Prof Sudha Warrier is a stem cell biologist with experience in India, US and Australia, post PhD., and is involved in stem cell-based regeneration and drug targeting based from the Manipal Inst of Regenerative Medicine, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Bangalore Campus. Her broad areas of study are in regenerative strategies uses mesenchymal, embryonic and pluripotent stem cells for 3D organoid disease models, and drug development targeting glioma stem cells and cancer stem cells from other solid tumors. She was also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Dept of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia and have been awarded the Certificate for Excellence in Healthcare Leadership. She has active collaborations with Prof Arun Dharmarajan, Curtin University, Dr Gautam Sethi, National University of Singapore and collaborate with scientists from Malaysia in grant proposals. She has been part of the Commercialization Australian Bureau grant with Australian collaborators and also has grants from Curtin University. She has also received several academic and commercialization grants from ICMR, DBT and BIRAC. An avid researcher, she has published more than 32 research articles in peer reviewed journals. She is the editorial board member of Scientific Reports, Frontier’s Oncology, Frontier’s in Medicine, BMC Cancer etc. Dr. Sudha has reviewed papers for over 40 journals including Oncogene, Theragnostics, Clinical and Translational Medicine, Oncotarget, Stem Cells, Stem Cell Research and Therapy, Cell Proliferation among many others. She also receives regular invitation from journals such as Cancers, Stem Cells etc in their themed series.
Dr Sudha’s research focus is on Wnt signalling, the magical wand that determines development and span areas of cancer stem cells, cardiovascular regeneration and neuronal regeneration. She has recently been awarded a grant from the Dept of Biotechnology on the development of peptide based inhibitors targeting ovarian cancer stem cells. Her publications are well cited and have brought a new angle to application of the Wnt antagonist, sFRP4 and is currently developing several other applications of Wnt antagonists in diseases. She is in the process of designing projects in cancers and metabolic diseases for upcoming commercialization grants. She manages a large research group, actively publishing in high impact journals and devising innovative application of research.
Through her company, Cuor Stem Cellutions, Prof Warrier is actively involved in construction of organoid models of diseases (brain, cardiac, cancer) which she is using for drug testing platforms. In addition, she has designed a cost effective and efficient source of stem cells from perinatal tissues. Her work focus has been on high end research and application of the research findings and has pitched her application oriented discoveries to several innovators.
She has presented her work as invited lectures at several conferences and have been awarded travel grants for prestigious conferences such as Keystone Symposia, EMBO etc. She has actively forged collaborations across the globe through active networking and collaborative research work. She has been invited to present and collaborate in countries such as UAE, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Singapore, US and Australia. She has travelled to Mannheim and Prague to present scientific papers. She also actively collaborates with the industry for innovation of research output.
Prof Sudha Warrier obtained her PhD in 2002 from University of Madras, India in reproductive biology. She is a graduate of Zoology from Stella Maris College, Chennai and completed her Master’s from Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, having stood first in the university. She underwent postdoctoral training (2002-2004) in Duke University, North Carolina, and in the Medical College of Ohio in cancer biology and hypertension proteomics. She was a visiting faculty at Anna University in Chennai, India, at the Center for Biotechnology teaching for M.Tech in Biotechnology and M. Tech in Biopharmaceutical Technology. She started her research on stem cells at Frontier Lifeline Cardiovascular Hospital serving as a Senior Scientist ( 2006-2008) and established a stem cell research group on cardiovascular regeneration and cardiac proteomics. She then joined Cancer Stem Cells Division, Avesthagen Ltd, Bangalore as a Functional Head in 2008 where she was instrumental in development of cancer stem cell unit for drug development by high throughput platform for compound screening targeting cancer stem cells. She started her academic career as an Assistant Professor at MIRM, Bengaluru in the year 2009 and since then has served the institution in various academic capacities. She has guided several Master’s, MTech, MPhil and PhD students and presently her lab has 8 PhD students ranging from seniors to fresh entrants.
TOP 5 RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS
· Netrin-like domain of sFRP4, a Wnt antagonist inhibits stemness, metastatic and invasive properties by specifically blocking MMP-2 in cancer stem cells from human glioma cell line U87MG. Ishmat Ara Yasmin, S. Mohana Sundaram; Anasuya Banerjee; Lavanya Varier; Arun Dharmarajan, Sudha Warrier*. Experimental Cell Research-Nov 2021. DOI: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2021.112912.
· Designing precision medicine panels for drug refractory cancers targeting cancer stemness traits- Sudha Warrier*, Manasi Patil, Sanyukta Bhansali, Lavanya Varier and Gautam Sethi. Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2020 Nov 11;1875(1):188475. doi:10.1016/j.bbcan.2020.188475.
· Aberrant lipid metabolism as an emerging therapeutic strategy to target cancer stem cells: Concise review. Visweswaran M, Arfuso F, Warrier S, Dharmarajan A*. Stem Cells. 2020 Jan;38(1):6-14. doi: 10.1002/stem.3101.
· Stemness, Pluripotentiality, and Wnt Antagonism: sFRP4, a Wnt antagonist Mediates Pluripotency and Stemness in Glioblastoma. Bhuvanalakshmi G, Gamit N, Patil M, Arfuso F, Sethi G, Dharmarajan A, Kumar AP, Warrier S*. Cancers (Basel). 2018 Dec 27;11(1). pii: E25. doi: 10.3390/cancers11010025.
· Epigenetic reprogramming converts human Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stem cells to functional cardiomyocytes by differential regulation of Wnt mediators- Bhuvanalakshmi G, Frank Arfuso, Alan Prem Kumar, Arun Dharmarajan and Sudha Warrier. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2017 Aug 14;8(1):185. doi: 10.1186/s13287-017-0638-7.
Top 5 completed projects
Title: Cell based screen model for Alzheimer’s disease for novel drug target development- Funded by Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development program of Govt of India, BIRAC- SPARSH scheme
Title-Use of Amnion Derived Mesenchymal Stem cells for Study of Anti angiogenic drugs – - Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)- Govt of India
Title-Secreted frizzled related Protein and its associated Wnt signaling pathways in stem cell differentiation- India Initiative Fund, Commercial Advisory Board- University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Perth Australia
Title- Wnt antagonism in cancer stem cells of glioblastoma - Department of Biotechnology, Stem Cell Task Force
Title- Role of epigenetic modification and Wnt signaling in cardiac differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells and application in congenital heart diseases. DBT- Stem Cell Task force.