Murali C. Pillai


Murali Pillai
Murali C. Pillai


(707) 664-2981

Ph.D. University of California (Davis), 1988

Postdoctoral Experience:
University of California (Davis) School of Medicine; Bodega Marine Laboratory (UC Davis).

Research Interests:
Cell Biology and Physiology of Fertilization and Early Embryonic Development; Cellular and Molecular Pathways of Embryonic Axis Specification; Developmental Toxicology.

Current Course Offerings:
BIOL 344 - Cell Biology
BIOL 472 - Developmental Biology

Past Course Offerings: Molecular and Cell Biology, Advanced Cell Biology; Introduction to Careers in the Health Professions.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Yanagimachi, R., Cherr, G.N., Matsubara, T., Andoh, T., Harumi, T., Vines, C., Pillai, M.C., Griffin, F., Matsubara, H., Weatherby, T. and Kaneshiro, K. 2013.  Sperm attractant in the micropyle region of fish and insect eggs possess a sperm attractant that helps to guide sperm into the micropyle during fertilization.  Biol. Reprod. (in press)

Pillai, M.C., Vines, C.A. and Cherr, G.N. 2010. Developmental effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: disruption of embryonic axis development in sea urchins through a β-catenin dependent pathway. Biotechnological Solutions to Environmental Sustainability, Vellore Institute of Technology Press, India.

Cherr, G.N., Morisawa, M., Vines, C.A., Yoshida, K., Smith, E.H., Matsubara, T., Pillai, M.C., Griffin, F.J. and Yanagimachi, R. 2008. Two egg derived molecules in sperm motility initiation in the Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi). International Journal of Developmental Biology, 52: 743-752.

Vines, C.A., M.C. Pillai, A.H. Wikramanayake, and G.N. Cherr. In preparation. Exogastrulation in sea urchin embryos: A direct role for Glycogen Synthase Kinase (GSK) -3 beta.

Pillai, M.C., Vines. C.A., Wikramanayake, A.H and Cherr, G.N. 2003. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons disrupt axial development in sea urchin embryos through beta-catenin dependent pathway. Toxicology 186:93-108.

Vines, C.A., Kiroku, K. Griffin, F.J. Pillai, M.C., Morisawa, M., Yanagimachi, R. and Cherr. G.N. 2002. Motility initiation in herring sperm is regulated by reverse sodium-calcium exchange. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99:2026-2031.

Griffin, F. J., M. C. Pillai, C. A. Vines, T. Hibbard-Robbins, R. Yanagimachi, and G. N. Cherr. 1998. Effect of salinity on fertilization and development in herring. Biological Bulletin 194:25-35.

Pillai, M.C., H. S. Blethrow, R. M. Higashi, and G. N. Cherr. 1997. Inhibition of the sea urchin sperm acrosome reaction by a lignin-derived macromolecule. Aquatic Toxicology 37:139-156.

Griffin, F.J., C. A. Vines, M. C. Pillai, R. Yanagimachi, R. and G. N. Cherr. 1996. The sperm motility initiation factor (SMIF) of the Pacific herring egg chorion: A minor component of major function. Development, Growth & Differentiation 38:193-202.