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Utpal Banerjee, Ph.D.

Work Email Address:

Work Address:
610 Charles E Young Drive East
Mail Code 723905
Los Angeles, CA 90095

610 Charles E Young Drive East
Mail Code 723905
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Fax Number:
(310) 206-3987
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Office Phone Number:

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Department / Division Affiliations
Chair, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
Co-Director, Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research
Professor, Biological Chemistry
Member, ACCESS Program: Dept. of Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, Access Cell and Developmental Biology Home Area, Access Genetics and Genomics Home Area, Access Molecular Pharmacology: Therapeutics, Diagnostics, and Biology of Disease Home Area, Brain Research Institute, JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area, Pharmacology Home Area

Research Interest:

The molecular basis of neuronal pattern formation.


Utpal Banerjee is currently Professor and Chair of the Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology Department at UCLA. This is Utpal's second Chairmanship of the department of which he has been a part since 1988. In 2000, the University named Utpal as one of the "Best 20 Professors" of the "Bruin Century". He was further distinguished with the Luckman and Gold Shield Awards, the highest research and teaching awards in any subject, including humanities and social sciences, at UCLA. Dr. Banerjee is among 20 professors nationally to be awarded a $1 million grant by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to creatively improve undergraduate science teaching. The grant has generously funded the UCLA Undergraduate Research Consortium in Functional Genomics (URCFG). Utpal has a joint appointments in Biological Chemistry where he teaches advanced Genetics courses. Utpal received his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Caltech. His successful transition into Biology was earmarked by his postdoctoral research training with Dr. Seymour Benzer at Caltech where he initiated research in molecular neurogenetics of eye development in Drosophila and worked on the sevenless locus. As a scientist and professor, he is a dedicated and an accomplished researcher in the fields of Drosophila genetics and developmental biology. His current research interests are in signal transduction and transcriptional control of neural and hematopoietic development. Earlier work from Utpal's laboratory identified the son of sevenless (sos) gene that participates in all RTK signaling pathways. Currently his laboratory is identifying novel means by which different signal transduction cascades combine to distinguish between neural and non-neural cell types in the Drosophila eye. They have also made critical discoveries in identifying transcription factors and signaling components that are responsible for the hematopoiesis in Drosophila. Using Drosophila as a genetic model, they hope to identify basic molecular strategies that are conserved in development across species. Prof. Banerjee has authored many publications and review articles. He has served on several NIH Genetics Study Sections and has been a Scientific Advisor to several private companies and foundations. He has contributed prominently to both the academic and scientific community at UCLA. Utpal, his lovely wife, Arpita, and their fantastic kids, Mohini and Vivek, live in Los Angeles.


Shim Jiwon, Gururaja-Rao Shubha, Banerjee Utpal Nutritional regulation of stem and progenitor cells in Drosophila. Development (Cambridge, England). 2013; 140(23): 4647-56.
Shim Jiwon, Mukherjee Tina, Mondal Bama Charan, Liu Ting, Young Gloria Chin, Wijewarnasuriya Dinali Priasha, Banerjee Utpal Olfactory control of blood progenitor maintenance. Cell. 2013; 155(5): 1141-53.
Grigorian Melina, Liu Ting, Banerjee Utpal, Hartenstein Volker The proteoglycan Trol controls the architecture of the extracellular matrix and balances proliferation and differentiation of blood progenitors in the Drosophila lymph gland. Developmental biology. 2013; 194(1): .
Nagaraj Raghavendra, Gururaja-Rao Shubha, Jones Kevin T, Slattery Matthew, Negre Nicolas, Braas Daniel, Christofk Heather, White Kevin P, Mann Richard, Banerjee Utpal Control of mitochondrial structure and function by the Yorkie/YAP oncogenic pathway. Genes & development. 2012; 26(18): 2027-37.
Shim Jiwon, Mukherjee Tina, Banerjee Utpal Direct sensing of systemic and nutritional signals by haematopoietic progenitors in Drosophila. Nature cell biology. 2012; 14(4): 394-400.
Shim J, Mukherjee T, Banerjee U. Direct sensing of systemic and nutritional signals by haematopoietic progenitors in Drosophila. Nature Cell Biology. 2012; 14(4): 394-400.
Freije William A, Mandal Sudip, Banerjee Utpal Expression profiling of attenuated mitochondrial function identifies retrograde signals in Drosophila. G3 (Bethesda, Md.). 2012; 2(8): 843-51.
Mukherjee T, Choi I, Banerjee U. Genetic Analysis of Fibroblast Growth Factor Signaling in the Drosophila Eye. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. 2012; 2: 23-28.
Mukherjee T, Choi I, Banerjee Utpal Genetic analysis of fibroblast growth factor signaling in the Drosophila eye. G3 (Bethesda, Md.). 2012; 2(1): 23-8.
Rao Shubha Gururaja, Banerjee Utpal Oncogenic pathway utilizes mitochondrial fusion machinery to support growth. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2012; 11(24): 4491.
Connelly Tracey DePellegrin, Banerjee Utpal The 2012 Genetics Society of America Elizabeth W. Jones award for excellence in education: David A. Micklos. Genetics. 2012; 191(2): 301-4.
Anderson Winston A, Amasino Richard M, Ares Manuel, Banerjee Utpal, Bartel Bonnie, Corces Victor G, Drennan Catherine L, Elgin Sarah C R, Epstein Irving R, Fanning Ellen, Guillette Louis J, Handelsman Jo, Hatfull Graham F, Hoy Ronald Raymond, Kelley Darcy, Leinwand Leslie A, Losick Richard, Lu Yi, Lynn David G, Neuhauser Claudia, O'Dowd Diane K, Olivera Toto, Pevzner Pavel, Richards-Kortum Rebecca R, Rine Jasper, Sah Robert L, Strobel Scott A, Walker Graham C, Walt David R, Warner Isiah M, Wessler Sue, Willard Huntington F, Zare Richard N Competencies: a cure for pre-med curriculum. Science (New York, N.Y.). 2011; 334(6057): 760-1.
Mondal Bama Charan, Mukherjee Tina, Mandal Lolitika, Evans Cory J, Sinenko Sergey A, Martinez-Agosto Julian A, Banerjee Utpal Interaction between Differentiating Cell- and Niche-Derived Signals in Hematopoietic Progenitor Maintenance. Cell. 2011; 147(7): 1589-600.
Mukherjee Tina, Kim William Sang, Mandal Lolitika, Banerjee Utpal Interaction between Notch and Hif-alpha in development and survival of Drosophila blood cells. Science (New York, N.Y.). 2011; 332(6034): 1210-3.
Mondal BC, Mukherjee T, Mandal L, Evans CJ, Sinenko SA, Martinez-Agosto JA, Banerjee U. Interaction between differentiating cell- and niche-derived signals in hematopoietic progenitor maintenance. Cell 2011; 23(147): 1589-600.
Lindgren Anne G, Natsuhara Kyle, Tian E, Vincent John J, Li Xinmin, Jiao Jing, Wu Hong, Banerjee Utpal, Clark Amander T Loss of Pten causes tumor initiation following differentiation of murine pluripotent stem cells due to failed repression of Nanog. PloS one. 2011; 6(1): e16478.
Mandal Sudip, Lindgren Anne G, Srivastava Anand S, Clark Amander T, Banerjee Utpal Mitochondrial function controls proliferation and early differentiation potential of embryonic stem cells. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio). 2011; 29(3): 486-95.
Sinenko Sergey A, Shim Jiwon, Banerjee Utpal Oxidative stress in the haematopoietic niche regulates the cellular immune response in Drosophila. EMBO reports. 2011; 13(1): 83-9.
Ngo Kathy T, Wang Jay, Junker Markus, Kriz Steve, Vo Gloria, Asem Bobby, Olson John M, Banerjee Utpal, Hartenstein Volker Concomitant requirement for Notch and Jak/Stat signaling during neuro-epithelial differentiation in the Drosophila optic lobe. Developmental biology. 2010; 346(2): 284-95.
Sinenko Sergey A, Hung Tony, Moroz Tatiana, Tran Quynh-Minh, Sidhu Sohrab, Cheney Matthew D, Speck Nancy A, Banerjee Utpal Genetic manipulation of AML1-ETO-induced expansion of hematopoietic precursors in a Drosophila model. Blood. 2010; 116(22): 4612-20.
Sergey A. Sinenko, Tony Hung, Tatiana Moroz, Quynh-Minh Tran, Sohrab Sidhu, Matthew D. Cheney, Nancy A. Speck and Utpal Banerjee Genetic manipulation of AML1-ETO-induced expansion of hematopoietic precursors in a Drosophila model. . Blood Journal. 2010; 116(22): 4612-20.
Mandal S, Freije WA, Guptan P, Banerjee U Metabolic control of G1-S transition: Cyclin E Degradation by p53-induced Activation of Ubiquitin Proteasome System. Journal of Cell Biology. 2010; 188(4): 473-9.
Mandal Sudip, Lindgren Anne G, Srivastava Anand S, Clark Amander T, Banerjee Utpal Mitochondrial Function Controls Proliferation and Early Differentiation Potential of Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio). 2010; 6(1): .
Yavari A, Nagaraj R, Owusu-Ansah E, Folick A, Ngo K, Hillman T, Call G, Rohatgi R, Scott M, Banerjee U Role of lipid metabolism in Smoothened de-repression in Hedgehog signaling. Developmental Cell. 2010; 19: 54-65.
Yavari Amir, Nagaraj Raghavendra, Owusu-Ansah Edward, Folick Andrew, Ngo Kathy, Hillman Tyler, Call Gerald, Rohatgi Rajat, Scott Matthew P, Banerjee Utpal Role of lipid metabolism in smoothened derepression in hedgehog signaling. Developmental cell. 2010; 19(1): 54-65.
Flaherty Maria Sol, Salis Pauline, Evans Cory J, Ekas Laura A, Marouf Amine, Zavadil Jiri, Banerjee Utpal, Bach Erika A chinmo is a functional effector of the JAK/STAT pathway that regulates eye development, tumor formation, and stem cell self-renewal in Drosophila. Developmental cell. 2010; 18(4): 556-68.
Clark, IE, Romero-Calderon R., Olson JM, Jaworski L, Lopatto D, Banerjee U "Deconstructing" scientific research - a practical and scalable pedagogical tool to provide evidence-based science instruction. PLoS Biology. 2009; 7(12): .
Clark Ira E, Romero-Calderón Rafael, Olson John M, Jaworski Leslie, Lopatto David, Banerjee Utpal "Deconstructing" scientific research: a practical and scalable pedagogical tool to provide evidence-based science instruction. PLoS biology. 2009; 7(12): e1000264.
Sinenko S, Mandal L, Martinez-Agosto J, Banerjee U Dual role of Wingless signaling in stem-like hematopoietic precursor maintenance in Drosophila. Developmental Cell 2009; 16(5): 756-63.
Alex Bukrinsky Kevin J. P. Griffin, Yan Zhao, Shuo Lin, and Utpal Banerjee Essential role of spi-1-like (spi-1l) in Zebrafish Myeloid Cell Differentiation. Blood 2009; 113(9): 2038-46.
Evans C, Olson J, Ngo K, Kim E, Lee N, Kuoy E, Patananan A, Sitz D, Tran P, Do M, Yackle K, Cespedes A, Hartenstein V, Call G, Banerjee U G-TRACE rapid Gal4-based cell lineage analysis in Drosophila. Nature Methods. 2009; 6(8): 603-5.
Owusu-Ansah Edward, Banerjee Utpal Reactive oxygen species prime Drosophila haematopoietic progenitors for differentiation. Nature. 2009; 461(7263): 537-41.
Owusu-Ansah E, Banerjee U Reactive oxygen species prime Drosophila haematopoietic progenitors for differentiation. Nature. 2009; 461: 537-41.
Raghavendra Nagaraj and Utpal Banerjee Regulation of Notch and Wingless signaling by Phyllopod, a transcriptional target of the EGFR pathway. EMBO Journal 2009; 28: 337-46.
Owusu-Ansah, E., Yavari, A., Mandal, S.,and Banerjee, U. Distinct mitochondrial retrograde signals control the G1-S checkpoint in mitosis. Nature Genetics 2008; .
Evans, C.J., Sinenko, S., Mandal, L., Martinez-Agosto, J., Hartenstein, and Banerjee, U. Genetic Dissection of Hematopoiesis Using Drosophila as a Model System. Advances in Developmental Biology 2008; 18: 259-299.
Mandal, L., Augusto-Martinez,J., Evans, C., Hartenstein, V., and Banerjee, U. A Hedgehog and Antennapedia dependent niche controls Drosophila hematopoietic precursors. Nature Genetics 2007; (446): 320-324.
Raghavendra Nagaraj and Utpal Banerjee. Combinatorial signaling in the specification of primary pigment cells in the Drosophila eye. Development 2007; 134: 825-831.
Martinez-Agosto, J., Mikkola, H. K. A., Hartenstein, V., and Banerjee, U. The hematopoietic stem cell and its niche: A comparative view. Genes and Development 2007; 21(23): 3044-60.
T.S. Vivian Liao, Gerald B. Call, Preeta Guptan, Albert Cespedes, Jamie Marshall, Kevin Yackle, Edward Owusu-Ansah, Sudip Mandal, Q. Angela Fang, Gelsey L. Goodstein, William Kim, and Utpal Banerjee. An efficient genetic screen in Drosophila to identify nuclear-encoded genes with mitochondrial function. . Genetics 2006; 174(1): 525-33.
Chen J, Call G, Milchanowski A, Banerjee U, et al. Discovery-Based Science Education: Functional. PLoS Biol . 2005; 3:e59(2): 0207-0209.
Mandal S, Guptan P, Owusu-Ansah E, and Banerjee U Mitochondrial regulation of a Cyclin E-dependent cell cycle checkpoint as revealed by the tenured mutation in Drosophila . Developmental Cell 2005; 9: 843-854.
Jung SH, Evans C, Uemura, and Banerjee U The Drosophila lymph gland as a developmental model of hematopoiesis. 2005; 132: 2521-2533.
Mandal L, Banerjee U, Hartenstein V Evidence for a hemangioblast and similarities between lymph gland hematopoiesis in Drosophila and mammalian AGM. Nature Genetics 2004; 36: 1019-1023.
Milchanowski AB, Henkenius AL, Narayanan M, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U Identification and characterization of genes involved in embryonic crystal cell formation during Drosophila hematopoiesis. Genetics. . 2004; 168(1): 325-39.
Nagaraj R, and Banerjee U The little R cell that could. Int. J. Dev. Biol 2004; 48: 755-760.
Lebestky T, Jung SH, Banerjee U A Serrate-expressing signaling center controls Drosophila hematopoiesis. Genes & development. . 2003; 17(3): 348-53.
Yan H, Canon J, Banerjee U A transcriptional chain linking eye specification to terminal determination of cone cells in the Drosophila eye. Developmental biology. . 2003; 263(2): 323-9.
Canon J, and Banerjee U In vivo analysis of a developmental circuit for direct transcriptional activation and repression in the same cell by a Runx protein. Genes & Development. 2003; 17: 838-843.
Evans CJ, Hartenstein V, and Banerjee U Thicker Than Blood: Conserved Mechanisms in Drosophila and Vertebrate Hematopoeisis. Developmental Cell 2003; 5: 673-690.
Evans CJ, Banerjee U Transcriptional regulation of hematopoiesis in Drosophila. Blood cells, molecules & diseases. . 2003; 30(2): 223-8.
Kaminker JS, Canon J, Salecker I, and Banerjee U Non-autonomous control of photoreceptor axon target choice by transcriptional repression. Nature Neuroscience 2002; 5 (8): 746-750.
Tsuda L, Nagaraj R, Zipursky SL, and Banerjee U The EGF Receptor, Sno and Ebi Control Delta Expression in Notch-mediated Induction. Cell 2002; 110: 625-637.
Nagaraj R, Canon J, and Banerjee U Cell Fate Specification in the Drosophila eye. In Drosophila eye development. Drosophila Eye Development 2001; 73-88.
Kaminker JS, Singh R, Lebestky T, Yan H, Banerjee U Redundant function of Runt Domain binding partners, Big brother and Brother, during Drosophila development. Development (Cambridge, England) . 2001; 128(14): 2639-48.
Flores G, Duan H, Yan H-J, Nagaraj R, Fu W, Zou Y, Noll M, and Banerjee U. A combinatorial model of signaling in specification of cell fate. Cell 2000; 103: 75-85.
Canon J, Banerjee U Runt and Lozenge function in Drosophila development. Seminars in cell & developmental biology. . 2000; 11(5): 327-36.
Lebestky T, Chang T, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U Specification of Drosophila hematopoietic lineage by conserved transcription factors. Science. . 2000; 288(5463): 146-9.
Nagaraj R, Pickup AT, Howes R, Freeman M, and Banerjee U EGF receptor signaling in the specification of the Drosophila wing margin. Development 1999; 126: 975-985.
Pickup AT, Banerjee U The role of star in the production of an activated ligand for the EGF receptor signaling pathway. Developmental biology. . 1999; 205(2): 254-9.
Flores G, Daga A, Kalhor H, and Banerjee U Lozenge is a global transcriptional regulator which pre-patterns cell-specific factors. Development 1998; 125: 3681-3687.
Gupta B, Flores G, Banerjee U, and Rodrigues V Role of Lozenge in antennal patterning. Developmental Biology 1998; 203: 400-411.
Meisner H, Daga A, Buxton J, Banerjee U, and Czech MP Interactions of Drosophila Cbl with EGF Receptors and its role in R7 photoreceptor cell development. Mol. & Cell. Biol 1997; 17: 2217-2225.
Majumdar A, Nagaraj R, Banerjee U strawberry notch encodes a conserved nuclear protein that functions downstream of Notch and regulates gene expression along the developing wing margin of Drosophila. Genes & development. . 1997; 11(10): 1341-53.
Daga A, Karlovich CA, Dumstrei K, Banerjee U Patterning of cells in the Drosophila eye by Lozenge, which shares homologous domains with AML1. Genes & development. . 1996; 10(10): 1194-205.
McCollam L, Bonfini L, Karlovich CA, Conway BR, Kozma LM, Banerjee U, Czech MP Functional roles for the pleckstrin and Dbl homology regions in the Ras exchange factor Son-of-sevenless. The Journal of biological chemistry. . 1995; 270(27): 15954-7.
Karlovich CA, Bonfini L, McCollam L, Rogge RD, Daga A, Czech MP, Banerjee U In vivo functional analysis of the Ras exchange factor son of sevenless. Science. . 1995; 268(5210): 576-9.
Rogge R, Green PJ, Urano J, Horn-Saban S, Mlodzik M, Shilo BZ, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U The role of yan in mediating the choice between cell division and differentiation. Development (Cambridge, England) . 1995; 121(12): 3947-58.
Kolodkin AL, Pickup AT, Lin DM, Goodman CS, Banerjee U Characterization of Star and its interactions with sevenless and EGF receptor during photoreceptor cell development in Drosophila. Development (Cambridge, England) . 1994; 120(7): 1731-45.
Daga A, Banerjee U Resolving the sevenless pathway using sensitized genetic backgrounds. Cellular & molecular biology research. . 1994; 40(3): 245-51.
Baltensperger K, Kozma LM, Cherniack AD, Klarlund JK, Chawla A, Banerjee U, Czech MP Binding of the Ras activator son of sevenless to insulin receptor substrate-1 signaling complexes. Science. . 1993; 260(5116): 1950-2.
Coyle-Thompson CA, Banerjee U The strawberry notch gene functions with Notch in common developmental pathways. Development (Cambridge, England) . 1993; 119(2): 377-95.
Rogge R, Cagan R, Majumdar A, Dulaney T, Banerjee U Neuronal development in the Drosophila retina: the sextra gene defines an inhibitory component in the developmental pathway of R7 photoreceptor cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. . 1992; 89(12): 5271-5.
Bonfini L, Karlovich CA, Dasgupta C, Banerjee U The Son of sevenless gene product: a putative activator of Ras. Science. . 1992; 255(5044): 603-6.
Rogge RD, Karlovich CA, Banerjee U Genetic dissection of a neurodevelopmental pathway: Son of sevenless functions downstream of the sevenless and EGF receptor tyrosine kinases. Cell. . 1991; 64(1): 39-48.
Rogge RD, and Banerjee U Neural Pattern Formation in the Drosophila Eye. Adv. in Neural Regen. Res 1990; 309-323.
Banerjee U, and Zipursky SL The role of induction in the determination of cell fate in the Drosophila visual system. Neuron 1990; 4: 177-187.
Banerjee U, Renfranz PJ, Pollock JA, Benzer S Molecular characterization and expression of sevenless, a gene involved in neuronal pattern formation in the Drosophila eye. Cell. . 1987; 49(2): 281-91.
Banerjee U, Renfranz PJ, Hinton DR, Rabin BA, and Benzer S The sevenless+ protein is expressed apically in cell membranes of developing Drosophila retina: It is not restricted to cell R7. Cell 1987; 51: 151-158.