Vivek Swarup

Picture of Vivek Swarup
Associate Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior
School of Biological Sciences
Ph.D., University Laval, Canada, 2012, Neuroscience
M.S., National Brain Research Centre, India, 2007, Neuroscience
B.S., Banaras Hindu University, India, 2005, Zoology Hons.
Phone: (949) 824-3182
University of California, Irvine
3224 Biological Sciences III
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Neurodegeneration, Systems Biology, Bioinformatics, Transcriptomics, Epigenetics, Genetics, Alzheimer's disease, Therapeutics, Aging
2012-2018 : Dan Geschwind Lab at David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
Research Abstract
The human brain changes at the molecular and cellular level with aging, and these molecular changes reflect either healthy or degenerative behavioral and cognitive function. Degeneration at the cognitive level, known as dementia, is seen in a large proportion of the American population and dementia associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD) exacts a large societal and financial burden. There is an immediate need to understand what leads to degeneration and develop novel therapies for dementia.

My long-term research interests lie in comprehensive understanding of the role of transcriptional and regulatory pathways in neurodegenerative diseases. The lab is focusing on studying the expression patterns of coding and non-coding genes during the progression of the disease. We then integrate the data with multiscale high dimensional data from proteomics, epigenomics and genomics to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD), Fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Our initial studies are focussing on the use of several mouse models of AD and FTD and generating transcriptional profiles of mRNA, long non-coding RNA (lincRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) using high-throughput RNA -sequencing as well as open-chromatin region using ATAC-seq. The goal is to use RNA sequencing information to quantify the abundance of gene products and their structures (isoforms) to discover differences using traditional differential expression methods and co-expression network analysis (using WGCNA). We are integrating information from post-mortem patient tissues and iPSCs derived cells with the transgenic mice data to delineate underlying common mechanisms. We employ statistical and computational deep-learning algorithms to unravel hidden biological relationships. We are using state-of the art single cell and single nuclear sequencing to profile brain cell-type heterogeneity and understand the changes happening in distinct cell-types. We will be using unbiased systems biology approaches to unravel novel regulators of neurodegeneration and are particularly interested in identifying key molecular targets so that effective therapeutics could be developed.
Awards and Honors
American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR) Young Investigator Award
John Spice Award in Aging
Short Biography
My long-term research interests lie in comprehensive understanding of the role of transcriptional and regulatory pathways in human neurodegenerative diseases using unbiased data-driven approaches. My lab, comprising of molecular and computational neuroscientists, uses a systems biology and functional genomics approach to gain deep insights into disease biology. I have a strong background in molecular neuroscience from my undergraduate work in India and graduate work in Dr. Jean-Pierre Julien’s lab in Canada, where I developed novel TDP-43 mouse models of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Swarup, et al., Brain 2011, Swarup, et al., J. Exp Med. 2011). I applied my strong foundational work in mouse genetics and neuroscience as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Daniel Geschwind’s lab at the University of California, Los Angeles. During my postdoctoral training, I was exposed to multi-omic analyses to unravel novel biology in neuropsychiatric disorders (Parikshak and Swarup et al, Nature 2016) and neurodegenerative dementia (Swarup et al., Nature Medicine 2018, Swarup et al. Cell Reports, 2020). I was also involved closely with large genomics consortia like NIA’s Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP-AD, Seyfried et al., Cell Systems 2017, Allen et al, 2018) and PsychENCODE consortia (Gandal et al, Science, 2018, Li et al., Science 2018, Wang et al., Science 2018 and Amiri et al., Science 2018). In addition, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with several researchers across the globe, performing cutting edge data analysis and publishing high impact papers (Alim et al., Cell 2019, Parras et al., Nature 2018, Tu et al., Nat. Comm, 2017).
As part of UCI’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI-MIND), my lab focusses on understanding Alzheimer’s disease biology and aging, using cutting-edge approaches like single- nuclei RNA- and ATAC-seq in human samples and mouse models of disease (Morabito et al., Nature Genetics, 2021). My lab focusses on comprehensive approach to data-science, seen in very few labs across the globe, readily generating and analyzing multi-scale big data to find novel insights to disease-relevant biological processes and following up with intersectional approaches in mouse and iPSC models. Since starting my lab in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at UCI, I have been awarded American foundation for aging research (AFAR) young investigator award, as well as have been co-investigator in NIH sponsored and private foundation grants.
Selected Publications (more complete list at:

Swarup V, Hinz FI, Noguchi K, Toyoshiba H, Oda A, Hirai K, Kondou S, Rexach J, Sarkar A, Seyfried NT, Trojanowski JQ, Lah JJ, Levey AI, Geschwind DH Identification of evolutionarily conserved gene networks that mediate tau-induced neurodegenerative dementia, Accepted, Nature Medicine, 2018

Seyfried NT, Dammer EB, Swarup V, Nandakumar D, Duong DM, Yin L, Deng Q, Nguyen T, Hales CM, Wingo T, Glass J, Gearing M, Thambisetty M, Troncoso JC, Geschwind DH, Lah JJ, Levey AI. A Multi-network Approach Identifies Protein-Specific Co-expression in Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Alzheimer's Disease. Cell Syst. 2017 Jan 25;4(1):60-72.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2016.11.006. Epub 2016 Dec 15. PubMed PMID: 27989508; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5269514.

Parikshak NN**, Swarup V**, Belgard TG**, Irimia M, Ramaswami G, Gandal MJ, Hartl C, Leppa V, Ubieta LTU, Huang J, Lowe JK, Belncowe BJ, Horvath S, Geschwind DH (2016). Genome-wide changes in lncRNA, splicing and regional gene expression patterns in autism. Nature 540(7633):423-427. PMID: 27919067 **Authors contributed equally

Seyfried NT, Dammer EB, Swarup V, Nandakumar D, Duong DM, Luming Y, Qiudong D, Nguyen T, Chadwick HM, Wingo T, Glass J, Gearing M, Thambisetty M, Troncoso JC, Geschwind DH, Lah JJ, Levey AI (2016) A Multi-Network Approach Identifies Protein-specific Co-expression in Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Alzheimer's Disease. Cell Systems, Dec 14. pii: S2405-4712(16)30370-2. PMID: 27989508

Swarup V, Geschwind DH (2013). Alzheimer's disease: From big data to mechanism. Nature. 500(7460): 34-5. PMID: 23883924

Swarup V**, Audet JN**, Phaneuf D, Kriz J, Julien JP (2012). Abnormal Regenerative Responses and Impaired Axonal Outgrowth after Nerve Crush in TDP-43 Transgenic Mouse Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Journal of Neuroscience. 32(50): 18186-95. PMID: 23238732. **Authors contributed equally

Lalancette-Hebert M, Swarup V, Beaulieu JM, Bohacek I, Abdelhamid E, Weng YC, Sato S, Kriz J (2012). Galectin-3 is required for resident microglia activation and proliferation in response to ischemic injury. Journal of Neuroscience. 32(30): 10383-95. PMID: 22386271

Swarup V, Phaneuf D, Dupré N, Petri S, Strong M, Kriz J, Julien JP (2011). Deregulation of TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis triggers nuclear factor ?B-mediated pathogenic pathways. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 208(12): 2429-47. PMID: 22084410

Swarup V, Phaneuf D, Bareil C, Robertson J, Rouleau GA, Kriz J, Julien JP (2011). Pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal lobar degeneration in transgenic mice produced with TDP- 43 genomic fragments. Brain. 134(Pt 9): 2610-26. PMID: 21752789.

Swarup V, Julien JP. (2011) ALS pathogenesis: recent insights from genetics and mouse models Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Mar 30;35(2):363-9.

Ghosh, J, Swarup, V, Saxena, A, Das, S, Hazra, A, Paira, P, Banerjee, S, Mondal, N. B, Basu, A. (2008) Therapeutic effect of a novel anilidoquinoline derivative, 2-(2-methyl-quinoline-4ylamino)-N-(2-chlorophenyl)-acetamide, in Japanese encephalitis: correlation with in vitro neuroprotection. International journal of antimicrobial agents, 32, 349-354.

Swarup, V, Ghosh, J, Das, S and Basu, A. (2008) Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated death domain mediated neuronal death contributes to the glial activation and subsequent neuroinflammation in Japanese encephalitis. Neurochemistry international, 52, 1310-1321.

Swarup, V, Ghosh, J, Mishra, M. K. and Basu, A. (2008) Novel strategy for treatment of Japanese encephalitis using arctigenin, a plant lignan. Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, 61, 679-688.

Swarup, V, Das, S, Ghosh S, Basu, A (2007) Tumor necrosis factor receptor-1-induced neuronal death by TRADD contributes to the pathogenesis of Japanese encephalitis. Journal of neurochemistry, 103, 771-783.

Swarup, V, Ghosh, J, Ghosh, S, Saxena, A and Basu, A. (2007) Antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of rosmarinic acid in an experimental murine model of Japanese encephalitis. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 51, 3367-3370.

Swarup, V, Ghosh, J., Duseja, R., Ghosh, S. and Basu, A. (2007) Japanese encephalitis virus infection decrease endogenous IL-10 production: correlation with microglial activation and neuronal death. Neuroscience letters, 420, 144-149.
American federation of Aging Research
Adelson Medical Research Foundation
RF1 AG071683-01, NIA (Swarup, PI) U54 AG054349-06, NIA (LaFerla F, PI; Swarup, Co-I) RF1NS130616-01, NIA (Kitazawa, Swarup, MPI) U01 DA053826-01A1, NIDA (Mahler, Fowler, Baram, Swarup, MPI) P01 NS084974-06A1, NINDS (Petrucelli L, PI; Swarup, Co-I) RF1AG065329, NIA (Piomelli D, PI; Swarup, Co-I)
Professional Societies
Society of Neuroscience
Indian Academy of Neuroscience - Life Member
Graduate Programs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Mathematical and Computational Biology
Research Centers
Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders
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