Systems Biology and Data Analytics

Research Focus

The majority of genetic mutations responsible for common diseases reside within gene-regulatory sequences such as enhancers, promoters and insulators. In addition, transcriptional and epigenetic dysregulation are known to drive tumorigenesis, tumor progression and drug resistance. Thus, gene regulation lies at the heart of disease mechanisms and treatment response.

The Prabhakar Lab uses a combination of high-throughput omics assays (wet-lab) and data analytics (dry-lab) to study gene-regulatory mechanisms of human diseases. In particular, we use single-cell RNA-seq, cohort-scale histone ChIP-seq and other NGS technologies to understand autism, psychiatric drug response, lung and colon cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, autoimmune disorders and host response to infection..

We also develop cutting-edge algorithms and pipelines for deriving biological insights from large datasets. This involves statistics, machine learning and extensive benchmarking for performance and scalability.

In addition to curiosity-driven science, we pursue inventions and discoveries that will (hopefully) make a difference in the world. For example, we are engaged in team science to discover markers of immunotherapy response and develop new imaging-based diagnostic technologies. The methods we develop have spawned research collaborations with multiple industry partners spanning biotech, IT and pharma.

Recent Projects

Histone Acetylome-wide Association Study of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Reference component analysis of single-cell transcriptomes elucidates cellular heterogeneity in human colorectal tumors

Sensitive detection of chromatin-altering polymorphisms reveals autoimmune disease mechanisms