Sofia Origanti, PhD


Sofia OrigantiI am from the city of Chennai in South India, where I obtained my bachelor’s degree at Stella Maris College and master’s degree at Loyola College. I then moved to the U.S. and received my PhD in Cell and Molecular Physiology at Penn State University School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Shantz. For my doctoral thesis, I investigated the translational modulation of Ornithine Decarboxylase, a key enzyme in polyamine metabolism, and its regulation by oncogenic Ras and mTORC1 signaling mechanisms. I then continued my post-doctoral training in Dr. Helen Piwnica-Worm’s lab as part of the HHMI program at Washington University in Saint Louis. My post-doctoral research focused on synergism of the Chk1 and p53-checkpoint signaling mechanisms in chemotherapeutic response and cell cycle regulation by Cdc25A phosphatase in vivo. After a brief career break, I established my independent program at Marquette University as an Assistant Professor and relocated my program to its current location at Saint Louis University. My current program is focused on the 60S ribosomal trans-acting factors that control protein synthesis and the interplay of DNA repair mechanisms in mitotic progression.


My research program investigates the mechanism of large 60S ribosomal subunit maturation and the interplay of ribosomal stress and genomic stress responses. We are specifically interested in the translational control of cancers and ribosomopathies.  We are also interested in signaling networks that modulate homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair and chromosomal integrity.

Recent publications

  1. Elliff J, Biswas A, Roshan P, Kuppa S, Patterson A, Mattice J, Chinnaraj M, Burd R, Walker SE, Pozzi N, Antony E, Bothner B, Origanti S. Dynamic states of eIF6 and SDS variants modulate interactions with uL14 of the 60S ribosomal subunit. Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Feb 28;51(4):1803-1822.
  2. Biswas A, Peng YF, Kaushik V, Origanti S. Site-specific labeling of SBDS to monitor interactions with the 60S ribosomal subunit. Methods. 2023 Mar;211:68-72.
  3. Jungers CF, Elliff JM, Masson-Meyers DS, Phiel CJ, Origanti S. Regulation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 6 dynamics through multisite phosphorylation by GSK3. J Biol Chem. 2020 Sep 4;295(36):12796-12813.
  4. Pokhrel N, Origanti S, Davenport EP, Gandhi D, Kaniecki K, Mehl RA, Greene EC, Dockendorff C, Antony E. Monitoring Replication Protein A (RPA) dynamics in homologous recombination through site-specific incorporation of non-canonical amino acids. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Sep 19;45(16):9413-9426.
  5. Sun L, Miyoshi H, Origanti S, Nice TJ, Barger AC, Manieri NA, Fogel LA, French AR, Piwnica-Worms D, Piwnica-Worms H, Virgin HW, Lenschow DJ, Stappenbeck TS. Type I interferons link viral infection to enhanced epithelial turnover and repair. Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Jan 14;17(1):85-97.
  6. Origanti S, Nowotarski SL, Carr TD, Sass-Kuhn S, Xiao L, Wang JY, Shantz LM. Ornithine decarboxylase mRNA is stabilized in an mTORC1-dependent manner in Ras-transformed cells. Biochem J. 2012 Feb 15;442(1):199-207.
  7. Origanti S, Cai SR, Munir AZ, White LS, Piwnica-Worms H. Synthetic lethality of Chk1 inhibition combined with p53 and/or p21 loss during a DNA damage response in normal and tumor cells. Oncogene. 2013 Jan 31;32(5):577-88.