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About the Membrane Biology Lab

The Nemours Membrane Biology Research Laboratory, one of several pediatric labs located at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware, performs a wide range of basic and translational research projects related to membrane biology.

Lab Head

Ayyappan K Rajasekaran, PhD
Laboratory Head

Ayyappan K Rajasekaran, PhD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, at Thomas Jefferson University; Adjunct Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, and Affiliated Scientist, Biological Sciences, at the University of Delaware; and Senior Research Scientist, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at ChristianaCare Health System.

Current Research Group

  • Ponniah Selvakumar, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow, studies the role of myristoyltransferases in leukemia progression and treatment
  • Justin David, Graduate Student, studying the efficacy of ionophores for kidney cancer treatment
  • Vinu Krishnan, Graduate Student, developing nanotechnology-based drug delivery for childhood leukemia
  • Pratima Patil, Graduate Student, mechanisms early stage development of cancer using 3-D culture models
  • Sona Lakshme Balasubramaniam, Graduate Student, mechanisms of cell-cell adhesion in epithelial cells
  • Tori Owens, Laboratory Assistant, studies on the mechanisms of Wilms tumor progression in children


Our Location:

Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware
Rockland Center 1
1701 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803

Phone: (302) 651-6593
Fax: (302) 651-4827

Current Research

We are involved in a wide range of research subjects related to membrane biology.

Basic Research

  • Mechanisms of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transition (MET)
  • Role of Na,K-ATPase in epithelial tissue biogenesis and cancer
  • Biogenesis of tight junctions and desmosomes
  • Biology of prostate specific membrane antigen

Translational Research

  • Drug development and preclinical studies for EMT and MET
  • Nanotechnology-based drug delivery for leukemia
  • Targeted drug delivery for solid tumors
  • Studies on soluble biomarkers for cancer and inflammation

Current Projects

  • Nanotherapeutics for childhood leukemia
  • Preclinical and Clinical studies of novel drugs for kidney cancer treatment
  • Three-dimensional (3-D) cell culture models for studying early development of cancer