BK, von Zastrow M, Marshall WF (May 2012). "A chemical screen identifies class a g-protein coupled receptors as regulators of cilia". ACS Chemical Biology. 7 (5): 911–9. doi:10.1021/cb200349v. PMC 3356477. PMID 22375814.
  8. ^ a b c Avasthi P, Onishi M, Karpiak J, Yamamoto R, Mackinder L, Jonikas MC, et al. (September 2014). "Actin is required for IFT regulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii". Current Biology. 24 (17): 2025–32. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.07.038. PMC 4160380. PMID 25155506.
  9. ^ a b "Prachee Avasthi • iBiology". iBiology. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  10. ^ "Live Q&A: Prioritizing Experiments With Prachee Avasthi • iBiology". iBiology. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  11. ^ "New PI Slack". New PI Slack. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  12. ^ Khan, Aziz (2019-02-08). "New PI Slack Community by Prachee Avasthi". ECRcentral. Retrieved 2019-07-15. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ says, Baki Agbas. "Prachee Avasthi". ASAPbio. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  14. ^ wesupportpreprints (2018-05-23). "Prachee Avasthi". We support preprints... Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  15. ^ "eLife welcomes early-career researcher to its Board of Directors". eLife. 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  16. ^ Avasthi P, Soragni A, Bembenek JN (June 2018). "Journal clubs in the time of preprints". eLife. 7: e38532. doi:10.7554/eLife.38532. PMC 5995539. PMID 29889024.