Dr. Sukhinder Sandhu, PhD, was a post doctoral fellow with Dr. Carlo Croce at The Ohio State University Medical Center. In Dr. Croce’s lab, Dr. Sandhu studied role of microRNAs (miRs) in cancers, mainly B cell lymphomas. She used her Firefly Frontiers Grant to characterize the genetic profile and heterogeneity of tumors caused by overexpression of the miR-17-92 microRNA cluster. Dr. Sandhu is now a Scientist at Swift BioSciences. Ann Arbor, MI.
Check out the publication from this work in PNAS here.
What fascinates you most about microRNAs?
The fact that dysregulation of a single microRNA can cause havoc in the cell and even an organism is very fascinating. It unravels a whole new level of regulation that connects microRNAs to the "decision makers" - mRNA and proteins.
Where do you see the miRNA field headed in the next 5 years? What areas are most promising for breakthrough discoveries?
The miRNA field is expanding fast, and the fact that they are part of the non-coding genome, which constitutes the majority of the human genome, makes them very interesting and informative candidates for research. miRNA levels in different biological specimens are being used as biomarkers of both disease stage and response to therapy. Hence breakthrough discoveries are needed in the field of miRNA detection in these specimens: blood, serum, plasma, tumor, circulating tumor cells, and, maybe, buccal (cheek) swab, or a skin wipe!