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To serve patients, health care providers, research scientists, scholars, and society by providing excellence and innovation in diagnostic services and educational resources in a respectful, professional and culturally diverse atmosphere.

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To become a preeminent leader in academic anatomic and clinical pathology while translating basic science discovery to improved clinical care.

Chandrakala Puligilla, PhD

Chandrakala Puligilla, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Office: Walton Research Bldg., Rm. 403B
Lab: Walton Research Bldg., Rm. 403
Phone: (843) 792-9398
Fax:(843) 792-0368


University of Sussex, England, M.Sc, 2000
University of Sussex, England, Ph.D., 2004


During embryonic development, multi-potent progenitors use cell-extrinsic and intrinsic signals to determine cellular fate and patterning and elucidating the mechanisms by which they do so remains to be a challenge in developmental biology. The developing mammalian inner ear is comprised of multi-potent progenitor population of cells that gives rise to a diverse array of cell types, including mechanosensory hair cells, nonsensory supporting cells, and neurons.

The overall goal of our study is to identify genetic regulatory networks involved in cell fate specification and comprehend how different cell types are assembled with stereotyped precision. This requires identification and detailed understanding of signaling pathways that impart positional identity to different cell types within the developing cochlea and to define the mechanisms that link precise coordination between fate specificity, positional identity, and cellular patterning. Dr. Puligilla's goal is to understand fundamental developmental events and to use this knowledge towards the development of methodologies that could be used to target or reinitiate the replacement of different cell types including spiral ganglion neurons in an ageing ear and hearing impaired individuals.


  1. Puligilla, C., Kelley, M.W. Dual role for Sox2 in specification of sensory competence and regualtion of Atoh1 function (2016). Developmental Neurobiology, In Press.
  2. Haque, KD., Pandey, AK., Zheng,HW., Riazuddin, S., Sha, SH., Puligilla, C (2016). MEKK4 signaling regulates sensory cell development and function in the mouse inner ear. Journal of Neuroscience. 36:1347-1361.
  3. Yousaf, R., Meng, Q., Hufnagel, RB., Xi,a Y., Puligilla, C., Ahmed, ZM., Riazuddin, S (2015). MAP3K1 function is essential for cytoarchitecture of the mouse organ of Corti and survival of auditory hair cells. Disease Models & Mechanisms. 8:1543-1553.
  4. Haque, KD., Pandey, AK., Kelley, MW., Puligilla, C (2015). Culture of embryonic mouse cochlear explants and gene transfer by electroporation. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 95:52260
  5. Cui, C., Chatterjee, B., Lozito, TP., Zhang, Z., Francis, RJ., Yagi, H., Swanhart, LM., Sanker, S., Francis, D., Yu, Q., San, Agustin JT., Puligilla, C., Chatterjee, T., Tansey, T., Liu, X., Kelley, MW., Spiliotis, ET., Kwiatkowski, AV., Tuan, R., Pazour, GJ., Hukriede, NA., Lo, CW (2013). Wdpcp, a PCP protein required for ciliogenesis, regulates directional cell migration and cell polarity by direct modulation of the actin cytoskeleton. PLoS Biology. 11:e1001720
  6. Jacques, B., Puligilla, C., Weichert, RM., Ferrer-Vaquer, A., Hadjantonakis, AK., Kelley, MW., Dabdoub, A (2012). A dual function for canonical Wnt/b-catenin signaling in the developing mammalian cochlea. Development. 139:4395-4404.
  7. Hertzano, R., Puligilla, C., Chan, SL., Timothy, C., Depireux, DA., Ahmed, Z., Wolf, J., Eisenman, DJ., Friedman, TB., Riazuddin, S., Kelley, MW., Strome SE (2010). CD44 is a marker for the outer pillar cells in the early postnatal mouse inner ear. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. 11:407-418.
  8. Puligilla, C., Dabdoub, A., Brenowitz, SB., Kelley, MW (2010). Sox2 induces ectopic neuron formation in the developing mammalian cochlea. Journal of Neuroscience. 30:714-722
  9. Puligilla, C., Kelley, MW (2009). Building the world's best hearing aid; regulation of cell fate in the cochlea. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development. 19:368-373.
  10. Kelley, MW., Driver, EC., Puligilla, C (2009) Regulation of cell fate and patterning in the developing mammalian cochlea. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, 17:381-387.
  11. Puligilla, C., Kelley, MW (2009). Cell type specification: Neuronal cell subtype specification: Ear: Hair cell differentiation. New Encyclopedia of Neuroscience edited by George Adelman and Barry H. Smith. pp: 999-1004.
  12. Dabdoub, A., Puligilla, C., Cheah, KSE., Jones, J., Pevny, LH., Fritzsch, B., Kelley, MW (2008). Sox2 signaling in prosensory domain specification and subsequent hair cell differentiation in the developing cochlea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 105:18396-18401
  13. Puligilla, C., Feng, F., Ishikawa, K., Bertuzzi, S., Dabdoub, A., Griffith, AJ., Fritzsch, B., Kelley, MW (2007). Disruption of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 3 signaling results in defects in cellular differentiation, neuronal patterning, and hearing impairment. Developmental Dynamics. 236:1905-1917

Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. Neuropathology Laboratory (Brain Bank)

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