BUFI - IISc Seed Fund for Collaboration Project

A collaborative project between Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) & Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), Boston, MA, USA

The Collaboration

The Rangarajan lab has initiated various strategies to understand what drives the pathogenesis in lean diabetics. The group is collecting medical records of patients who have already undergone surgery/ treatment for breast cancer. The data in these medical records help in understanding the disease progression and survival rates. Along with medical records the group is also collecting blood samples and tumor samples from breast cancer patients who are being admitted to hospitals. The lab is profiling for cytokine levels in patient blood plasma to study inflammation. Denis's expertise in the field is helping the Rangarajan lab to understand the physiology of lean diabetics, their inflammation status and how lean diabetes correlate with the incidence of breast cancer.

There has been a continuous interaction between the two labs and recently Kishan Bhardwaj, a Ph.D. student from the Rangarajan lab, visited the Denis lab at Boston University Medical College to get trained on analyzing patient plasma samples for inflammatory cytokines.

Knowing these cytokine levels in patient plasma will help in risk stratification as well as in understanding the status of cancer stemness, drug resistance, metastatic potential of the cancer and finally the prognosis of the disease. In the US, Bhardwaj also had a brief discussion with medical oncologists at BU School of Medicine, Dr. Naomi Ko and Dr. Kim Bertrand. Clinical parameters considered for research purpose, follow up methods, awareness amongst common people and influence of socio-economic status on breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, disease progression, and follow up were a few key points discussed in the meeting. Establishing a healthy relationship and a cohesive working environment between the two labs has led to a database that would contain research and clinical information of cancer patients across both western and Indian population which will help better planning for disease control.

Annapoorni Rangarajan, PhD., Associate Professor, Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics, IISc. Bangalore, with members of her lab at IISc    Kishan Bhardwaj (right) with members of Denis lab in Boston