Kalyan C. Kondapalli, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Kalyan C. Kondapalli
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Natural Sciences

Teaching Areas:

Biological Sciences

Research Areas:

Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Biography and Education

  • Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Postdoctoral training, Cellular and Molecular Physiology
  • Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan; Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Wayne State University, College of Science, Detroit, Michigan; M.S., Molecular Biotechnology

Kalyan C. Kondapalli joined the Department of Natural Sciences in Fall 2014. He has a unique cross-disciplinary background: while his graduate training was in protein biochemistry and investigative approaches were mainly biophysical, his postdoctoral work complemented this with specific training in cell biology and cellular physiology. He used the opportunities to gain expertise in a number of diverse techniques, while working towards a common goal: rigorous mechanistic characterization of cellular and molecular ion regulation that underlies health and disease. During all those years, he mentored several undergraduate and graduate students, and also published with them as co-authors. As member and leader of Johns Hopkins Postdoctoral Association, one of the largest postdoctoral associations in the country, Dr. Kondapalli co-developed an undergraduate training program that utilized the “teacher scholar model.” He found this combination of a rigorous laboratory research experience with a mentored teaching experience very lively, refreshing and intellectually stimulating. When ready to transition to an independent position, he found the strong focus on teacher-scholar model within the Department of Natural Sciences at UM-Dearborn as the main attractor. The proximity and accessibility to major research one institutes (Wayne State and UM-Ann Arbor) was a bonus.

Teaching and Research

Courses Taught


Our research is dedicated to unraveling the intricate dynamics of endosomal trafficking and its critical role in the functionality of multicellular organisms. Endosomes, acting as essential shuttles, play a pivotal role in orchestrating crucial cellular processes such as cell signaling, immune response, and nutrient uptake. At the core of our investigations is a fundamental question: what guides endosomes in the precise transport of cargo to specific locations within a cell? The significance of this inquiry lies in the potential consequences of misdirected cargo, which can contribute to various diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's, and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, many viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and HIV, exploit the endocytic pathway for host cell entry and propagation. Understanding endosomal trafficking is not only vital for maintaining normal physiology but also crucial for developing effective strategies to combat diseases stemming from endosomal dysfunction. Building on our prior work, we have uncovered a novel role for endosomal pH as a guiding factor, resembling a GPS, steering endosomes towards specific destinations. A central focus of our research is the identification of molecular targets within the endocytic pathway that can selectively adjust luminal pH in endosomes. NHE9, a sodium-proton transporter, emerges as a promising target, subtly modulating luminal pH without drastic effects observed with other regulators. Our studies on receptor-mediated endocytosis provide a broader framework, offering insights into phagocytosis with notable parallels between these processes. These findings not only contribute to fundamental knowledge in cell biology but also hold therapeutic potential for addressing a spectrum of diseases associated with endosomal dysfunction.

Selected Publications

For a full publication list see: Kalyan C. Kondapalli's Bibliography

* Indicates UM-Dearborn undergraduate students

  • Tripathy SK, Shamroukh, HS*, Fares P*, Bezih Z*, Akhtar M*, and Kondapalli KC.  Acidification of the phagosome orchestrates the motor forces directing its transportBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2023; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2023.149236

  • Shamroukh, HS*, Lone N*, Akhtar M*, Altayib A*, Sutliff S*, Kassem Z*, Tripathy SK, and Kondapalli KC. The sodium proton exchanger NHE9 regulates phagosome maturation and bactericidal activity in macrophages. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2022; 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102150

  • Pall AE*, Guntur D*, Juratli L*, Bandyopadhyay K and Kondapalli KC. A gain of function paradox: Targeted therapy for glioblastoma associated with abnormal NHE9 expression. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. 2019; DOI: 10.1111/jcmm.14665

  • Rawat S, Kondapalli KC, Rodrigues AV and Stemmler TL. Backbone resonance assignments and secondary structure of the apo-Drosophila melanogaster frataxin homolog (Dfh). Biomolecular NMR Assignments. 2019; 13(2):377-381.

  • Prasad H, Dang DK, Kondapalli KC, Natarajan N, Cebotaru V, Rao R. NHA2 promotes cyst development in an in vitro model of polycystic kidney disease. The Journal of Physiology, 2019; 597(2):499-519.

  • Gomez Zubieta DM*, Hamood MA*, Beydoun* R, Pall AE* and Kondapalli KC. MicroRNA-135a regulates NHE9 to inhibit proliferation and migration of glioblastoma cells. Cell Communication and Signaling. 2017; 15(1):55.

  • Beydoun R*, Hamood MA*, Gomez Zubieta DM* and Kondapalli KC. Na+/H+ Exchanger 9 Regulates Iron Mobilization at the Blood Brain Barrier in Response to Iron Starvation. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2017; 292(10):4293-4301.

  • Kondapalli KC, Todd Alexander R, Pluznick JL and Rao R. NHA2 is expressed in distal nephron and regulated by dietary sodium. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry. 2016; 73(2):199-205.

  • Kondapalli KC, Llongueras JP, Capilla-González V, Prasad H, Hack A, Smith C, Guerrero-Cázares H, Quiñones-Hinojosa A and Rao R. A leak pathway for luminal protons in endosomes drives oncogenic signalling in glioblastoma. Nature Communications. 2015; 6:6289.

  • Kondapalli KC, Prasad H and Rao R. An inside job: how endosomal Na(+)/H(+) exchangers link to autism and neurological disease. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 2014; 8:172.

  • Kondapalli KC, Hack A, Schushan M, Landau M, Ben-Tal N and Rao R. Functional evaluation of autism-associated mutations in NHE9. Nature Communications. 2013;4:2510

Book Chapters

  • Bencze KZ, Kondapalli KC, and Stemmler T L. X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy in Applications of Physical Methods in Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry, pp.513-528. 2007John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK

  • Kondapalli KC, Dancis A and Stemmler TL. Molecular Interaction between Frataxin and Ferrochelatase during Heme Assembly, Biochemistry: Synthetic Models and Cellular Systems. 2008. Vol. 1, ACS Publishing, Michael Baldwin and Eric Long, Eds, 17-30