The Kumari Lab

Rowan Research

  • Kumari Lab

The Kumari Lab

Welcome to the Kumari Lab

Sense of taste not only gives us pleasure of eating our favorite foods but also prevent us to consume bad ones. Loss or disruption of taste thus interfere with our well being. Taste sensation gets disrupted due to variety of reasons. One that we all know is COVID-19 infection. Apart from this, many disease treatments causes severe side effect of taste loss. Kumari lab is interested in understanding the role of the Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway in tongue physiology as well as to delineate its role in taste alteration, a severe side effect for cancer patients treated with HH pathway inhibiting drugs. HH signaling plays an essential regulatory role during development of many tissues including taste organs. However, in several cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, the HH pathway is deregulated and therefore, HH signaling blockade is used for therapeutics. Patients who use HH pathway inhibiting drugs experience severe taste disturbances and as a result, some patients even discontinue drug treatment. This not only compromises treatment efficacy but also affects appetite. Thus, Kumari lab aim to understand the mechanisms behind these taste disturbances for developing new treatment strategies in patients who use these drugs.

Students are welcome to join her to explore this exciting sensory organ!