+91-80-22932659 / 22932548

Annapoorni Rangarajan



Cancer and Stem Cell Biology

Recent studies have identified a small subpopulation of cells within several cancers, termed as cancer stem cells (CSCs), play a critical role in tumor initiation, progression, and maintenance. Moreover, as CSCs remain unaffected by conventional chemo- and radiotherapy, they are predicted to be a prime cause of therapy failure and cancer recurrence. The main focus of my laboratory is to understand the origin and biology of CSCs, to understand the underlying mechanisms that regulate their stemness and drug resistance, and to develop novel strategies to target CSCs for effective treatment of cancer.


We use a multi-thronged approach to address the following major research themes in the laboratory:

A) Generation of 3-dimensional models to study cancer stem cell biology

B) Mechanisms of anchorage-independent growth and survival of cancer stem cells: role of AMPK

C) Mechanisms of drug resistance in cancer stem cells: role of EMT and ABC transporters

D) Understand the link between type 2 diabetes and breast cancer

E) Organ-on-chip and MEMS based approaches to study cancer progression and detection

Selected Publications

  • Andugulapati SB, Sundararaman A, Lahiry M, Rangarajan A. AMP-activated protein kinase promotes breast cancer stemness and drug resistance. Disease Models & Mechanisms. 2022 Jun 1;15(6): dmm049203.
  • Saha M, Kumar S, Bukhari S, Balaji SA, Kumar P, Hindupur SK, Rangarajan A. AMPK–Akt Double-Negative Feedback Loop in Breast Cancer Cells Regulates Their Adaptation to Matrix DeprivationReciprocal Interaction between AMPK and Akt. Cancer research. 2018 Mar 15;78(6):1497-510.
  • Saxena M, Balaji SA, Deshpande N, Ranganathan S, Pillai DM, Hindupur SK, Rangarajan A*. AMP-activated protein kinase promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cancer cells through Twist1 upregulation. Journal of cell science. 2018 Jul 15;131(14):jcs208314.
  • Balachander GM, Balaji SA, Rangarajan A*, Chatterjee K *. (2015). Enhanced Metastatic Potential in a 3D Tissue Scaffold toward a Comprehensive in Vitro Model for Breast Cancer Metastasis. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 7 (50), 27810-27822, Dec 8
  • Paranjape, A.N., Mandal, T., Mukherjee G., Vijaya Kumar, M., Sengupta K. and Rangarajan A*. (2012). Introduction of SV40ER and hTERT into mammospheres generates breast cancer cells with stem cell properties. Oncogene, Apr 12;31(15):1896-909

All Publications


Students and members
Tamasa De
Shweta Warrier
Kishan R Bharadwaj
Paladugu Sri Harsha
Dymphna Joyce John
Shraddha S Mohanty
Kailash C Bishnoi
Sayoni Maiti
Amaj A Laskar
Sruthy KS
Nirbhay Raghav
Adersh S Nair
Shivaani Srinivasan
Arshida M M
C S Divya
Harshitha Ajith