Perera, Rushika, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy

Research Overview: 

Perera lab focuses on understanding how scavenging pathways such as autophagy and the lysosome - a degradative organelle - enables metabolic and cellular adaptation to stress and contributes to aggressive features of disease. Beyond mediating degradation of diverse macromolecules, the lysosome also plays an important role in signal transduction, cellular quality control, metabolism and detoxification. The lab has a particular interest in how the lysosome contributes to cancer pathogenesis with a current focus on studying pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). The lab prior studies have identified novel mechanisms mediating constitutive activation of the MiT/TFE family of transcription factors which regulate autophagy and lysosome biogenesis in PDA and in normal physiological contexts. Perera lab has also discovered new roles for autophagy and the lysosome in facilitating immune evasion and enhanced metabolic fitness of PDA cells. The lab ongoing research leverages their combined experience in cellular trafficking, autophagy and lysosome function combined with in vitro and in vivo model systems, organelle isolation and mass spectrometry-based proteomics to determine critical roles of the lysosome in cancer progression and metastasis, tumor heterogeneity, stress adaptation and drug resistance.

 Visit the Perera Lab

Contact Info: 
[email protected]
513 Parnassus Ave, Room HSW 1321, Box 0452
San Francisco, CA 94143