top of page

Rahul S. Kathayat

Dr. Rahul S. Kathayat earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry from Hindu College (Delhi University, 2007) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay (2009), respectively. As his first research experience, he worked in polymer chemistry laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Anil Kumar at IIT Bombay for one year. He worked on synthesis of alkyl thiophene based polymers that could be utilized to probe nitro aromatic based explosives. He then moved to University of Zürich, Switzerland (Sep, 2009), to do doctoral research under the supervision of Prof. Nathaniel S. Finney. There he worked on demonstrating potential of sulfoxide moiety of aromatic sulfoxides like pyrenyl sulfoxide, as a novel reporting element for fluorescence-based detection of metal ions. He joined our group (Dec, 2014) where he is currently conducting his postdoctoral research in the field of S-palmitoylation, a cysteine PTM. He has developed a set of fluorescence “turn-on” based chemical probes (DPPs and mitochondria targeted mitoDPPs) to measure the activity of “eraser” proteins of S-palmitoylation in live cells. Using these tools he has demonstrated that S-depalmitoylation activity is dynamic and responds to external stimuli like growth factor addition and palmitate stress.


Kathayat, R.S. and Dickinson, B.C. “Measuring S-depalmitoylation activity in vitro and in live cells using fluorescent probes.” In press, Methods Mol. Biol. (2018).

Sagedhi, R.S.; Kulej, K.; Kathayat, R.S.; Garcia, B.A.; Dickinson, B.C., Brady D.C.; Witze, E.S. “Wnt5a Signaling Induced Phosphorylation Increases APT1 Activity and Promotes Melanoma Metastatic Behavior.” eLife, 7:e34362 (2018).

Kathayat, R.S.; Cao, Y.; Elvira, P.; Sandoz, P.A.; Zaballa, M.-E.; Springer, M.Z.; Drake, L.E.; MacLeod, K.F.; van der Goot, F.G.; Dickinson, B.C. “Active and dynamic mitochondrial S-depalmitoylation revealed by targeted fluorescent probes.” Nat. Commun., 9, 334 (2018).

Qiu, T.; Kathayat, R.S.; Cao, Y.; Beck, M. Dickinson, B.C. “A fluorescent probe with improved water solubility permits the analysis of protein S-depalmitoylation activity in live cells.” Biochemistry, 57, 221-225 (2018).

Beck, M.W.; Kathayat, R.S.; Cham, C.M.; Chang, E.B.; Dickinson, B.C. “Michael addition-based probes for ratiometric fluorescence imaging of protein S-depalmitoylases in live cells and tissues.” Chem. Sci. 8, 7588-7592 (2017).

Kathayat, R.S.; Elvira, P.; Dickinson, B.C. “A fluorescent probe for cysteine depalmitoylation reveals dynamic APT signaling.” Nat. Chem. Biol. 13, 150-152 (2017).

Kathayat, R.S., Yang, L., Sattasathuchana, T., Zoppi, L., Baldridge, K.K., Linden, A., Finney, N.S. “On the origins of non-radiative excited state relaxation in aryl sulfoxides relevant to fluorescent chemosensing.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 15889-15895 (2016).

Kathayat, R.S., Finney, N.S. “Sulfoxides as response elements for fluorescent chemosensors.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 12612-12614 (2013).

Education and Experience:


Postdoctoral Research, University of Chicago, 2014 - present

     with Assistant Professor Dr. Bryan C. Dickinson, Department of Chemistry

Doctoral Research, University of Zürich, 2009 - 2014

     with Professor Dr. Nathaniel S. Finney, Department of Organic Chemistry

Master’s, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, 2007 - 2009

     with Professor Dr. Anil Kumar, Department of Chemistry

Bachelor’s, University of Delhi, Hindu College, 2004 - 2007

bottom of page