UW-Madison School of Pharmacy

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Arash Bashirullah, PhD

Associate Professor




Regulation of tissue remodeling during post-embryonic development

Development after embryogenesis often requires remodeling of existing tissues. This tissue remodeling is accomplished through carefully orchestrated changes in cell shape, movement, growth and death. Tissue repair and regeneration also require activation of remodeling mechanisms. However, how these distinct cellular processes are coordinated during tissue remodeling remains poorly understood. We study the genetic control of Drosophila metamorphosis, a stage when tissue remodeling transforms a crawling larva into a flying adult. We have identified hundreds of lethal mutations that specifically disrupt metamorphosis. Among these mutations, we have selected those required for proper control of growth and death. Most of these metamorphosis-specific mutations map to novel genes, suggesting that studying these genes will provide new insights into the regulation of tissue development and homeostasis.

Background: Arash received a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Winnipeg and a PhD in Biology from the California Institute of Technology. He did his postdoctoral research at the University of Utah before joining the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty in August 2007. He is also a PhD trainer in Genetics, in Cellular and Molecular Biology, and in the Molecular Biosciences Training Grant Program. Arash was named a Kavli Fellow in 2014, a program co-sponsored by the US National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the School of Pharmacy Student Senate Teacher of the Year in 2016. Arash serves as an Associate Editor for G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics.


  • PhD Biology - California Institute of Technology
  • BS Chemistry - University of Winnipeg
Highlighted Publications:
  • Kang Y, Neuman SD and Bashirullah A (2017). Tango7 regulates cortical activity of caspases during reaper-triggered changes in tissue elasticity. Nature Communications, 8(1):603.
  • Kang Y, Marischuk K, Castelvecchi GD, Bashirullah A (2017). HDAC Inhibitors disrupt programmed resistance to apoptosis during Drosophila development. G3, 7(6): 1985-1993.
  • Weasner BM, Weasner BP, Neuman SD, Bashirullah A, Kumar JP (2016). Retinal expression of the Drosophila eyes absent gene is controlled by several cooperatively acting cis-regulatory elements. PLoS Genetics, 12(12):e1006462.
  • Kang Y, Bashirullah A (2014). A steroid-controlled global switch in sensitivity to apoptosis during Drosophila development. Developmental Biology, 386(1): 34-41.
  • Ihry RJ, Bashirullah A (2014). Genetic control of specificity to steroid-triggered responses in Drosophila. Genetics, 196(3): 767-80.
  • Neuman SD, Ihry RJ, Gruetzmacher KM, Bashirullah A (2014). INO80-dependent regression of ecdysone-induced transcriptional responses regulates developmental timing in Drosophila. Developmental Biology, 387(2): 229-39.
  • Sapiro AL, Ihry RJ, Buhr DL, Konieczko KM, Ives SM, Engstrom AK, Wleklinski NP, Kopish KJ, Bashirullah A (2013). Rapid recombination mapping for high-throughput genetic screens in Drosophila. G3, 3(12): 2313-2319.
  • Ihry RJ, Sapiro AL, Bashirullah A (2012). Translational control by DEAD box RNA helicase belle regulates ecdysone-triggered transcriptional cascades. PLoS Genetics, 8(11):e1003085.