Researcher Spotlight: Sanket Shah, PhD
WEILL MEDICAL COLLEGE OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY
DR. BRUCE D. CHESON FELLOW
Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) are a heterogeneous group of lymphomas associated with poor outcomes and high rates of mortality. Mutations in genes that encode proteins responsible for regulation of gene expression, known as epigenetic regulators, are common in these types of lymphomas. One such protein is SETD2, the mutation of which leads to tumor formation in DLBCL. Dr. Shah’s research aims to understand if and how SETD2 inhibitors can be used in DLBCL.
Importantly, these types of mutations are most common in people of African ancestry. “We believe that SETD2 inhibition will induce genomic catastrophe, and [this] work may yield the first ever health-disparities precision therapy for cancer and address a critical unmet need in the lymphoma field,” he says.
Dr. Shah earned his PhD from Tata Cancer Hospital in Mumbai, India. He is currently serving as a postdoctoral fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY, where he is able to combine his research interests in epigenetics, oncology, and immunology. He hopes to use these experiences to jump-start a career studying the immunoepigenetics of DLBCL and the potential to leverage this information for treatment. “Lymphomas are clinically heterogenous tumors,” he says. “However, considering the enrichment in the mutation spectrum of epigenetic regulators, precision epigenetic therapy gives me hope for the future.”