Utpal Banerjee, Ph.D.


Chair, and Professor, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Professor, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Co-Director, Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research

Professor, Biological Chemistry

Member, Brain Research Institute

Cell & Developmental Biology GPB Home Area

Genetics & Genomics GPB Home Area

JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area

Molecular Pharmacology GPB Home Area


Awards and Honors:

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elected Fellow

Drosophila Board Elected President

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors Award

University of Jerusalem, Israel Professor Mager Memorial Lecturer

UCLA Dean's Recognition Award

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors Award

UCLA Gold Shield Faculty Prize

UCLA Today One of the Top 20 Professors of the Bruin Century

University of North Carolina Kalfayan Memorial Lecture

Margaret E. Early Research Trust Award

UCLA Eby Award for the Art of Teaching

UCLA Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award

McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience Investigator Award

American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award

UCLA Department of Biology Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award

McKnight Foundation Scholars Award

Life Sciences Research Foundation Burroughs Welcome Fund Fellow

India Institute of Technology, Kanpur Certificate of Merit

Delphi University Sheshadri Memorial Award

National Paper Reading Prize

National Science Talent Award

Del E. Web Postdoctoral Fellowship

Contact Information

Fax Number: (310) 206-3987
Lab Number: 310-825-2980
Office Phone Number: 310-206-5439

Work Address:

610 Charles E Young Drive East
Mail Code 723905
Los Angeles, CA 90095
610 Charles E Young Drive East
Mail Code 723905
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Utpal Banerjee is currently Professor and Chair of the Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology Department at UCLA. This is Utpal's second Chairmanship of the department of which he has been a part since 1988. In 2000, the University named Utpal as one of the "Best 20 Professors" of the "Bruin Century". He was further distinguished with the Luckman and Gold Shield Awards, the highest research and teaching awards in any subject, including humanities and social sciences, at UCLA. Dr. Banerjee is among 20 professors nationally to be awarded a $1 million grant by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to creatively improve undergraduate science teaching. The grant has generously funded the UCLA Undergraduate Research Consortium in Functional Genomics (URCFG). Utpal has a joint appointments in Biological Chemistry where he teaches advanced Genetics courses. Utpal received his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Caltech. His successful transition into Biology was earmarked by his postdoctoral research training with Dr. Seymour Benzer at Caltech where he initiated research in molecular neurogenetics of eye development in Drosophila and worked on the sevenless locus. As a scientist and professor, he is a dedicated and an accomplished researcher in the fields of Drosophila genetics and developmental biology. His current research interests are in signal transduction and transcriptional control of neural and hematopoietic development. Earlier work from Utpal's laboratory identified the son of sevenless (sos) gene that participates in all RTK signaling pathways. Currently his laboratory is identifying novel means by which different signal transduction cascades combine to distinguish between neural and non-neural cell types in the Drosophila eye. They have also made critical discoveries in identifying transcription factors and signaling components that are responsible for the hematopoiesis in Drosophila. Using Drosophila as a genetic model, they hope to identify basic molecular strategies that are conserved in development across species. Prof. Banerjee has authored many publications and review articles. He has served on several NIH Genetics Study Sections and has been a Scientific Advisor to several private companies and foundations. He has contributed prominently to both the academic and scientific community at UCLA. Utpal, his lovely wife, Arpita, and their fantastic kids, Mohini and Vivek, live in Los Angeles.


Nagaraj Raghavendra, Sharpley Mark S, Chi Fangtao, Braas Daniel, Zhou Yonggang, Kim Rachel, Clark Amander T, Banerjee Utpal   Nuclear Localization of Mitochondrial TCA Cycle Enzymes as a Critical Step in Mammalian Zygotic Genome Activation Cell, 2017; 168(1-2): 210-223.e11.
Wang Cheng-Wei, Purkayastha Arunima, Jones Kevin T, Thaker Shivani K, Banerjee Utpal   In vivo genetic dissection of tumor growth and the Warburg effect eLife, 2016; 5(1-2): 210-223.e11.
Tea Joy S, Cespedes Albert, Dawson Daniel, Banerjee Utpal, Call Gerald B   Dissection and mounting of Drosophila pupal eye discs Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, 2014; 5(93): e52315.
Evans Cory J, Liu Ting, Banerjee Utpal   Drosophila hematopoiesis: Markers and methods for molecular genetic analysis Methods (San Diego, Calif.), 2014; 68(1): 242-51.
Mondal Bama Charan, Shim Jiwon, Evans Cory J, Banerjee Utpal   Pvr expression regulators in equilibrium signal control and maintenance of Drosophila blood progenitors eLife, 2014; 3(93): e03626.
Shim Jiwon, Gururaja-Rao Shubha, Banerjee Utpal   Nutritional regulation of stem and progenitor cells in Drosophila Development (Cambridge, England), 2013; 140(23): 4647-56.
Shim Jiwon, Mukherjee Tina, Mondal Bama Charan, Liu Ting, Young Gloria Chin, Wijewarnasuriya Dinali Priasha, Banerjee Utpal   Olfactory control of blood progenitor maintenance Cell, 2013; 155(5): 1141-53.
Nagaraj Raghavendra, Gururaja-Rao Shubha, Jones Kevin T, Slattery Matthew, Negre Nicolas, Braas Daniel, Christofk Heather, White Kevin P, Mann Richard, Banerjee Utpal   Control of mitochondrial structure and function by the Yorkie/YAP oncogenic pathway Genes & development, 2012; 26(18): 2027-37.
Shim J, Mukherjee T, Banerjee U.   Direct sensing of systemic and nutritional signals by haematopoietic progenitors in Drosophila Nature Cell Biology, 2012; 14(4): 394-400.
Shim Jiwon, Mukherjee Tina, Banerjee Utpal   Direct sensing of systemic and nutritional signals by haematopoietic progenitors in Drosophila Nature cell biology, 2012; 14(4): 394-400.
Freije William A, Mandal Sudip, Banerjee Utpal   Expression profiling of attenuated mitochondrial function identifies retrograde signals in Drosophila G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 2012; 2(8): 843-51.
Mukherjee T, Choi I, Banerjee U.   Genetic Analysis of Fibroblast Growth Factor Signaling in the Drosophila Eye G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 2012; 2: 23-28.
Mukherjee T, Choi I, Banerjee Utpal   Genetic analysis of fibroblast growth factor signaling in the Drosophila eye G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 2012; 2(1): 23-8.
Rao Shubha Gururaja, Banerjee Utpal   Oncogenic pathway utilizes mitochondrial fusion machinery to support growth Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 2012; 11(24): 4491.
Connelly Tracey DePellegrin, Banerjee Utpal   The 2012 Genetics Society of America Elizabeth W. Jones award for excellence in education: David A. Micklos Genetics, 2012; 191(2): 301-4.
Anderson Winston A, Amasino Richard M, Ares Manuel, Banerjee Utpal, Bartel Bonnie, Corces Victor G, Drennan Catherine L, Elgin Sarah C R, Epstein Irving R, Fanning Ellen, Guillette Louis J, Handelsman Jo, Hatfull Graham F, Hoy Ronald Raymond, Kelley Darcy, Leinwand Leslie A, Losick Richard, Lu Yi, Lynn David G, Neuhauser Claudia, O'Dowd Diane K, Olivera Toto, Pevzner Pavel, Richards-Kortum Rebecca R, Rine Jasper, Sah Robert L, Strobel Scott A, Walker Graham C, Walt David R, Warner Isiah M, Wessler Sue, Willard Huntington F, Zare Richard N   Competencies: a cure for pre-med curriculum Science (New York, N.Y.), 2011; 334(6057): 760-1.
Mondal Bama Charan, Mukherjee Tina, Mandal Lolitika, Evans Cory J, Sinenko Sergey A, Martinez-Agosto Julian A, Banerjee Utpal   Interaction between Differentiating Cell- and Niche-Derived Signals in Hematopoietic Progenitor Maintenance Cell, 2011; 147(7): 1589-600.
Mukherjee Tina, Kim William Sang, Mandal Lolitika, Banerjee Utpal   Interaction between Notch and Hif-alpha in development and survival of Drosophila blood cells Science (New York, N.Y.), 2011; 332(6034): 1210-3.
Mondal BC, Mukherjee T, Mandal L, Evans CJ, Sinenko SA, Martinez-Agosto JA, Banerjee U.   Interaction between differentiating cell- and niche-derived signals in hematopoietic progenitor maintenance, Cell, 2011; 23(147): 1589-600.
Lindgren Anne G, Natsuhara Kyle, Tian E, Vincent John J, Li Xinmin, Jiao Jing, Wu Hong, Banerjee Utpal, Clark Amander T   Loss of Pten causes tumor initiation following differentiation of murine pluripotent stem cells due to failed repression of Nanog PloS one, 2011; 6(1): e16478.
Mandal Sudip, Lindgren Anne G, Srivastava Anand S, Clark Amander T, Banerjee Utpal   Mitochondrial function controls proliferation and early differentiation potential of embryonic stem cells Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2011; 29(3): 486-95.
Sinenko Sergey A, Shim Jiwon, Banerjee Utpal   Oxidative stress in the haematopoietic niche regulates the cellular immune response in Drosophila EMBO reports, 2011; 13(1): 83-9.
Ngo Kathy T, Wang Jay, Junker Markus, Kriz Steve, Vo Gloria, Asem Bobby, Olson John M, Banerjee Utpal, Hartenstein Volker   Concomitant requirement for Notch and Jak/Stat signaling during neuro-epithelial differentiation in the Drosophila optic lobe Developmental biology, 2010; 346(2): 284-95.
Sergey A. Sinenko, Tony Hung, Tatiana Moroz, Quynh-Minh Tran, Sohrab Sidhu, Matthew D. Cheney, Nancy A. Speck and Utpal Banerjee   Genetic manipulation of AML1-ETO-induced expansion of hematopoietic precursors in a Drosophila model. Blood Journal, 2010; 116(22): 4612-20.
Sinenko Sergey A, Hung Tony, Moroz Tatiana, Tran Quynh-Minh, Sidhu Sohrab, Cheney Matthew D, Speck Nancy A, Banerjee Utpal   Genetic manipulation of AML1-ETO-induced expansion of hematopoietic precursors in a Drosophila model Blood, 2010; 116(22): 4612-20.
Mandal S, Freije WA, Guptan P, Banerjee U   Metabolic control of G1-S transition: Cyclin E Degradation by p53-induced Activation of Ubiquitin Proteasome System Journal of Cell Biology, 2010; 188(4): 473-9.
Mandal Sudip, Lindgren Anne G, Srivastava Anand S, Clark Amander T, Banerjee Utpal   Mitochondrial Function Controls Proliferation and Early Differentiation Potential of Embryonic Stem Cells Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2010; 6(1): .
Yavari A, Nagaraj R, Owusu-Ansah E, Folick A, Ngo K, Hillman T, Call G, Rohatgi R, Scott M, Banerjee U   Role of lipid metabolism in Smoothened de-repression in Hedgehog signaling Developmental Cell, 2010; 19: 54-65.
Yavari Amir, Nagaraj Raghavendra, Owusu-Ansah Edward, Folick Andrew, Ngo Kathy, Hillman Tyler, Call Gerald, Rohatgi Rajat, Scott Matthew P, Banerjee Utpal   Role of lipid metabolism in smoothened derepression in hedgehog signaling Developmental cell, 2010; 19(1): 54-65.
Flaherty Maria Sol, Salis Pauline, Evans Cory J, Ekas Laura A, Marouf Amine, Zavadil Jiri, Banerjee Utpal, Bach Erika A   chinmo is a functional effector of the JAK/STAT pathway that regulates eye development, tumor formation, and stem cell self-renewal in Drosophila Developmental cell, 2010; 18(4): 556-68.
Clark, IE, Romero-Calderon R., Olson JM, Jaworski L, Lopatto D, Banerjee U   "Deconstructing" scientific research - a practical and scalable pedagogical tool to provide evidence-based science instruction PLoS Biology, 2009; 7(12): .
Clark Ira E, Romero-Calderón Rafael, Olson John M, Jaworski Leslie, Lopatto David, Banerjee Utpal   "Deconstructing" scientific research: a practical and scalable pedagogical tool to provide evidence-based science instruction PLoS biology, 2009; 7(12): e1000264.
Sinenko S, Mandal L, Martinez-Agosto J, Banerjee U   Dual role of Wingless signaling in stem-like hematopoietic precursor maintenance in Drosophila, Developmental Cell, 2009; 16(5): 756-63.
Alex Bukrinsky Kevin J. P. Griffin, Yan Zhao, Shuo Lin, and Utpal Banerjee   Essential role of spi-1-like (spi-1l) in Zebrafish Myeloid Cell Differentiation, Blood, 2009; 113(9): 2038-46.
Evans C, Olson J, Ngo K, Kim E, Lee N, Kuoy E, Patananan A, Sitz D, Tran P, Do M, Yackle K, Cespedes A, Hartenstein V, Call G, Banerjee U   G-TRACE rapid Gal4-based cell lineage analysis in Drosophila Nature Methods, 2009; 6(8): 603-5.
Owusu-Ansah E, Banerjee U   Reactive oxygen species prime Drosophila haematopoietic progenitors for differentiation Nature, 2009; 461: 537-41.
Owusu-Ansah Edward, Banerjee Utpal   Reactive oxygen species prime Drosophila haematopoietic progenitors for differentiation Nature, 2009; 461(7263): 537-41.
Raghavendra Nagaraj and Utpal Banerjee   Regulation of Notch and Wingless signaling by Phyllopod, a transcriptional target of the EGFR pathway, EMBO Journal, 2009; 28: 337-46.
Owusu-Ansah, E., Yavari, A., Mandal, S.,and Banerjee, U.   Distinct mitochondrial retrograde signals control the G1-S checkpoint in mitosis, Nature Genetics, 2008; .
Evans, C.J., Sinenko, S., Mandal, L., Martinez-Agosto, J., Hartenstein, and Banerjee, U.   Genetic Dissection of Hematopoiesis Using Drosophila as a Model System, Advances in Developmental Biology, 2008; 18: 259-299.
Mandal, L., Augusto-Martinez,J., Evans, C., Hartenstein, V., and Banerjee, U.   A Hedgehog and Antennapedia dependent niche controls Drosophila hematopoietic precursors, Nature Genetics, 2007; (446): 320-324.
Raghavendra Nagaraj and Utpal Banerjee.   Combinatorial signaling in the specification of primary pigment cells in the Drosophila eye, Development, 2007; 134: 825-831.
Martinez-Agosto, J., Mikkola, H. K. A., Hartenstein, V., and Banerjee, U.   The hematopoietic stem cell and its niche: A comparative view, Genes and Development, 2007; 21(23): 3044-60.
T.S. Vivian Liao, Gerald B. Call, Preeta Guptan, Albert Cespedes, Jamie Marshall, Kevin Yackle, Edward Owusu-Ansah, Sudip Mandal, Q. Angela Fang, Gelsey L. Goodstein, William Kim, and Utpal Banerjee.   An efficient genetic screen in Drosophila to identify nuclear-encoded genes with mitochondrial function. , Genetics, 2006; 174(1): 525-33.
Chen J, Call G, Milchanowski A, Banerjee U, et al.   Discovery-Based Science Education: Functional PLoS Biol , 2005; 3:e59(2): 0207-0209.
Mandal S, Guptan P, Owusu-Ansah E, and Banerjee U   Mitochondrial regulation of a Cyclin E-dependent cell cycle checkpoint as revealed by the tenured mutation in Drosophila , Developmental Cell , 2005; 9: 843-854.
Jung SH, Evans C, Uemura, and Banerjee U   The Drosophila lymph gland as a developmental model of hematopoiesis, , 2005; 132: 2521-2533.
Mandal L, Banerjee U, Hartenstein V   Evidence for a hemangioblast and similarities between lymph gland hematopoiesis in Drosophila and mammalian AGM, Nature Genetics, 2004; 36: 1019-1023.
Milchanowski AB, Henkenius AL, Narayanan M, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U   Identification and characterization of genes involved in embryonic crystal cell formation during Drosophila hematopoiesis Genetics. , 2004; 168(1): 325-39.
Nagaraj R, and Banerjee U   The little R cell that could, Int. J. Dev. Biol, 2004; 48: 755-760.
Lebestky T, Jung SH, Banerjee U   A Serrate-expressing signaling center controls Drosophila hematopoiesis Genes & development. , 2003; 17(3): 348-53.
Yan H, Canon J, Banerjee U   A transcriptional chain linking eye specification to terminal determination of cone cells in the Drosophila eye Developmental biology. , 2003; 263(2): 323-9.
Canon J, and Banerjee U   In vivo analysis of a developmental circuit for direct transcriptional activation and repression in the same cell by a Runx protein, Genes & Development. , 2003; 17: 838-843.
Evans CJ, Hartenstein V, and Banerjee U   Thicker Than Blood: Conserved Mechanisms in Drosophila and Vertebrate Hematopoeisis, Developmental Cell, 2003; 5: 673-690.
Evans CJ, Banerjee U   Transcriptional regulation of hematopoiesis in Drosophila Blood cells, molecules & diseases. , 2003; 30(2): 223-8.
Kaminker JS, Canon J, Salecker I, and Banerjee U   Non-autonomous control of photoreceptor axon target choice by transcriptional repression, Nature Neuroscience, 2002; 5 (8): 746-750.
Tsuda L, Nagaraj R, Zipursky SL, and Banerjee U   The EGF Receptor, Sno and Ebi Control Delta Expression in Notch-mediated Induction, Cell, 2002; 110: 625-637.
Nagaraj R, Canon J, and Banerjee U   Cell Fate Specification in the Drosophila eye. In Drosophila eye development, Drosophila Eye Development, 2001; 73-88.
Kaminker JS, Singh R, Lebestky T, Yan H, Banerjee U   Redundant function of Runt Domain binding partners, Big brother and Brother, during Drosophila development Development (Cambridge, England) , 2001; 128(14): 2639-48.
Flores G, Duan H, Yan H-J, Nagaraj R, Fu W, Zou Y, Noll M, and Banerjee U.   A combinatorial model of signaling in specification of cell fate, Cell, 2000; 103: 75-85.
Canon J, Banerjee U   Runt and Lozenge function in Drosophila development Seminars in cell & developmental biology. , 2000; 11(5): 327-36.
Lebestky T, Chang T, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U   Specification of Drosophila hematopoietic lineage by conserved transcription factors Science. , 2000; 288(5463): 146-9.
Nagaraj R, Pickup AT, Howes R, Freeman M, and Banerjee U   EGF receptor signaling in the specification of the Drosophila wing margin, Development, 1999; 126: 975-985.
Pickup AT, Banerjee U   The role of star in the production of an activated ligand for the EGF receptor signaling pathway Developmental biology. , 1999; 205(2): 254-9.
Flores G, Daga A, Kalhor H, and Banerjee U   Lozenge is a global transcriptional regulator which pre-patterns cell-specific factors, Development, 1998; 125: 3681-3687.
Gupta B, Flores G, Banerjee U, and Rodrigues V   Role of Lozenge in antennal patterning, Developmental Biology, 1998; 203: 400-411.
Meisner H, Daga A, Buxton J, Banerjee U, and Czech MP   Interactions of Drosophila Cbl with EGF Receptors and its role in R7 photoreceptor cell development, Mol. & Cell. Biol, 1997; 17: 2217-2225.
Daga A, Karlovich CA, Dumstrei K, Banerjee U   Patterning of cells in the Drosophila eye by Lozenge, which shares homologous domains with AML1 Genes & development. , 1996; 10(10): 1194-205.
McCollam L, Bonfini L, Karlovich CA, Conway BR, Kozma LM, Banerjee U, Czech MP   Functional roles for the pleckstrin and Dbl homology regions in the Ras exchange factor Son-of-sevenless The Journal of biological chemistry. , 1995; 270(27): 15954-7.
Karlovich CA, Bonfini L, McCollam L, Rogge RD, Daga A, Czech MP, Banerjee U   In vivo functional analysis of the Ras exchange factor son of sevenless Science. , 1995; 268(5210): 576-9.
Rogge R, Green PJ, Urano J, Horn-Saban S, Mlodzik M, Shilo BZ, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U   The role of yan in mediating the choice between cell division and differentiation Development (Cambridge, England) , 1995; 121(12): 3947-58.
Kolodkin AL, Pickup AT, Lin DM, Goodman CS, Banerjee U   Characterization of Star and its interactions with sevenless and EGF receptor during photoreceptor cell development in Drosophila Development (Cambridge, England) , 1994; 120(7): 1731-45.
Daga A, Banerjee U   Resolving the sevenless pathway using sensitized genetic backgrounds Cellular & molecular biology research. , 1994; 40(3): 245-51.
Baltensperger K, Kozma LM, Cherniack AD, Klarlund JK, Chawla A, Banerjee U, Czech MP   Binding of the Ras activator son of sevenless to insulin receptor substrate-1 signaling complexes Science. , 1993; 260(5116): 1950-2.
Coyle-Thompson CA, Banerjee U   The strawberry notch gene functions with Notch in common developmental pathways Development (Cambridge, England) , 1993; 119(2): 377-95.
Rogge R, Cagan R, Majumdar A, Dulaney T, Banerjee U   Neuronal development in the Drosophila retina: the sextra gene defines an inhibitory component in the developmental pathway of R7 photoreceptor cells Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. , 1992; 89(12): 5271-5.
Bonfini L, Karlovich CA, Dasgupta C, Banerjee U   The Son of sevenless gene product: a putative activator of Ras Science. , 1992; 255(5044): 603-6.
Rogge RD, and Banerjee U   Neural Pattern Formation in the Drosophila Eye, Adv. in Neural Regen. Res, 1990; 309-323.
Banerjee U, and Zipursky SL   The role of induction in the determination of cell fate in the Drosophila visual system, Neuron, 1990; 4: 177-187.
Banerjee U, Renfranz PJ, Hinton DR, Rabin BA, and Benzer S   The sevenless+ protein is expressed apically in cell membranes of developing Drosophila retina: It is not restricted to cell R7, Cell, 1987; 51: 151-158.