Professor, Chair, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
- MBBS, Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
- PhD, Viral Oncology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY
- Postdoc, Cell Cycle, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
- Resident, Pathology, Brigham & Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Bioinformatics and Genomics, Biotechnology, Cancer Biology, Epigenetics, Molecular Biology
Genomic Instability in Cancer Cells; Noncoding RNAs in differentiation and cancer
Our lab studies two different areas: genomic stability/instability in normal and cancer cells and the role of short and long noncoding RNAs in cell proliferation and differentiation. The projects in the lab are summarized below:
(1) DNA replication and response to DNA damage in human cells to determine how disorders in their regulation lead to genomic instability. For example, we have mapped hundreds of origins of replication in human cells, study how anti-cancer drugs impact on their activity and discover novel targets for ubiquitination important for genomic stability. We have discovered novel extrachromosomal circles of DNA, microDNAs, in normal cells and tissues and are analyzing how they contribute to cell function.
(2) MicroRNAs, novel non-micro short RNAs and long noncoding RNAs that regulate differentiation (muscle) or cancer progression (prostate). We discover RNAs that change during specific cellular transitions by cloning/high-throughput sequencing, determine whether the RNA is important for the biological transition and ascertain the mechanism of action of the RNA. We have discovered microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs critical for muscle differentiation and a new class of non-micro-short RNAs, tRFs , whose function is being investigated.