Xaralabos G. Varelas, PhD

Professor, Biochemistry & Cell Biology

Xaralabos Varelas
72 E. Concord St


Research in the Varelas lab is focused on gaining insight into the molecular mechanisms by which cell fate is coordinated with cell proliferation and survival during animal development and disease. The lab is particularly interested in understanding the roles and regulation of the transcriptional regulators YAP and TAZ (YAP/TAZ), which are key effectors of the Hippo signaling pathway.

YAP/TAZ integrate cell polarity and mechanical cues with information relayed by growth factors and chemicals to direct essential processes and maintain organ homeostasis. The lab is incorporating genetic and biochemical approaches to define how YAP/TAZ control developmental events, and how dysregulation of YAP/TAZ activity contributes the etiology of various diseases, such as cancer.

Other Positions

  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
  • Member, Pulmonary Center, Boston University
  • Member, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • University of Alberta, PhD
  • McGill University, BSc


  • Published on 6/27/2024

    Raslan AA, Pham TX, Lee J, Kontodimas K, Tilston-Lunel A, Schmottlach J, Hong J, Dinc T, Bujor AM, Caporarello N, Thiriot A, von Andrian UH, Huang SK, Nicosia RF, Trojanowska M, Varelas X, Ligresti G. Lung injury-induced activated endothelial cell states persist in aging-associated progressive fibrosis. Nat Commun. 2024 Jun 27; 15(1):5449. PMID: 38937456.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/23/2024

    Etesami NS, Barker KA, Shenoy AT, De Ana CL, Arafa EI, Grifno GN, Matschulat AM, Vannini ME, Pihl RMF, Breen MP, Soucy AM, Goltry WN, Ha CT, Betsuyaku H, Browning JL, Varelas X, Traber KE, Jones MR, Quinton LJ, Maglione PJ, Nia HT, Belkina AC, Mizgerd JP. B cells in the pneumococcus-infected lung are heterogeneous and require CD4+ T cell help including CD40L to become resident memory B cells. Front Immunol. 2024; 15:1382638. PMID: 38715601.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/19/2024

    Burgess CL, Huang J, Bawa PS, Alysandratos KD, Minakin K, Ayers LJ, Morley MP, Babu A, Villacorta-Martin C, Yampolskaya M, Hinds A, Thapa BR, Wang F, Matschulat A, Mehta P, Morrisey EE, Varelas X, Kotton DN. Generation of human alveolar epithelial type I cells from pluripotent stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2024 May 02; 31(5):657-675.e8. PMID: 38642558.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/27/2024

    Crossey E, Carty S, Shao F, Henao-Vasquez J, Ysasi AB, Zeng M, Hinds A, Lo M, Tilston-Lunel A, Varelas X, Jones MR, Fine A. Influenza Induces Lung Lymphangiogenesis Independent of YAP/TAZ Activity in Lymphatic Endothelial Cells. Res Sq. 2024 Feb 27. PMID: 38463972.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/24/2023

    Ma L, Thapa BR, Le Suer JA, Tilston-Lünel A, Herriges MJ, Berical A, Beermann ML, Wang F, Bawa PS, Kohn A, Ysasi AB, Kiyokawa H, Matte TM, Randell SH, Varelas X, Hawkins FJ, Kotton DN. Airway stem cell reconstitution by the transplantation of primary or pluripotent stem cell-derived basal cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 Sep 07; 30(9):1199-1216.e7. PMID: 37625411.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/4/2023

    Khan MM, Frustino J, Villa A, Nguyen BC, Woo SB, Johnson WE, Varelas X, Kukuruzinska M, Monti S. Total RNA sequencing reveals gene expression and microbial alterations shared by oral pre-malignant lesions and cancer. Hum Genomics. 2023 Aug 04; 17(1):72. PMID: 37542347.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/21/2023

    Reed ER, Jankowski SA, Spinella AJ, Noonan V, Haddad R, Nomoto K, Matsui J, Bais MV, Varelas X, Kukuruzinska MA, Monti S. ß-catenin/CBP activation of mTORC1 signaling promotes partial epithelial-mesenchymal states in head and neck cancer. Transl Res. 2023 Oct; 260:46-60. PMID: 37353110.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/18/2023

    Federico A, Kern J, Varelas X, Monti S. Structure learning for gene regulatory networks. PLoS Comput Biol. 2023 May; 19(5):e1011118. PMID: 37200395.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/8/2023

    Ning B, Tilston-Lunel AM, Simonetti J, Hicks-Berthet J, Matschulat A, Pfefferkorn R, Spira A, Edwards M, Mazzilli S, Lenburg ME, Beane JE, Varelas X. Convergence of YAP/TAZ, TEAD and TP63 activity is associated with bronchial premalignant severity and progression. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2023 May 08; 42(1):116. PMID: 37150829.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/24/2023

    Khan MM, Frustino J, Villa A, Nguyen BC, Woo SB, Johnson WE, Varelas X, Kukuruzinska M, Monti S. Total RNA sequencing reveals gene expression and microbial alterations shared by oral pre-malignant lesions and cancer. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 24. PMID: 36993637.

    Read at: PubMed

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