Our Speakers


Plenary Speaker

Dr. Michael Clarke

Associate Director
Stanford Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Stanford University

Dr. Michael F. Clarke is the Karel and Avice Beekhuis Professor of Cancer Biology and Associate Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. His laboratory has a long history of innovative findings which include: the first to demonstrate that inappropriate expression of a normal gene could cause a tumor; the first to identify a dominant-negative splice variant of an oncogene; the first to identify a molecular regulator of stem cell self-renewal; the first to identify a solid tumor stem cell (in breast cancer) and the first to demonstrate a molecular linkage of a self-renewal program used by normal mammary stem cells and breast cancer cells.

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Speakers

Dr. Sendurai Mani

Associate Professor
Department of Translational Molecular Pathology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Co-Director, Center for Stem Cell & Developmental Biology, MDACC, Houston, TX Co-Director, Metastasis Research Center, MDACC, Houston, TX

Dr. Mani’s original finding demonstrating the cancer cells acquire stem cell properties by activating latent embryonic epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program provided the foundation and explanation for the presence of plasticity within the tumor as well as the development of resistance to various treatments. Based on this key finding, various biotech companies are targeting EMT signaling pathways to inhibit tumor plasticity and the associated metastasis and therapy resistance.

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Dr. Sharmila Bapat

Scientist F
National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS), Pune, India

Dr. Sharmila Bapat is a group leader of the Ovarian Cancer Program at the National Centre for Cell Science, Pune, India and has to her credit the first report on the isolation and identification of cancer stem cells in ovarian cancer. More recently she has been integrating basic biology with computational approaches to elucidate resolution of tumor heterogeneity and systems based network analyses of biological functions of tumor cells.

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Prof. Paturu Kondaiah

Professor
Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India

The Recent focus of Prof Kondaiah and his team has been on breast and brain cancer biology, and role of TGF-beta in fibrosis and tumor progression. In breast cancers, gene expression profiling was performed with various categories of tumors and genes that may predict prognosis (metastasis/recurrence). His group established the activation of TGF-β pathway by areca nut components as a hallmark feature during initiation and progression of oral submucous fibrosis. In collaboration with synthetic chemists, his team actively contributed to the identification of a small molecule that was found to be an activator of mutant p53 protein to wild-type conformation.

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Dr. Anjali Shiras

Scientist-G
National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune

Dr. Shiras and her team are working on: Unravelling the role of micro RNAs in self-renewal and tumorigenicity of brain tumor stem cells derived from neuroepithelial tumors of the central nervous system; 2. Understanding cancer stem cell- endothelial niche interactions in Gliomas; 3. Cis-acting pair of novel non-coding RNAs – Ginir and Giniras in Cell growth Regulation and Transformation of mouse and human cells; A novel strategy for reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells.

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Dr. T R Santhosh Kumar

Scientist F - Cancer Biology
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, India

Prof Santosh Kumar’s research interests include Cancer Drug Resistance, Development of cell-based and preclinical models for drug screening and Dynamics of cell cycle-dependent signaling in cancer. He is the recipient of Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award, 2006 from DBT Govt of India and Young Researcher Award from International Union of Biomaterial Science. Currently, he is serving as the member of Task force, Cancer biology and also in young Biotechnologist award selection committee of the Department of Biotechnology.

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Dr. Annapoorni Rangarajan

Associate Professor
Department of Molecular Reproduction, Genetics and Development Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India

Dr. Rangarajan’s current research interest includes: Understanding the mechanisms of self-renewal in normal and cancer stem cells; Identification of a novel AMPK-PEA15 axis in the anoikis-resistant growth of mammary cells; A monoclonal antibody against human Notch1 ligand-binding domain depletes subpopulation of putative breast cancer stem-like cells.

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Dr. Vivek Tanavade

Associate Professor
Division of Biological and Life Sciences, School of Arts & Sciences, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad, India

Dr. Tanavade has been working in the area of adult stem cells (hematopoietic and mesenchymal) and his primary interest lies in the mechanisms of stem cell differentiation. He has utilized a variety of tools including cell biology, animal models, bioinformatics & computational biology to understand these mechanisms.

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Dr. Sandeep Singh

Assistant Professor
National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani, West Bengal, India

Dr Singh’s current research interests include: Establishing method for isolation, purification and characterization of Stem-like cancer cells (SLCC) from oral tumors; Understanding the molecular makeup of Oral-SLCCs and its functional consequences; Identification of the genes that govern deregulated self-renewal and differentiation of SLCC’s & Exploring the role of tumor stroma in cancer progression.

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Dr. Prashant Kumar

Faculty Scientist
DST – Ramanujan Fellow Institute of Bioinformatics, Bengaluru, India.

Dr. Prashant Kumar undertook postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. Karl Simin at the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, USA, where he established a novel mouse model of malignant breast cancers. Subsequently, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Jean Paul Thiery, a world-renowned authority in the area of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore. During this period, he was involved in the development of a novel point-of-care diagnostic platform for detection of bladder cancer biomarkers. He was also involved in the establishment of a culture method to assess breast cancer circulating tumor cells (CTCs) harvested from blood samples of patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy.

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Dr. Amritha Suresh

Principal Scientist
Integrated Head and Neck Oncology Program Mazumdar Shaw Center for Translational Research (MSCTR), Narayana Health, Bengaluru, India.

Dr. Amritha Suresh and her team are actively working on molecular profiling of head and neck cancers to identify the changes during carcinogenesis and drug resistance. Assessing the known markers from the available databases are the main approaches adopted by her team. Carcinogen-induced animal models are the major tool to assess their role in a systematic manner and these studies have already been initiated in her lab. Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) have long been associated with treatment resistance and so drug-resistant cell lines been developed by the group and are being used to delineate the underlying mechanisms.

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Dr. Pritha Ray

Assistant Professor
Tata Memorial Centre (ACTREC), Navi Mumbai, India

The prime focus of Dr. Ray’s lab is to investigate and detect the key molecular switches associated with chemoresistance and develop strategies for early detection of acquired chemo resistance in epithelial ovarian cancer. Her team works on Identifying transcriptional regulators of PIK3CA gene in chemoresistant cells; Dissecting role of IGF-1R in resistance development, cancer progression and metastasis; Understanding influence of p53 upon cell survival and apoptotic genes in resistant cells; Investigating the association of IGF-1R-Akt axis with Cancer Stem cells during resistance & Developing novel reporter vectors to monitor protein-protein interaction.

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Session Chair

Dr. Sendurai Mani

Associate Professor
Department of Translational Molecular Pathology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Co-Director, Center for Stem Cell & Developmental Biology, MDACC, Houston, TX Co-Director, Metastasis Research Center, MDACC, Houston, TX

Dr. Mani’s original finding demonstrating the cancer cells acquire stem cell properties by activating latent embryonic epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program provided the foundation and explanation for the presence of plasticity within the tumor as well as the development of resistance to various treatments. Based on this key finding, various biotech companies are targeting EMT signaling pathways to inhibit tumor plasticity and the associated metastasis and therapy resistance.

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Dr. Shubhada Chiplunkar

Director
Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.

Dr Chiplunkar is the Director of the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. The focus of her group is on understanding the immune scenario and reasons for immune dysfunctions in patients with cancer. The group is also interested in studying the role of hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells for management of hematological neoplasms, tissue regeneration, and repair.

Dr. Sujata Mohanty

Professor
Stem Cell Facility (DBT-Centre of Excellence for Stem Cell Research), AIIMS, New Delhi

Dr. Sujata Mohanty is a Professor at the Stem Cell Facility(DBT-Centre of Excellence for Stem Cell Research), AIIMS, New Delhi.

Dr Rabindranath Mukhopadhyaya

Former Professor
ACTREC Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai. Technical expert - BIRAC, DBT Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of RGCB (DBT), Thiruvananthapuram, India

Dr. Rabindranath Mukhopadhyaya is a former Professor from ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai. He is also the technical expert, at BIRAC, DBT and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of RGCB (DBT), Trivandrum. Prof Mukhopadhyay did the first technology transfer of a DBT sponsored project, viz. HIV-1 & 2 serodiagnostic Western Blot to the licensee -J Mitra & Co, New Delhi. He was also the first scientist to complete the genomic sequence of HIV-2 from India/Asia and is also the scientist responsible for indigenously developing the lentivirus vector system derived from the Indian HIV-2 isolate.

Prof (Dr) Purvish M. Parikh

Medical Oncologist & Haematologist, Asian Institute of Oncology
Director of Clinical Research and Education, BSES Municipal Hospital Managing Committee Member, Indian Cancer Society Emeritus Editor, SAJC & IJMIO

Dr. Purvish Parikh is a Medical Oncologist & Hematologist, Asian Institute of Oncology. He is also Director of Clinical Research and Education, BSES Municipal Hospital. Dr. Parikh is a Member, Board of Studies, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Managing Committee Member, Indian Cancer Society & Executive Director, Indian Cooperative Oncology Network.

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