Arunasalam Dharmarajan

Emeritus Professor, MSc Madras, MMedSc Sri Lanka, PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile


Born in India. B.Sc and M.Sc from the University of Madras, PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology from the University of Western Australia, Perth.
After time at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA , Dharma came to UWA in 1995 and was promoted to Professor in 2001.

Funding overview

His research work is supported by grants from NH&MRC, UWA (Small), Raine Medical Foundation and Cancer Council, WA.

Current projects

Molecular mechanisms of apoptosis in cancer. Role of novel antiangiogenic molecule in cancer therapy

Industrial relevance

test data


Dharma's research interest is built around a quest to understand how individual cells of the body die, a small but key event underlying many diseases, including cancer. His work during the last several years has delineated many components of the apoptotic process and signalling mechanisms.

Dharma's group is particularly interested in identifying genes involved in the control and execution of apoptosis. His laboratory have cloned several cell death/survival genes and currently his group is investigating their role in ovarian, breast, mesothelioma and skin cancers.

Dharma's Molecular Apoptosis Group consists of 6 Ph.D, 3 Hons students, a postdoctoral fellow and a research assaistnat and his work to date has made significant progress in understanding how apoptosis plays a key role in tumour formation and regression.

Collaborators include, Prof Bob Friis (Switzerland), Dr. Simon Fox and Prof Mike Garlepp (Curtain University), Professor JoAnne Richards (Baylor College of Medicine, USA), Dr. Diane Keeney (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA) and Professor Fiona Wood (Royal Perth Hospital, WA).

Dharma has have received numerous invitations to speak at National and International Meetings and served in the editorial boards of several international journals.

Research expertise keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer
  • Cloning and characterisation of apoptotic associated genes
  • Involvement of stem cells in cancer
  • Isolation of a novel antiangiogenic molecule and its implication in cancer
  • Keratinocyte differentiation and skin cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Placental apoptosis
  • Role of anti-cancer drugs in apoptosis of ovarian, breast and prostate tumours
  • Secreted frizzled related proteins and wnt signalling


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