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Sunita Gupta Kramer, Ph.D.

Present Title:
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Office Address:
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
675 Hoes Lane, R210
Piscataway, New Jersey 08854

Description of Research Expertise:
Cell Adhesion and Morphogenesis, Developmental Genetics
Vasculogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels, is an important event, both during embryonic development and during tumor formation and growth in adult tissues. Blood vessels are essentially small tubes formed by a layer of endothelial cells enclosing a central lumen. How do groups of unorganized endothelial cells migrate to their proper location, make specific adhesive contacts, and then arrange themselves into a linear tube with a central lumen? The development of the fruit fly embryonic heart tube provides a simple and elegant in vivo model for vessel formation. Our lab utilizes a genetic and cell biological approach to explore the molecules and mechanisms underlying this process.

Undergraduate Education:
Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA
B.A., in Biology with Honors

Graduate Education:
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, MA
Embryology Summer Course

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY
Ph.D., in Cell and Developmental Biology
Thesis: “Multiple mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by Drosophila Runt protein”

Postdoctoral Training:
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

Selected Publications:

  • Soplop, N.H., Patel, R., and Kramer, S.G. 2009. Preparation of late stage embryos for transmission electron microscopy of the Drosophila embryonic heart tube. J Vis Exp. Dec 21;(34).
  • Guerin, C. M., and Kramer, S.G. 2009. Cytoskeletal Remodeling During Myotube Assembly and Guidance: Coordinating the Actin and Microtubule Networks. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 2(5):452-7.
  • Guerin, C. M., and Kramer, S.G. 2009. Tumbleweed/RacGAP50C directs perinuclear gamma-tubulin localization to organize the uniform microtubule array required for Drosophila myotube extension. Development, 136:1411-1421.
  • Santiago-Martinez, E., Soplop, N., Rajesh Patel and Kramer, S.G. 2008. Repulsion by Slit and Robo prevents Shg/ECadherin- mediated cell adhesion during for Drosophila heart tube lumen formation.
    J. Cell Biol. 182 : 241–248 . *Comment in JCB: Helenius IT, Beitel GJ. 2008. The first "Slit" is the deepest: the secret to a hollow heart. J. Cell Biol. 182: 221-3.
  • Santiago-Martinez, E., Soplop, N., and Kramer, S.G. 2006. Lateral positioning at the midline:
    Slit and Robos guide Drosophila heart cell migration. PNAS 103(33): 12441-12446.
  • Kramer, S.G., Kidd T., Simpson, J.S., and Goodman C.S. 2001. Switching repulsion to attraction:
    changing responses to Slit during transition in mesoderm migration. Science 292(5517): 737-740.
  • Kramer, S.G., Jinks, T.M., Schedl, P. and Gergen, J.P. 1999. Direct activation of Sex-lethal transcription by the Drosophila Runt protein. Development 126:191-200.