Our lab studies mechanisms that regulate the normal and pathological functions of the nearly ubiquitous organelle, the cilium. This highly conserved cellular antenna, also known as a flagellum, requires coordination of the cell cycle, cytoskeletal dynamics, and intracellular trafficking for structural maintenance and signal transduction. Due to the role of the cilium in essential functions in nearly all human cells, abnormalities result in a wide range of diseases, termed ciliopathies. In fact, ciliary signaling is now understood to play a role in very common diseases such as diabetes and cancer and may provide new avenues for therapeutic intervention for these devastating disorders.

We use methods in molecular biology, cell biology, chemical biology and biochemistry to probe cilium structure and regulation in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, as well as in mammalian models.



Love letter to iBiology

I recently participated in a fantastic iBiology course called “Let’s Experiment : A Guide for Scientists Working at the Bench.” My involvement partly included a discussion about an experimental decision tree I made to help


Staying vigilant

Recently the NIH changed its language on the Scientific Premise portion of their grant proposals and required that Rigor of the Prior Research now be explicitly be addressed in the Significance and Approach section. This

Lab Ideas

Career Development Week 2018

It’s that time of year again when the lab takes a week to focus on career development. We all have the tendency to prioritize these activities below research and upcoming deadlines but, given their importance,


Respect the hustle

I recently saw this tweet from the exciting new democratic candidate for New York’s 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Some folks are saying I won for “demographic” reasons. 1st of all, that’s false. We won


Encouraging good scholarship

Keeping up with the literature is almost always the first thing to fall by the wayside for all of us when we get busy. Usually this is because there are few overt short-term consequences of letting


Celebrating Science!

This morning I had the honor of speaking at the Kansas City March for Science. I was invited by an organizer, one of our fantastic graduate students, Cassi Johnson. It was a blustery day so the conditions


White knuckles

With startup funds rapidly dwindling and major external grant funding elusive, this year has been arguably the hardest of my professional career. I don’t say it lightly given that other notable gut punches included switching


Avasthi Lab Year in Review-2017

I’ve been thinking about doing a year in review for the lab but it has been difficult to think about. It’s been quite a rough year. Last year, I was very optimistic. We had gotten positive comments