Division of Molecular Genetics and Cancer
Research activities in this division are focused on seeking answers for treatment and management of complex human diseases such as cancer and rare bone marrow failure syndromes and hematological disorders. The division is equipped with state-of-art research instruments and highly competent faculty with vast experience in the fields of genetics and cancer. Some of the thrust areas include genomics and epigenetics of rare genetic diseases and cancers, role of small RNAs and noncoding RNAs in cell signaling pathways, role of ribosomes in human diseases, nucleolar proteins and their role in tumorigenesis, and stem cell deregulation in cancer. The division also focuses on discovery and development of small molecule anti-cancer drugs through the whole animal small molecule screening or high throughput screening of chemicals using the zebrafish model system. Recently, zebrafish has emerged as a powerful cancer model system because they develop tumors that are histologically similar to human tumors and many human cancer genes are conserved structurally and functionally in zebrafish. In addition, this fish is amenable to pharmacological testing which makes them useful for screening anti-cancer agents. Apart from fish models, the division also houses mice models, which provide exceptional insights into the biology and genetics of human cancer. They are easy to handle and have disease manifestations consistent to humans. In addition to the research activities, the division is dedicated to educate and train the next generation of cancer investigators and human geneticists. The division has been established with a vision of bringing research scientists and clinicians together in order to effectively translate research findings into new ways to detect and treat cancer and genetic disorders.