Research Summary

Dr. Pavithra Viswanath is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at UCSF. She graduated with a Ph D in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. The overall vision of her research is to harness insights from tumor genetics, epigenetics and biology to drive the preclinical development of novel, metabolic imaging biomarkers that will ultimately benefit patients by enabling the non-invasive assessment of tumor burden and response to therapy. In parallel, she will pinpoint metabolic vulnerabilities that can be exploited for the development of novel therapeutic and theranostic agents. Her long-term goal is to work with clinical and translational colleagues at UCSF and beyond to enable clinical translation of the imaging methods, therapeutics and theranostics that come out of her preclinical studies.

Research Funding

  • February 11, 2020 - January 31, 2025 - IMAGING TELOMERE MAINTENANCE MECHANISMS IN GLIOMAS, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA239288
  • September 15, 2020 - September 14, 2022 - Imaging a Hallmark of Cancer: Noninvasive Metabolic Imaging of TERT Expression in Brain Tumors, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Department of Defense CDMRP, Sponsor Award ID: W81XWH201055315
  • February 11, 2020 - January 31, 2025 - IMAGING TELOMERE MAINTENANCE MECHANISMS IN GLIOMAS, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA239288
  • September 15, 2020 - September 14, 2022 - Imaging a Hallmark of Cancer: Noninvasive Metabolic Imaging of TERT Expression in Brain Tumors, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Department of Defense CDMRP, Sponsor Award ID: W81XWH201055315

Education

St. Xavier’s college, Goa University, Goa, India, BSc, 2000, Microbiology
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, MS, 2003, Biochemistry
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, PhD, 2007, Biochemistry

Honors & Awards

  • Career Enhancement Program Award, UCSF Brain Tumor Center SPORE, 2017
  • Career Enhancement Program Award, UCSF Brain Tumor Center SPORE, 2018
  • Inaugural Women in Neuro-oncology Basic/Translational Science Research Award, Society for Neuro-oncology, 2019
  • Margaret Hart Surbeck Travel Award, Dept. of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Viswanath P, Batsios G, Ayyappan V, Taglang C, Gillespie AM, Larson PEZ, Luchman HA, Costello JF, Pieper RO, Ronen SM Metabolic imaging detects elevated glucose flux through the pentose phosphate pathway associated with TERT expression in low-grade gliomas.  View on PubMed
  2. Batsios G, Taglang C, Cao P, Gillespie AM, Najac C, Subramani E, Wilson DM, Flavell RR, Larson PEZ, Ronen SM, Viswanath P Imaging 6-Phosphogluconolactonase Activity in Brain Tumors In Vivo Using Hyperpolarized δ-[1-13C]gluconolactone.  View on PubMed
  3. Radoul M, Hong D, Gillespie AM, Najac C, Viswanath P, Pieper RO, Costello JF, Luchman HA, Ronen SM Early Noninvasive Metabolic Biomarkers of Mutant IDH Inhibition in Glioma.  View on PubMed
  4. Viswanath P, Batsios G, Mukherjee J, Gillespie AM, Larson PEZ, Luchman HA, Phillips JJ, Costello JF, Pieper RO, Ronen SM Non-invasive assessment of telomere maintenance mechanisms in brain tumors.  View on PubMed
  5. Zhao N, Huang Y, Wang YH, Muir RK, Chen YC, Hooshdaran N, Wei J, Viswanath P, Seo Y, Ruggero D, Renslo AR, Evans MJ Ferronostics: Measuring Tumoral Ferrous Iron with PET to Predict Sensitivity to Iron-Targeted Cancer Therapies.  View on PubMed
  6. Subramani E, Radoul M, Najac C, Batsios G, Molloy AR, Hong D, Gillespie AM, Santos RD, Viswanath P, Costello JF, Pieper RO, Ronen SM Glutamate Is a Noninvasive Metabolic Biomarker of IDH1-Mutant Glioma Response to Temozolomide Treatment.  View on PubMed
  7. Molloy AR, Najac C, Viswanath P, Lakhani A, Subramani E, Batsios G, Radoul M, Gillespie AM, Pieper RO, Ronen SM MR-detectable metabolic biomarkers of response to mutant IDH inhibition in low-grade glioma.  View on PubMed
  8. Batsios G, Najac C, Cao P, Viswanath P, Subramani E, Saito Y, Gillespie AM, Yoshihara HAI, Larson P, Sando S, Ronen SM In vivo detection of ?-glutamyl-transferase up-regulation in glioma using hyperpolarized ?-glutamyl-[1-13C]glycine.  View on PubMed
  9. Batsios G, Viswanath P, Subramani E, Najac C, Gillespie AM, Santos RD, Molloy AR, Pieper RO, Ronen SM PI3K/mTOR inhibition of IDH1 mutant glioma leads to reduced 2HG production that is associated with increased survival.  View on PubMed
  10. Najac C, Radoul M, Le Page LM, Batsios G, Subramani E, Viswanath P, Gillespie AM, Ronen SM In vivo investigation of hyperpolarized [1,3-13C2]acetoacetate as a metabolic probe in normal brain and in glioma.  View on PubMed
  11. Radoul M, Najac C, Viswanath P, Mukherjee J, Kelly M, Gillespie AM, Chaumeil MM, Eriksson P, Delos Santos R, Pieper RO, Ronen SM HDAC inhibition in glioblastoma monitored by hyperpolarized 13 C MRSI.  View on PubMed
  12. Viswanath P, Radoul M, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Luchman HA, Gregory Cairncross J, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM Mutant IDH1 gliomas downregulate phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine synthesis in a 2-hydroxyglutarate-dependent manner.  View on PubMed
  13. Viswanath P, Radoul M, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Ong WQ, Luchman HA, Cairncross JG, Huang B, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM 2-Hydroxyglutarate-Mediated Autophagy of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Leads to an Unusual Downregulation of Phospholipid Biosynthesis in Mutant IDH1 Gliomas.  View on PubMed
  14. Mazor T, Chesnelong C, Pankov A, Jalbert LE, Hong C, Hayes J, Smirnov IV, Marshall R, Souza CF, Shen Y, Viswanath P, Noushmehr H, Ronen SM, Jones SJM, Marra MA, Cairncross JG, Perry A, Nelson SJ, Chang SM, Bollen AW, Molinaro AM, Bengtsson H, Olshen AB, Weiss S, Phillips JJ, Luchman HA, Costello JF Clonal expansion and epigenetic reprogramming following deletion or amplification of mutant IDH1.  View on PubMed
  15. Viswanath P, Morayya S, Rautela N, Sinha A Development of a rapid and reliable assay for in vitro determination of compound cidality against the asexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum.  View on PubMed
  16. Ohba S, Mukherjee J, Johannessen TC, Mancini A, Chow TT, Wood M, Jones L, Mazor T, Marshall RE, Viswanath P, Walsh KM, Perry A, Bell RJ, Phillips JJ, Costello JF, Ronen SM, Pieper RO Mutant IDH1 Expression Drives TERT Promoter Reactivation as Part of the Cellular Transformation Process.  View on PubMed
  17. Johannessen TA, Mukherjee J, Viswanath P, Ohba S, Ronen SM, Bjerkvig R, Pieper RO Rapid Conversion of Mutant IDH1 from Driver to Passenger in a Model of Human Gliomagenesis.  View on PubMed
  18. Chaumeil MM, Radoul M, Najac C, Eriksson P, Viswanath P, Blough MD, Chesnelong C, Luchman HA, Cairncross JG, Ronen SM Hyperpolarized (13)C MR imaging detects no lactate production in mutant IDH1 gliomas: Implications for diagnosis and response monitoring.  View on PubMed
  19. Viswanath P, Najac C, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Pankov A, Hong C, Eriksson P, Costello JF, Pieper RO, Ronen SM Mutant IDH1 expression is associated with down-regulation of monocarboxylate transporters.  View on PubMed
  20. Viswanath P, Chaumeil MM, Ronen SM Molecular Imaging of Metabolic Reprograming in Mutant IDH Cells.  View on PubMed

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