Energy sensing and metabolic pathways in neural cells, neural stem cells, brain cancer stem cells. Mouse models of high grade human brain tumor (glioma) and mechanisms of resistance of brain cancer cells.
Molecular hubs of nutrient sensing, oxygen sensing, oncogene and tumor suppressor signaling in glioma.
Molecular mechanisms of energy-dependent and independent functions of the cellular energy sensor AMP Kinase in mammalian brain development, cell fate chose and differentiation, cell survival, metabolic stress, cell division and mobility.
Identification of new druggable targets in brain cancer.
I am Abitha Sukumaran, a biomedical researcher in the Department of Oncology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. My doctoral and postdoctoral studies at Christian Medical College and Hospital, India and Yale University School of Medicine, USA, respectively, involved studying disorders of iron metabolism using cells in culture, mouse models and human subjects. In the DasGupta laboratory, my research work involves deciphering the role of AMPK-mTOR signaling axis in normal cells and gliomas, in an attempt to better understand the pathogenesis of brain tumors. We envisage that this would lead to the development of better treatment strategies. In another project I am beginning to examine the interactions between extrinsic factors and mutations during cancer initiation and progression.
Clinical Student NE
I obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida International University, Miami, FL and a master’s in molecular, cellular and biochemical pharmacology from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Currently, I am a student in the Cancer and Cell Biology PhD program at the University of Cincinnati. I joined the Dasgupta lab in 2022. My work involves investigating processes that occur in the tumor microenvironment (TME) of glioblastomas (GBM). With a focus on elucidating means to manipulate the TME in order to increase treatment efficacy in GBM we aim to reduce the limitations of successful GBM treatment.
Research Assistant II
I received a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 2021. I’ve previously worked in a diabetes genetics lab and a blood cancer lab, and I joined the Dasgupta lab in January 2022 as a research assistant. I have experience with mouse colony maintenance and mouse procedures, and I assist other lab members with cell culture, staining, and other molecular techniques. I also help with lab management when necessary. I am beginning a project focusing on the role of serine catabolism on brain tumor progression, and I have plans to attend UC to pursue a master's degree and / or a PhD.
Visiting Research Scientist
I completed my PhD from Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India. My doctoral studies were on the role of growth factors and nutrient deprivation in promoting chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. I have joined Dasgupta’s lab as postdoctoral researcher in May 2022. Here I am trying to identify the unique regulation of AMPK and mTORC1 in neural cells and focusing on the AMPK-mTORC1 signaling pathway for a potential therapeutic strategy in glioblastoma. The Dasgupta lab has recently published that Stearoyl- CoA desaturase (SCD) – a critical enzyme in the fatty acid synthesis pathway is deleted and methylated in a subset of patient derived glioblastoma cell lines. In the second project, my aim is to investigate the mechanisms by which these cells have evolved to survive using alternative pathways.
I am a research assistant in the Dasgupta lab. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience at Allegheny College in 2016 and a Master of Science degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Biochemical Pharmacology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 2019. I have previously worked as a research assistant in labs studying molecular neuroscience, and behavioral pharmacology at the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University, as well as at a CRO managing proposals. I began working in the Dasgupta lab at Cincinnati Children’s in February 2022. My work in the lab includes lab management, animal colony management, and research. The current research project I am working on is determining the role of metabolic pathways in the mechanisms of biguanide sensitivity and resistance in patient derived glioblastoma cells in vivo and in vitro.
I graduated in 2012 from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and I worked as a pharmaceutical chemist for 5 years. I am currently a PhD student in the Cancer and Cell Biology Graduate Program at University of Cincinnati and I joined the Dasgupta Lab in March 2019. My current research focuses on the pediatric glioma DIPG, where I have performed integrative analyses on transcriptomic and metabolomic datasets to uncover previously unknown mechanisms that create an environment that is favorable for tumor progression. We are actively investigating some of the pathways that have been uncovered through these analyses, including the de novo and salvage purine pathways among others.
Lab Support Tech I
I received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 2021. I’ve previously worked in a diabetes genetics lab and a blood cancer lab, and I joined the Dasgupta lab in January 2022 as a research assistant. I have experience with mouse colony maintenance and mouse procedures, and I assist other lab members with cell culture, staining, and other molecular techniques. I also help with lab management when necessary. I am beginning a project focusing on the role of serine catabolism on brain tumor progression, and I have plans to attend UC to pursue a master's degree and / or a PhD.
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