Natarajan Kannan

Kannan, Natarajan

Associate Professor, Associate Director of Institute of Bioinformatics
My research program is focused on deciphering the evolutionary rules governing the structure, function and regulation of complex cellular signaling systems, in particular protein kinases, using a combination of computational and experimental approaches. Important goals are to identify genomic variants associated with protein kinase regulation in disease and normal states and to develop computational resources for integrative mining of protein kinase data. Unique qualifications: I am one among the very few investigators using a combination of computational and experimental approaches to investigate the evolution of regulation in the protein kinase fold-family of enzymes. I have made impactful contributions describing the unique sequence and structural features of various protein kinase groups and families. My papers are well cited (over 2500 citations) and have provided a framework for understanding the complex modes of protein kinase regulation in diseases such as cancer. In recognition of my work, I have been invited to speak at major international meetings, serve on review panels, and co-organize international meetings on kinases. We have recently begun to study the evolution of glycosyltransferases and proteases using the specialized tools and resources developed for the study of protein kinases. I believe that that common evolutionary themes will emerge by studying these large enzyme super-families in parallel. Collaborative team: As evidenced through my publications, I have a long and successful history of collaborative research with both domestic and international scholars. Collaborators include protein kinase biochemists, cell biologists and structural biologists. We have also collaborated with large-bioinformatics consortiums to develop new resources and annotations for the signaling community and are beginning to work with the glycobiology community to develop specialization tools for the study of glycoenzymes. Publications