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Arash Bashirullah, PhD

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education Executive Director, Lachman Institute

Intercellular communication: uncovering mechanisms that coordinate the development of multicellular organisms

Development after embryogenesis requires exquisite control of signaling between individual tissues to build an adult organism of the proper shape and size. This interorgan communication is directed by groups of specialized secretory cells that release systemic signal these signals then orchestrate biological responses in target tissues. Once a tissue has received a signal, it can respond by growing, remodeling, or dying. Thus, the interplay between secretion of systemic signals and response in receiving tissues is essential to unfold the genetically-encoded developmental program of multicellular organisms. One of the most dramatic examples of this interplay between signals and responses occurs during insect metamorphosis, the developmental stage that transforms a crawling larva into a flying adult. In the Bashirullah Lab, we combine forward genetic approaches with cellular and molecular biology to uncover novel essential genes and new biological processes that regulate the onset of and progression through Drosophila metamorphosis. We have discovered important new roles for endocrine and exocrine biology during metamorphosis that have important implications for human development and disease.

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:
  • Neuman, S.D., T.P. Levine, and A. Bashirullah (2022). A novel superfamily of bridge-like lipid transfer proteins. Trends in Cell Biology,
  • Neuman, S.D., Jorgensen, J.R., Cavanagh, A.T., Smyth, J.T., Selegue, J.E., Emr, S.D., and A. Bashirullah(2022). The Hob proteins are novel and conserved lipid binding proteins at ER-PM contact sites. Journal of Cell Science, 135(5):jcs259086
  • Neuman, S.D., Lee, A.R., Selegue, J.E., Cavanagh, A.T., and A. Bashirullah (2021). A novel function for Rab1 and Rab11 during secretory granule maturation. Journal of Cell Science, 134(15):jcs259037.
  • Neuman, S.D., E.L. Terry, J.E. Selegue, A.T. Cavanagh, A. Bashirullah (2021). Mistargetting of secretory cargo in retromer-deficient cells. Disease Models Mechanisms, 14:dmm046417.
  • Brooks, D., F. Naeem, M. Stetsiv, N. Green, C. Clark, A. Bashirullah, and E.R. Geisbrecht (2020). Drosophila NUAK functions with Starvin/BAG3 in autophagic protein turnover. PLoS Genetics, 16(4): e1008700.
  • Vasudevan, D., S.D. Neuman, A.Yang, L. Lough, B. Brown, A. Bashirullah, T. Cardozo, H.D. Ryoo (2020). Translation of the stress response mediator ATF4 requires noncanonical initiation factors eIF2D and DENR. Nature Communications, 11(1):4677.
  • Neuman, S.D. Bashirullah, A. (2018). Reconsidering the passive diffusion model of steroid hormone cellular entry. Developmental Cell, 47(3):261-262.
  • Neuman, S.D. Bashirullah, A. (2018). Hobbit regulates intracellular trafficking to drive insulin-dependent growth during Drosophila development. Development. 145(11): dev161356.