Srinivas Ramachandran, Ph.D.

Srinivas
Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Institution
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Address
Mail Stop 8101, 12801 East 17th Ave. L-18-9102
City, State, ZIP
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone
303-724-3308
Email
[email protected]
Website
https://chromatindynamics.com/
Research field
Gene Regulation
Award year
2020

Research

The Ramachandran lab will improve methods for early cancer detection using cell-free DNA (cfDNA). These are pieces of DNA present outside the cell in the blood and include fragments that are released from tumors upon cell death and have recently emerged as noninvasive markers for cancer detection, monitoring, and prognosis. Inside the cell, DNA is packaged around histone proteins, forming a structure called the nucleosome. When cells die, parts of the genome are chewed up, while fragments shielded within the nucleosome remain intact. These lingering fragments, detected as cfDNA, can provide a snapshot of the state of gene activity of a cell and thus provide information on cell origin (i.e., tumor versus noncancerous cell). Using molecular sequencing approaches, we will develop a method to enrich cfDNA sequences for identifying abnormal patterns of gene activity that are associated with cancer. My work could help devise a more sensitive and cheaper blood test for early cancer detection and also allow for noninvasive tracking of cancer during treatment.

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