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Sid Puram, M.D., Ph.D.

Sid Puram, MD in lab coat

Originally from Edina, Minnesota, Dr. Sid Puram’s background includes research training in biochemistry, neurobiology, drug delivery, cancer biology, as well as clinical training in otolaryngology—head and neck surgery.

Dr. Puram has research interests in head and neck tumor heterogeneity and defining mechanisms that drive growth, invasion, and metastasis. As an undergraduate in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr. Puram identified novel methods for DNA vaccine delivery using pH-sensitive, biocompatible polymer microspheres (Choleris et al, PNAS 2007; Little et al, Journal of Controlled Release 2005; Little et al, PNAS 2004). 

After earning his undergraduate degrees in biology and neuroscience, he entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at Harvard Medical School, graduating magna cum laude (M.D.) with a Ph.D. in pathology from the Biology and Biomedical Sciences program. Working in the laboratory of Dr. Azad Bonni, Dr. Puram defined mechanisms that drive dendrite growth and retraction, including a centrosomal signaling pathway linking calcium signaling at the membrane to the ubiquitin proteasome system (Kim et al., Cell 2009; Puram et al, Nature Neuroscience 2011; Puram et al, Genes and Development, 2011; Puram et al., Cell Reports 2013). These studies identified an entirely novel function for the abundant brain protein CaMKIIβ, establishing a major area of research into the homeostatic mechanisms orchestrating dendrite pruning and remodeling (Valnegri*, Puram* et al, Trends in Neuroscience 2015; Puram et al, Development 2015; Puram and Bonni, Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 2011; Puram et al, Cell Cycle 2010). He was also able to apply his skill sets in biochemistry and cell biology to studies on the context-dependent, dual role of the transcription factor STAT3 as an oncogene and tumor suppressor in human glioma models (de la Igelesia et al, Genes and Development 2008; Puram et al, Journal of Neuroscience 2012; Jahani-Asl et al, Nature Neuroscience 2016). His research challenged the traditional view of transcription factors as unidirectional drivers in oncology, while identifying genetic context-specific pathways that may regulate glioma tumorigenesis (de la Iglesia et al, Current Molecular Medicine 2009).

Dr. Puram is currently undertaking post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Brad Bernstein at Mass General, where he is leveraging single cell RNA sequencing to define intratumoral heterogeneity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. He has developed collaborative efforts related to this project and regularly mentors trainees. He is also currently pursuing additional studies ranging from genomic analyses of adenoid cystic carcinoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma to basic biological studies of squamous cell differentiation. Dr. Puram hopes that his research efforts will provide an advanced understanding of diverse cellular populations and the genetic mechanisms governing cancers of the head and neck (Puram et al, Hematology Oncology Clinics of North America 2015).

Dr. Puram’s clinical interests include electrophysiologic parameters defining intraoperative injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, transfusion outcomes following advanced reconstructive techniques, and national health care metrics for ablative and reconstructive head and neck cancer surgery.

For more information on Dr. Puram, check out his Google Scholar page and Harvard Catalyst website.


Undergraduate School
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Biology and Neuroscience)

Medical School
Harvard Medical School 

Graduate School
Harvard Medical School (Ph.D. in Neurobiology)

FOCUS Project
Defining intratumoral heterogeneity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma using single cell RNA sequencing


Posterior cricoarytenoid muscle electrophysiologic changes measured with a posterior cricoid electrode are predictive of vocal cord paralysis with recurrent laryngeal nerve compressive injury in a canine model. Puram SV, Chow H, Wu CW, Heaton J, Kamani D, Gorti G, Chiang FY, Dionigi G, Barczynski M, Schneider R, Dralle H, Lorenz K, Randolph GW. Laryngoscope. In press.

Genomic analyses uncover the cytokine receptor OSMR as a novel oncogenic protein in glioblastoma pathogenesis. Jahani-Asl A, Yin H, Soleimani VD, Takrima H, Luchman AH, Chang NC, Sincennes MC, Puram SV, Ligon KL, Weiss S, Rudnicki MA, Bonni A. Nature Neuroscience. 2016.

Vocal cord paralysis predicted by neural monitoring electrophysiologic changes with recurrent laryngeal nerve compressive neuropraxic injury in a canine model. Puram SV, Chow H, Wu CW, Heaton J, Kamani D, Gorti G, Chiang FY, Dionigi G, Barczynski M, Schneider R, Dralle H, Lorenz K, Randolph GW. Head Neck. 2016 Apr. 38 Suppl 1:E1341-50.

Molecular biology of head and neck cancer. Puram SV, Rocco JW. Hematology Oncology Clinics of North America. 2015. 29(6): 971-92.

Regulation of dendrite morphogenesis by extrinsic cues. Valnegri P*, Puram SV*, Bonni A. Trends in Neuroscience. 2015. 38(7): 439-447.

Cell-intrinsic drivers of dendrite morphogenesis. Puram SV, Bonni A. Development. 2013 Dec. 140(23):4657-71. 
PMID: 24255095

The ubiquitin receptor S5a/Rpn10 links centrosomal proteasomes with dendrite development in the mammalian brain. Puram SV, Kim AH, Park HY, Anckar J, Bonni A. Cell Rep. 2013 Jul 11. 4(1):19-30.
PMID: 23831032

STAT3-iNOS signaling mediates EGFRvIII-induced glial proliferation and transformation. Puram SV, Yeung CM, Jahani-Asl A, Lin C, de la Iglesia N, Konopka G, Jackson-Grusby L, Bonni A. J Neurosci. 2012 Jun 6. 32(23):7806-18. 
PMID: 22674257

A TRPC5-regulated calcium signaling pathway controls dendrite patterning in the mammalian brain. Puram SV, Riccio A, Koirala S, Ikeuchi Y, Kim AH, Corfas G, Bonni A. Genes Dev. 2011 Dec 15. 25(24):2659-73.
PMID: 22135323

A CaMKIIβ signaling pathway at the centrosome regulates dendrite patterning in the brain. Puram SV, Kim AH, Ikeuchi Y, Wilson-Grady JT, Merdes A, Gygi SP, Bonni A. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Jul 3. 14(8):973-83.
PMID: 21725312

Novel functions for the anaphase-promoting complex in neurobiology. Puram SV, Bonni A. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Aug. 22(6):586-94.
PMID: 21439392

A centrosomal Cdc20-APC pathway controls dendrite morphogenesis in postmitotic neurons. Kim AH, Puram SV, Bilimoria PM, Ikeuchi Y, Keough S, Wong M, Rowitch D, Bonni A. Cell. 2009 Jan 23;136(2):322-36. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.11.050. 
PMID: 19167333

Identification of a PTEN-regulated STAT3 brain tumor suppressor pathway. de la Iglesia N, Konopka G, Puram SV, Chan JA, Bachoo RM, You MJ, Levy DE, Depinho RA, Bonni A. Genes Dev. 2008 Feb 15. 22(4):449-62.
PMID: 18258752

Microparticle-based delivery of oxytocin receptor antisense DNA in the medial amygdala blocks social recognition in female mice. Choleris E, Little SR, Mong JA, Puram SV, Langer R, Pfaff DW. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Mar 13. 104(11):4670-5. Epub 2007 Mar 5. 
PMID: 17360582

Poly-beta amino ester-containing microparticles enhance the activity of nonviral genetic vaccines. Little SR, Lynn DM, Ge Q, Anderson DG, Puram SV, Chen J, Eisen HN, Langer R. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jun 29. 101(26):9534-9. Epub 2004 Jun 21. 
PMID: 15210954

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