Versiti - Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD | Versiti Blood Research Institute

Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD

Sridhar  Sridhar  profile

Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD

Investigator and Program Leader

Hematopoiesis & Stem Cell Biology

Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy
Medical College of Wisconsin

Education and training

Postdoctoral Research Training
Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Clinical Training
Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Stem Cell Biology / Hematopoiesis

The primary focus of our lab is to understand how changes in gene expression influence differentiation of stem cells. Alterations in this process are a key step in the development of leukemia. In particular, our laboratory focuses on how non-coding DNA elements act as “molecular switches” to causes changes in gene expression. We use different models to understand how non-coding DNA elements regulate which genes are on or off in a particular cell type, but one of our primary models is Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). We focus on AML because it has a poor long-term survival even with high dose chemotherapy, illustrating the need for more effective, less toxic therapies. In AML, approximately 15% of patients have mutations within genes encoding the cohesin complex, which plays a critical role in allowing non-coding DNA elements to regulate gene expression. In addition to AML, we also use mouse derived stem cells to ask fundamental questions about how non-coding DNA elements regulate gene expression. Most of our studies rely upon next-generation sequencing-based genome wide approaches, in addition to genomic editing to understand how non-coding DNA elements regulate stem cell differentiation.

  • R01 DK120548
    Cirillo (PI), Role: Co-Investigator
    Transcriptional Factor Control of Liver Development and Function
  • P01 HL149620
    Liang (PI), Role: Project 2, Project 3 and Core B Co-Investigator
    Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms of BP Regulation
  • R01 DK134064
    MPI-Battle and Rao
    Defining GATA4’s Molecular Function in Gastric Cell Biology

Kirthi Pulakanti
Bioinformatics Analyist 

Alison Nickerson
Research Scientist II

Cary Stelloh
Research Technologist

Khanmi Kasomva

Atrayee Ray

Juliana Argote Alvarez
Assistant Professor

Josiah Murray
Graduate Student

Lauren Banaag
Research Trainee

Click Here for a full list of publications from Dr. Sridhar Rao

Selected Publications
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Hematopoiesis & Stem Cell Biology
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