Ashok S. Bhagwat

Ashok S. Bhagwat



313-577-8822 (fax)

Chem 443


Ashok S. Bhagwat

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Mechanisms of DNA damage and repair, Nucleic acid biochemistry, Carcinogenesis, Generation of antibody diversity


The research in our group is focused on elucidating cellular mechanisms that promote or prevent mutations. The cellular factors that increase mutations include generation of reactive chemical species, methylation of DNA, transcription, replication and human AID/APOBEC family of DNA-cytosine deaminases that damage DNA. Cells also express proteins that counteract these potentially hazardous processes by preventing DNA damage or repairing the damage. We aim to understand the interplay between these opposing forces to explain molecular mechanisms that allow cells to diversify and tailor antibodies to counteract infectious agents and respond to viral infections. We are also interested in explaining how these processes may also drive carcinogenesis by causing mutations and using this understanding to find anticancer treatments. 




  • B.Sc., University of Bombay, 1972
  • M.Sc. Indian Institute of Technology, 1974
  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1982
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1982-198

Selected publications


1: Siriwardena SU, Chen K, Bhagwat AS. Functions and Malfunctions of Mammalian DNA-Cytosine Deaminases. Chem Rev. 2016 Sep 1. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27585283.
2: Bhagwat AS, Hao W, Townes JP, Lee H, Tang H, Foster PL. Strand-biased cytosine deamination at the replication fork causes cytosine to thymine mutations in Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Feb 23;113(8):2176-81. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1522325113. PubMed PMID: 26839411; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4776466.
3: Green AM, Landry S, Budagyan K, Avgousti DC, Shalhout S, Bhagwat AS, Weitzman MD. APOBEC3A damages the cellular genome during DNA replication. Cell Cycle. 2016;15(7):998-1008. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2016.1152426. PubMed PMID: 26918916; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4889253.
4: Siriwardena SU, Guruge TA, Bhagwat AS. Characterization of the Catalytic Domain of Human APOBEC3B and the Critical Structural Role for a Conserved Methionine. J Mol Biol. 2015 Sep 25;427(19):3042-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2015.08.006. PubMed PMID: 26281709; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4579057.
5: Shalhout S, Haddad D, Sosin A, Holland TC, Al-Katib A, Martin A, Bhagwat AS. Genomic uracil homeostasis during normal B cell maturation and loss of this balance during B cell cancer development. Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Nov;34(21):4019-32. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00589-14. PubMed PMID: 25154417; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4386458.



Currently teaching

  • CHM 6640 Molecular Biology, 3 credit hours, W2019
    CHM 7640 Molecular Biology, 3 credit hours, W2019

Courses taught

CHM 5900 Biological Research as Discovery, 2 credit hours, F2018
CHM 8840 Seminar: Biochemistry, 1 credit hours,   F2018