Close this search box.

Featured Scientist: Sangeetha Iyer (Perlara PBC)

Sangeetha Iyer is the director of preclinical development at Perlara. In her work, she is interested in demonstrating that nematodes can be used as model systems to predict translational value of potential therapeutics in humans.


Sangeetha was first introduced to C.elegans in Dr. Jon Pierce’s lab (UT, Austin) while searching for a model organism to test cyclic peptide activators of the Big Potassium (BK or slo-1) channel. Starting from phagemid discovery screen in mammalian cells, the peptides selected for BK channel binding were found to be active in C.elegans as well as in mice. This work was published in 2017 and 2018 and is the first example of a novel gating modulator for BK channels with activity across multiple model systems.

Fig. 1. Effect of BK channel-selective peptides on locomotor behavior of C.elegans in the presence and absence of ethanol in WT (A, B) and slo-1 null animals (C,D). E. Peptide LS3 reduces crawl speeds of WT worms and has no effect in slo-1 null animals. In contrast, slo-1 null animals that were engineered to express nematode (slo-1 +) or human slo-1 (hslo +) respond to peptide LS3 with a reduction in crawl speeds, indicating BK channel specific-action. F, G. Decrease in sound-evoked activity in mouse auditory midbrain 2 and 5 hours after intraperitoneal administration of 0.3mg/kg of LS3 peptide


Fun facts about Sangeetha

Q: If you had a pet worm what would you name it?

A: Dumpy

Q: Where is your favorite place to travel?

A: I like visiting national parks in the US. Denali, Alaska was most impressive

Q: What is your favorite thing about the wMicroTracker?

A: It has a really small footprint!

Q: What is your favorite book/movie?

A: I don’t have a single favorite book so I’m naming a few here:

  • Stiff: The Curious lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • The Demon under the Microscope by Thomas Hager

Q: Do you have a favorite joke?

A: This is my current favorite:

  • (q)What’s worse than eating an apple and finding a worm?
  • (a)Eating an apple and finding half a worm

Q: What is something you think others would be surprised to learn about

A: I’m colorblind

Q: What is your hidden talent?

A: I’ve rescued animals from weird places including crawl spaces and elevator shafts…


Do you have someone you would like to nominate to be a future Featured Scientist? Let us know by emailing us at [email protected]

About The Author

InVivo Biosystems

Share this articles

Picture of InVivo Biosystems

About the Author:

Connect with us