Ajit Divakaruni

Ajit Divakaruni, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology





Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, CA, 2017


PhD, University of Cambridge, UK, 2011
BS, University of Arizona, AZ, 2006

Scientific Interests

Dr. Divakaruni's laboratory seeks to understand how cellular energy metabolism can control cell fate and function, with the goal of identifying metabolic pathways that can be therapeutically targeted to treat cancer and other diseases. A primary line of research aims to precisely identify how mitochondrial metabolism can control activation of macrophages, innate immune cells that are abundant in the tumor microenvironment and may be manipulated to enhance immunotherapy. Through collaborative work, our group also seeks to understand how mitochondrial metabolism is specifically rewired during oncogenesis and chemoresistance to better understand resistance mechanisms and help inform second-line therapies.

Highlighted Publications

Jones AE, Arias NJ, Acevedo A, Reddy ST, Divakaruni AS*§, and Meriwether D*§ (2021) A single LC-MS/MS analysis to quantify CoA biosynthetic intermediates and short-chain acyl CoAs. Metabolites. 11(8): 468.

Jones AE, Sheng L, Acevedo A, Veliova M, Shirihai OS, Stiles L, and Divakaruni AS (2021) Forces, fluxes, and fuels: Tracking mitochondrial metabolism by integrating measurements of membrane potential, respiration, and metabolites AJP Cell Physiology. 320(1): C80-C91.

Jones AE and Divakaruni AS§ (2020) Macrophage activation as an archetype of mitochondrial repurposing. Molecular Aspects of Medicine. 71:100838. PMID: 31954522

Raud B, Roy DG, Divakaruni AS, Tarasenko TN, Franke R, Ma EH, Samborska B, Hsieh WY, Wong AH, Stüve P, Arnold-Schrauf C, Guderian M, Lochner M, Rampertaap S, Romito K, Monsale J, Brönstrup M, Bensinger SJ, Murphy AN, McGuire PJ, Jones RG, Sparwasser T, and Berod L (2018) Etomoxir actions on regulatory and memory T Cells are independent of Cpt1a-mediated fatty acid oxidation. Cell Metabolism. 28(3):504-15.

Divakaruni AS*§, Hsieh WY*, Minarrieta L, Duong TN, Kim KKO, Desousa BR, Andreyev AY, Bowman CE, Caradonna K, Dranka BP, Ferrick DA, Liesa M, Stiles L, Rogers GW, Braas D, Ciaraldi TP, Wolfgang MJ, Sparwasser T, Berod L, Bensinger SJ, and Murphy AN (2018) Etomoxir inhibits macrophage polarization by disrupting CoA homeostasis. Cell Metabolism. 28(3):490-503.