Radhika Subramanian

Assistant Professor or Genetics

Massachusetts General Hospital
Richard B. Simches Research Center
185 Cambridge St
Boston MA 02114
Tel: 617-724-4062
Email: radhika@molbio.mgh.harvard.edu

Lab Size: Between 5-10


For a living cell to function properly, its cellular processes must be strictly controlled not only in time but also in space. We are interested in how intracellular spatial organization on the micron-length scale is achieved by the collective activity of nanometer-sized proteins. We investigate this problem in the context of the microtubule cytoskeleton.

In eukaryotes, a wide range of cellular processes such as cell division, cell migration, axonal growth and assembly of flagella and cilia rely on the dynamic and precise organization of microtubules into specialized architectures. Increasingly sophisticated genomic and proteomic analyses have now provided us with a near-complete ‘parts-list’ of the proteins involved in assembling these microtubule-based structures. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the proper formation and activity of even the minimal functional units of these structures still remain poorly understood. We aim to bridge this knowledge gap by ‘building’ or reconstituting microtubule-based architectures from the individual components.

We use a diverse set of experimental tools in our endeavor: integrating angstrom and nanometer-length scale information from X-ray crystallography and single-molecule visualization techniques with micron-length scale analysis of microtubule architectures using multi-color TIRF microscopy-based in vitro assays and cellular analyses of the cytoskeletal structures.


He M, Subramanian R, Bangs F, Omelchenko T, Liem KF, Kapoor TM, Anderson KV. The kinesin-4 protein Kif7 regulates mammalian Hedgehog signalling by organizing the cilium tip compartment. Nat. Cell Biol. 2014 Jul; 16(7):663-72.

Subramanian R, Kapoor TM. Slipping past the spindle assembly checkpoint. Nat. Cell Biol. 2013 Nov; 15(11):1261-3.

Subramanian R, Ti SC, Tan L, Darst SA, Kapoor TM. Marking and measuring single microtubules by PRC1 and kinesin-4. Cell 2013 Jul 18; 154(2):377-90.

Subramanian R, Kapoor TM. Building complexity: insights into self-organized assembly of microtubule-based architectures. Dev. Cell 2012 Nov 13; 23(5):874-85.

Subramanian R, Wilson-Kubalek EM, Arthur CP, Bick MJ, Campbell EA, Darst SA, Milligan RA, Kapoor TM. Insights into antiparallel microtubule crosslinking by PRC1, a conserved nonmotor microtubule binding protein. Cell 2010 Aug 6; 142(3):433-43.