Kunal Rai, Ph.D.
I got a B. Tech. degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in India and then joined University of Utah for my Ph.D in 2002. I performed my postdoctoral work at Huntsman Cancer Institute between 2007-10 and Dana Farber Cancer Institute between 2010-11. After joining MD Anderson Cancer Center as an Instructor in 2012, I started my laboratory in 2014 as an Assistant Professor in the Genomic Medicine department. My primary interest in in understanding role of epigenome in cancer progression. Beyond work, I love to watch and play tennis and cricket.
I joined the Wall Lab at Harvard Medical School on 2011 as a visiting scholar when I was pursuing my Ph.D. in HUST, China. After finished my Ph.D., I started my postdoc research at Harvard and investigated cancer genomics research, with a focus on the clinical impact of whole-genomic data in personalized medicine and genomic pathology. In the Rai lab, I'm engaged in the cancer epigenomics research which focused on understanding the role of epigenome in cancer progression and epigenetic basis for immunotherapy responses. My research goal is to develop systematic approaches to discover and characterize genomic and epigenetic changes that program cancer development in order to derive a deeper understanding of the molecular networks that lead to malignant transformation and to drive the translation of these findingsinto clinically useful therapeutics.
Christopher Terranova, Ph.D.
My primary research interests involve understanding the epigenetic mechanisms responsible for controlling the spatial organization of chromatin structure during melanoma progression, including the improper availability of cis-elements, long-range chromosomal interactions, promoter/enhancer interactions and the misregulation of transcriptional machinery. Currently, we're working to define the epigenetic landscape of various melanoma subtypes using combinatorial chromatin patterns.
Elias Orouji, M.D., Ph.D.
I am a physician and genomic medicine cancer specialist, currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I am a graduate of Heidelberg University, Germany and a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology. My research interests include genomic/epigenomic regulations in different types of cancer, targeted therapies and application of precision medicine in the treatment of cancer.
Veena Kochat, Ph.D.
We are currently examining the various epigenomic factors that drive the transformation of neurofibroma to malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in Type I neurofibromatosis patients by high throughput sequencing studies. We are interested in exploring the non-canonical PRC2-independent role of EZH2 in activating oncogenic signaling pathways in MPNST. Our study aims to develop a combinational therapeutic approach involving epigenetic inhibitors and non-canonical EZH2-mediated signaling pathway inhibitors for MPNST patient cohorts.
Ming (Tommy) Tang
Anand K. Singh
Katarzyna J. Tomczak
Zhiyi Liu, Ph.D.
I'm focused on identifying the epigenetic drivers of the tumorigenesis of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). The genetic alterations of the TP53 gene (encoding p53 the "genome guardian") play the most important role in the malignant transformation of the head and neck squamous cells. A majority of HNSCC tumors (80%) has mutated TP53. Understanding the epigenetic regulations in the contexts of different types of TP53 mutations in HNSCC tumors will help us to identify novel therapeutic targets for anticancer treatment against HNSCCs.
Ayush T. Raman
Scot Carson Callahan
I pursued my Masters degree in Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Houston, and joined MD Anderson as a Research Assistant II. I am currently studying the role of APOBEC1/PUS1 in colorectal cancer; also I am investigating the effects of various genetic and epigenetic inhibitors on different cancer cell lines. My future ambition is to go to graduate school to further enhance my knowledge in molecular therapeutics and strive to bring advancements in molecular therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.