Polypilot product mascot

Introducing PolyPilot:

Our AI-Powered Mentorship Program

Start your trial today

Learn More
profile picture

Deobrat D

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at National Brain Research Center, Manesar, India


Cancer Stem Cells/ RNA biology/ Adult and pediatric brain cancers


I obtained my PhD in Neuro-oncology from National Brain Research Center, India under the supervision of Dr. Ellora Sen. I am a biochemist by training. My thesis work explores the molecular mechanisms underlying resistance to apoptosis in Glioblastoma and possible molecular and pharmacological targets that can sensitize them to apoptosis. Prior to that, I completed my M.Sc. at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India in Zoology with a specialization in molecular biology and biochemistry. I have been involved in cancer research for almost 11 years now. Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral associate at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla. With my major focus on understanding the transcriptional regulation of the glioma stem cells (GSCs), I have worked on several projects with the aim to dissect out the mechanisms by which the GSCs maintain a specific gene expression signature that regulates their stemness and tumorigenicity.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Understanding the molecular mechanisms of tumor recurrence using glioblastoma as a model

One of most important issues with treatment of Glioblastoma (GBM), one of the deadliest forms of brain tumor, is that after removal, it recurs within a short span and that too, very aggressively. Earlier findings have established that this is because of the residual Glioma-stem-like cell (GSC) population, that continues to grow and proliferate even after the removal of bulk tumor, thus, suggesting that alongwith the removal of GBM cells, it is important to target GSCs as well. Traditional anti-GBM drug discovery relies on the research performed in cancer cells growing in in vitro conditions, which is often supplemented with growth facilitating nutrients that tend to reduce stress. In contrast, a GBM cell growing in the brain of a patient encounters a very different microenvironment crowded with large number of other cells, both cancerous and non-cancerous, along with reduced nutrient and oxygen availability, and increased cell stress due to immune regulators. Therefore, not surprisingly, most of the proposed drugs based on the studies conducted in cell culture, come across as harsh chemicals that do not discriminate between normal and cancer cells; rather target all proliferating cells leading to severe adverse effects in patients. In their in vivo tumor microenvironment, GBM cell, including GSC, expends a lot of energy in responding to these microenvironmental stimuli and activate novel signalling pathways to survive. Thus, identification and effective targeting of these in vivo specific signalling regulators are key to effective treatment of GBM. Major focus of this study is to understand how microenvironment-driven changes in tumor cells enable them to survive and thrive in stressful in vivo conditions. The findings from the study could potentially give us better insights into the biology of GSCs and most likely explain the mechanism as to how these cells continue to thrive upon tumor removal and develop into a more aggressive one.

Languages I know

Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, English

Teaching experience

During my doctoral work, I have mentored undergraduate students helping them in their research dissertations. During my postdoctoral tenure, I have mainly mentored a couple of graduate students in their research work. I don't have any formal experience of classroom-style teaching.


Work experience

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute (2015 - 2017)
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of California, San Diego (2017 - 2020)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (2020 - Current)
Postdoctoral Associate


Banaras Hindu University
BS Bachelor of Science (2005)
Chemistry, Botany, Zoology (hons)
Banaras Hindu University
MS Master of Science (2007)
National Brain Research Center, Manesar, India
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2014)

Interested in working with expert mentors like Deobrat?

Apply now