Janaiah Kota, Ph.D.
975 West Walnut St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5251
Phone: (317) 278-2105
Research Program Membership
Assistant Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics
Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics
IU School of Medicine
Associate Director of Molecular Testing, Indiana Vector Production Facility
Dr. Kota's research interests include:
Pathophysiological role of miRNAs in human diseases and gene therapy. The Kota laboratory focuses on understanding the pathophysiological role of miRNAs in disease mechanisms associated with advanced forms of human cancers, such as pancreatic and liver cancers, and exploring their therapeutic and biomarker potential. Previous studies from his work have provided evidence for miR-26a replacement as an efficacious anti-cancer therapeutic strategy for liver cancer (Kota et al., Cell 2009). Part of our lab research efforts are dedicated to study the role miR-26 in various etiologies associated with HCC (Jones et al., 2018). A vast majority of our current research is mainly focused on studying the role of miRNAs in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumor microenvironment (Kota et al., 2017). We have laid much of the groundwork for the role of miR-29 in PDAC tumor-stromal biology and found a significant downregulation miR-29 in both stromal and cancer cells (Kwon et al., 2015 & 2016). Restored expression of miR-29 reduced ECM matrix collagen proteins, cancer growth, and sensitized cancer cells to chemotherapy. Our global RNAseq analysis, identified novel miR-29 targets that regulates tumor-stromal immunity, ECM remodeling, EMT, and invasion/migration of cancer cells. Using wide variety of genetic, biochemical, cellular approaches and unique miR-29 knockout, orthotopic, genetically engineered pancreatic cancer mouse models, 2D/3D, microfluidic model systems, our laboratory is embarking to gain deeper mechanistic insights into the role of miR-29 in pancreatic cancer tumor microenvironment and exploit miR-29/targets therapeutic potential via pancreas targeted intraductal gene delivery (Quirin et al. 2017). The ultimate goal of the Kota laboratory is to develop better treatment strategies for pancreatic and liver cancers and improve the survival of patients.
Post-doctoral Fellowship - The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 2006-2012
Ph.D. - Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), India 2005