Umadevi Wesley

Umadevi Wesley
Research Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
(608) 262-7962
Alternate Phone
(608) 263-1410


Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook

Research Focus:

Molecular mechanisms of neuronal tumors/stem cell differentiation, survival, migration, and angiogenesis.

Research Strength:

Neurobiology of Disease

Research Description:

The major goal of our research is to identify the therapeutic targets, and elucidate the underlying mechanisms of tumor cell and stem cell survival, migration, and angiogenesis. We are particularly interested in the role of cell surface proteases and cytokines in regulating these physiological events that drive the development and progression of cancers including neuroblastomas (NB), a pediatric cancer that originates from the neural crest stem cells of sympathetic nervous system and glioblastoma, the cancer of central nervous system. The soluble growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular matrix components (ECM) in the microenvironment contribute significantly to the stem cell dynamics, development of neuronal tumors, and brain injury repair following stroke. As a part of collaborative efforts with Dr. Dempsey our studies are expected to bridge tumor cell studies to stem cell regulated repair of cerebro-vascular diseases, particularly ischemic stroke. Projects include (1) Understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of protease and chemokine regulated cellular functions; (2) Regulation of cytokine/chemokine signaling pathways during tumor development and brain injury repair; (3) Identifying and targeting molecules involved in stem cell regulation during neuronal tumor progression and brain injury repair processes. Our research utilizes interdisciplinary approaches that include in vitro cell culture, and in vivo rodent models; Biochemical, cellular and molecular biology approaches, immune-fluorescence microscopy, protein analysis/proteomics/protein array screening; high throughput functional genomics such as cDNA screening.


Please see PubMed for most recent publications