Richa Sardana, PhD

Richa Sardana

Department of Molecular Medicine

Assistant Professor

Richa Sardana's Lab

Department of Molecular Medicine
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
C4-175 VMC
Ithaca, NY 14853-6401


Office: 607.253.3318
Lab: 607.253.3609
Fax: 607.253.3659


Research Interest

My laboratory studies how membrane protein trafficking and quality control mechanisms surveil the membrane proteome, and how their dysregulation results in human disease. 

We employ multi-disciplinary approaches in budding yeast and mammalian cells to ask these questions. We are interested in understanding the molecular basis of how membrane proteins are classified as functional or non-functional by cellular protein quality control mechanisms: How do cellular QC mechanisms make these decisions? What features of the proteins are recognized? What features of the QC machinery provide them the ability to make the distinction? We are also interested in understanding how integral membrane proteins are correctly maintained at specific intracellular organelles: How are specific proteins selectively packaged for sorting? What are the consequences of defects in these pathways? A better understanding of these processes is especially relevant for designing therapeutic interventions for pathological conditions affecting protein homeostasis.


  • PhD, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, 2013
  • MSc, Biotechnology, IIT-Bombay, Mumbai, 2006
  • BSc, Biochemistry, Delhi University, New Delhi, 2004

Biography/Professional Experience

  • 2021-, Assistant Professor, Cornell University
  • 2020-2021, Research Associate, Cornell University
  • 2015-2020, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University
  • 2013-2015, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University


  1. Sardana R and Emr SD.  Membrane protein quality control mechanisms in the Endo-Lysosome system. Trends in Cell Biol., 2021, 31(4): 269-283 PMID: 33414051.
  2. Sardana R, Highland CM, Straight BE, Chavez CF, Fromme JC, Emr SD. Golgi membrane protein Erd1 Is essential for recycling a subset of Golgi glycosyltransferases. eLife, 2021;10:e70774 PMCID: PMC8616560.
  3. Sardana R, Zhu L, and Emr SD. Rsp5 Ubiquitin ligase-mediated quality control system clears membrane proteins mistargeted to the vacuole membrane. J. Cell Biol., 2019, 218:234-250 PMCID: PMC6314561.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography

Awards and Honors


Curtis Eklund Teaching Excellence Award, UT-Austin


Graduate Student Assembly Service Award, UT-Austin


Golden Microbe Research Award, UT-Austin


Outstanding publication award, UT-Austin


Best Scientific Presentation, Ubiquitin Symposium, Vienna Bio Center

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • 2020-present, American Society for Cell Biology
  • 2021-present, American Heart Association