Dr Sankari Nagarajan

Lecturer in Chromatin Biology, CRUK Career Establishment Award holder

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I am a breast cancer research scientist with around 10 years of research experience investigating the transcriptional regulation of disease progression in breast cancers. I completed my Integrated M.Sc. in Bio-Medical Science at Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India. After obtainining a prestigious and competitive PhD scholarship from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), I moved to the University of Goettingen, Germany, to work with Prof. Dr. Steven A Johnsen, for my PhD. My successful PhD research on an epigenetic reader protein BRD4 in ER+ breast cancers introduced the possibility of using Bromodomain and Extraterminal domain-containing protein (BET) inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy against breast cancers. This body of work resulted in me being awarded best PhD from my graduate program, Göttingen Graduate Center for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences.

As a Research associate, I worked with Prof. Jason Carroll, CRUK Cambridge Instiutute. Using genome-wide CRISPR-based drug resistance screens and functional genomic approaches (ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, RNA-seq), I investigated a novel role for the SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex, and its subunit ARID1A in controlling endocrine treatment response. As a result of my achievements, I got promoted as a Senior Research Associate at CRUK Cambridge Institute. Then, I moved to Manchester to start my first PI position in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Function. Based on my research findings from CRISPR screening, I developed an independent grant proposal as a PI on chromatin architecture proteins in ER+  breast cancers and this was recently awarded a Career Establishment award by the charity Cancer Research UK. My research lab at Manchester will extend my experience on chromatin remodelling and breast cancer epigenetics using CRISPR-Cas9 system and single cell epigenomic approaches into a new direction of research: understanding the enhancer evolution during endocrine resistance and metastatic processes in aggressive cancers.



Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Principal Investigator in Manchester Breast Centre (MBC)
  • Principal Investigator in Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC)
  • Member in EACR, BACR and AACR

External positions

Senior Research Associate, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

11 Dec 201930 Jun 2020

Research Associate, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

2 Nov 201511 Dec 2019

Postdoctoral fellow, Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen

1 Apr 201531 Oct 2015

Areas of expertise

  • Q Science (General) - Epigenetics, Enhancer regulation, Chromatin remodelling, Breast cancer, Metastasis, CRISPR, Drug resistance, Enhancer RNAs

Research Networks and Beacons

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2015 - Doctor of Philosophy, Role of BRD4 and histone acetylation in estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen (2011 - 2015)
  • 2010 - Master in Science, Bio-Medical Science, Bharathidasan University (2005 - 2010)

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