Shobha Vasudevan, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
The Vasudevan lab investigates the versatile roles of regulatory RNAs in cancer, working toward solutions for early detection of refractory cancers and the design of new therapies.
Shoba Vasudevan's research focuses on the role of post-transcriptional mechanisms in clinically resistant quiescent cancer cells. Tumors demonstrate heterogeneity, harboring a small subpopulation that switch from rapid proliferation to a specialized, reversibly arrested state of quiescence that decreases their susceptibility to chemotherapy. Quiescent cancer cells resist conventional therapeutics and lead to tumor persistence, resuming cancerous growth upon chemotherapy removal.
Our data revealed that post-transcriptional mechanisms are altered, with modification of RNA elements, associated complexes and ribosomes-molecules that control vital genes in cancer-which are important for the persistence of quiescent cancer cells.
The primary goal of our research is to characterize the specialized gene expression and their post-transcriptional regulators that underlie persistence of resistant cancer cells. A complementary focus is to investigate the modifications of RNA elements, ribosomes, post-transcriptional regulators and their mechanisms in response to quiescent conditions and chemotherapy-induced signaling.
Our goal is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the versatile roles of regulatory RNAs in cancer as a basis for early detection of refractory cancers and for designing new therapies.
Shobha Vasudevan, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Assistant in Genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital, affiliated with the Center for Cancer Research and the Center for Regenerative Medicine.